Issue 565


BY BILL MASON BRISBANE — Conservation organisations have backed plans to ban fishing on around a third of the Great Barrier Reef as a major step forward. Legislation tabled in federal parliament on December 3 will create the largest network of
NEWCASTLE - Seven-hundred people rallied outside Newcastle railway station on December 5 to oppose state transport minister Michael Costa and Newcastle Mayor John Tate's campaign to close the rail line into Newcastle. The rally marched to the
International anti-war campaigner and radical left author Tariq Ali will be speaking at a Green Left Weekly sponsored public meeting "Resistance and empire" at UNSW's Clancy Auditorium on the evening of Friday, March 19 next year. Booking for the
SYDNEY — Two-hundred people protested outside NSW parliament on December 2 as a closed meeting inside discussed legislation which would overrule the decision of the Land and Environment Court to rule against allowing waste management company Collex
BY CHRIS SLEE MELBOURNE — "We are facing the murder of Medicare", Doctors Reform Society president Tim Woodruff told 50 people at a public meeting in the town of Dromana, near Melbourne, on December 1. Woodruff pointed out that Medicare was
BY RAY HAYES DARWIN — Recent media reports that US war secretary Donald Rumsfeld told his Australian counterpart, Senator Robert Hill, that the Pentagon wants to set up US military bases in north Australia have angered anti-war activists in
BY RUTH RATCLIFFE DARWIN — On December 3, 70 people attended the Refugee Action Network's final event for the year, a public meeting on the politics of temporary protection visas. The meeting was addressed by lawyer Colin McDonald, Fran
BY NICK EVERETT SYDNEY — Will Saunders and Dave Burgess, who were convicted on October 3 of maliciously damaging the Sydney Opera House for painting the words "No war" on it in March, will face a sentencing hearing on December 11. They may be
BY DUNCAN MEERDING HOBART — On December 3, the Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union said 24-hour strikes by Metro bus drivers in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie will take place in the week of December 8-14, after nine months of negotiations
BY TOM FLANAGAN LISMORE — One-hundred-and-fifty people gathered in Lismore's City Hall on December 4 to demand the retention and extension of rail services in the region. Organised by Northern Rivers Trains for the Future, the meeting called for
BY JOHN TOGNOLINI SYDNEY — At 140 stop-work meetings across NSW on December 2, members of the NSW Teachers Federation voted by a margin of 98% for stepped-up industrial action in support of their salaries campaign, including a 48-hour strike on
BY AARON BENEDEK& MEGAN CONNOR SYDNEY — Fifty workers at the Insulation Solutions factory in the western suburb of Lidcombe went on strike on November 28. It was in response to more than four months of management opposition to their demand for a
BY CHRIS ATKINSON SYDNEY — Despite widespread opposition from council workers and communities, the NSW Labor government is steamrolling ahead with plans to force local councils to amalgamate at the expense of jobs, facilities and community


BY PATRICK BOND JOHANNESBURG — On November 19, the African National Congress (ANC) government finally conceded that it must begin providing anti-retroviral (ARV) medicines to hundreds of thousands of people who are HIV-positive. Activists hope
BY JASON MacLEOD Abdul Teng is in his element. Teng is here to talk about his home, Gag Island in violence-ridden West Papua, the scene of a four-decade-long struggle for independence. The 56-square kilometre island is located 150km north-west of
BY MICHAEL KARADJIS Headlines such as "Workers strike against impossible quotas" and "Wildcat strike forces workplace reforms" abound in the Vietnamese media. They not only indicate the proliferation of labour struggles, but also the unabashed
BY RUPEN SAVOULIAN Opposition supporters stormed Georgia's parliament on November 23 and took it over, forcing President Eduard Shevardnadze, who held the position since 1993, to flee. Tens of thousands of protesters outside demanded his
BY NICK EVERETT On October 31, the 22-year-rule of Mahathir Mohammed ended, when he handed over Malaysia's prime ministership to his deputy, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Mahathir's rule ended with controversy, when he remarked at the Organisation of
BY CHRISTIANO KERRILA On the evening of December 2, tens of thousands of working-class supporters of Venezuela's radical left president, Hugo Chavez, poured into the streets of the country's capital, Caracas, to celebrate the defeat of the
BY RICHARD FIDLER OTTAWA — The past year has been a busy one for a new left-wing party, the Union des Forces Progressistes (UFP — Union of Progressive Forces) in Quebec, Canada's French-speaking province. Founded in 2002, the party fielded
BY BORIS KAGARLITSKY MOSCOW — A year ago, political life in Russia was like a stagnant swamp. President Vladimir Putin's victory in the presidential election had solved none of the country's problems, while providing ample demonstration that
BY JORGE JORQUERA Latin America has emerged as the frontline of struggle against neoliberalism. This year alone: two mass uprisings have swept through Bolivia; trade union struggles have intensified in Peru and Chile; political opposition has grown


John Pilger's latest documentary, Breaking the Silence, will be broadcast on SBS television on Tuesday, December 9 at 8.30pm. Pilger investigates Washington's "war on terror", which was launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US. It was
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 PHIL SHANNON Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon PapersBy Daniel EllsbergPenguin, 2003500 pages, $38(pb) On the evening of October 1, 1969, Daniel Ellsberg left the Rand Corporation offices in California after a busy day. His
It's somewhere betweenthe obscene and uncleanbut John Howard is my inspiration. You work for the dole.You mortgage your soul,and he calls that liberation. Get off your fat arse,do a job that's first class.Yes, work is your obligation. A hand-up
BY JOHN FRAME An acclaimed documentary film-maker, Arthur Dong has released his first DVD project. The three-disc collection is titled Stories from the War on Homo Sexuality, and contains three of Dong's feature-length films: Coming Out Under Fire
From Nothing to Zero: Letters from Refugees in Australia's Detention CentresEdited by Janet Austin; introduction by Julian BurnsideLonely Planet, 2003193 pages, $22 (pb) BY MAREE KENNY "What a big joke with human rights. This regime is killing us
SYDNEY — The Australian Arabic Communities Council (AACC) has criticised the decision of the NSW government's Powerhouse Museum to remove parts of the Treasures of Palestine exhibition following representations by pro-Israel organisations. It was


On December 4, defence minister Robert Hill announced that the Australian government will participate in making US President George Bush's trillion-dollar National Missile Defence (NMD) shield — better known as "Son of Star Wars" — a reality.


This is the last issue of Green Left Weekly for 2003. Our next issue will be published on January 14, 2004. See you in the new year! From Green Left Weekly, December 10, 2003. Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.