Issue 546

News

MELBOURNE — Workers from One Steel subsidiary Martin Bright Steels have been on strike for more than two weeks, as part of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union's Campaign 2003. The strike follows two weeks of overtime bans. The workers are
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE& ANTHEA STUTTER HOBART — The campaign to end the woodchipping of old-growth forests took a major step forward when thousands of people marched through the Styx Valley on July 13. At last year's state election, it was clear
BY SUE BOLTON MELBOURNE — In a victory for militant unionism, the Members Reform Team, consisting of rank-and-file postal workers, has won control of the Victorian postal and telecommunications (P&T) branch of the communications division of the
BY JUSTIN TUTTY DARWIN — Two of the Northern Territory's major rivers face serious threats from development proposals. Australians are already struggling to comprehend the billions of dollars that will be required just to keep the
BY ROHAN PEARCE SYDNEY — "War is the inevitable result of a system that places power and greed before solidarity and need", Lincoln Hancock, a Melbourne-based activist, told the July 11-13 Resistance national conference, held in Sydney. The
BY ANTHONY BENBOW DAMPIER, WA — A dispute that began with a company's arrogance towards a team of cleaners led to a week-long strike — and victory — for workers at Woodside's construction site on the Burrup Peninsula, near Dampier in Western
BY DALE MILLS SYDNEY — In a spirited demonstration near the home of immigration minister Philip Ruddock on July 19, 200 people attempted to exercise their right to protest, in the face of police attempts to deny it. Protesters wanted to
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — "One last chance" was the headline of the July 11 Hobart Mercury. The newspaper reported that 17-year-old Ruth Cruz had asked federal immigration minister Philip Ruddock to personally intervene before a July 29
BY CHRIS SLEE MELBOURNE — On July 14, 40 people attended a public meeting to launch the Stop Killer Coke campaign, the aim of which is to pressure Coca-Cola to recognise union rights at its bottling plants in Colombia. Members of Sinaltrainal,
BY STEPH MAWSON& KAROL FLOREK SYDNEY — On July 7, student activists picketed and disrupted a Sydney University Senate meeting. The meeting was to vote on a motion to support the federal government's tertiary education "reforms", and to
BY SUE BULL GEELONG — On July 8, Tim Gooden was elected assistant secretary of the Geelong Trades and Labor Council for the next five years. Socialist Alliance member Gooden was nominated by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union,
BY PAUL OBOOHOV CANBERRA — At 5am on July 17, about 100 Australian Federal Police officers attacked the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, acting under orders from the federal government's National Capital Authority (NCA). The AFP confiscated a previously
BY STEPHEN GARVEY MELBOURNE — ACI workers and their supporters protested outside ACI headquarters on July 7 to demand that management end their lockout of workers at the ACI Mould Manufacturing plant in Box Hill. The workers, who were stood down
BY GRAHAM WILLIAMS MELBOURNE — Victorian manufacturing workers are being hampered in their attempts to finalise enterprise bargaining negotiations. Across the industry, employers are consistently holding out on some demands. "There is a common

World

BY EVA CHENG Hong Kong secretary for security Regina Ip, notorious for her arrogant and bureaucratic handling of the territory's controversial proposed anti-subversion law (article 23 of Hong Kong's Basic Law, the territory's "constitution"),
ALEIDA GUEVARA is a Cuban pediatrician and the eldest daughter of Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara and Aleida March. She works at the William Soler Children's Hospital in Havana, but has also used her skills to aid the people of
BY DEIRDRE GRISWOLD LOS ANGELES — US President George Bush flew into California on June 27 to raise millions of dollars from wealthy Republicans. He got the money, but he also got booed by thousands of protesters in Los Angeles and in Burlingame,
Around 2000 people protested against the visit of US President George Bush in Pretoria on July 9. In Cape Town, more than 1500 people marched. Anti-War Coalition spokesperson Shaheed Mahomed said the protests were aimed at the US government's brutal
BY ROBYN WAITE DILI — More than a year after East Timor's labour code came into effect on May 1, 2002, three of the boards required to implement it — the Minimum Wages Board, the Labour Relations Board (an arbitration body) and the National
BY BARRY WEISLEDER TORONTO — Ruthless cuts to public health spending didn't cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), but inadequate funding of health services by Canada's federal and Ontario provincial governments certainly contributed to
BY LEE SUSTAR The rhetoric was about AIDS and poverty, but the agenda is oil and empire. US President George Bush's July tour of Africa highlighted the ways in which the US is consolidating its economic and strategic role across the continent —
BY PATRICK BOND JOHANNESBURG — The petro-military-commerce safari to Africa that US President George Bush embarked upon July 7-12 may well succeed in the areas that progressive critics fear most. However, those critics, who protested in several
BY NORM DIXON The Nigeria Labour Congress, the country's peak council of blue-collar trade unions, early on July 8 "suspended" a general strike as it entered its ninth day. The strike had been called in response to massive petrol and kerosene price
BY EVA CHENG Of the myriad of global trade rules being negotiated under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is among the least understood. However, it is also among the most
On July 9, workers took over a Pepsi-Cola bottling plant in Villa de Cura, south-west of Caracas. The workers charged that the company, part of Venezuela's Grupo Polar, plans to close the plant and lay-off hundreds of employees in an effort to
BY JEFF SHANTZ MONTREAL — On July 5, under a withering sun, a tent city was erected in Montreal's Parc Lafontaine by hundreds of poor residents, anti-poverty activists and homeless people. Tents and tarps were put up to protect people from the
BY DALE McKINLEY JOHANNESBURG — When the African National Congress government of South Africa introduced its neoliberal Growth Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) macro-economic framework in 1996, it promised South Africans that it would result
BY REIHANA MOHIDEEN MANILA — On July 10, the progressive democratic alliance Sanlakas and the Workers Party (Partido ng Manggagawa) were at long last proclaimed as having won seats in Congress along with five other organisations. The
BY DOUG LORIMER On July 14, three Cuban adults were killed and a child was hospitalised after being shot in the head when three men lengthy criminal records attempted to hijack a fishing boat in the Cuban port of La Coloma. The hijackers, armed
BY JAMES PATTON Major Douglas Rokke joined the US Army in 1967 and served in Vietnam. In 1986. he became a nuclear, biological and chemical warfare instructor. After 1990, Rokke worked extensively with depleted-uranium (uranium-238) weapons,

Culture

BY BILL NEVINS TAOS, New Mexico, USA — "This man is, to me, a prophet!", declared Taos Pueblo recording artist Robert Mirabal on June 29 in welcoming legendary performer Harry Belafonte to the stage of the 2003 annual Taos Solar Music Festival.
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
Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New LeftBy Michael NewmanMerlin Press, 2002368 pages, $52.70 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Many socialists in Britain have Ralph Miliband to thank for saving them from the sad fate of becoming a political
BY GAELE SOBOT I've seen two films during which I desperately wanted to walk out of the cinema to escape the assault to my senses: Peter Greenaway's The Baby of Macon (1993) and Larry Clark's Kids (1995). Greenaway's excesses included murder,