Issue 627

Australia

ARMIDALE — The Armidale Club, a quiet little pub in rural NSW, was rocked by the sounds of revolution on May 11, when Friends of Green Left Weekly sponsored a screening of The Revolution Will Not be Televised. About 30 people watched the
CAIRNS — "Aboriginal people were paid a pittance for their work over 100 years, and even that pittance was stolen", Terry O'Shane, chair of a rally held in the city mall on May 15, told the audience. Aunty Ruth Hegarty from the Stolen Wages
MELBOURNE — On May 19, British anti-war campaigner Tariq Ali told an audience of 800 people at RMIT's Storey Hall that the "hollowed out democracies" that existed in the US, Britain and Australia were "iron dictatorships of capital imposing
SYDNEY — On May 19, 23 people attended the launch of the Peace Coalition on Sydney University. The meeting was addressed by Donna Mulhearn, a humanitarian activist who has helped with aid projects and been a "human shield" in both Iraq and
Ben Reid, Newcastle On May 18, 400 people attended a joint student-staff "Save Our Uni" rally at Newcastle University to oppose the impending loss of 450 jobs from the campus. The rally was organised by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU)
ARMIDALE — On May 17, 50 people braved cold and rainy weather to protest against foreign minister Alexander Downer when he visited the University of New England to deliver the annual Earl Page College politics lecture. The protesters voiced
MELBOURNE — On May 18, 90 people, including Indigenous leaders from around Australia, meeting at the Victorian Trades Hall, bar called a mass protest of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Melbourne to coincide with the 2006 Commonwealth
DARWIN — Protesters gathered outside the immigration department office on May 13 to speak out against the threatened deportation of 50 East Timorese refugees, including Darwin man Jose Jongue. The protest also demanded an end to the incarceration
HOBART — On March 19, hundreds of health professionals around Tasmania stopped work for two hours to attend rallies organised by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and the Health and Community Services Union to protest the state Labor
NEWCASTLE — Five-hundred people attended the Newcastle May Day march this year. This was a bigger turnout than in recent years, largely because of a big contingent of people protesting against the NSW Labor government's plans to close down the
MELBOURNE — Up to 100 people picketed the Swanston Street branch of ANZ on May 12 to protest the bank's role in the corporate plunder of Iraq. The picket was organised by the Melbourne Stop the War Coalition. 'ANZ has a $6 million stake in a
BRISBANE — On May 7, 100 people attended a Middle Eastern dinner and benefit concert to raise funds for Union Aid Abroad/APHEDA projects to assist Palestinians adversely affected by the Israeli government's apartheid wall. Singer-songwriter Phil
BRISBANE — Forty people attended Queensland's Socialist Alliance Fightback conference on May 7 to discuss and organise resistance to the federal government's planned attacks on workers' rights once it takes control of the Senate on July 1. Among
CANBERRA — A May 10 Australian Industrial Relations Commission decision delivered a wage increase of between $6 and $148 per week to more than 15,000 childcare workers in Victoria and the ACT. Joanne Schofield, Liquor Hospitality Miscellaneous
BRISBANE — "We need to organise the community to stop black deaths in custody. We need to give the families and loved ones of those killed all the support we can", Aboriginal activist Sam Watson told a May 12 suburban meeting to highlight
MELBOURNE — On May 3, 100 people attended an "East Timor: Then and Now" evening organised by East Timor Women Australia, the Australia East Timor Association and the Timor Sea Justice Campaign. The featured speaker was Canadian filmmaker and

World

On May 4, Army judge Colonol James Pohl terminated the court-martial of Private Lynndie England, accused of torturing prisoners at the US-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, saying her guilty plea was "not believable". Pohl explained that if, as England's
Alex Miller In the May 5 British general election, the ruling Labour Party lost 46 seats and saw its parliamentary majority slashed to 67 seats. As a result of Britain's antiquated "first-past-the-post" electoral system, the Conservatives gained 38
On May 17, 400 students and staff from universities in Wellington marched to parliament to protest against student debt and to call for free education, a universal student allowance and higher staff wages. For more information, visit
The US Air Force has proposed a space weapons program, according to the May 18 New York Times. Air Force officials claimed that they are not seeking the militarisation of space. According to Air Force spokesperson Major Karen Finn, "The focus is on
James Balowski, Jakarta At midnight on May 18, the Indonesian government declared an end to its two-year civil emergency in Indonesia's northern-most province of Aceh. But calls by the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and human rights groups for the troops
"We made an incredible [US]$1.35 billion this quarter", a "shareholder" told the Dow annual general meeting on May 12. "For most of us that just means a new set of golf clubs. Instead, let's do something useful with it — like finally cleaning up
Rohan Pearce Late on May 12 an armed group stormed a prison in Andijan, a town of 350,000 inhabitants in the east of the former Soviet Central Asian republic of Uzbekistan. The group liberated some 4000 prisoners, including 23 detainees accused of
On May 10, the US Senate unanimously passed the Real ID Act, as part of a spending bill for the Iraq war. The law, which had already been (narrowly) passed by the House of Representatives, will come into effect in May 2008. From then, all US
On May 5, the Law Lords overturned the decision of an immigration official to grant asylum to a woman suffering from full-blown AIDS, deciding that it was permissible to deport her to Uganda where she will be denied the drugs needed to keep her
Italian soccer club Inter Milan has accepted an invitation by the Zapatista National Liberation Army for a solidarity soccer match. Zapatista leader Subcommandante Marcos wrote in a letter to the team, "Given the affection we have for you, we're not
Doug Lorimer At a May 12 Pentagon press briefing, the top US military officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff head General Richard Myers, admitted that the Iraqi resistance would be capable of mounting a high level of attacks for years to come. "This is a
Reg Keys, whose son was killed on duty in Iraq in 2003, stood against British PM Tony Blair in his Sedgefield constituency in the May 5th general election and won 10.2% of votes cast. Blair retained the seat, although his share of the vote fell by
Doug Lorimer Following a 1.2 million-strong march in Havana, Cuba, on May 17 demanding that the US government arrest CIA terrorist Luis Posada, US immigration authorities in Miami detained Posada on May 19 on the grounds that he had entered the US
In February, Venezuelan bosses' organisation Fedecamaras lodged a complaint against the Venezuelan government with the International Labour Organisation. Fedecamaras accused the left-wing government led by President Hugo Chavez of violating trade
Roberto Jorquera, Caracas Fifty-seven Australians will see the Bolivarian revolution at first hand when they visit Venezuela in July and August this year as part of the first solidarity brigade from Australia. Organised by the Australian Venezuela
South African Municipal Workers Union members clashed with police in central Cape Town on May 17, after 2000 workers marched through the city against the privatisation of water and electricity. One man was arrested. Union officials delivered a
On May 11, in a secret ballot, 92% of striking bus drivers rejected a company pay offer of $15 an hour in November, to be followed by an increase to $16 an hour in March 2007. The drivers are now demanding $16 immediately, and $17 by November. The
Below is an abridged version of a statement made to the US Senate permanent committee on investigations on May 17 by left-wing British MP George Galloway. The senate committee, head by Republican Norm Coleman, had accused the anti-war MP of receiving
The Brazilian government has released new figures indicating that almost one-fifth of the Amazon rainforest has been chopped down. In the 12 months to August 2004, 26,000 square kilometres of forest were cut down, 6% more than in the previous year.

Culture

The Edukators In German with English subtitlesStarring Daniel Bruhl, Julia Jentsch, Stipe Erceg, Burghart KlaussnerScreenplay by Katharina Held, Hans WeingartnerDirected by Hans Weingartner REVIEW BY SIBYLLE KACZOREK Set in today's Berlin, this
Dirt Cheap: Life at the Wrong End of the Job MarketBy Elisabeth WynhausenPan Macmillan Australia, 2005246 pages, $30 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON When Elisabeth Wynhausen surprised her friends by taking nine months off from her job as a
All the Troubles: Terrorism, War and the World After 9/11By Simon AdamsFremantle Arts Centre Press 2004412 pages $24.95 REVIEW BY BARRY HEALY "Weapons and technology may help win wars, but it is only ideas that have the power to truly change the