Issue 607

Australia

Iggy Kim, Sydney On November, 150 people rallied outside the US consulate to protest the destruction of Fallujah and demand that Australian troops get out of Iraq. The rally, organised by the Stop the War Coalition, heard speeches from Greens
Alex Tighe, Adelaide Angered by federal health minister Tony Abbott's claim that there is an "abortion epidemic" in Australia and calls by Coalition backbenchers for the federal government to restrict women's access to abortion services, on
John Percy, Sydney Fairfield City Council has been put on the spot by the right-wing Vietnamese Community of Australia, which is organising a flag-raising ceremony for the flag of the defunct South Vietnamese regime in Cabra-Vale Park on November
Jenny Long, Sydney Preliminary results for the 2004 election for the seven-member executive and 45-member central council of the NSW Public Service Association (PSA) indicate that no single faction will dominate these bodies and that the left-wing
HOBART — More than 100 Aboriginal people and their supporters gathered on the lawns of state parliament on November 17 to support the transfer of three Tasmanian islands to Aboriginal ownership. The state government announced the day before that
Green Left Weekly's James Caulfield and Kerryn Williams spoke to some of those present at the November 16 convergence on parliament about why they joined the protest. Lesley Bond was representing the Taree Residents For Refugees, established less
#2 Education unions strike across NT DARWIN — On November 10, 80 staff covered by the Australian Education Union at the Darwin, Batchelor and Alice Springs campuses of the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education went on strike for
#3 Rally for disability services HOBART — Fifty people with disabilities, their families, carers and supporters joined a rally outside parliament on November 17. The rally was organised by Tascare, a support organisation for young people with
Kerryn Williams & James Caulfield, Canberra "The refugee movement is here to stay. We are becoming stronger by the day. We will fight on to free the refugees!" This declaration from Big Brother's Merlin Luck captured the determined mood of up to
Andrew Martin, Brisbane Jailed unionist Craig Johnston "put his own neck on the line to defend his members", former Victorian state secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) Frank Fairley said on November 20. Fairley was

World

Eva Cheng More mass actions and workers' protests have erupted in China, releasing pent-up anger over further erosion of the workers' and peasants' living conditions. And the government has responded with severe repression. Up to 100,000 peasants
Following a successful 24-hour general strike on November 15, El Alto's Federation of Neighbourhood Juntas (FEJUVE) declared that it would launch an indefinite strike if the Bolivian government did not agree to its demands. The entire city of El Alto
Tim Anderson Hidden behind the rhetoric of "democracy" in the 458-page report titled "Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba", and underlying US President George Bush's regime's plan for a "transition" in the island nation, are all the major
Zimbabwe's Social Forum finally got underway on October 28. As police had refused to allow the forum to go ahead some weeks earlier, organisers had to hurriedly pull together a new venue and date. A contingent of uniformed police kept a watchful eye
Dale T. McKinley, Johannesburg During the last week of October, a 13-member delegation from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) arrived in Zimbabwe for a brief "fact-finding mission" that, according to COSATU, was designed to "get a
Doug Lorimer Yasser Arafat, who died in a Paris hospital on November 11, at the age of 75, was the iconic figure of his people's struggle for freedom from six decades of brutal, US-backed, Zionist ethnic cleansing and colonisation of the
According to Weekly News Update on the Americas, Chilean police arrested 30 of the approximately 200 demonstrators at a rally on November 10. They were protesting the infringements on civil liberties in the lead up to the November 19-21 Asia-Pacific
Fred Fuentes The left-wing Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) made big gains in the Nicaraguan municipal elections held on November 7. Despite an overall increase in voter abstention from 38% to 44%, the FSLN's vote climbed from 618,821 in
On November 15, Palestinians solidarity activists in Nablus displayed a message of solidarity with the people of Fallujah. At 5:30 PM, the word "Fallujah" was set ablaze on a mountain north of Nablus, known as Jabl-an-Naar (Mountain of Fire). Written
The Secret Service payed a visit to Boulder High School on November 11, after it heard that students were planning a spoken word performance of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" at the school's talent show the following night. The school's principal Ron
Roberto Jorquera Since the 1960s, the US government has maintained a crippling economic blockade on Cuba. The blockade has had a devastating effect on the ability of the Cuban government to trade on the international market. The resulting isolation
A November 18 statement from the United Nations drug office confirmed that Afghanistan's economy is now dominated by opium production, which jumped 64% in the last year and now accounts for more than 60% of GDP. UN official Antonio Maria Costa
Hundreds of people came together on November 16 to protest the installation of pre-paid water metres in Soweto and other townships. The protest was organised by a Coalition that included Anti-Privatisation Forum, Independent Baptists, Jubilee and the
On November 17, the Russian government released astonishing figures revealing that less than half the 932 Russian soldiers killed last year died in the "line of duty', and 260 of them committed suicide. More than 100 deaths were classified as
Only a few thousand workers participated in the "indefinite" general strike called by the illegal Korean Government Employees Union that began on November 15. The union, which has 140,000 members, said that 45,000 had committed to join the strike to
For the second time in a fortnight, the Miami Dade police have admitted that a stun-gun had been used against a child. In the first incident, on October 20, a six-year-old boy holding a shard of glass was stunned with a Taser. Then, on November 10,
On November 16, the Philippines army and police massacred 16 people, including a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old, in Hacienda Luisita, in Tarlac, during a protest of striking workers. More than 5000 sugar-mill workers and sugar-cane farmers in the
Tony Iltis A mass round-up of thousands of young Eritrean men for evading military service, and reports that at least 20 of those detained were massacred after a disturbance in the Adi Abeito prison in Asmara, are the latest indication of serious
Michael Karadjis Five years after North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) troops entered Kosova, occupation authorities have begun a program of privatisation of state and social enterprises. The surprise is not that NATO and the United Nations
Rohan Pearce Anyone naive enough to think that the Iraqi elections scheduled for January will produce a genuinely, as opposed to formally, independent government is likely to have their illusions shattered by a new crackdown on political opposition
Rohan Pearce The NBC TV footage of a US marine executing a wounded and unarmed Iraqi resistance fighter in a Fallujah mosque was a rare crack in the facade that Washington, with the complicity of most of the corporate media, has tried to present to
Kim Bullimore, West Bank International Solidarity Movement activist Hannah James was singled out and arrested by the Israeli secret police, the General Security Services (GSS) as she took part in a peaceful demonstration against the expansion of
Gilberto Soto, a Salvadoran-born US resident and organiser for the US-based International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) was assassinated on November 5, outside his mother's home in Usulutan, El Salvador. After shooting him at close range, two men

Editorial

The bosses and the Reserve Bank are nervously looking over their shoulder. With relatively low levels of unemployment, a skills shortage, rocketing profits and massively increasing salaries for company executives, can the combined forces of PM John

Culture

Edgar Snow: A BiographyBy John Maxwell HamiltonLouisiana State University Press, 2003343 pages, $40 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON "Revolutions are not caused by revolutionaries or their propaganda", wrote US journalist Edgar Snow. "Revolutions are
Australian IdolChannel 10Just finished BY DAVE RILEY With a net annual profit of $76.93 million to crow about, Network Ten's hold on the youth market demographic is sure to continue — at least until it's milked what it can from the recently
Review by Peter Boyle The SpookWritten by Melissa ReevesDirected by Neil ArmfieldWith Eugenia Fragos, Russell Kiefel, Tom Long and Steve Le Marquand Tuesday 6.30pm, Wednesday to Friday 8pm, Saturday 2pm and 8pm Sunday 5pmBelvoir St Theatre, Sydney