Issue 610

Australia

Jim McIlroy, Brisbane Some 1500-2000 Aboriginal people and their supporters rallied at the Roma Street Forum on December 11 and marched in solidarity with the Palm Island Indigenous community. The rally coincided with the funeral service on the
Tamara Pearson &Norman Brewer, Sydney On December 6, 300 people rallied in the inner- city suburb of Redfern to protest against the sale of Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) land and the local public school under the NSW Labor government plan
BRISBANE — Thousands of Centrelink call-centre staff attended lunchtime meetings around the country on December 9. The meetings were called by the Community and Public Sector Union to condemn management's introduction of a new computerised
Nicole Hilder, Wollongong Land prices in the Illawarra region have quadrupled in the past five years, fuelled by a land shortage and an influx of Sydney "sea-change" buyers, according to the December 9 Illawarra Mercury. There has been a rush by
MELBOURNE — On December 10, 300 asylum seekers and refugee-rights activists marked Human Rights Day with a march to draw attention to the plight of refugees, in particular the threatened deportation of Sri Lankan asylum seekers, some of whom
Bronwyn Powell, Sydney In February 1965, a group of Sydney University students called Students for Aboriginal Rights, led by Aboriginal students Charles Perkins and Gary Williams, set out in a bus across regional Australia to expose and confront
Dave Riley Palm Island is 70 kilometres north-west of Townsville. The Indigenous settlement was established in 1918 after a cyclone blew away the Hull River reserve near Tully. While it was one of the last settlements to be created under the
Brendan Rosser & Lucy Palmer, Newcastle On December 10, 30 activists gathered outside the army recruitment centre for an international human rights day "die-in", in solidarity with the people suffering in Iraq. The protest proceeded to the

World

Eva Cheng As the administration led by President George Bush expands its war spending, the US is digging itself further into a big financial hole. This adds to the country's fast growing negative external accounts. These two shortfalls now need
Malik Miah, San Francisco Today four of the top 10 US airlines — United Airlines (UAL), US Airways, ATA and Hawaiian Airlines — are operating under chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy law, which allows corporations to seek protection from creditors
Peter Maybarduk, Caracas It is nearly impossible to travel in Venezuela without hearing reference to the government's highly popular and controversial health-care initiative that invites Cuban doctors to treat, train and live with working-class
Jeff Shantz, Toronto December 6 marked the opening of asylum hearings for US war resister Jeremy Hinzman, who deserted the army because of his opposition to participation in the assault and occupation of Iraq. Hinzman was among the first of a
The Scottish Socialist Voice, newspaper of the Scottish Socialist Party, has celebrated the publication of its 200th issue. The Voice was initially published in 1996 as the fortnightly paper of Scottish Militant Labour, and became the paper of the
On December 6, Oxfam released a report showing that 45 million children will die, and another 97 million will be unable to go to school, because of poverty that could be eliminated if the seven most industrialized countries fulfilled their 1970
Kim Bullimore, West Bank Palestinian presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouti was beaten by Israeli occupation forces as he toured the West Bank as part of his election campaign. Barghouti, a leading democracy and civil rights advocate and
Linda Waldron, Lahore On December 6, 2000 protesters participated in an anti-imperialist rally organised by the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP). Following the rally, the protesters marched through downtown Lahore to Lakshmi Chowk, one of the largest
On December 8, the Indian parliament voted to rule out any possibility of sending troops to Iraq. Washington had petitioned the parliament to send troops around the time of the puppet election there in January. External affairs minister Natwar Singh,
On December 3, a group of apartheid victims vowed to step up their fight for reparations after a New York district court rejected their claim against multinational companies including Barclays national bank, Ford Motor Company, Mobil,
On November 29, a US government committee "clarified" in a new regulation that it was illegal to publish books by Cuban, North Korean, Sudanese or Iranian authors without explicit government authorisation. Several groups, led by the PEN American
Doug Lorimer The US military is discussing plans to turn the Iraqi city of Fallujah into a giant concentration camp. Most of the city's 300,000 residents were driven out by a massive US bombing campaign in the week prior to an invasion by 10,000 US
Fred Fuentes Writing in the Miami Herald, the day after Bolivia's December 5 municipal elections, Tyler Bridges commented: "Bolivians overwhelmingly rejected their traditional political parties in electing 327 mayors ... with the Movement Towards
Kim Bullimore, West Bank Israeli occupation forces detained over 40 Israeli peace activists and arrested four at the village of Budrus, west of Ramallah, on December 7. The activists were arrested as they took part in a non-violent solidarity
Anti-Privatisation Forum activist Matthews Ndlovu was convicted on December 5 of "malicious damage to property", and sentenced to a fine of 25,000 Rand (AU$6000) or two years' imprisonment. Ndlovu is a leader of the Phiri community resistance to
Dick Nichols The Eighth Congress of Cuba's Union of Communist Youth (UJC) took place in Havana's Convention Centre, on December 3-6. At the centre of discussion was the Battle of Ideas: the campaign of cultural, educational and social work launched
Reihana Mohideen, Manila Thousands of people in the Philippines have been victimis of typhoons that ravaged several provinces in the first week of December. The typhoons swept through Bulakan, Nueva Ecija, Cagayan, Rizal, Quezon, and other areas
Alex Miller Since Tommy Sheridan resigned as national convenor of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) for personal reasons in early November, New Labour-supporting tabloid newspapers have been predicting the end of the SSP's remarkable political
A December 6 press release from the Anti-Racist Network has reported gross racial abuse of a Turkish stallholder during a Northern Ireland Police Service raid on unlicensed stalls in Belfast. Musa Gulusen, who has a pending application for a stall
Stuart Munckton At a government-sponsored World Forum of Intellectuals and Artists in Defence of Humanity, held in Caracas on December 2-3, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's radical left-wing president, "pledged to provide an office and resources in
In this interview with the weekly Nuestra Propuesta <www.nuestrapropuesta.org.ar>, Cuban Communist Party member Celia Hart Santamaria analysed the situation in Cuba, the challenges facing her every day, and current socialist and
On December 7 the National Centre for Social Research released research showing that opposition to further immigration had increased from two-thirds of the population to three-quarters under the government led by New Labour's Tony Blair. The shift
On November 26, the Venezuelan National Assembly passed a controversial new law on responsibility in radio and television. The legislation regulates broadcasts that promote violence, sexual exploitation and racism. This has been controversial in a
Donna Mulhearn, Baghdad It all happened so fast as we turned the corner. The US humvee seemed to come out of nowhere. It drew close to the car, aimed its machine gun at us and forced the car off the road. A checkpoint heavy with Iraqi soldiers

Editorial

With the US presidential election out of the way, Washington has now begun the escalation of the war in Iraq — a war that has already cost the lives of at least 100,000 Iraqis and almost 1300 US soldiers. During the year-long US election

Culture

Walk in My ShoesBy Alwyn EvansPenguin Books, 2004349 pages, $18.95 REVIEW BY ANNOLIES TRUMAN At an October 2 launch of this novel hosted by the Hills No War Alliance, author Alwyn Evans recalled her shock a few years ago when a friend made a
Venezuela — A 21st Century RevolutionProduced by the Global Women's StrikeVHS, US$22.50 (includes postage and handling)Order from <http://www.allwomencount.net.htm>. REVIEWED BY KATELYN MOUNTFORD The women of Venezuela are fighting
Your beak is the needle,The thread is your song,And you mend the torn air,When the madness is gone,And the harmonies old, of the bushland unfold,When you mend the torn air with your song. And when harmony reignedIn the forest of green,And no
The Decline of the Tea LadyBy Jenny StewartWakefield Press, 2004195 pages, $24.95 REVIEW BY ALEX TIGHE This humorous, yet insightful contribution to discussion on management caused me to ponder my own memories of my early days working in the
REVIEW BY ALISON DELLIT Absolute FriendsJohn Le CarreHodder & StaughtonLondon, 2004384 pages, $19.95 (Tpb) In the Cold War-spawned genre of tense spy thrillers, John Le Carre's work stood out. Not only did he have a sharp sense of humanity, but
I hide in the rubble of your conscience, each bomb you drop implodes your invincibilityas rats tire of eating decomposing bodies,then turn and gnaw at your humanity.Whilst maggots invade the ears of the deadyour words are drowned in your
Ice RoadBy Gillian SlovoLittle, Brown, 2004544 pages, $29.95 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON On the first day of December, 1934, Leonid Nikolayev brought the crisis of the Russian Revolution to a head. Nikolayev, an idealistic communist disillusioned
Songs for MahmudDavid Rovics$25 from Hobart Activist Centre, phone (03) 6234 6397 or $US12 from <http://www.davidrovics.com>. REVIEW BY ALEX BAINBRIDGE Like the other CDs David Rovics has released in the last few years, Songs for Mahmud
North Korea: Another CountryBy Bruce CumingsScribe Publications, 2004256 pages, $26.95 REVIEW BY IGGY KIM When it comes to North Korea, fact and fiction have become so blurred that even many Marxists and socialists hold the country at arm's
Christmas in East TimorSt Cecilia's Choir, DiliMary McKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies$20, plus postage and handling. To order, phone (02) 9623 2847 or visit <http://www.mmiets.org.au>. REVIEW BY SARAH STEPHEN The Mary
Honouring Leila Murray: Heart of JusticeEdited by Roderic Pitty and Ruth Braunstein$7.95, available from http://www.gleebooks.com.au REVIEW BY CHRIS MARTIN "Leila Murray was a great source of strength and wisdom to all her large family, to all
The Origins of the ALP: A Marxist AnalysisBy Jim McIlroyResistance Books, 200458 pages, $5.95Available from your local Activist Centre (see page 2) or email <info@resistancebooks.com> REVIEW BY CHRIS ATKINSON The further 2.4% swing to
East Timor: TestimonyElaine BriereBetween the Lines Books128 pages, 64 photographs, $56.95 REVIEW BY STEPHEN LANGFORD For people involved in East Timor's struggle, this book is a must-read. I have Elaine Briere to thank for my start in East
Guantanamo: What the World Should KnowBy Michael Ratner and Ellen RayScribe Publications, 2004166 pages, $22.73 REVIEW BY MATTHEW LAMB Of all the books that have come out recently examining the consequences of George Bush's presidency and the