Issue 549


BY JAMES CRAFTI MELBOURNE — On July 8, the Sydney University Senate met in secret to vote to support the federal government's "reforms" to higher education. When rumours circulated that the La Trobe University Council was to do the same, members
BY ADAM MACLEAN Denied funding by the federal Coalition government to adequately sustain the national broadcaster for the next three years, Australian Broadcasting Corporation management on August 5 announced funding cuts of $26.1 million to
BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — Around 40 refugee-rights activists picketed a Liberal Party cocktail lunch at the Irish Club on August 7. They were protesting the federal government's proposed immigration detention centre at Pinkenba, near the mouth of
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — Pressure continues to mount against the state Labor government on various forests-related issues since the rally of 3000 people in the Styx Valley on July 13. The most direct expression of this pressure is the call for
ACT AEU rejects pay offer CANBERRA — On August 5, the ACT branch executive of the Australian Education Union rejected the "first instalment offer" of the ACT Labor government in the union's enterprise bargaining agreement. The ACT AEU wanted a
BY OSCAR JUKES & RUTH RATCLIFFE DARWIN — More than 100 people attended a public meeting organised by the Environment Centre of the Northern Territory on August 5. Speakers at the meeting agreed that the Daly River faces the same fate as the
BY STUART MARTIN MELBOURNE — After five months on strike, the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) maintenance workers at Smorgon Steel in Laverton are still fighting to win the 36-hour work week and better pay and working conditions. Despite the
BY PETA JOHNSTON On August 6, long-term immigration detainee Stephen Khan was released from detention at the Perth Immigration Detention Centre on the order of Federal Court Justice Malcolm Lee. Sitting in the Federal Court in Perth, Lee made the
Action needed to stop nuclear threat ADELAIDE — Eighty people attended a meeting on August 3 to mark the anniversary of the US atom-bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The meeting was addressed by David Palmer,
BY CHRIS LATHAM PERTH — Members of the electrical division of the Western Australian Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU/ETU) have until August 22 to vote in the division's quadrennial election. All full-time officials, the
Students protest fee hike SYDNEY — On August 5, 100 students protested against the Sydney University Senate's decision last month to approve a 30% across-the-board tuition fee increases, even though legislation that would allow such a fee hike
BY CHRIS PICKERING WOLLONGONG — The New South Wales TAFE Teachers Association (TAFETA) and the Public Service Association (PSA) union representatives at Wollongong College of TAFE are leading a push to fight job cuts and increases in student
BY ALISON DELLIT "So why should I be here protesting, when the nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima 41 years before I was born?", Duncun Meerding asked the 130 protesters gathered in Hobart on August 9. "I may not have lived through that war, but
BY TIM GOODEN GEELONG — Unionists have rallied together to support 100 workers from Geelong Wool Combing who have been locked out for 13 weeks, fearing that such employer tactics are becoming more common. The first lockout notices were issued on
BY ALEX MILNE MELBOURNE — A rally to save the Strzelecki forests is to be held at noon on August 27, outside Victoria's parliament. The rally is in response to the state Labor government's failure to keep its promises to "ensure full protection
BY TERRICA STRUDWICK BRISBANE — On August 8, 300 protesters defied rain to hear Aboriginal leaders and union representatives launch the stolen wages postcard campaign. Chair of the rally, 4AAA Aboriginal community radio manager Tiger Bayles set


The Pacific Concerns Resource Centre (PCRC) on August 8 accused the New Zealand Labor government and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat of refusing to grant media accreditation to the Pacific News Bulletin (PNB), the only Pacific Islands civil
BY VANNESSA HEARMAN The United States and Australia are moving closer to restoring full military cooperation with Indonesia, including with the discredited Kopassus special operations unit of the Indonesian armed forces (TNI). In July, the
BY DR LYNETTE DUMBLE In late July, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report entitled Killing you is a very easy thing for us, a 101-page documentation of the chief forms of abuse prevalent today in Kabul and the densely populated
The Indonesian Forum for the Environment-Friends of the Earth Indonesia (WALHI) has called for protests against major banks around the world with investments in PT London Sumatera Indonesia Tbk (Lonsum). This follows the shooting to death by police
BY ROHAN PEARCE On July 29, some 1000 Iraqis marched to the former presidential palace in Baghdad. The protest, organised by the Union of Unemployed People in Iraq (UUPI), an organisation led by members of the Worker-Communist Party of Iraq (WCPI),
BY EVA CHENG Bilateral trade conflicts between the world's two biggest economic blocs — the US and the European Union — are escalating, threatening to undermine their collective ability to screw the Third World, especially within the framework
BY JAMES BALOWSKI JAKARTA — Delivering her progress report at the annual session of the People's Consultative Assembly on August 1, Indonesia's President Megawati Sukarnoputri said that, despite "occasional mishaps", her government had "put the
BY STEVE KRETZMANN& JIM VALLETTE In early April, during the initial assault on Baghdad, soldiers set up forward bases named Camp Shell and Camp Exxon, until Pentagon PR realised that that did not look very good and ordered them renamed. Those
BY MALIK MIAH SAN FRANCISCO — In a stunning victory for mechanics and related employees at United Airlines, on July 14 the Aircraft Mechanics' Fraternal Association (AMFA) replaced the International Association of Machinists (IAM) as their union.
BY NICK SOUDAKOFF On August 1, the government of Philippines President Gloria Arroyo formally charged the 321 soldiers who occupied parts of the Makati business district in Manila last month with attempting a coup d'etat. Two officers and five
HIROSHIMA — On August 6, TADATOSHI AKIBA, the mayor of the first city in the world to be attacked with nuclear weapons, spoke on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of the United States' attack which killed 140,000 people. Below is an excerpt from
BY CAM WALKER Landowners from mining-affected regions in Papua New Guinea met on August 6 and declared their opposition to public funding for new mining projects. "Decades of mining have left a legacy of environmental degradation, and uprooted
BY NORM DIXON On July 31, Israel's Knesset (parliament) overwhelmingly passed an apartheid-like marriage law. The law forbids Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens from obtaining Israeli citizenship or permits to live with their spouses and
BY DOUG LORIMER With US public support for the occupation of Iraq evaporating as the death toll among US soldiers continues to rise, due to persistent Iraqi guerrilla attacks, Washington is seeking more countries to participate in the occupation.


PalestineBy Joe SaccoJonathon Cape, 2003286 pages, $45 (pb) REVIEW BY NICK FREDMAN A work dealing with the politics of Palestine, in the form of a comic book, might seem an incongruent, even flippant, exercise. How can the immense human
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
The Age of Consent: a Manifesto for a New World OrderBy George MonbiotFlamingo, 2003256 pages, $35 BY DANNY FAIRFAX As a columnist for the British Guardian, George Monbiot has become renowned as a leading voice of the world-wide global justice
MELBOURNE — What could top being Australia's official musical representative at East Timor's massive independence concert in May last year? The members of the seven-piece funk, ska and reggae band the Dili Allstars have the answer: being asked to
Purgatory Down UnderBy Stephen Klinder and Jon WilliamsDirected by Alex BrounOld Fitzroy Hotel Theatre, SydneyUntil August 17 REVIEW BY BRENDAN DOYLE Is it possible to laugh about something as appalling as the government's treatment of asylum


"We're deeply concerned that the condition of the Liberian people is getting worse and worse", US President George Bush declared on July 25, announcing that he had ordered three ships, with 2500 marines aboard, to the war-ravaged west African