Issue 604

Australia

Nick Everett, Canberra On October 22, customs workers covered by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) held a national strike to demand better pay and staffing conditions. The strike interrupted customs operations at international airports,
Liam Mitchell, Sydney As the Christmas holiday period draws near, industrial disputes at Qantas threaten to escalate on three fronts as its management prepares to use Patrick Stevedores-style strike-breaking techniques to defeat a possible strike
Zoe Kenny, Melbourne October 19, 40 people attended a public forum at the Victorian Trades Hall organised by the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) to discuss perspectives for the refugee-rights movement after the re-election of the Coalition
Tony Iltis, Melbourne While "Is the left going green?" was the topic for a forum organised by the New International Bookshop on October 21, the discussion was more focused on whether the Greens were going left. Two of the panelists were Greens
DARWIN — On October 22, 100 Charles Darwin University staff and students rallied in front of the Northern Territory parliament to protest CDU management's refusal to agree to union demands for a 15% wage increase. Further industrial action is

World

Doug Lorimer According to a report compiled by the Iraqi health ministry, the US-occupied country faces a soaring death toll from preventable diseases including typhoid and tuberculosis. The report, released on October 13, notes that Iraqi's
Eva Cheng Ignoring months of workers' resistance, the cabinet of President Noh Moo-Hyun's government finalised a bill on October 19 that will seriously restrict public sector workers' rights to organise and bargain collectively. In response, the
Eva Cheng The attacks on recently elected pro-worker parliamentarian Leung Kwok-Hung, commonly known as Long Hair, have continued, as has his defiance in the face of them. A motion in the Legislative Council, Hong Kong's quasi parliament, for a
Leslie Feinberg, New York "We have called on the anti-war and peace movements to join us on October 17 and they are coming by the tens of thousands", Million Worker March leader Clarence Thomas explains, "because the war in Iraq, just like the
On October 16, at least 15,000 Tahitians participated in the largest protest march ever staged in French Polynesia, marching through the streets of Papeete, the capital, to demand the dissolution of the territory's parliament and new elections. The
James Barrett, Johannesburg The streets of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban reverberated on October 16 with cries of "Free Free Palestine", "Isolate Apartheid Israel", "Boycott Israel" and "No to Bantustans", to mark the forthcoming visit of
Doug Lorimer Strengthening fears that another attempt to retake the rebel city of Fallujah will occur straight after the November 2 US presidential election, on October 15 the US military imposed a siege on the city, stopping any of its 250,000
Rohan Pearce They call it the "war on terror", but under the guise of fighting terrorism Washington's warmongers are strengthening the US empire. Part of this has been carrying out a worldwide realignment of US military forces — the better to
A poll conducted by Knowledge Networks between September 3 and October 18 has found a startling level of ignorance about world affairs and President George Bush's position on them, among his supporters. A large majority of self-identified Bush
Larry Hales, Denver Two hundred and thirty students, activists and workers took to the street on October 9 to peacefully protest the celebration of Columbus Day and the portrayal of the man behind the genocide of Native American peoples as a hero
In a defiant show of Black unity, members of the rival Black Power and Mongrel Mob gangs walked side by side in a hikoi (march) on October 16, called to protest a government bill that will remove Maori rights over the seabed and foreshore. According
More than 30 years ago, the British expelled the inhabitants of Diego Garcia so the US could establish a military base. Now the government's dirty tricks are being challenged in court. John Pilger comments on the outrage. In spite of its late hour,
Steve Marks, Harare The posters had started appearing at the usual places a few days before. In bold red and black they read, "Morgan Tsvangirai: on trial for our country .. High Court 10 am Friday October 15". By the morning of the judgment the
Doug Lorimer The October 16 Boston Globe reported that about half of the US$5 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds disbursed by the US occupation authority in the first half of this year cannot be accounted for, according to an audit commissioned
James Balowski, Jakarta On October 20, former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono — popularly known as SBY — and business tycoon Jusuf Kalla were sworn in as Indonesia's first directly elected president and vice-president. The Yudhoyono-Kalla
The small African country of Benin ground to a halt on October 19, as public sector workers began a three-day strike for a 20-30% pay increase, better pensions and lower university fees. The strike, called by four out of the country's five trade
Walden Bello The following are excerpts from a speech given at an international conference of anti-war and anti-globalisation campaigners held in Beirut in September. Bello is executive director of the Bangkok-based research organisation Focus on
Kim Bullimore, West Bank On September 29, Kim Lamberty and Chris Brown, international peace activists from the Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT), were attacked and severely beaten as they escorted Palestinian children from Tuba in the Hebron region
France's state-un Electricity Firm has announced the construction of a new nuclear power station on the coast of Normandy. Nuclear power accounts for 80% of the country's electricity.From Green Left Weekly, October 27, 2004. Visit the Green Left
More than 100 people were involved in a street battle in Nuneaton on October 15, after racist thugs attacked people returning from evening prayers to a bail hostel. A witness told IC Coventry that "five or six lads were out there giving racist abuse
Stuart Munckton On October 15, news website Venezuela Analysis <http://venezuelaanalysis.org> reported that eight local politicians and business people from Tachira state had been found guilty of rebellion for their role in the April 2002
Nearly 40,000 people protested across Germany on October 19, trying to stop General Motors from axing one-fifth of the European work force, and possibly closing a plant. The biggest protest was in the north-western town of Bochum, home to one of GM's
Two weeks after the hard drives of two Indymedia servers were seized from the London office of a US-owned web hosting company called Rackspace, British Home Office under-secretary Caroline Flint told parliament that "no UK law enforcement agencies
Raul Bassi On October 31, Uruguayans will go to the polls to elect a new president. According to opinion polls, Tabare Vazquez of the centre-left Encuentro Progresista-Frente Amplio-Nueva Mayoria (Progressive Meeting-Broad Front-New Majority) bloc
Around 75,000 anti-war protesters flooded London's streets on October 17, in a protest called to coincide with the European Social Forum meeting in that city. The protesters carried signs emblazoned "Troops out!" and "Blair must go!". The media has

Editorial

When a High Court judge warns against "industrial ayatollahs" who are out to attack the trade unions, we know something serious is afoot. Justice Michael Kirby gave this passionate, if elliptical, warning at the centenary convention of the Australian

Culture

John MacLeanBy Nan MiltonClydeside Press, Dublin, 2002£6 (Pb), Available from <http://www.socialistproductions.org>. REVIEW BY ALEX MILLER The John MacLean Society and Clydeside Press have done the socialist movement a great
Steve Earle Hits Hard REVIEW BY BILL NEVINS The Revolution Starts . . . Now!Steve Earle Artemis RecordsAvailable from <http://www.artemisrecords.org> or most CD stores Steve Earle doesn't pull punches. With a rebel red star
The Terror StateAnti-FlagFat Wreck ChordsUS$10 from . Review by James Vassilopoulos Punks across the USA are debating, organising, building websites, thrashing and rocking against Bush. Bands that are part of this movement include NOFX, Green