Issue 629

Australia

DARWIN — The Northern Territory Labor government's pre-election trumpeting of the "waterfront development" in the Darwin Harbour has failed to take into account the associated environmental risks. The project is the jewel in the crown of Chief
@9point non= SYDNEY — An estimated 50,000 people turned up to hear at least 200 international and local writers and journalists speak during the May 23-30 Sydney Writers Festival. Renown Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki, interviewed by
ARMIDALE — On June 3, the University of New England Students' Association electoral tribunal overturned the results of a May 24-26 referendum regarding the association's affiliation to the National Union of Students, ordering a new ballot.
@PARAFLTR = Slap on the wrist for ERA Kathy Newnam, Darwin The Ranger uranium mine operator, Energy Resources Australia, has received a $150,000 fine by the Darwin Magistrates Court for breaching the Mining Management Act. ERA pleaded guilty
CANBERRA — Chilean solidarity activists around Australia have been holding information evenings to raise awareness of the conditions of political prisoners being held in Chile and other Latin American jails. Galvarino Sergio Apablaza Guerra, also
CANBERRA — On June 16, a majority of the members of the ACT Legislative Assembly from all major parties, as well as church and community leaders, will sign on to a Refugee Rights Charter and a call for the national capital to become a "refugee
MELBOURNE — On May 30, 30 people attended a meeting in Campbellfield, a northern suburb of Melbourne, to launch a local group to campaign against the federal government's attacks on workers' rights and welfare. Dave Kerin, convenor of the Union
Susan Price, Sydney On June 1, more than 1500 university and TAFE staff from campuses across Sydney were joined by students and unionists from other sectors for a rally and march. This was part of a national day of protest against the federal
CANBERRA — A discussion paper released by ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope paves the way for formal recognition of same-sex unions in the ACT. The paper encourages submissions from the community to ascertain which of three models — marriage,
MELBOURNE — The federal government's terrorism charges against Jack Thomas are aimed at making him a "scapegoat to cover up their own evil deeds", Tim Anderson told a public meeting on June 2. Anderson, who spent eight years in prison, wrongly
SYDNEY — "More than 3700 police from four regions arrested more than 800 people following Operation Supervikings", stated a NSW Police press release issued on May 29. The three-day operation ending May 29 targeted people in Sydney, Newcastle and
BRISBANE — The radical changes in Venezuela are a "strong example for Latin America, and the entire world", renowned writer Tariq Ali told an audience of 400 people at the University of Queensland on May 30. Ali is touring Australia on the topic
Ron Perkins, Perth The Perth Convention Centre was filled on June 1 with one of the largest assemblies of trade union delegates since the fight-back against repressive industrial relations legislation in the mid-1990s under then-Coalition Premier
Barbara Rojas & Owen Richards, Sydney Aleida Guevara, 44-year-old daughter of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, criticised the neoliberal policies of Western governments and called for anti-globalisation activists to study the revolutionary ideas of her
ADELAIDE — On May 28, elders and traditional owners from the Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands addressed a public meeting to express their concerns about the review of the 1981 Pitjantjatjara Land Rights Act. Organised by ANTaR SA and the
Kerry Vernon, Newcastle On May 30, 900 Newcastle University staff attended a meeting to hear details of the university's plans for job cuts. They were told that 19% of the staff would lose their jobs almost immediately. Deputy vice-chancellor
MELBOURNE — Students occupied the Liberal Party's Victoria headquarters on June 2 in response to the federal government's proposed "voluntary student unionism" (VSU) legislation. One of the protesters, Julia Dehm, said: "The Coalition has made it
Leaders of the New Zealand Maori Party have been touring Australian cities to boost support for the party, which has become a growing force in NZ politics over the past year. They were invited by branches of the party formed by Maori migrants in

World

On May 22, the Scottish Socialist Party announced that Rosie Kane, an SSP member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow, has been invited to Cuba. Rosie will speak at an international conference, "Against terrorism, for truth and justice", to be held
Matthew Dimmock A group of Burmese villagers have finally gained justice for the suffering inflicted upon them by the Burmese military regime. On March 21, oil giant Unocal announced that a settlement had been reached in an eight-year-long legal
Norm Dixon Zimbabwe's authoritarian capitalist government, headed by President Robert Mugabe, has unleashed a massive wave of police brutality and destruction in an attempt to terrorise the country's fiercely anti-government urban working class and
Doug Lorimer By a 55% majority, French voters rejected the draft constitution for the 25-country European Union in a national referendum held on May 29. The decisive "No" vote occurred despite the "Yes" campaign having the support of all of
James Lehrer, La Paz After three weeks of mobilisations in defence of Bolivia's gas reserves, the country's political crisis continues to deepen. A June 2 attempt to quash the crisis by President Carlos Mesa, by calling elections for a new
According to the Palestine National Information Centre's May 30 report on the Al Asqa Intifada, 4032 Palestinians, 750 of them children have died since September 2000. Of the total deaths, 732 were caused by Israeli shelling of Palestinian homes.
On May 27, hundreds of garment workers protested on the site of their collapsed workplace, demanding compensation for the injured, and families of workers killed or missing. The nine-storey Spectrum garments factory caved in the dead of night on
Leslie Feinberg, New York The Pentagon war to annex Iraq as a profitable region of US capital's empire is still raging, long after the fragile pretexts for invasion have torn like tissue. The sheer brutality and colonial-style character of the
Up to 20,000 people took part in Tonga's largest ever demonstration in the capital Nuku'alofa on May 26. The protest was fuelled by anger at high electricity costs while the executives of power company Shoreline, owned by the Crown Prince Tupouto'a
On May 31, Ken Good, an Australian professor working at Botswana University, lost his appeal against deportation. Good has been a fierce critic of the lack of democracy in Botswana and of the government's policy of forcibly relocating Bushmen from
On May 30, the revolutionary socialist party Lalit nominated 32 candidates across all 20 constituencies for the upcoming general election. Opposing the constitutional requirement that for their nomination to be accepted, each candidate must list
On June 1, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that a high-level South Africa defence ministry delegation was due to visit soon. The newspaper explained that the delegation, which would include arms manufacturers, would meet with the director-general
Ten years after he first applied, Kassab Al-Rashid, a prominent member of Committee for Defence of Legitimate Rights, a pro-democracy body suppressed by the Saudi monarchy, is still waiting for a decision on his initial application for asylum in
Ralph Nader & Kevin Zeese The last few weeks have not been good ones for the war effort. Despite being given every huge military budget he has requested by Congress, US President George Bush can no longer credibly claim to be winning the war. ABC
@PARAFLTR = VENEZUELA: Mass mobilisation defends oil industry Roberto Jorquera, Caracas On May 28, at least one million people marched 11 kilometres from the city of Petare to Avenida Bolivar in central Caracas in defence of the state-owned
John Percy For all the hypocritical crusading rhetoric of US President George Bush about his "war on terror", in practice he is promoting and sheltering real terrorists — the right-wing Cuban emigres who have been waging a terror war on
On April 8, Mehmet Tarhan was arrested for "insubordination" after failing to serve his compulsory military service. Tarhan had declared himself a conscientious objector in 2001, but such status is not recognised under Turkish law. Tarhan fears he
Marce Cameron In recent months Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has not missed an opportunity to urge his supporters to contribute to a historic debate on the future of the country's Bolivarian revolution. In the multitude of popular
Doug Lorimer May was the second deadliest month for the US occupation forces in Iraq so far this year, with 72 US troops killed. This took the total number of US troops killed in Iraq since the war began in March 2003 to 1657, according to a count

Editorial

PM John Howard is moving his war on workers and the poor into top gear. The Coalition's plans to push through pernicious legislation when it takes control of the Senate in July are clear. Howard is drawing a line in the sand, and so must we. Green

Culture

REVIEW BY DAVE RILEY Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass DestructionBy Sue TownsendMichael Joseph/Penguin, 2004460pages, $35 Adrian Mole is no longer thirteen-and-three-quarters, but he still keeps his diary. Adrian Mole is in fact 34 years old,
Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and SeventiesBy Jeremy VaronUniversity of California Press, 2004394 pages, $44 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON "Bringing the war home" was
Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the SithDirected by George LucasStarring Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen & Ewan McGregor REVIEW BY DAVE RILEY Just when you thought you'd had enough of the throbbing fluroescence of light sabres hovering