Issue 622

Australia

Sue Bull, Ballarat Negotiations towards an enterprise agreement at the University of Ballarat have broken down. In response to the news, a meeting of 100 members of three unions voted on March 23 for a campaign of industrial bans, a series of
BRISBANE — On April 4, about 1000 teacher aides and teachers attended protest meetings in Brisbane and 12 Queensland regional centres jointly organised organised by the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (representing teachers' aides) and
SYDNEY — The NSW branch of the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (CEPU) is challenging an attempt of one of its officials to seek compensation in the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC). CEPU NSW branch vice-president Peter Jones
Lara Pullin, Canberra Arabunna elder Kevin Buzzacott appeared in the ACT Supreme Court on March 29-April 6 on charges of stealing a coat of arms. On January 27, 2002, Buzzacott removed the metal Australian coat of arms from Old Parliament House,
SYDNEY — National Tertiary Education Union members at the Wagga Wagga campus of Charles Sturt University (CSU) leafleted students and their families at graduation ceremonies on April 6-8 to highlight their campaign to force the university to return
Sue Bolton, Melbourne On March 23, a mass delegates' meeting called by the Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) voted for a work stoppage and mass protest on June 30, the day before the federal Coalition government takes full control of the Senate.
Paul Oboohov German-born, Australian permanent resident Cornelia Rau was abused by jailers, and immigration detention officials knew about her mental condition, ABC TV's Four Corners revealed on April 4. Rau, a former Qantas flight attendant, was
GEELONG — On April 6, about 100 union delegates and members attended a cross-union meeting at Geelong Trades Hall to discuss the federal government's anti-union legislation. Leigh Hubbard, outgoing secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council
Alex Bainbridge Socialist Alliance member Kamala Emanuel was labelled one of Tasmania's "top ten protesters" by the March 29 Mercury, alongside the likes of Greens Senator Bob Brown, gay rights activist Rodney Croome and Gardening Australia
Carlene Wilson, Melbourne When the Coalition takes control of the Senate in July, abortion rights will be one thing likely to come under attack. The Campaign for Women's Reproductive Rights (CWRR) has been collecting signatures for a petition
SYDNEY — A handful of protesters took their anti-war message to the Fleet Base East, where HMAS Tobruk was leaving for Iraq, on April 4. The supply ship is to provide sealift for Australian troops deploying to the Al Muthanna Task Group in
Kathy Newnam, Darwin The re-autopsy of the body of Douglas Scott has found further evidence that the Aboriginal man was tortured and murdered in the Northern Territory's Berrimah prison on July 5, 1985. Douglas Scott's widow, Letty, has fought
Jo Williams, Melbourne On April 6, members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at meetings on two separate campuses of the Victoria University of Technology (VUT) decided to go ahead with a planned 48-hour strike, scheduled for April
Karl Miller, Melbourne More than 80 people turned up to the Victorian state conference of the Socialist Alliance, the theme of which was "Organising a community and trade union fight-back against Howard's new attacks". This included around
MELBOURNE — Workers sacked from the ABM Plastics factory in Braeside held a barbeque outside the K&K Plastics factory in Clayton on March 8. They had received information indicating that some of the production formerly carried out at ABM Plastics

World

The Harvard Corporation, the university's highest governing body, announced on April 4 that it would sell its shares in PetroChina, because the company is "too closely tied to genocide in Sudan". The decision was greeted with jubilation by black-clad
Roberto Jorquera, an activist from the Venezuelan Solidarity Network in Australia, is in Caracas to help prepare for the solidarity brigade the network is organising from July 25-August 15, and to report on the unfolding revolution there. Regular
Roberto Jorquera, an activist from the Venezuelan Solidarity Network in Australia, is in Caracas to help prepare for the solidarity brigade the network is organising from July 25-August 15, and to report on the unfolding revolution there. Regular
Ewa Jasiewicz is a human-rights activist and journalist from London who lived in US-occupied Iraq from June 2003 to February 2004. For much of her time there, she lived in Basra, working closely with a crucial union for workers in the oil industry.
From March 31-April 30, the US-Mexico border in Arizona will be flooded with dangerous, armed idiots, as an estimated 2000 volunteers join the "Minutemen Project", which describes itself as "Americans doing the job Congress won't". The volunteers
Nicole Colson, Chicago Getting away with murder. There's no other way to describe the Pentagon's announcement that it is refusing to prosecute any of the 17 US soldiers who contributed to the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in
Israelis believe Palestinians should leave In an April 4 poll of Israelis carried out by the Madar Palestinian Centre for Israel Studies, 42% agreed that the Israeli state should encourage Palestinians with Israeli citizenship to leave the country,
Allen Myers, Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City is booming. As you approach from the outskirts, signs of economic growth are all around you. Buildings and roads are under construction everywhere. Neat three to five storey dwellings line the roads,
On April 2, hundreds of people across Britain joined protests organised by asylum seekers facing deportation from that country. Actions were held in Glasgow, London, Nottingham, Oxford, Canterbury and Manchester, where more than 700 marched. Three
On March 19, 14 people were arrested for "public violence" after 750 people from the Kennedy Road Informal Settlement in Claire Estate blockaded a major road with burning tyres for four hours. On March 21, 1200 people marched to the local police
Rose Gentle, the mother of Gordon Gentle who was killed in Iraq last year, announced on April 5 that she would stand against minister for armed forces Adam Ingram in the May 5 British general election. The Scottish Socialist Party immediately
One of the guests at the third Asia-Pacific International Solidarity Conference, held in Sydney at Easter, was Helmuth Markov, who is a member of the European Parliament from the German Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS). This is an abridged version
On April 6, members of the People's Democratic Party in Jakarta protested against Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, demanding his government be replaced. Yudhoyono has begun increasing the price of fuel, which is already causing price
On February 18, the Israeli government set up an x-ray machine at the Rafah International Crossing Point, and forced all Palestinians trying to leave Gaza that way to submit to an enhanced x-ray process, that included taking naked photographs. The
Kim Bullimore On March 17, the Israeli state moved to re-arrest and charge nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu with 22 counts of violating the restrictions placed upon him when he was released from jail in April last year. Vanunu's arrest came
Five US soldiers were arrested on March 29 for trying to smuggle 16 kilograms of cocaine out of Colombia on US military aircraft. The news was leaked to the media on April 1, and confirmed by a statement issued by the Colombian defence ministry on
The following message from Carolus Wimmer, a member of the political bureau of the Communist Party of Venezuela and director of international relations for Venezuelan parliament, was sent to the Third Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference
The following letter was sent to Amnesty USA by Australian academic Tim Anderson on March 22. I write as an Australian prisoners' rights campaigner who has been watching Amnesty's interventions over the arrests and jailing of several dozen
On April 11-17, events around the world will develop solidarity with the Venezuelan revolution. The week of solidarity will mark the third anniversary of the defeat of a US-backed coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whose government is
Max Lane Around 200 East Timorese protesters were attacked on April 9 by police, including special branch paramilitary forces. The protesters had gathered at the Santa Cruz cemetery, the site of a 1991 protest where participants were massacred by
The Cuban embassy in Bolivia announced on April 4 that Cuba would award 100 university scholarships to poor Bolivian young people. The bulletin explained that the program was part of Cuba's policy of international solidarity and collaboration. There
Washington University's admissions office was taken over by chanting students armed with leaflets and petitions on April 5, as members of the Student-Worker Alliance began an indefinite sit-in to demand better wages for the university's lowest paid
Limerick City Council is considering a motion to declare Limerick city the world's first Caterpillar-free zone. In 2003, a Caterpillar bulldozer ran over human rights activist Rachel Corrie as she attempted to stop a house being demolished in Gaza,
Farooq Tariq, Lahore Yasmeen Kanwal, a leading activist with the women's rights organisation Women Workers Help Line (WWHL), was killed on April 4 in Shahdra, a suburb of Lahore. A medical investigation is being carried out to confirm reports she

Culture

Message Stick: Koori Court — "Broken Bones" is a gritty tale of social realism, portraying both the negative and positive aspects of Indigenous family culture. ABC, Friday, April 15, 6pm. Get Up Stand Up: We Shall Overcome — Identifies the
I saw the pricks pricking balloonsI saw them seizing kitesthey were protecting ignorance for the sake of all uptights.They all wore coppers' uniformsthey all had coppers' minds,barely a brain cell between them,these are John Howard's times.When
America's Military Today: The Challenge of MilitarismBy Tod EnsignNew Press, 2004430 pages, $37 Will They Ever Trust Us Again? Letters from the War ZoneBy Michael MooreSimon and Schuster, 2004218 pages, $25 REVIEW BY ERIC RUDER Since September
Resistance: A History of the Democratic Socialist Party and Resistance Volume 1: 1965-72By John PercyResistance Books, Sydney 2005338 pages, $29.95 (pb) REVIEW BY JIM MCILROY This is an important and timely book, given the transitional period the