Issue 553

Australia

SYDNEY — Around 60 people rallied in Auburn on September 5, to demand that the federal government allow Afghan refugees to remain in Australia. The government has been rejecting all applications by Afghan asylum seekers to renew their three-year

BY BILL MASON
BRISBANE — Fourteen refugees from the MV Tampa, released from behind the barbed wire of the Nauru detention camp, were welcomed by supporters of refugees' rights when they arrived at Brisbane airport on September 3.
The 14 Afghan

HOBART — The Wilderness Society's "corporate campaign" against woodchipping company Gunns Ltd resulted in an extraordinary general meeting of the company on August 29. A motion calling on the company to stop woodchipping in high-conservation

BY MELANIE SJOBERG
SYDNEY — Martin Kingham, the Victorian secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), was a keynote speaker at a Socialist Alliance organised trade union seminar held in Parramatta on August 30.

BY MARY MERKENICH
For the first time, education unions across Australia are planning to take co-ordinated action to protest against the pay offers to teachers and education funding policies of state governments. NSW, Victorian and WA teachers and

BY TOM FLANAGAN &MATT EGAN
LISMORE — On September 17, teachers in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia are scheduled to take strike action. Tough stands by state Labor governments against teachers' pay demands have provoked this

BY BILL MASON
BRISBANE — A statement issued by Queensland Teachers Union members in the Socialist Alliance has sparked considerable discussion among teachers in this state.
Teachers are currently voting on whether to accept the government's

BY GRAHAM WILLIAMS
BALLARAT — Workers employed by the McCains frozen foods company, one of the largest employers in Western Victoria, last week reached an "in principle" enterprise agreement after an industrial dispute that lasted more than six

BY PIP HINMAN& VANNESSA HEARMAN
The Kopassus chief, Commander Major General Sriyanto, invited to Australia to cement a military deal with Canberra, will shortly be tried for human rights abuses in Indonesia.
Sriyanto, who graduated from the

UWS funding protest
SYDNEY — Thirty students and staff at the Kingswood campus of the University of Western Sydney protested on September 4 against the federal government's planned cuts to university funding, under which UWS stands to lose over

BY CHRIS SLEE
MELBOURNE — On September 5, 600 people participated in a rally and march to defend and extend Medicare. The rally was called in response to the federal government's refusal to ensure universal free access to general practitioners'

BY NIKKI ULASOWSKI
PERTH — In May, a split occurred in the Perth NOWaR Alliance, the main city-wide anti-war organising body. Since then those who left the NOWaR Alliance have built towards the formation of a WA Peace Network. The first "public"

BY CHRIS LATHAM
PERTH — Four-thousand members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) are expected to strike on September 8, demanding safer working conditions in the construction industry, following citywide stop work

BY CHRIS LATHAM
FREMANTLE — Chris Cain, the recently elected Western Australian secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), spoke at an August 30 Politics in the Pub discussion on defending militant unions against the attacks of federal

World

Five anti-war activists in Egypt are facing years of imprisonment for the "crime" of protesting against the US invasion of Iraq. Ashraf Ibrahim, Nasser el Beheiri, Yehia Fekri Amin, Mustafa Mohamed el Bassuini and Reymon Edward Guindy have been

Undrinkable!, Alien Tort Claims Act">
COLOMBIA: Coca-Cola sues workers' union
The Panamco Colombia (Coca-Cola's Colombian branch) has filed charges of slander in the Southern Federal District Court of Florida against the leadership of the

BY ROHAN PEARCE
While it is still unclear who was behind the August 29 death of Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al Hakim, killed along with 100 Shiites by a car bomb as they left the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf, the assassination has proved to be another

WASHINGTON — The following statement was issued on September 5 by International Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) and United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) on September 5 to announce that they have joined forces to call on all those who

BY JAMES BALOWSKI
JAKARTA — As many as 100 women have been raped since martial law was declared in Indonesia's northern-most province of Aceh on May 19. A report, evaluating the first 100 days of Jakarta's so-called "integrated operation" to

BY VANNESSA HEARMAN
MELBOURNE — Rachland Nashidik, who visited Australia at the invitation of Indonesian Solidarity, is program director of Imparsial, a human-rights monitoring organisation in Indonesia. Nashidik's main message, when he spoke at

BY EVA CHENG
On August 30, on the eve of the September 10-14 World Trade Organisation ministerial summit in Cancun, Mexico, the US government succeeded in having the WTO issue a "breakthrough" draft agreement that it claims will allow poor

BY ROHAN PEARCE
Following the terrible 9/11 terrorist attacks, Washington seized on the shock and fear they produced to implement an aggressive renewed drive for world domination — under the banner of the "war on terror" — which otherwise would

BY ROLAND SHEPPARD
SAN FRANCISCO - On August 14, the northeastern United States experienced its most extensive power blackout ever. The cause, according to US President George Bush's statement on August 15, was the "antiquated system". He might

BY ANTHONY JAMES
FRAY BARTOLOME DE LAS CASAS, Guatemala — The World Bank anticipates that poverty will continue to worsen in the majority of the world for at least the next generation. In the rural north of Guatemala, in Central America, 75% of

BY DALE McKINLEY
JOHANNESBURG — Johannesburg Water Company (JOWCO) has embarked on a program of installing pre-paid water meters throughout Soweto, as part of "Operation Gcin'amanzi". The move is being resisted by the community.
JOWCO claims it

BY BARRY SHEPPARD
SAN FRANCISCO — On September 3, five of the candidates hoping to replace the Democrats' Gray Davis as governor of California, should he be recalled on October 7, took part in a nationally televised debate. The five were selected

BY ALISON THORNE
It was standing room only in the Federal Court on August 28. People had mobilised to hear Judge Robert Lasnik present his findings on a challenge by Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) candidate Linda Averill to the City of Seattle. At

BY MAX LANE
JAKARTA — On August 28, the Party of United Peoples Opposition (POPOR) submitted the necessary documentation to the Indonesian authorities to be registered as a legal political party.
New laws have created three categories of

BY BARRY SHEPPARD
SAN FRANCISCO — The October 7 election to decide on whether Californian Governor Gray Davis should be recalled continues to generate more interest than recent elections. People throughout the state are registering to vote in

Jewish historian Reuven Moskovitz, who was awarded Germany's prestigious Aachen Peace Prize on September 1, fired a broadside at the Israeli government during his acceptance speech.
The outspoken award winner used the glittering occasion to launch

BY JOHN PILGER
LONDON — The "liberation" of Iraq is a cruel joke on a stricken people. The Americans and British, partners in a great recognised crime, have brought down on the Middle East, and much of the rest of the world, the prospect of

BY AMEER SHAHUL
BANGALORE — A major controversy is brewing in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh over the proposed mining of uranium deposits near a remote village in Nalgonda district. Environmental groups and the local community have

Culture

REVIEW BY DANNY FAIRFAX
One No, Many Yeses: A Journey to the Heart of the Global Resistance MovementBy Paul KingsnorthEarthlight 2003$24.95 (Pb)
Former deputy editor of the British Ecologist magazine Paul Kingsnorth set himself an ambitious task

Venceremos Victor, We shall overcomeVenceremos Victor, We shall overcomeThe never ending spectre, of your stirring New SongOur source and our protector, that keeps us so strong.
Your mother's warm resilience, was scorched into your soulWith justice

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

REVIEW BY STUART MUNCKTON
Venezuela: The Revolution Unfolding in Latin AmericaBy Jorge JorqueraResistance Books Sydney, 200341 pages, $4.95Available from Resistance bookshops (see page 2) or order at <http://www.resistancebooks.com>

WTO: bad policies or imperialist tool?
The World Trade Organisation: An Australian GuideProduced by Global Trade Watch40 pages, 2003, Distributed freeDownload from <http://www.greenpeace.org.au/corporate/pdfs/wto.pdf> or email