Issue 567

News

Chris Latham, Perth Train drivers on Perth's metropolitan rail-lines stopped work for four hours on January 11 to discuss the Rail, Tram and Bus Union's campaign for a new enterprise agreement. RTBU rail division secretary Bob Christison told Green
The University of WA held two public meetings with radical journalist John Pilger on January 12 and 13. Despite limited publicity, the first night attracted 900 people while the second 350, with hundreds of people turned away. Pilger discussed the
Allegations by asylum seekers of the use of cattle prods by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) when boarding refugee boats, especially at the time of the children overboard scandal prior to the 2001 federal election, have again surfaced. In an
Sarah Stephen An independent medical team calling itself the Professional Alliance for the Health of Asylum Seekers and their Children, which had been raising money to make a trip to Nauru on January 19, was forced to suspend its trip when the
Tom Flanagan, Lismore Following a sustained public campaign led by the North Lismore Progress Association (NLPA), the Lismore City Council has abandoned its preferred route for a northern "bypass" that would have seen heavy traffic routed between
Robert Darcy, Perth Wharfies at P&O's Fremantle container terminal walked off the job for 12 hours on January 9 following the serious injury to a worker the previous evening on the ship P&O Nedlloyd Yarra Valley. The injured worker who was
Sarah Stephen On January 12, a delegation of Australian government officials and health department doctors arrived on Nauru to investigate the crisis in the Pacific island state's health system, strained to breaking point during a 29-day hunger
Shua Garfield, Hobart On January 13, four men were arrested for unfurling a protest banner as the Spirit of Tasmania III ferry left Sydney on its first voyage to Devonport. The protest highlighted the continuing battle between conservationists and

World

Raul Bassi, Sydney Many times, we will read in newspapers, or hear on the radio or TV, of Palestinians killed by the Israeli army. Sometimes, these killings are "explained" by the claim that the victims were militants, or "didn't follow soldiers
Leslie Feinberg An inordinate amount of imperialist media attention on Afghanistan has focused on the wording of a new constitution approved by the Loya Jirga, or grand assembly. Like a huckster at a carnival shell game, the more the big-money
Norm Dixon On January 4, while addressing British troops in Basra, British Prime Minister Tony Blair attempted to defend his government's participation in the US-led war against Iraq. In an embarrassing Freudian slip, Blair referred to "weapons of
Doug Lorimer The December 5 directive issued by US deputy defence secretary Paul Wolfowitz provided a clear indication of what the Bush Doctrine is all about. It barred French and German companies from competing for US$18.7 billion in contracts for
Farooq Tariq, Lahore The Pakistan Social Forum (PSF) was held on January 12 at Lahore Alhumra halls. More than 5000 people participated in the event, making it one of the largest gatherings of progressive forces in Pakistan in recent times. A rally
Rohan Pearce On January 12, US-based Human Rights Watch criticised house demolitions carried out by US forces occupying Iraq. According to HRW, at least four houses have been demolished by US forces over the past two months to punish relatives of
Shane Bentley Britain's National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), with 67,000 members, made headlines in December when its Scottish regional council voted overwhelmingly to end its long-standing links with the Labour Party and
Doug Lorimer As the number of US troops killed in Iraq steadily climbed toward 500, Coalition Provisional Authority chief Paul Bremer claimed that guerrilla attacks had fallen dramatically in the wake of Saddam Hussein's capture on December 13.
Brett Prowse, Sanaa As the first day of the European Union-sponsored Arab Regional Conference on Human Rights and the Role of the International Criminal Court got underway here on January 10, Yemeni activists outside were being intimidated and
Ahmad Nimer The Geneva Accords, an unofficial framework for negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, were released in mid-October 2003. Despite a relative lull in media attention, the accords are an extremely significant development. Top
David Bacon The free trade ideologues of the Bush administration see the occupation of Iraq as a beachhead into the Middle East and south Asia. Their first objective is the transformation of the state-dominated economy of what was once one of the
Marcus Greville, London "The greatest mass movement of our age has brought us together." This is the start of the draft declaration of RESPECT — the Unity Coalition, a new electoral alliance to be launched on January 25. The initial call for the
Pip Hinman On January 14, the Aceh high court upheld the verdict of a lower court which last year convicted five Free Aceh Movement (GAM) negotiators of treason and terrorism and sentenced them to long prison terms. The maximum penalty is death.
Matthew Cookson A successful and important conference took place in Cairo in Egypt on the December 13-14 weekend. The Second Cairo Conference Against Capitalist Globalisation and US Hegemony brought together anti-war activists from across the

Culture

REVIEW BY LOUIS PROYECT Goodbye Lenin!Directed by Wolfgang BeckerWritten by Wolfgang Becker and Bernd LichtenbergWith Daniel Bruhl, Kathrin Sass, Maria Simon, Chulpan Khamatova, Florian Lukas and Alexander BeyerScreening at Dendy cinemas, Sydney;
SYDNEY — A new documentary about the history of West Papua and its people's struggle for freedom, is to be screened on ABC TV on February 2, at 8.30pm. Made by Australian journalist Mark Worth, the film features rare archival film and eyewitness
REVIEW BY PAT BREWER The End of Equality: Work, Babies and Women's Choices in 21st Century AustraliaAnne SummersRandom House, 2003336 pages, $39.95 It is unusual to see a scathing condemnation by a prominent government adviser on the state of