Issue 55

Australia

Unions in tiff with Kirner By Peter Boyle MELBOURNE — A plan to corporatise state utilities, including the State Electricity Commission, the Gas and Fuel Corporation and Melbourne Water, has been endorsed by the Kirner government's cabinet

Brisbane free speech campaign resumes By Cameron S. Boyd BRISBANE — Some 100 people rallied on May 8 in the Queen Street Mall to generate public support for the freedom of speech campaign in Brisbane. Speakers included Terry Fisher, a

Euan McKenzie By Dr Ian Alexander PERTH — The death of Euan McKenzie represents a significant loss to the community of the left. Euan was a tireless, humanitarian and exceptionally dedicated worker for progressive politics in a

By Rose McCann SYDNEY — Late on the afternoon of May 8, clerks employed by the Building Workers Industrial Union (BWIU) and the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen's Association (FEDFA) learned they had won their strike. The 36 clerks had

By Monique Choy SYDNEY — Eight members of the Sydney Rainforest Action Group (SRAG) were convicted of unreasonable obstruction last week. The judge compared their peaceful protest last year to the Los Angeles riots. Their rally outside the

By Steve Painter The US space agency, NASA, claims the danger of ozone depletion over the northern hemisphere has eased due to a short Arctic winter, but a seven-month study by the agency confirms the ozone shield is "increasingly vulnerable to

Minister discusses sex, school and politics By James Basle CANBERRA — Members of Resistance and the ACT education minister, Bill Woods, failed to get agreement when they discussed a sex information calendar, condom vending machines in high

Bosnians, Croatians call for peace Photo and story by Steve Painter CANBERRA — Supporters of the new states of Bosnia-Hercegovina and Croatia held vigils outside federal parliament and in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide on May 4. One of the

Benetton boycott called By Darryl O'Donnell BRISBANE — The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP) demonstrated outside the Benetton clothing chain last week, claiming that Benetton was profiteering from images of people with AIDS. An

Plan to counter anti-homosexual violence By Nick Ward BRISBANE — Campaigns against anti-lesbian and gay violence are anticipated following meetings here on April 27. A conference was held by the LRAT (Legal Research Advisory Trust for the

By Kaylene Allen HOBART — The Aboriginal community on May 3 reoccupied Risdon Cove, 12 kilometres from the centre of Hobart, in commemoration of the 1804 massacre of at least 100 Aborigines. More than 300 Aborigines and supporters attended

NSW Liberals in disarray By Barry Healy SYDNEY — The New South Wales government is in serious disarray as the scandal over the attempt to give Liberal renegade Dr Terry Metherell a plum Public Service job moves into its second month. The

Alice Dixon One of Australia's great fighters for justice has died. Her spirit, courage and sense of unity, however, continues to live in the hearts of the thousands of people she inspired. Alice Dixon was a Kaurna woman, known throughout

By Liam Mitchell ADELAIDE — A rally of 100 Aborigines and supporters on May 9 heard of the mystery surrounding the death of long-time Aboriginal rights activist Alice Dixon, 53, found dead in her home on May 6. Police have said that there

By Tracy Sorensen When the financial bubble burst for the Laurie Connells, Alan Bonds and Christopher Skases in the late '80s, losing their lenders spectacular sums, the banks turned on the poor to extract some compensation. Those with bank

World

By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — In the first warm days of spring, workers in the capital took the chance offered by the May Day holiday to head for the countryside — the lucky ones to stay in their cottages or dig their garden plots, others to

By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — An important breakthrough, it seemed, was about to occur in the fight to defend Russian workers. On May 1, the back-to-Brezhnev Trudovaya Rossiya ("Toiling Russia") bloc was not the only formation calling its

Cuban Marxists and Christians meet SANTIAGO — Leaders of the Cuban Communist Party and some 50 leaders and lay persons from Protestant Churches in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba met on April 30 under the slogan, "For hope and

By Paul Burow MEXICO CITY — Luz Mendez is a member of the International Political and Diplomatic Commission of the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG). The commission, along with four commanders of the URNG, has been involved in

Businesslike generals Two Indonesian generals sacked over the November 12 army massacre in East Timor are using their new-found free time to study management in the United States, the Indonesian magazine Editor said on May 5. Major-General

In the last year, a new trade union association has emerged in Czechoslovakia. KAREL HYNES, president of the Trade Union Association of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia (OSCMS — Odborove sdruzene Cech, Moravy a Slovenska) was interviewed in Prague

Business as usual in Panama PANAMA CITY — The principal opposition group, Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD), on April 27 severely criticised the involvement of a US army colonel in tenders submitted to the Panamanian government for the

Swaziland is a tiny landlocked southern African monarchy dominated by South Africa. Repression and human rights abuses are overlooked by many governments and the international press. Inspired by the freedom movement in neighbouring South Africa,

Hydro project swindle in Sumatra By Colin Pemul Dirty dealings surround a proposed Japanese-backed hydro-electric project in western Sumatra's Riau province. The project will displace 23,000 people by flooding 128 sq km of prime agricultural

By Peter Annear BUDAPEST — With CNN and Skynews broadcasts booming in 24 hours a day, the citizens of Budapest — and most of eastern Europe — have now seen with their own eyes the quality of life in the United States. Many here were glued

By Jack Colhoun WASHINGTON — Here for a meeting with World Bank officials, former Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega delivered an urgent warning: Nicaragua is on the verge of "an armed social explosion". "There are thousands of armed men

Malaysian threat to Bougainville By Norm Dixon Moses Havini, the Bougainville Interim Government's representative in Australia, has condemned Malaysia's decision to provide military aid and counter-insurgency training to the PNG Defence

By Norm Dixon "We demand that the Security Council condemn the sabotage against the Cuban airline with the same firmness that we condemn the sabotage against the Pan Am and UTA airplanes", wrote Cuba's ambassador to the United Nations, Ricardo

Polish doctors restrict abortions By Iwona Knothe WARSAW — A controversial doctors' code of ethics prohibiting most abortions went into effect on May 2, despite warnings that it could increase the death rate among women and that it violates

Editorial

Politics after Los Angeles Following the collapse of the bureaucratic attempts to build socialism in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, propagandists for capitalism had a field day proclaiming the victory of their system. Some even

Culture

RU486: Misconceptions, Myths and Morals By Renate Klein, Janice G. Raymond and Lynette J. Dumble Spinifex Press, 1991. 151 pp. $14.95 Reviewed by Claudine Holt RU486, the so-called "abortion pill", is a drug that women can do without. This

East Timor: The Impact of Integration. An Indonesian Socio-Anthropological Study By Prof. Mubyarto et al Indonesian Resources and Information Program, Melbourne. 70 pp. $10.00 Reviewed by Robin Osborne Judging this book by its cover, the

Angry A photocopied newsletter, a new venture associated with Sydney's anarchist Black Rose Bookshop, has just been produced. The first edition of Angry People contains commentary and graphics on drugs, sex and censorship; increases in

Paris is Burning Directed by Jennie Livingstone. Reviewed by Penny Saunders Madonna may have made "vogueing" a popular dance, but Paris is Burning, which won best documentary at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival, traces the development of this

Green shopping service SYDNEY — "Green consumers, not governments or corporations, will ultimately be the saviours of our planet", says Tim Walsh, manager of a new green home shopping service. According to Walsh, Greendoor Ecological Shopping

The Blue Shadows at Night em = By Peter Hicks and Geoff Francis Rodney King was driving home on the freeway one night, He was guilty of nothing, 'cept not being white, There were four of LA's finest there, out to have fun, So for this Black

Rush Directed by Lili Fini Zanuck Music by Eric Clapton Starring Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sam Elliott, Gregg Allman Reviewed by Ulrike Erhardt Rush is heroin which kick-starts drug users into oblivion. That's why undercover

By Frank Noakes PERTH — The Musicians' Union here has embarked on a campaign which, if successful, could bring major changes to the appalling conditions of employment most musicians are now forced to endure. The campaign, endorsed by the

Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Cubans em = By Rosemary Evans (A song for President Bush based on Noel Coward's "Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Germans") Don't let's be beastly to the Cubans, For 30 years we've done exactly that) They just

Up the Greasy Pole: a year in the life of Senator Frank Bragger By John Black, Michael Macklin and Chris Puplick Mandarin, Melbourne. 1992. 273 pp. $14.95. Reviewed by Tony Smith Up the Greasy Pole is unlikely to win any literary awards,