Issue 547


BY MARCO HEWITT PERTH — Dozens of Perth activists travelled to the Port Hedland detention centre in northern WA from July 17-20, to protest in solidarity with the asylum seekers imprisoned inside. The trip was organised in coordination with the
BY NOREEN NAVIN& OWEN RICHARDS SYDNEY — Thousands of NSW teachers will stop work for two hours on July 29 to discuss the NSW Teacher Federation's negotiations with Premier Bob Carr's Labor government over teachers' salaries. NSW teachers have
BY MARCEL CAMERON BRISBANE — Workers employed at the Bradken company's Karrabin railway carriage making plant near Ipswich have set up a picket line after being locked out on July 16. As part of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union's
BY SUE BOLTON MELBOURNE — Workers from OneSteel subsidiary Martin Bright Steels have been on strike since July 4. The Martin Bright dispute is part of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union's Campaign 2003. There are 80 workers on the site,
BY NICK EVERETT SYDNEY — A rally to save Medicare was held outside NSW Parliament House on July 22, where a Senate committee was commencing its hearings on the federal government's changes to Medicare. Around 150 people attended. Organised by
Medicare public forum ADELAIDE — A July 16 public meeting on defending Medicare organised by the Socialist Alliance was attended by 40 people. The meeting was addressed by Fran Baum, professor of public health at Flinders University; Dr David
BY ARUN PRADHAN MELBOURNE — Blindfolded, giggling children trying to hit a pi¤ata is not unusual. But when the pi¤ata looks like "Uncle Sam" with a skull for a face, you know this is no ordinary fiesta. Fifty years after Fidel Castro led an
BY SAM RIXON The July 25 decision by the federal Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) to allow the unconditional release of Australia's first genetically engineered food crop into the Australian environment has been condemned by
BY SUE BOLTON MELBOURNE — Fifteen Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) members and one Electrical Trades Union member appeared in the county court on July 21 and 22 over an industrial dispute involving Johnson Tiles and Skilled
BY MELANIE SJOBERG SYDNEY — NSW Premier Bob Carr's Labor government calls its plan to cut 1000 jobs in the Department of Education and Training (DET) "lifelong and learning". However, public education needs more, not less, jobs. Students need
BY STEPHEN GARVEY MELBOURNE — On July 22, hundreds of workers at ACI workplaces across the country stopped work in response to the lockout of 77 ACI Mould Manufacturing workers in Box Hill. The purpose of the stoppage was to support the
BY MARY MERKENICH MELBOURNE — On July 19, the annual conference of the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union unanimously endorsed a resolution to support nationally coordinated action over the refusal of state governments to
1, Pacific Coal, Blair Athol, Errol Hodder, Hail Creek, Tony Maher "> Rio Tinto workers reinstated after five years BY ALISON DELLIT Five years and four days after their unfair dismissal, 16 Queensland miners have finally been granted the
BY MATTHEW RICH MELBOURNE — On July 18, 60 people attended a public meeting on Indonesia's war on Aceh, organised by Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific (ASAP). The speakers were John Martinkus, a journalist recently returned from


BY MARIA ENGQVIST As in Iraq, the number of US military personnel being killed in Colombia continues to rise. The US military has lost at least eight soldiers and pilots since February, including three CIA intelligence experts who were taken
BY DAVE RENTON HARARE — The failure of the June's mass stayaway, called by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has hardly made life easier for activists. The government of President Robert Mugabe has unleashed gangs of young
BY ANDY McINERNEY When Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez was first elected in 1998, millions of the country's poor and working-class people put their hopes in him to build a government capable of advancing their interests. Four and a half years
BY PHILIP FERGUSON CHRISTCHURCH — New Zealand's Labour government has rushed through new immigration restrictions. The Immigration Amendment Bill and Immigration Amendment Bill (No. 2) were introduced into parliament on the evening of July 1
BY AHMAD NIMER RAMALLAH — The inherent tensions in the US-sponsored "Road Map to Peace" have become all too apparent. The Israeli government has not ceased its acts of terrorism against the Palestinian population in the West Bank and the Gaza
BY ROHAN PEARCE Who will pay for the lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (WMD) used to justify Britain's participation in the US-led invasion of Iraq? There is now little doubt that British Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour government is
By RICHARD LEVINS Every once in a while, stories appear in the corporate press about "Castro's secret biological weapons". The term "Castro" is used interchangeably with "Cuba". The stories usually originate in publications linked to right-wing
BY ROHAN PEARCE The first meeting of the Iraqi Governing Council was held in Baghdad on July 13. In the following week, two US soldiers were killed, and 13 injured, by rocket-propelled grenade attacks launched by Iraqi resistance fighters in
BY ELISABETH KEAN In a 24-hour period, the Israeli military placed 10 International Solidarity Movement (ISM) peace volunteers in "administrative detention" at the Ariel settlement police station in the West Bank. Administrative detention is
BY THE PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWANG PILIPINO(Philippines Workers Party, PMP) MANILA, July 27 — The rank-and-file soldiers, junior officers from the rank of lieutenant-colonel down, have taken over the Ayala center in Makati, the heart of the business
BY ROBYN MARSHALL VILLA GRIMALDI, Santiago — Until the end of the 1980s, Villa Grimaldi was the centre of detention and torture of Chilean citizens during the US-backed dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, who seized power on September 11,


BY LOUIS PROYECT African-American jazz legend Benny Carter died on July 12, at the age of 95. Two days later, Afro-Cuban musician Compay Segundo, of Buena Vista Social Club fame, died — he too was 95. They both remained active musically into
BY JASON CAHILL BRISBANE — 4ZZZ FM is a community-based radio station that is famous for the support it gives to progressive movements. It is one of the few media outlets to freely publicise the activities of the anti-war movement. The station
On July 26, we celebrated, with the Cuban people, one of the most remarkable achievements of bravery and commitment to justice in our time. It is an achievement that in spite of all the hardship inflicted on them for so many years by an unrelenting
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
Victor Serge: the Course is Set on HopeBy Susan WeissmanVerso, 2001364 pages, $77 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Poverty and persecution dogged Victor Serge all his life. Ten of his 57 years were spent in jails, he was stalked by "security" police