Issue 624

Australia

SYDNEY — On April 21, more than 100 people attended a relaunching of the Leichhardt Stop the War Group at Leichhardt Town Hall. Titled "Iraq: Time to bring the troops home", the meeting heard from former intelligence analyst Andrew Wilkie, civil
Sarah Stephen, Sydney Phil Glendenning from the Edmund Rice Centre (ERC) was the keynote speaker at a meeting organised by the Refugee Action Coalition on April 21. He told a crowd of 70 people that the Australian government has been involved in
Bill Mason, Brisbane Representatives of the old and new generations of Resistance members combined to celebrate the Brisbane launch on April 16 of a new book on the history of Australia's longest existing socialist youth organisation —
Bill Mason, Brisbane Chants of "Viva Venezuela", and "Viva Chavez" accompanied a toast to the Venezuelan revolution at the Activist Centre on April 16. The evening featured screenings of Tommy Goes Caracas, about the solidarity visit by Scottish
Max Lane, Sydney On April 26, a new round of negotiations will start between the Australian and East Timorese governments over the maritime boundary between the two countries. The Australian government is still refusing to recognise the
Daniel Gregory, Sydney The April 16 NSW state conference of the Socialist Alliance reaffirmed its policy of opposition to the planned closure of the Newcastle Rail line. The conference unanimously adopted a resolution put by Newcastle Socialist
PERTH — Aboriginal leaders and elders from seven tribal groups in NSW met in Moree on April 22 to set up a "Union of Aboriginal Nations", according to a report carried by Perth Indymedia. The meeting was attended by leaders and elders from the
Graham Matthews, Sydney "Building the fightback against Howard's agenda" was the theme of the Socialist Alliance's NSW state conference held at the Newton Neighbourhood Centre on April 16. Ninety members and supporters of the Socialist Alliance
Ruth Ratcliffe& Daniel Gregory, Newcastle The Save Our Rail (SOR) committee is planning to join the local May Day march this year in another demonstration of the widespread opposition to the Carr Labor government's plan to cut the Newcastle train
Peter Sypkens, Hobart More than 1000 people marched through Southport Lagoon Conservation Area in southern Tasmania on April 17, to support the protection of Recherche Bay, a national heritage-listed site under threat from logging. The march
MELBOURNE — The picket line at the ABM Plastics factory in Braeside ended on April 20. It had run continuously since January 21 in support of the demand for the payment of $2.5 million in entitlements owed to the workers when the company went into
DARWIN — Protesters gathered outside the Robertson Barracks on April 17, where PM John Howard was sending off 450 additional Australian troops to Iraq. Howard was jeered with cries of "war criminal" as he passed the protest. From Green Left
Nicole Hilder, Melbourne On April 20, the same day that the media reported Coalition Senator Ron Boswell's intention to introduce a private member's bill into parliament restricting women's access to abortion, the Socialist Alliance held a

World

Rohan Pearce No sooner had the Twin Towers come down on 9/11 than the coterie of neoconservatives in President George Bush's administration sought to use the terrorist attacks as justification for a US invasion of Iraq. The aim wasn't to liberate
Katrina Heckendorf, Puerto Ordaz The third Global Encounter in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution, held April 13 16, provided foreign participants with an opportunity to learn about local social projects. In the south-eastern city of Puerto
On April 20, more than 5000 students marched through Santiago de Chile to demand President Ricardo Lagos veto the new Financing of Higher Education law submitted to Congress. The students claim the bill is de-facto privatisation of education, as it
One thousand residents of a disused factory in Wynberg, Johannesburg, are facing eviction by Alexandra Plaza Pty Ltd, which intends to develop a shopping centre on the site. Some have been living there for more than 20 years, and they have built
Allen Myers, Ho Chi Minh City The photographs on the walls of the War Museum in central Ho Chi Minh City are proof, if any more were needed, that the torturing of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers and the wholesale killing of civilians are not
Simon Cunich In January, when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the nationalisation of Venepal, one of the country's largest paper mills, which had been occupied and run by workers, he called on "workers' leaders to follow this path ...
Barry Healy The election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI spells the end of the hope that the Catholic Church may become more liberal. Catholic progressives look back longingly on the era initiated by the 1965 Vatican II Council,
Roberto Jorquera, Caracas Three thousand people, including leftists from the US, Canada, Australia and most of Latin America, attended the third Global Encounter in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution, held on April 13-16. The event began
On April 22, the British Association of University Teachers voted to boycott two Israeli universities — Haifa and Bar Ilans — because of their failure to speak out against the Israeli government's attacks on Palestine. The boycott will follow a
Alex Miller On April 18 in Glasgow, the Scottish Socialist Party launched its 57-page manifesto for the British general election, scheduled for May 5, with a pledge to build the mass movement against global capitalism. The manifesto states: "The
Kim Bullimore Eyal Brami and Alex Kohn are 18 years old and serving time in an Israeli jail. Their crime is their refusal to be conscripted into the Israeli military and to serve as part of an occupying force in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
Duroyan Fertl After four months of mounting political pressure and constitutional crisis, the people of Ecuador have driven President Lucio Gutierrez from office. In the face of unstoppable mass protest, and growing calls for the dissolution of
Jon Lamb A series of rallies organised by the Catholic Church in East Timor is another sign of the simmering discontent and frustration held by many East Timorese. Ostensibly rallies about religious education in schools, the demonstrations — the
The people of Turkey, aided by a long history of organisation and resistance, fiercely resisted the US invasion of Iraq, successfully blocking many of their government's attempts to provide support to the invaders. Taylan Bilgic from the foreign news
On April 7, Washington's ambassador in Bogota explained that the US would not extradite US soldiers caught smuggling cocaine in Colombian territory, because they had "diplomatic immunity". The envoy, fending off Colombian parliamentarians' calls for
Teachers, students and trade unionists have got together to launch a declaration against the deportation of young people and children from Britain, following the success of several spontaneous student protests. In October, when 15-year-old Lorin
Two weeks after his asylum application was refused, 26-year-old Hussein Nasseri shot himself between the eyes. On April 18, the inquest into his June 2004 death concluded that the refusal drove him to suicide. Nasseri fled from Iran in 2000, after
On April 18, the Movement for Socialism (MAS) brought a formal lawsuit against President Carlos Mesa, and former presidents Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and Jorge Quiroga, accusing them of violating the constitution in signing oil contracts without
After attending a March performance of the play The Vagina Monologues, Carrie Rethlefsen and Emily Nixon decided to make "I [heart] my vagina" badges and wear them to their Minnesota high school, to spark discussion about sexual violence and women's

Culture

Black MedeaDirected by Wesley EnochBelvoir Street Theatre, SydneyUntil May 8CUB Malthouse, Melbourne, from May 12 REVIEW BY BRENDAN DOYLE As director, Wesley Enoch has given us such outstanding theatrical successes as The Sapphires, Radiance,
Land to the poor, schools to the youngDentists for them all so smiles beamat victory stories talked and revolt stories sungword on the street is the gifts are as they've seen Factories to the workers, bold in their new hourunions taking heart at
Two BrothersBy Hannie RaysonMelbourne Theatre CompanyWith Gary McDonald, Nicholas Eadie, Laura Lattuada, Diane Craig, Rodney AfifAt the PlayhouseUntil May 14 REVIEW BY VANNESSA HEARMAN What do two brothers do when they can't stand each other's
For the moment the horizon is on fireDemocracy rising balanced on a wireLiberation, you can smell it in the airThings are moving and the rich are all awareSome will talk along the sidelines, others they will doMe, I'll sing a song for Chavez before
The Chavez Code: Deciphering the intervention of the United States in VenezuelaBy Eva GolingerEditorial de Ciencias Sociales330 pagesCopies can be obtained via the author at <evagolinger@hotmail.com> The Chavez Code by Eva Golinger cracks