Issue 548

Australia

BY BILL MASON
BRISBANE — ALP state backbencher Jim Pearce, MP for the seat of Fitzroy in the central Queensland coal-mining district, has threatened to resign from the Labor Party if longstanding concerns over mining safety issues are not

CPSU activists to hold training day
CANBERRA — The Members First caucus in the Community and Public Sector Union is organising a training day on August 16 for all CPSU members in the ACT who want to build an alternative type of unionism to the

BY SAM WAINWRIGHT
PERTH — On July 30, 70 people crowded into the Fremantle Hotel for a quiz night fundraiser organised by the Fremantle Anti-Nuclear Group (FANG).
FANG is committed to stopping the Seaswap program, under which US Navy vessels

BY NIKKI ULASOWSKI
PERTH — Ali Kazak, the head of the Palestinian delegation to Australia, spoke to over 200 people during his recent visit to Western Australia.
Organised by the NoWar Alliance, the tour enabled Kazak to explain firsthand the

BY MELANIE SJOBERG
SYDNEY — The buzz of 60 talkative union activists was an auspicious precursor to the formal speaking platform at the Socialist Alliance's July 30 forum at the Gaelic Club on union struggles.
Shane Bentley, who received 44% of

BY NOREEN NAVIN
SYDNEY — On July 29, NSW public school teachers voted overwhelmingly at state-wide stop-work meetings in support of a proposal by the NSW Teachers Federation to hold a one-day strike.Teachers are demanding that Premier Bob

BY SAM WAINWRIGHT
PERTH — The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has won a dispute with Adsteam Marine at a gas pipe-laying project off the north-west coast of Western Australia. The workers walked off the job because of serious safety concerns.

BY SUE BOLTON
MELBOURNE — The case against 16 of the unionists charged over protests at the Johnson Tiles factory and the Skilled Engineering offices on June 15, 2001, was finalised at the county court on July 30.
The 16 unionists, members of

BY KIM BULLIMORE
SYDNEY — The Committees in Solidarity with Latin America and the Caribbean (CISLAC) held a successful national conference on August 2, with more than 150 activists attending. The conference, Latin America, New Movements of

BY JOHN NEBAUER
ADELAIDE — More than 200 people protested outside federal community services minister Amanda Vanstone's office on July 28, demanding that funding for translating services for the deaf be restored.
The South Australian Deaf

SYDNEY — "Afghanistan has become a forgotten story once again", said Tahmeena Faryal, a representative of the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), during her recent speaking tour of Australia.
"A lot was promised by the

BY JOHN NEBAUER& RENFREY CLARKE
ADELAIDE — Strike action planned for August 4 by 600 bus drivers employed by the Serco bus company has been deferred while the workers wait for representatives of the state Industrial Relations Commission to visit

World

BY ROHAN PEARCE
In the end, it took a US$30 million bribe, six hours, several hundred troops, and more than 20 missiles fired from helicopter gunships for the US military to kill two armed thugs, a bodyguard and a 14-year-old boy. Fittingly for

BY VANNESSA HEARMAN
MELBOURNE — Dr Fikret Baskaya is a 63-year-old Turkish intellectual who has been imprisoned twice for criticising the strategy of the Turkish state in dealing with the issue of Kurdistan. Baskaya spoke at packed public

BY CAROLINE LUND
FREMONT, California — Members of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2244 have voted out its long-time Administration Caucus (AC) leadership and elected a team of more pro-worker union leaders.
Local 2244 represents some 5000

BY ALLEN MYERS
PHNOM PENH — The Cambodian People's Party (CPP) won a decisive victory on July 27 in elections to Cambodia's National Assembly. However, the two largest losing parties are attempting to mount a campaign against the result.
The

BY CHRISTANO KERRILA
The radical government of President Hugo Chavez has faced many tests in its attempt to transform Venezuela. So far, the Venezuelan government has been able to rely on support from the country's poor and working people to win

BY NICK SOUDAKOFF
On July 27, 300 junior officers and soldiers occupied the Glorietta complex in the Makati business district in Manila. They demanded the resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, her cabinet and all Armed Forces of the

JAKARTA — On July 28, the government of South Kalimantan (Borneo) and Indigenous Dayak commmunity leaders strongly denounced Placer Dome, a Vancouver- and Sydney-based mining company, for its plans for mining operations in one of the last protected

BY EVA CHENG
On July 28, 350 people who took part in a protest against the World Trade Organisation's "mini-ministerial" meeting in Montreal were arrested and most were detained for at least 14 hours. Most of them were handcuffed for four hours.

RAMALLAH — On July 24, the Palestinian education department released a report on the impact of Israel's occupation on the education sector. It found that at least 592 Palestinian students and education workers have been killed between the eruption

BY MAX LANE
The 2004 election campaign has started. There have been two important initiatives. The first relates to the major establishment parties, those with substantial numbers of MPs in the parliament. The second is the creation of the

BY WALTER LIPPMANN
The online version of Walter Lippmann's report from Cuba's July 26 celebrations can be found at his web site http://www.walterlippmann.com.

The complete English translation of Fidel Castro's speech is at

On July 27, 300 junior officers and soldiers staged a mutiny. They condemned conditions for troops in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and charged the government and military with corruption and state terrorism. Green Left Weekly's NICK

BY ROHAN PEARCE
In its weekly situation update of July 22, the United Nations Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq revealed that the progress of its Emergency Mine Action Survey is "slower than expected".
Between June 28 and July 16,

Editorial

On July 23, Indigenous leaders from around the country were invited to Canberra to attend a round-table discussion on Indigenous violence. While Prime Minister John Howard has received praise from the mainstream press and sections of the Indigenous

Culture

The day they launched the Cuban RevolutionFrom darkest ashes rose, the fireThe spark that lit 10,000 eveningsAgainst their mortal foes they rose.
The dark was filled by Batista's brand of terror His dungeons dank and cold.Exploiting workers,

BY BILL NEVINS
Ani Di Franco, who with a handful of US celebrities and musicians, has stood up bravely against the Bush regime's war policies and its intimidation of dissidents, will be the headline performer at the 42nd annual Philadelphia Folk

BY NICOLA JOSEPH
SYDNEY — Radio Skid Row will celebrate 20 years of fiercely independent radio on August 10 with special acoustic performance by Spearhead's Michael Franti, who will be in town for a concert at the Hordern Pavilion. Many others

Marx's EcologyBy John Bellamy FosterMonthly Review Press, 2000310 pages, $32.40
REVIEWED BY BEN COURTICE
Although Marxists have taken part in the environmental movement, especially since its rapid rise in the 1970s, there has always been

REVIEW BY RJURIK DAVIDSON
The Gatekeeper: A MemoirBy Terry EagletonPenguin, 2001178 pages, $21.95 (pb)Marxism and Literary CriticismBy Terry EagletonRouledge, 2002 (originally 1976)$23Figures of DissentBy Terry EagletonVerso, 2003$46 (hb)
As a