Issue 540

News

BY PAUL BENEDEK SYDNEY — "Sometimes the left spends more time fighting other socialists than fighting the establishment", Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) leader Alister Black told a May 29 public forum at the Gaelic Club, organised by the
Two web site-ranking organisations have now confirmed that Green Left Weekly's web site is the most popular Australian political site! The latest ranking is available on the web site of PCAuthority magazine:
BY KATRINA HECKENDORF & PAUL OBOOHOV On May 28, protest actions were held outside immigration department office in Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth and Sydney by asylum seekers and their supporters to launch the National Anti-Deportation
BY KAMALA EMANUEL LAUNCESTON — A picket by 23 meatworkers, locked out by smallgoods manufacturer Blue Ribbon, has entered its ninth week. The workers, members of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees' Union, are seeking reinstatement and
MELBOURNE — On May 29, a group of activists from the Footscray Socialist Alliance presented a petition to the electorate office of Nicola Roxon, ALP federal MP for Gellibrand. The petition, signed by 300 residents of her electorate, called for the
BY CHRIS SLEE MELBOURNE — Ghada Karmi, a Palestinian woman living in Britain and author of In Search of Fatima: a Palestinian Story, argued for Palestinians to return to the goal of creating a single, democratic secular state in historic
BY GRAHAM WILLIAMS & MATTHEW RICH MELBOURNE — The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union currently has more than half a dozen workshops out on strike in Victoria, trying to win a pattern bargaining agreement through the state AMWU branch's
Sorry Day Melbourne — On May 26, 400 people gathered at Federation Square to mark National Sorry Day and to remind people about the tragedy of the "stolen generations" — the many Indigenous children taken away from their parents by the
BY MIKE BYRNE It was no surprise when Telstra revealed plans to further reduce its workforce by at least 3000 workers to the Senate estimates committee on May 26. A week of fudging by Telstra's senior management had followed the Australian
BY SIMON MILLAR & LINDA WALDRON MELBOURNE — June 4 will be the 100th day on the picket line for Electrical Trades Union (ETU) members at Smorgon Steel in Laverton. The dispute began on February 25, when 25 full-time electricians downed tools
BY LIAM MITCHELL& ADRIAN WRIGHT SYDNEY — On May 29, some 40 supporters of striking workers at can manufacturer Morris McMahon joined the picket line, then in its 12th week, to stop the scab bus in the morning, while 60 wharfies arrived during the
SYDNEY — Fifty global justice activists protested outside a "breakfast speech" by trade minister Mark Vaile, to the Australian Institute of Export in Sydney's CBD, early on the morning of May 31. They were opposing a free trade agreement with the
BY TONY ILTIS MELBOURNE — The Inner West Migrant Resource Centre in Footscray, one of the oldest in Australia, has been forced to close its doors as a result of the federal government's refusal to advance the funding — $170,000 — it would
BY RUSSELL PICKERING PERTH — Not everyone has been pleased by the success of the NOWaR Alliance (Network Opposing War and Racism) in organising some of the biggest anti-war protests ever in Perth. Jan "JJ" Jermalinski, who claims to represent

GEELONG — Workers at Geelong Wool Combing (GWC) are maintaining their 24-hour picket outside the gates of their employer. The 110 workers have been overwhelmed by the level of support they have received from the community.

Adrian Van Doren, workplace delegate for the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union (TCFUA), told Green Left Weekly that the workers were locked out on April 28. "We've been here all this time and if it hadn't been for the support from our union and all the other great unions, who knows what would have happened?"

World

BY DOUG LORIMER "Iran should be on notice that attempts to remake Iraq in Iran's image will be aggressively put down", US war secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared on May 27. Rumsfeld's comment was part of a steadily mounting campaign to make Iran the
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Rio Rancho High School (RRHS) teacher Bill Nevins' suspension and the linked free speech issues are mentioned in an article entitled "The Big Chill" by Alisa Solomon in the June 2 issue of The Nation. A follow-up story
BY SOPHIE HURNDALL The following speech was delivered at a Palestine solidarity rally in London's Trafalgar Square on May 17. Tom Hurndall is an activist with the International Solidarity Movement. I have been asked to speak at this rally as the
BY PATRICK BOND The June G8 meeting in Evian, France, may not, after all, feature the anticipated spoils-of-war squabbles between the warmongering coalition (US, UK and Italy) and their ephemeral opponents (Germany, France, Russia, Japan and
BY DOUG LORIMER "The industrial economies are awash with excess capacity, most are experiencing disinflation and some are threatened by outright deflation. With unfortunate echoes of the 1930s, policy-makers are being tempted to use exchange rates
The Bolivarian Circles, with 2.2 million members, are the backbone of the democratic revolution unfolding in Venezuela. After the attempted US-backed coup against Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez on April 11, 2002, the Bolivarian Circles helped
BY RACHEL WATTS DILI — As official celebrations took place in Dili on May 20 to mark the first anniversary of East Timor's independence, more than 120 demonstrators gathered outside the government palace to express solidarity with the Acehnese
BY EVA CHENG Up to 50 million workers across India took part in a one-day general strike on May 21. Demands included a halt to the central government's privatisation program, an end to job cuts, a halt to the implementation of anti-labour laws, a
BY TAMARA PEARSON Zimbabwe's main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and major civic organisations are organising an indefinite mass "stay away" (general strike), beginning on June 2, aimed at forcing the government of
BY NICK EVERETT JAKARTA — On May 19-21, more than 60 peace activists from 26 countries met at Hotel Wisata to assess the challenges faced by the global peace movement and to develop a plan of action. The conference coincided with the Indonesian
BY DALE MILLS "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law" — this advice, known as the Miranda warning, may no longer have to be given in all situations, the US Supreme Court ruled on
BY ROHAN PEARCE On May 14, the US Army's Lieutenant-General David McKiernan announced that the almost daily attacks on the US-led occupation forces in Iraq were not being carried out by mere criminals after all, but by "regime elements". McKiernan
BY MURRAY SMITH PARIS — More than 600,000 people marched here on May 25 — 1 million across France — in an impressive show of working-class opposition to the French government's attack on pension rights. The demonstration was the latest in a
ALISTER BLACK is an assistant national secretary of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), which had six comrades elected to the Scottish parliament on May 1. Black visited Australia in May. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's JOHN PERCY. What are the
BY EVA CHENG On May 1, a month after they admitted for the first time that they had discovered China's first cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) back in November but had withheld that information from public knowledge, Chinese

Culture

Our Woman in KabulBy Irris MaklerBantam Books, 2003356 pages, $32.95 REVIEW BY HARRY THROSSELL A revealing aspect of Irris Makler's multi-layered book, Our Woman in Kabul, is her account of the US government's support for Osama bin Laden, and
REVIEW BY NANCY ATKIN 1975Melbourne Workers Theatre and the Canto Coro choirNorth Melbourne Town Hall Arts House, cnr Errol and Queensberry streetsWednesdays to Saturdays, 7.30pm, until June 7Tickets:$25 ($20 for union members, $15
BY SARAH STEPHEN This year is the Sydney Film Festival's 50th year. It runs from June 6 until June 20, presenting a feast of short films, features and documentaries from all corners of the world. There are several which will be of special interest

Editorial

@box text intr = So Peter Hollingworth, Australia's most infamous paedophile protector, has finally resigned his position as governor-general in disgrace — taking his "pension" of $184,860 a year with him — and the search will begin for a new