Issue 623

Australia

Dale Mills On April 6, the High Court handed down a decision in the case of Nuha Jamil Koehler v Cerebos (Australia) Limited which represents a setback for workers' health and safety rights. Koehler, 50, claimed she was unable to cope with the
Tara Guinness, Sydney Red balloons filled the streets on April 10 as 150 refugee-rights protesters marched to the Villawood detention centre. The rally, organised by the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC), was called after police popped balloons
BRISBANE — Lani Russell, a researcher for the Scottish Socialist Party in the Scottish Parliament, and an activist in the SSP, spoke about her experiences in the SSP since leaving Australia in the 1990s at an April 2 public forum sponsored by the
SYDNEY — Thirty supporters rallied outside the Downing Centre Local Court on April 12 to demand that charges be dropped against refugee activists John Morris and Sunil Menon, accused of making false statements to enable escaped refugees to make
BRISBANE — On April 9-10, the University of Queensland hosted a conference to commemorate the 100the anniversary of women's suffrage in Queensland, achieved on January 25, 1905. The conference — attended by 40 women and men — was organised by
HOBART — On April 12, the Greens introduced a bill into the Tasmanian parliament allowing for same-sex marriages and have called for a parliamentary committee to discuss the issue. Despite calling the Greens' move "a stunt", Labor
Andrew Martin, Brisbane "I've had a gutful of the phraseology of boxing clever, keeping the powder dry and the troops disciplined. We must discuss genuine collectivism and solidarity", Bob Carnegie, an organiser for the Queensland Builders
Pip Hinman, Sydney Nearly 100 people attended a local peace group meeting at the Marrickville Town Hall on April 11 to hear Stephen Hopper, Andrew Wilkie and Sam Iskander talk about the Iraq war and what could be done to stop it. Hopper, Mamdouh
Ian Jamieson& Nikki Ulasowski, Perth A Unions WA executive meeting on April 12 decided to call a cross-union delegates' meeting — likely to be held in May — to form a campaign committee against the federal Coalition government's planned
Vannessa Hearman, Melbourne The Timor Sea Justice Campaign is set to broadcast its next series of television advertisements to coincide with Anzac Day on April 25. The group has chosen this time to focus on Australian soldiers and their
Alex Bainbridge, Hobart Forest campaigners have won important, albeit partial, victories in the Weld Valley and at South Sister. These wins are significant given the disappointment following the re-election in October of the pro-logging Howard
BRISBANE — On April 9, 40 people attended a showing of the anti-war film In the Year of the Pig at the Activist Centre to commemorate the 30th anniversary this month of the victory of the Vietnamese people against the US invaders and their puppet
CANBERRA — During a government-hosted visit by a South African trade union and government delegation on April 12, six of the delegation members, including Gavin Moultrie, president of the Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South
Karen Thorpe & Tim Stewart, Brisbane "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere", Aboriginal rights activist Murrandoo Yanner told a cheering 200-strong crowd at the Inala Community Centre on April 14. The meeting was organised by the
MELBOURNE — On April 13, the La Trobe University Student Representative Council (SRC) held a Student General Meeting (SGM) to discuss and pass motions against the implementation of "voluntary student unionism" (VSU) legislation. The SGM was

World

On April 8, the British government decided to deny visas to all 18- to 30-year-old Nigerians who have not visited the country before and have not been accepted to study in Britain. Last year, 60,000 Nigerians in that age group were granted visas.
On April 9, Jose Bayardi, the Uruguayan defence minister, told a press conference that Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil were considering withdrawing from the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti, the multinational force backing
Days after parliament rejected a Labour government bill to introduce identity cards for all citizens, Home Secretary Charles Clarke has authorised mandatory fingerprinting of new passport applicants to be introduced from next year. The passport
On April 1, Judith Karpova and Faith Fippinger were issued with penalty notices from the US Treasury, alleging that they had shielded "government of Iraq infrastructure" and provided services to the Iraqi government in 2003, prior to the US invasion
Doug Lorimer US officials have cited a decline in US troop fatalities in Iraq since the January 30 elections as evidence that the anti-occupation resistance is waning. Whereas 107 US troops were killed in January, the death toll fell to 58 in
A motion put to the annual shareholders meeting of Caterpillar industries to "re-evaluate selling bulldozers to the Israeli army" was defeated, garnering 3% of the vote (representing US$600 million share holdings), on April 13. Caterpillar bulldozers
Close all US bases!' Norm Dixon "We have got to demand that all foreign troops leave Iraq certainly, but let's also demand that the troops come back from the US bases around the world, not just the war zones. We need to mobilise against the
Suadi Sulaiman Laweueng, the Free Aceh Movement's (GAM) spokesperson for the Pidie regency in north Aceh, spoke to Green Left Weekly about the struggle in Aceh. The interview was translated by James Balowski. Can you explain the situation there?
On April 12, Dr Klaus Stohr, the head of the Geneva-based World Health Organisation's global pandemic program, told reporters that Canadian authorities had discovered on March 25 that between 4700 and 5700 laboratories in 18 countries had been sent
On April 10, 200 people, many from the Labour Party Pakistan, gathered at a few hours notice to discuss a campaign to support the family of Yasmeen Kanwal, who was murdered on April 4. The meeting followed a protest on April 7 in the centre of
Duroyan Fertl On April 13, thousands of Ecuadorians protesting in the capital Quito were violently attacked by riot police with tear gas. The protesters, led by unionists and students, blocked roads with burning tyres and shut down the centre of
On April 8, the American Civil Liberties Union commenced legal action against a Missouri public high school that disciplined a student for wearing t-shirts with gay-friendly messages. Fifteen-year-old LaStaysha Myers was twice sent home for wearing
Eva Cheng Japan's escalating of territorial disputes with China and Korea — and Tokyo's latest attempt to whitewash its wartime atrocities — provoked huge protests in China and South Korea in March. The protests snowballed in China,
Raul Bassi On March 4, four people kidnapped a woman worker from the Zanon ceramics factory outside her workplace. Bringing back chilling memories of the 1970s "dirty wars" against left-wing activists, the woman was forced into a green Ford Falcon,
John Pilger Can you imagine the BBC and other major broadcasters apologising to a rogue regime which practises racism and ethnic cleansing; which has "effectively legalised the use of torture" (according to Amnesty International); which holds
Two men, one an Australian citizen, were sentenced two years' imprisonment by a Fijian court on April 6, for engaging in "unnatural offences" and "indecent practice between two males". The men had made a video featuring gay sex. Homosexuality is
Alex Miller In the British general election scheduled for May 5, the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) will be standing candidates in every Scottish parliamentary constituency, with the exception of East Kilbride, where Rose Gentle, mother of Scottish
On April 11, Botswana's parliament debated a bill to scrap the constitutional clause that allows restrictions to the free movement of the general public in order to protect the indigenous Bushmen people of the Kalahari. The Bushmen are currently
On April 12, a shepherd in Salfit in the West Bank found small pink pellets spread across his grazing ground. He took some of the pellets to the police. A Bir Zeit University analysis of the pellets found them to be wheat seeds boiled in rat poison,
Brian Stephens, Harare "We're in it to win", read the giant banner hanging off the headquarters of the Movement for Democratic Change in Harare during Zimbabwe's general elections. The opposition MDC's 41 seats were mainly won in the major cities

Editorial

On April 7, US President George Bush announced that he was nominating Zalmay Khalilzad to replace John Negroponte as the US ambassador to Iraq. Who is Zalmay Khalilzad? An Afghan-American, Khalilzad began working in the US State Department during

Culture

In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs — A Memoir of IranBy Christopher de BellaigueHarper Collins, 2004280 pages, $35 REVIEW BY SARAH STEPHEN In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs is a story of Iran told from the standpoint of someone who is both an
Three DollarsStarring David Wenham, Frances O'Connor, Sarah WynterDirected by Robert ConnollyNow showing nationally BY SARAH STEPHEN Three Dollars follows somewhat in the footsteps of director Robert Connolly's last film, The Bank, the story of
At last at the Pearly Gates John Howard stood,St Peter with steely eyes looked at him good.He said, you've a bloody cheek comin' up here,With your fibs and no sorries and your campaigns of fear. Your "kids overboard" made us all feel quite
Max Lane, Sydney Indonesian left-wing publisher Joesoef Isak attended the Third Asia Pacific International Solidarity Conference (APISC) in Sydney over the Easter weekend. In addition to speaking at a workshop on "Marxism in Indonesia after 1965"