Issue 566

News

Sarah Harris, Sydney On December 17, legislation was rushed through the NSW parliament by Labor Premier Bob Carr's government to allow the Collex company to set up a large domestic waste transfer station at Clyde, in the Sydney municipality of
Simon Butler, Newcastle & Amy McDonnell, Adelaide In response to the desperate, month-long protests of the refugees imprisoned on the pacific island nation of Nauru, protesters marched, picketed and spoke out in three Australian cities in early
Perry Brown, Newcastle Refugee rights activist Steve Georgopoulos is organising a flotilla of yachts to sail to the Pacific island state of Nauru as a gesture of solidarity with the remaining asylum seekers imprisoned there by the Howard
On December 19, the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) granted public and private sector teachers a 5.5% interim pay rise. Two days earlier, the IRC had granted public hospital nurses a 3.5% pay rise from January 1. As part of its "What's a
BY PETER BOYLE At its 21st Congress, held December 27-30, the Democratic Socialist Party changed its name to the "Democratic Socialist Perspective" and reorganised itself as a political tendency in the Socialist Alliance. Only Socialist Alliance

World

David Bacon, Baghdad US occupation forces have escalated their efforts to paralyse Iraq's new trade unions. On December 6, a convoy of 10 humvees and armoured personnel carriers descended on the old headquarters of the Transport and Communications
Barry Sheppard, San Francisco The Democratic Party nationally got a big scare when Green Party candidate Matt Gonzalez came close to winning the race for mayor of San Francisco on December 9. Gonzalez received 47% of the vote, while his
Dieter Kursietis, Seoul A demonstration by more than 100 members and supporters of the Equality Trade Union Migrants Branch (ETU-MB), South Korea's only migrant workers' trade union, was held on December 31 at the Mok-dong immigration office. The
Igor O'Neill, Jakarta On January 7, riot police opened fire on local residents protesting against the environmental and social impacts of Melbourne-based mining company Newcrest's Toguraci goldmining operation on the Indonesian island of Halmahera.
Jason MacLeod On December 3, Indonesian security forces detained four West Papuan students for their part, two days earlier, in releasing West Papuan flags — known as the Morning Star — attached to balloons in the central Java town of
Richie Venton, Glasgow In a monumental breakthrough for socialism and genuine political representation for working people, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union (RMT) in Scotland has voted to ditch the British Labour Party and affiliate to
Boris Kagarlitsky, Moscow With more than 36% of votes the pro-Kremlin United Russia party looks like the only real winner in Russia's parliamentary elections, held on December 7. It also succeeded in getting a massive victory in single-member
Jeff Shantz, Toronto On December 11, tens of thousands of workers across Quebec province took direct action against the newly elected government of Premier Jean Charest. Charest's Liberal Party government is taking its cue from other neoliberal
Lisa Macdonald In December, the pro-US Patriotic Union of Kurdistan twice threatened to shut down the Suleimaniyiah office of the Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq. The PUK's security forces claim that the OWFI does not have a "licence" to
Grant Brookes, Wellington "The Alliance is a broad inclusive party of the Left with policies based on socialist principles: democracy, equality and social ownership." This is the opening statement of a working manifesto adopted by around 70 party
Joel Beinin, Cairo As the Israeli army reimposed a nearly complete lock-down on the West Bank in the aftermath of the Christmas Day suicide bombing outside of Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has reportedly deputised a top general to

Culture

Will you please observe through the wire I am sewing my feet together They have walked about as far As they ever need to go Will you further observe Through the wire I am sewing my heart together It is now so full of The ashes of my days It
Slapping on the Writs: Defamation, Developers and Community ActivismBy Brian WaltersUNSW Press, 200396 pages, $16.95 REVIEW BY DALE MILLS Melbourne barrister Brian Walters has written a small but important book about the way that Australia's
Cast AwayDirected by Robert ZemeckisWith Tom Hanks and Helen HuntWritten by William Broyles JuniorReleased on Universal Pictures DVD REVIEW BY LOUIS PROYECT Director Robert Zemeckis' Cast Away, made in 2000 and starring Tom Hanks as an air-crash
Tressell: The Real Story of the Ragged Trousered PhilanthropistsBy Dave HarkerZed Books, 2003282 pages, $33.95 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON "It made me cry and made me bitter", recalled a socialist who read The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists as
REVIEW BY JOE ALLEN Master and Commander: the Far Side of WorldDirected by Peter WeirScreenplay by Peter Weir and John ColleeWith Russell Crowe and Paul BettanyAt major cinemas Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World has received

Editorial

On December 26, the city of Bam in south-eastern Iran was hit by a massive earthquake, destroying around 80% of the city's buildings. By January 2, Iranian authorities had estimated that the quake had claimed the lives of 26,500 people — a quarter

General

GLW wishes to clarify matters raised in an article by Andrew Sullivan published in GLW #558, titled "The battle for a canal-free Coogee". We would like to confirm that: 1) Australand was not involved in the Port Catherine development until 1998 and