Issue 617

Australia

Kathy Newnam, Darwin At a Refugee Action Network-sponsored public discussion on February 24 of his book, A Certain Maritime Incident — the sinking of the SIEV X, Tony Kevin rebuked those who have sought to discredit his work. The book,
LISMORE — Celebrating the arrival of the 2005 Freedom Ride on February 21 were (from left) ride participant Liberty Riverine, original 1965 Freedom Rider Beth Hansen, Tess Brill from Lismore, Bundjalung Elders Agnes Roberts and Bertha Kapeen and
Maurice Farrell& Sarah Stephen, Sydney Freed Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib and his family were given a long and moving standing ovation when they made a surprise appearance at a public forum organised by the Canterbury-Bankstown Peace Group
MELBOURNE — Around 120 people dressed in red rallied outside parliament house in Melbourne on February 22 in opposition to the state Labor goverment's plans to dredge Port Phillip Bay and deepen the channel. In six weeks, 20,000 signatures were
Alex Bainbridge, Hobart Until recently, protest organisers could book the Tasmanian Parliament Lawns for a rally with a phone call to check they were free, and a follow-up confirmation letter. However, when Kamala Emanuel from the Peace Coalition
BRISBANE — The controversy over the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee in police custody last November has deepened, with Queensland Premier Peter Beattie facing an investigation by the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) over alleged bribery involving
Stuart Munckton, Sydney On February 23, members of the Resistance socialist club at the University of Technology, Sydney were prohibited by David Redden, a representative of the UTS Union, from leafleting students and selling Green Left Weekly at
SYDNEY — Aunty Isabel Coe, Aunty Bowie Hickey and Democrats Senator Aden Ridgeway addressed a February 24 church service at the Redfern Block to commemorate the anniversary of the death of young Aboriginal man Thomas "TJ" Hickey. A "smoking
On February 23, Will Saunders and Dave Burgess were recalled to the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal for judgement on the appeal against their conviction and sentences for painting "No war" on the Opera House the day US President George Bush announced
Norman Brewer, Sydney The campaign calling for the reopening of the inquest into the February 2004 death of young Aboriginal man Thomas "TJ" Hickey was boosted on February 25 by a dynamic community meeting in Redfern. The meeting, attended mainly
SYDNEY — A snap protest called by the Stop the War Coalition outside John Howard's office on February 25 called on the PM to reverse the decision to send an extra 450 troops to Iraq. Speakers argued that Australia should not be propping up a
DARWIN — On February 22, the full bench of the NT Supreme Court upheld an appeal by Letty and Nathan Scott against an earlier decision that found the court had no powers to order an exhumation of the body of Aboriginal man Douglas Scott. Scott died
Jon Lamb, Darwin As the spot price for uranium continues to climb, more mining companies are expressing interest in developing new uranium mines in the Northern Territory. On February 15, French mining company Cogema made public its interest in

World

Dick Nichols On February 20, voters handed a humiliating thrashing to Portugal's incumbent conservative Social-Democratic and Popular Party (SDP-PP) coalition, returning the centre-left Socialist Party to government with an outright majority. The
Roberto Jorquera, Caracas The national coordinators of Venezuela's largest union federation, the National Union of Workers (UNT), issued an open letter on February 22 appealing to the trade unions around the world that are represented in the
On February 22, an Israeli court handed down one of the most serious punishments to an Israeli soldier for illegally killing a Palestinian — four-and-a-half months in prison. On June 8, 2003, an Israeli soldier at a Jenin checkpoint spotted a
Stuart Munckton In his weekly televised address to the nation on February 20, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused the US government of plotting to assassinate him. He said that advance warning of a potential assassination attempt had come from
Matthew Davies Perception is everything in the warfare of the "Communications Age", as it is with an army's humanitarian relief operations. Has Indonesia's controversial military "come of age' among the world's many civilian and military aid teams
Raul Bassi On March 1, a new government takes power in Uruguay. But what can the Uruguayan people hope for from it? Uruguay was badly hit by the economic crisis that spread through Latin America after 1999. In particular, the country was badly
A young Mexican immigrant reported to the Department of Children's Services for not immunizing her toddler was ordered by a Tennessee judge to learn English, and to use birth control, in January. In October, the judge, Barry Tatum, told another
Another three children from the Guarani tribe starved to death in 2004, as the tribe's lack of access to farmland threatens a deep crisis. Fifteen Guarani children starved to death in 2003. In the last 70 years, the tribe has been gradually evicted
James Balowski, Jakarta In the boldest statement on the subject to date, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has signalled that the US is ready to restore full military training ties with the Indonesian military (TNI). But the announcement
On February 12, Canadian mining company TVI sent eviction notices out in an attempt to evict 86 families from the Subanen tribe, which is the Philippines' biggest tribe. TVI operates an open-cut gold mine, which has encroached onto the Subanen's
On February 18, a US senate committee demanded that the peak body representing state pollution monitoring agencies, and that that represented local pollution monitoring agencies, hand over their financial records. The two peak bodies had given a
John Martinkus is a respected author and journalist, one of the few to raise awareness of the plights of the people of East Timor, West Papua and Aceh. More recently he has turned his attention to Iraq, where he was kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents in
On February 23, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation announced that its members had voted to accept their first national industrial agreement since 1991, with 82% voting in favour. The agreement, which will cover 200,000 nurses, midwives and
Tanya Reinhart, Tel Aviv The February 8 Sharm-el-Sheikh summit of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has been hailed in the Western media as the opening of a new era. This is the climax of a
John Seed & Ruth Rosenhek, Tiruvanammalai Tiruvanammalai is a bustling city in the state of Tamil Nadu near the south-east tip of India. Dominating the landscape is the sacred mountain Arunachala, which, according to Hindu mythology, is the form
After being shot three times by the new "non-lethal" weapon used by US police, the stun Taser, a 57-year-old man's heart stopped beating on February 18. Joel Casey, who was being arrested on a mental health warrant, was pronounced dead upon arrival
On February 19, days before he was due to present a paper entitled "Presidential succession in Botswana: No model for Africa", Professor Kenneth Good found three men on his doorstep with handcuffs. Telling the 72-year-old, who lives alone with his
On February 15, Camilo Mejia was released from jail after serving a nine-month sentence for desertion, after he refused to go back to Iraq to fight. He wrote the following for the Code Pink website , where it was published on February 17. I was
Doug Lorimer A series of bombings outside mosques in and around Baghdad during the week prior to and on the day of the festival of Ashoura, the holiest day of the Shia year, has been seized upon by the US press to promote the idea that only the

Editorial

In a major speech in Melbourne on February 25, federal employment minister Kevin Andrews revealed just what the Coalition government's agenda for industrial relations "reforms" are really all about. Addressing the Committee for Economic Development

Culture

BY SARAH STEPHEN Most artists who make it big in Australia don't look back. But John Butler isn't one of them. The social justice issues that fuelled much of his musical passion and creativity over the years — the environment, Indigenous issues,
It's Like ThatWritten by Sophie Raymond Directed by the Southern Ladies Animation GroupShowing at the Darwin Film Society's Flix In The Wet, Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinema, march 13, 14 & 21For session times, phone (08) 8981 0700 or visit
Villains of all Nations: Atlantic Pirates in the Golden AgeBy Marcus RedikerVerso, 2004240 pages, $54(hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Were they loveable rogues or bloodthirsty villains? The judge who sentenced Bartholomew Roberts ("Black Bart") and
BY SARAH STEPHEN An exhibition of photographs depicting women in a series of degrading poses — bound, handcuffed, chained and hooded like tortured Iraqi prisoners — aims to highlighting the epidemic of domestic violence in Australia. "Last