Issue 557

Australia

BY TIM GOODEN GEELONG — After five months of being locked out of their workplace with no pay, workers at the Geelong Wool Combing factory have been sacked. On September 23, the GWC board decided to close the plant on October 1, leaving 115
BY JAMES VASSILOPOULOS CANBERRA — In a phone interview with Green Left Weekly on October 8, federal Labor MP Harry Quick, known for his strong opposition to the Iraq war, indicated he was thinking of wearing a white armband to protest the US
BY MATTHEW RICH MELBOURNE — Twenty-five electricians at Smorgon Steel have ended their strike, in pursuit of a new enterprise agreement, after 227 days. The dispute is the longest in the history of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), which covers
BY CHRIS SLEE MELBOURNE — Two-hundred people attended a rally to defend and extend Medicare on October 3. Victorian Trades Hall Council president and Textile Clothing and Footwear Union state secretary Michele O'Neil told the rally that the
BY BRONWYN POWELL SYDNEY — In protest against federal government intervention into their enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA), Sydney University staff held a 24-hour strike on October 7. Four-hundred people picketed the entrances to the campus
BY JIM GREEN ADELAIDE — A bush camp was held near Coober Pedy from September 29 to October 1 to build the campaign against the federal government's plan for a national nuclear waste dump in South Australia. The Kulini Kulini ("Are you
BY KAMALA EMANUEL LAUNCESTON — On October 1, the Tasmanian Industrial Commission reinstated 17 workers who had been locked out of the Blue Ribbon meatworks for 182 days and ordered they be paid for wages lost as a result of the lockout. In her
BY DALE MILLS SYDNEY — Will Saunders and David Burgess, the protesters who painted "No war" on the Sydney Opera House on March 18, at the beginning of the Iraq War, were convicted of malicious damage on October 2. The act achieved prominent media
BY BRADLEY SIMS On October 4, 200 people crammed into Albany's Senior Citizens Hall, to support Albany's Hazara Afghan refugees and to show public opposition to deporting the Afghans who have made Albany home for three to four years. No
BY PETER ROBSON The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has called a national strike for October 16 in protest against the federal Coalition government's proposed changes to staff conditions on universities. Liz Thompson, the national
BY STEVE ELLIOT DORE SYDNEY — NSW Labor Premier Bob Carr told the annual NSW Labor Party conference on October 5 that the NSW government does not plan to renew the leases for Patrick Stevedores' Darling Harbour and P&O's White Bay and Glebe
BY JOHN NEBAUER ADELAIDE — Women gathered in the Women's Pioneer Memorial Gardens on October 8 to launch this year's poster for the annual Reclaim the Night march, to be held on October 31. Local artist and Reclaim the Night collective member
BY SUE BOLTON MELBOURNE — After taking strike action for the first time in more than 10 years, 500 workers employed by the Swedish-owned auto components company Autoliv have won major concessions from the company. The mostly female and mostly
Howard hanged SYDNEY — On October 9, students at University of Western Sydney-Bankstown "hanged" Prime Minister John Howard! Students found Howard guilty of attacking trade unions, the inhumane treatment of refugees, attacking and
BY RUSSELL PICKERING& PAUL BENEDEK Last week, thousands of construction workers walked off Perth and Sydney work sites in protest against federal government plans to undermine pass legislation restricting the ability of unions to defend workers'

BY RUSSELL PICKERING
& PAUL BENEDEK

Last week, thousands of construction workers walked off Perth and Sydney work sites in protest against federal government plans to undermine pass legislation restricting the ability of unions to defend workers' wages and conditions in the construction industry.

World

BY JOAQUIN BUSTELO ATLANTA — Thousands of immigrant workers and their supporters marched and rallied here September 29 to demand equal rights and the right to hold a driver's licence. The protest was part of the national Immigrant Workers Freedom
BY DALE McKINLEY JOHANNESBURG — As the Congress of South African Trade Unions' (COSATU) eighth national congress, held September 15-18, was winding down, a senior leader, perhaps inadvertently, summed up: "We can only hope that these issues
BY PIP HINMAN Just four months ago, when Bush declared "major combat operations" in Iraq to be over, the US ruling class was sure its gamble to break international law, dismiss the UN and go against the unprecedented global opposition to the war
NEW YORK — As many as 100,000 people rallied in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens on October 4 to demand an amnesty and better working conditions for undocumented workers. The demonstration was the climax of the Immigrant Workers Freedom
BY NORM DIXON Israel's government on October 5 launched a missile attack on Syria, claiming that it was acting in "self-defence". The assault was the first Israeli strike into Syrian territory in 30 years. Israel declared that the missile strike
BY BORIS KAGARLITSKY MOSCOW — There has been heated discussion in the camp of the Russian opposition this northern Spring. The crisis of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) led to the emergence of "renovating" tendencies in its
BY SUSAN AUSTIN DUBLIN — Thousands of people are taking a stand against the introduction of a new household refuse-collection tax. After thousands of citizens refused to pay the tax, the government passed laws allowing local councils to stop
BY BARRY SHEPPARD SAN FRANCISCO — The October 7 recall of Governor Gray Davis and the election of Hollywood movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace him was a massive repudiation of the pro-big business policies of Davis' Democratic Party.
BY BENJAMIN DANGL COCHABAMBA — An intense series of protests, strikes and highway blockades continue to gain momentum across Bolivia as new sections of the population join the movement against the export of the country's natural gas to the US.
BY MATTHEW DIMMOCK BANGKOK — Authorities are striving to make this city look its best for the October 20-21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit. The race is on to "sanitise" Bangkok's streets, or at least the ones that foreign
BY DALE MILLS On September 4, US President George Bush signed into law the Prison Rape Elimination Act. While the law does little more than provide funding for research and some counselling, it is at least a belated recognition that the massive US
JAKARTA — On September 27, the first action of a new alliance between Acehnese, Papuan and Indonesian activists took place. The Papuan Students Alliance, the Acehnese People's Democratic Resistance Front, the Referendum Information Centre and the
Thousands turned out across the United States on September 27 for a day of protest against the US occupation of Iraq and Israel's oppression of the Palestinians. The demonstrations were called by the International Act Now to Stop War and End Racism

Editorial

"Crean joins PM in plans to hobble the Senate", read the Australian Financial Review's headline on October 9. The Labor Party's rapid cave-in on the federal Coalition's plans to nobble Australia's more representative federal house of parliament is a

Culture

The Weather UndergroundDirected by Sam Green and Bill SiegelScreening at the Glebe Valhalla, Sydney; coming soon to the Lumiere, Melbourne, and the [...], Brisbane REVIEW BY SARAH STEPHEN The Weather Underground is a superb documentary which
DARWIN — The Top End's power-funk outfit Neo has timed the release of the band's new song, "Wrecking Ball", and its film clip to coincide with Refugee Week. The launch will be held at Darwin's Deckchair Cinema on October 21, at 7pm and will be
An Execution in the Family: One Son's JourneyBy Robert MeeropolSt Martin's Press, 2003273 pages, $59 (hb)The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg CaseBy Sam RobertsRandom House, 2003549 pages, $32.95 (pb) REVIEWS BY PHIL SHANNON