Issue 543

Australia

BY LALITHA CHELLIAH MELBOURNE — On June 20, 200 people attended a meeting in the federal electorate of Batman to discuss campaigning against the cuts to Medicare proposed by the Howard government. The meeting was organised by the ALP, the
BY SARAH STEPHEN Last July, two children asked the Family Court to make the immigration minister release them from detention, because it was harmful to their welfare. The judge, however, found in October that the court did not have jurisdiction
BY DAVID GOSLING CANBERRA — One-hundred-and-fifty Burmese and solidarity activists rallied outside the Burmese embassy on June 19 against the current crackdown by the military regime, and to mark Aung San Suu Kyi's birthday. Burma's junta has
BY STEPHEN GARVEY MELBOURNE — The 77 workers at the ACI Mould Manufacturing factory in the eastern suburb of Box Hill were locked out of their workplace last week when they received management's latest proposals for the new enterprise
BY JENNY LONG SYDNEY — NSW unions covering public servants and teachers in TAFE and the Department of Education and Training (DET) have rejected proposed job cuts announced by NSW Labor education minister Andrew Refshauge on June 17. At least
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — Key Tasmanian government leaders stepped in to water down proposed Significant Personal Relationships legislation before it was presented to parliament on June 19. This is despite the fact that the original
BY ALISON DELLIT Thousands of refugee-rights supporters hit the streets on the June 21-22 weekend, to protest against the Australian government's mandatory detention of asylum seekers and deportations of refugees. The largest protest was in
BY IGGY KIM In the face of mounting casualties and humanitarian crisis in Aceh, foreign minister Alexander Downer reaffirmed Canberra's support for Jakarta's war. Speaking to CNN during the recent ASEAN regional forum, Downer stated that "the
BY PAUL BENEDEK SYDNEY — Ed Peter-Anderson is one of 40 workers entering the 14th week of strike action at the Morris McMahon site in Sydney's inner-west. He is on strike from a company which he has spent more than half of his life working
BY JOHN PERCY Green Left Weekly continues to climb up the web rankings, confirming it as the most visited political web site in Australia. Last week GLW's Alexa (<http://www.alexa.com.au>) ranking rose to 57,727, while the next most
ATO blames GST for budget blow-out MELBOURNE — On June 4, a Senate estimates committee was told that the Australian Tax Office has paid $860 million to IT services company EDS over the last five years. The contract's original budget was $480
Workers at Geelong Woolcombers have been locked out for seven weeks because they won't accept a 25% wage cut. The workers' have been encouraged by community and other union support. They welcome visitors, the 24-hour picket is at corner of Broderick

World

BY ALLEN MYERS PHNOM PENH — A garment worker and a police officer were killed on June 13 during a violent clash outside the Terratex Knitting and Garment International Factory Ltd. A large number of other workers and police were injured. The
BY SUE BOLTON Of the 213 trade unionists assassinated around the world last year, 184 were murdered in Colombia, according to the Brussels-based International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). On June 10, the ICFTU released its Annual
BY ROHAN PEARCE British Prime Minister Tony Blair is under increasing pressure to justify his government's support for the US-led invasion of Iraq. Having based his support on the claim that Iraq possessed a substantial arsenal of weapons of mass
BY DOUG LORIMER On June 12, Cuban President Fidel Castro and Vice-President Raul Castro led more than 1 million people in marches past the Spanish and Italian embassies in Havana. They were protesting the European Union's June 5 decision to join
BY VANNESSA HEARMAN On the eve of an official visit to Jakarta, Timorese PM Mari Alkatiri on May 30 called for an international tribunal in a "neutral country" to try those responsible for serious crimes in his country in 1999. He likened the
BY ROHAN PEARCE On June 18, US troops shot two Iraqis dead at a demonstration outside the Coalition Provisional Authority's office in Baghdad. A military convoy entering the US compound was pelted with rocks by the protesters, and soldiers from
BY ROHAN PEARCE "I really qualify it as militarily insignificant. They are very small, they are very random, they are very ineffective", Major General Ray Odierno, commander of the US Army's 4th Infantry Division, told a June 18 press briefing from
BY AMANDA ZIVCIC "This building went up two years ago. It was corruption that brought it down", Algerian student Abelzak told Reuters, as he surveyed the damage of the vastly under-reported May 21 earthquake that left 2200 Algerians dead and more
BY DOUG LORIMER On June 16, the governing board of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) began discussing a report on Iran's nuclear program from the agency's director-general, Mohammad ElBaradei. Washington hopes to use the report to
BY JAMES BALOWSKI JAKARTA — It has now been a month since martial law was declared in Indonesia's northern-most province of Aceh. But the "integrated operation" launched by the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) to smash the Free Aceh Movement (GAM)
BY ROHAN PEARCE On June 18, the intelligence committees of the US Senate and Congress began hearings on the "intelligence" that the White House used to justify the invasion of Iraq, in particular, the claims made about Iraq's alleged biological and
BY EVA CHENG At US$45.6 billion, Japan's military budget was dwarfed only by the military budget of the United States which totalled $396.1 billion for fiscal 2003. Throughout the 1990s, Japan's war budget was the second largest in the world —
BY JULIE WEBB-PULLMAN HAVANA — Shortly before dawn on June 12, I joined the throngs pouring through my central Havana neighbourhood to gather on the Malecon, before marching on the Spanish embassy to protest against the recently released
BY JORGE JORQUERA Within 100 days of taking office on January 1 this year, Brazilian President Luis Inacio "Lula" da Silva's Workers Party (PT) government had demonstrated its commitment to neoliberal economic policies beyond anything Washington

Editorial

On March 20, the day the US, Britain and Australia launched their war on Iraq, the federal government reintroduced a bill into the House of Representatives to give the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) draconian police powers.

Culture

Theater of WarBy Lewis LaphamThe New Press, 2002202 pages, $42 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Back in 1961, when Lewis Lapham was a young reporter in New York listening to US President John F. Kennedy, plump with "good intentions" of reviving
BY PAUL McCARTAN SYDNEY — Late last year, more than 4500 political posters from Australia and overseas were rediscovered at the Jura Bookshop. The posters date from the 1960s to the late 1980s, and include a large number of Redback
Actively Radical TV — Sydney community television's progressive current affairs producers tackle the hard issues from the activist's point of view. Includes the Green Left news. CTS Sydney (UHF 31), every Sunday, 9pm. Phone (02) 9564 1277. Visit
Myth, Propaganda and Disaster in Nazi Germany and Contemporary America: A Drama in 30 ScenesBy Stephen SewellPlaybox Theatre, MelbourneJune 4-21 REVIEW BY ANNE O'CASEY& KAREN FLETCHER If the title of Stephen Sewell's latest play sounds like an