Issue 550


BY JENNY LONG SYDNEY — On August 14, employees of the NSW government's Office of Industrial Relations (OIR), formerly the Department of Industrial Relations, began industrial action in protest at savage jobs cuts and restructuring, announced
BY KAMALA EMANUEL LAUNCESTON — The lockout of members of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) employed at the Blue Ribbon Meatworks will enter its 21st week on August 18. It is the longest lockout in Tasmania's history,
BY MARCUS PABIAN MELBOURNE — On August 12, 3000 people rallied outside the Treasury building to support the community services sector in the face of funding cuts proposed by Premier Steve Bracks' state Labor government. Disabled people were out
BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE HOBART — Forest activist Neil Smith, known as "Hector the Protector" for his role in the 1998 campaign to save forest around Mother Cummings Peak in northern Tasmania, faces jail for refusing to pay a $5000 fine. Smith told
BY LINDA WALDRON MELBOURNE — Progressive activists won a victory on August 12, when the Sunshine Magistrates Court dismissed charges against Socialist Alliance activist Tony Iltis. Iltis was charged with distributing leaflets for an anti-war
BY NICK FREDMAN LISMORE — In a victory for unionism in the higher-education sector, staff at Southern Cross University have decisively voted down a short-term enterprise bargaining agreement aimed at marginalising the National Tertiary Education
BY RUSSELL PICKERING PERTH — The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has written to Western Australian police minister Michelle Roberts seeking information about special training being given to six senior regional police
Victory for student democracy BRISBANE — Students at the University of Queensland have voted decisively to reject changes to the UQ Union constitution, proposed by Liberal students. The no vote was victorious with a 62% majority of the almost
BY CHRIS LATHAM PERTH — On August 11, the Australian Education Union's Western Australian branch executive announced that a half-day strike is to be held on September 17. The strike will intensify the AEU's industrial campaign to win a new


BY PETER DWYER DURBAN — On August 8, in a move described as a "backflip" by the mainstream press, South Africa's African National Congress (ANC) government announced that it had instructed the department of health to develop a plan to provide
BY MICHAEL LEBOWITZ "Nationalise the banks!", "Take over enterprises that have shutdown and run them instead by workers!", "Refuse to pay the external debt and use the funds to create jobs!", "Reduce the work week to 36 hours!", "Create new
NEW YORK — More than 1500 organisations and individuals have endorsed the call by the International Act Now to Stop War and Racism (ANSWER) coalition's call for a massive demonstration in Washington DC on October 25 to demand an end to the US
BY BARRY WEISLEDER TORONTO — Labour Day parades across Ontario and other parts of Canada will march under darkening clouds on September 1 — regardless of the weather. A number of trade unions are giving way as a rising tide of employer demands
BY DOUG LORIMER With Iraqi resistance fighters inflicting casualties on the US and British occupation troops almost daily, and with the US administration's justification for invading Iraq — its alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction
WASHINGTON — Galvanised to action by US President George Bush's inane and reckless "Bring 'em on" challenge to the Iraqis who are resisting the US occupation of their country, Military Families Speak Out, Veterans for Peace and other organisations
BY DANNY FAIRFAX More than 300,000 people attended demonstrations, forums, film showings and concerts in the Larzac plateau region of southern France on August 8-10. The Larzac Festival was held under the slogan, Le monde n'est pas une marchandise
BY LEX WINDSOR AUCKLAND — The international solidarity movement for West Papua met in Otara, Tamaki Makaurau, on August 8-10. The gathering called on the government leaders who constitute the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to remember the unresolved
BY JANICE HART ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — In March and April, during and after the run-up to the US war on Iraq, the Albuquerque Public School (APS) District suspended five high school educators for having signs, flyers or student artwork about
BY KAMAL FADEL Western Sahara is a decolonisation issue that has been on the United Nations' agenda for almost 40 years. The right of the Saharawi people to national self-determination has been recognised by the International Court of Justice and



REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Hard Work: Life in Low-pay BritainBy Polly Toynbee Bloomsbury, 2003242 pages, $21 (pb) Polly Toynbee, one of Britain's most prestigious journalists, was bothered by a letter from the Church Action on Poverty group. "Would
Life and DebtA film by Stephanie BlackAvailable on DVD and videotapeOrder enquiries: (07) 33910124; (07) 3391 0154 (fax); or email <>Visit <> for future screening dates REVIEW BY
Actively Radical TV — Includes the Green Left news. CTS Sydney (UHF 31), every Sunday, 9pm. Phone (02) 9564 1277. Visit <> for program details. Access News — Melbourne community TV, Channel 31, has excellent
BY KAREN FLETCHER MELBOURNE — The 2003 Melbourne Writers Festival will open on August 21 with a keynote address by Tariq Ali, the radical London-based author of the anti-imperialist bestseller The Clash of Fundamentalisms. Ali's address, "War,


Canberra's moves to resume military cooperation with Jakarta, especially with the quasi-state-terror gang Kopassus, in the name of the "war on terror", should strongly be opposed by all those who support the democratic rights of the workers and