Issue 608


Jon Lamb, Darwin Environmentalists, traditional owners and local residents are increasingly concerned over toxic waste and poisonous mine tailings leaching from the abandoned Mt Todd gold mine near Katherine. Residents on the Edith River,
Graham Matthews, Melbourne Six-hundred-and-fifty people packed the Capitol Theatre to capacity on November 26 to hear journalist and film-maker John Pilger speak on the power of the corporate media. The public forum was organised by Green Left
Bill Mason, Brisbane "Resistance is a just response to occupation; it takes various forms, including armed struggle", Louay Alzaher, representing the Iraq Solidarity Committee, told a public forum on the theme "Iraq in crisis" on November 22.
SYDNEY — On November 23, Zanny Begg was stopped by police while installing a work, Checkpoint, for the Blacktown Art Gallery's "Out of Gallery" project. Begg explained that she was "creating 10 'checkpoints' for 'weapons of mass distraction' in
Jim McIlroy The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has slammed the decision by federal welfare agency Centrelink to cut 175 jobs from its staff in Victoria. On November 23 the union described as "utter nonsense" claims by Centrelink
Pip Hinman, Sydney The Leichhardt Town Hall was filling up fast on November 22 when federal Labor leader Mark Latham arrived. Five minutes later people were still pouring in, curious about Labor's plans for the next three years. Latham's
Selena Black, Sydney The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union said on November 22 that a 9% decline in James Hardie profits showed that the community boycott campaign against the company is having an impact. According to CFMEU NSW
Chris Slee, Melbourne Daryl Croke, who works as a swimming teacher, coach and lifeguard at a leisure centre in the Moreland area, told a November 24 meeting in Brunswick that understaffing endangers the lives of swimmers at many Melbourne pools.
Sarah Stephen Tensions began to boil over inside the Baxter immigration detention centre at the end of November, with a series of attempted suicides and hospitalisations. Previously, nurses saw patients in the nurses station inside the compound.
Tony Iltis, Melbourne On November 24, peace activist Reta Kaur was acquitted in the Melbourne Magistrates Court of criminal damage after she wrote "The killing has started" in red paint and placed red hand prints on two statues outside the US
Sarah Stephen, Sydney Ismail, a Sri Lankan man, was deported from Sydney's Villawood detention centre on November 23. A previous attempt to deport him on October 19 failed after he panicked and harmed himself. Ismail was diagnosed by Professor

Solidarity and union spirit were on display on November 25, as 6000 unionists gathered outside the State Library to protest the jailing of former Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) Victorian secretary Craig Johnston and the increasing criminalisation of trade union struggle.

The rally called for Johnston's immediate release and the start of a fight-back campaign against PM John Howard's reactionary agenda.


James Balowski, Jakarta For the second time since the murder of renowned Indonesian human rights activist Munir, his family has been threatened — this time with a clear warning not to blame the Indonesian military (TNI) for his death. On
Reihana Mohideen, Manila What should have been a straightforward collective bargaining agreement for a wage increase resulted in the killing of 14 people (including two children) and the arrest of 115 workers on November 16, at Hacienda Luisita, a
On November 23, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, visiting Madrid, attended a mass meeting of workers. This account of the astonishing event was written by El Militante member Emilia Lucena. It first appeared at
INDIA: Left sweeps university election The left-wing All-India Students' Federation won the president's position of the student union at Jawaharlal Nehru University in late October. It is the first time the AISF has won the position in 30 years.
CHILE: Thousands protest APEC Tens of thousands of Chileans turned out over three days to protest the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile. The biggest march was on November 19, organised by the Chilean Social Forum and attended by
David Bacon, San Francisco Sometimes the fate of a single battle foretells the outcome of a war, long before it's over. The end of the San Francisco hotel lockout promises to be this kind of watershed moment. On November 20, minutes before
UNITED STATES: Skipping the ads to be illegal The new Intellectual Property Protection Act currently before US Congress, has some strange provisions. Among them, is a provision to differentiate between the legal activity of fast-forwarding
James Balowski, Jakarta The new government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has barely been in office one month but has already broken a key election promises — to seek a peaceful solution to the prolonged conflict in Indonesia's
Doug Lorimer The 35-member board of governors of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) began meeting in Vienna on November 25 to review Iran's compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). The board will consider a
UNITED STATES: Costa Ricans sue chemical companies Thousands of Costa Rican banana farmers have launched a lawsuit against Shell Chemical Co, Dow Chemical, Dole Food Company, Chiquita Brands International and Fresh Del Monte Produce. The farmers
The Korean Federation of Trade Unions pulled off a one-day strike on November 26, in protest at a new bill that will attack the rights of temporary workers. The federation estimated that 600,000 workers participated in the strikem, which closed
An October 22 Associated Press report has sparked a discussion in Haiti about the spiralling numbers of sexual assaults. The report quoted human rights lawyer Renan Hedouville reporting that his civil rights organisation CARLI, had received more than
Stuart Munckton In April 2002, shortly after the military coup that temporarily overthrew Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, author William Blum asked on the counterpunch website: "How do we know that the [Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)] was
Doug Lorimer A week after US Marine General John Sattler, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, claimed on November 18 that the battle for Fallujah was over, US troops were still engaged in intense battles with Iraqi resistance fighters
Kim Bullimore, West Bank According to the US-Israeli script, the death of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on November 11 was suppose to spark a violent power struggle within the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and in its leading
BRITAIN: Students strike against racism On November 25, the day after racist chanting marred an England-Spain soccer international, French teacher Sebastian Gnahore somewhat apprehensively went to work at his school in Leicester. Gnahore had
Stuart Munckton On November 18, two bombs ripped through a car in Caracas, killing 38-year-old state prosecutor Danilo Anderson. Anderson was leading the campaign to bring to justice those responsible for the April 2002 military coup that briefly
James Brittain Since its formal inception in 1964, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army (FARC-EP) has maintained a unique presence within Colombia and Latin America in general. Unlike many revolutionary movements created
Jorge Jorquera A national civic strike demanding land redistribution has come to an end in Paraguay, with hundreds of campesinos (rural workers) still imprisoned and none of the demands of the strike met, not withstanding continuing promises by
Rohan Pearce According to a November 24 Boston Globe report, the Fallujah resistance has been led by "an electrician and a mosque preacher, both natives of the community". Yet the wave of violence and terror unleashed by the US-led occupation
UNITED STATES: Further attacks on abortion On November 21, the US Congress passed a bill that will block funding to any federal, state or local agencies that act against health-care providers and insurers because they do not provide abortions or


Tommy Goes CaracasDirected and produced by Aimara RequesCo-produced by Cassandra McGowanFor upcoming screening, contact your local activist centre as listed on page 2, or visit <>. REVIEW BY STUART MUNCKTON
Real GoneTom WaitsAnti-records$29.95 RRP REVIEW BY STUART MUNCKTON "Writing songs about the war is like throwing peanuts at a gorilla", Tom Waits told the Los Angeles Times in August. "But then I think, look how important soul music was during
"Butchered blond woman found with slit throat" cried the Sydney Morning Herald, in blond coloured tears. But the 100,000s of Iraqis who have died are called "insurgents" and it is left at that. I'll stand on a box and shout at the masses of

The Radioactive Boy Scout: The True Story of a Boy and his Backyard Nuclear ReactorBy Ken SilversteinFourth Estate, 2004$29.95 (pb) David Hahn could have been taken for a typical US teenager in the 1990s. He loved driving