Issue 631

Australia

Mike Byrne With great fanfare, the new CEO of Telstra, Sol Trujillo, was announced to an expectant corporate audience on June 9. This would not be news in itself if it wasn't for the staggering $10 million remuneration package that accompanies the
Sibylle Kaczorek, Sydney On June 18, 200 people attended a public meeting organised by the Greens to discuss PM John Howard's planned new anti-union laws. The meeting was addressed by a number of union leaders. Unions NSW assistant secretary Mark
Nick Everett, Canberra On June 20, federal workplace relations minister Kevin Andrews demanded the ACTU remove TV advertisements claiming that under the federal government's planned new industrial relations laws, workers could be forced into
SYDNEY — On June 18, 160 people attended a relationship equality forum organised by the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby (GLRL) NSW. Among the featured speakers were New Zealand Labour MP Tim Barnett, former GLRL convenor David McLachlan, University of
Dave Holmes Radical publisher Resistance Books has launched a new online bookshop — <http://www.resistancebooks.com>. Its old website at this address has been given an extreme makeover and now lists over 330 books, pamphlets and other
Kiraz Janicke Sydney-based human rights activist Donna Mulhearn has made three separate visits to Iraq in the last 18 months. She first visited Iraq during the US invasion in March 2003, serving as a "human shield". Mulhearn was in Fallujah
MELBOURNE — At a meeting to launch its social justice charter for 2005, Hume City Council reaffirmed its opposition to the proposed Broadmeadows immigration detention centre. Councillor Gary Jungwirth, the HCC's portfolio councillor for social
NEWCASTLE — Environmental group Rising Tide staged an evening protest in Civic Park on June 21 to highlight the damaging impact of climate change. More than 200 people gathered for the winter solstice, symbolising a period of peak energy
Jim McIlroy, Brisbane Workers in the federal government's main social welfare agency, Centrelink, face a major struggle in their campaign for a new enterprise agreement this year. During negotiations between Centrelink and the Community and Public
NEWCASTLE — "The trade union movement is at a crossroads — we can stick or heads in the sand, we can throw up our hands and promise to be good or we can lead the fight against Howard and make these laws inoperable." This is what Steve Murphy
SYDNEY — On June 9, refugee-rights activist Sunil Menon was committed to stand trial in August on a charge of aiding and abetting an Iranian asylum seeker to make a false statement in the course of obtaining an Australian passport. Rezai Mohsen
Graham Matthews, Sydney On June 22, 70 people attended a "Stand Up and Speak Out" meeting at the Parramatta Town Hall. Organised by the Coalition Against the Howard Government, the meeting involved a broad coalition of unions, the University of
Tony Iltis, Melbourne The Timor Sea Justice Campaign (TSJC) held a public information evening on June 23 at the Collingwood Town Hall to explain the current state of negotiations between Australia and East Timor. Hosted by Melbourne comedian Rod
MELBOURNE — A local fight-back against PM John Howard's industrial relations "reforms" kicked off in Melbourne's western suburbs on June 22, when a newly formed coalition of community and union members organised a 100-strong forum in Footscray.
SYDNEY — On June 20, the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) council voted 13-to-three in favour of introducing full-fee-paying places for up to 35% of domestic undergraduate places next year. Michelle Sparks, president of the UTS Students
Sue Bull, Geelong Long-time political activist and socialist Tim Gooden was declared elected unopposed to the Geelong Trades Hall Council's secretary position on June 21. His tenure will be for five years. This is a significant victory for union

Sue Bull, Geelong

Long-time political activist and socialist Tim Gooden was declared elected unopposed to the Geelong Trades Hall Council's secretary position on June 21. His tenure will be for five years.

World

Malik Miah, San Francisco The latest setback for US workers' right to secure retirement pensions occurred in the airline industry with the termination last month of four defined benefit pension plans at United Airlines (UAL), the world's second
Rohan Pearce In the lead-up to Afghanistan's September parliamentary elections, additional foreign troops, most likely including Australians, are being deployed to prop up the central administration of President Hamid Karzai. Karzai relies on
Norman Brewer, Bremen It took three things to trigger the historic and promising unity process between the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and the Electoral Alternative for Jobs and Social Justice (WASG), which was formed through last year's
On June 19, the Observer published leaked extracts from the US submission to the G8 action plan on climate change. They revealed that Washington intended to force the removal of any reference to the fact that climate change is a 'serious threat to
Eva Cheng Hong Kong's phoney election for a new chief executive took a farcical twist on June 16 when the legally required secret ballot was done away with, leaving no possibility for even isolated protest votes to be cast. With strong
Katie Cherrington The Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, which is working to change the political and economic structures of Venezuelan society in favour of the poor majority, is also creating a mini-revolution in the nation's labour movement.
Roger Annis & John Riddell, Toronto Revelations contained in a federal commission of inquiry, headed by Justice John Gomery, have deeply shaken the stability of capitalist politics in Canada, and placed the issue of Quebec independence again at the
Feminist Gloria Steinam joined around 30 people to protest the opening of De Beer's first US store, telling media that the "Bushmen are the real diamonds of the Kalahari". The Botswanan government has been evicting the Bushmen from their traditional
A May 21 attempt to transfer a Saharawi prisoner from Laayoune, in Western Sahara, to Morocco's north has sparked a wave of protest. Morocco has occupied Western Sahara since 1975. Protests on May 24-27 against the transfer were brutally attacked by
Rohan Pearce US troops shot Farqad Mohammed Khinaisar at 8am on May 29. She was 15 minutes away from the Baghdad high school she taught at when a convoy of soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division opened fire on her car. Her death was the end result
Alex Miller On June 15, the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) lodged a bill in the Scottish Parliament to require councils to provide free, nutritious meals to every Scottish schoolchild. The bill, lodged by SSP member of the Scottish parliament
Three legal experts appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in February to investigate Jakarta's trials of those responsible for atrocities during East Timor's 1999 independence referendum has described the trials, in which all but two accused
As Mexico redeployed a massive number of troops in the Chiapas region, around the 1111 villages declared to be in self-government with the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN), communiques released on June 19 and 20 by EZLN leader
Stuart Munckton & Roberto Jorquera On June 21, Venezuelan interior minister Jesse Chacon announced that Venezuelan security had uncovered a plot to assassinate President Hugo Chavez. He said the plot was linked to those who organised an
Federico Fuentes On June 19, the national directorate of the Worker's Party (PT) of Brazil called on its members to organise public actions and other events to denounce "the unscrupulous campaign of false accusations and lies" being waged by
On June 21, President Alfredo Palacio declared that Ecuador will not be signing a treaty granting US troops in the country immunity from prosecution for crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court. The decision, which followed a
Zimbabwean asylum seekers in detention centres across England launched a mass hunger strike on June 21, in an attempt to force the British government to stop deporting Zimbabwean asylum seekers. While, on June 23, foreign secretary Jack Straw
Ben Reid There is growing political turmoil in the Philippines as the government of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has become increasingly besieged by critics. Broad coalitions of political forces are beginning to emerge calling for her ouster
Rohan Pearce The May 13 massacre in the Uzbek city of Andijan proved acutely embarrassing for Washington. Uzbek President Islam Karimov has been an important ally in the White House's "war on terror" and the regime has received substantial US aid
Glenn Walker Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold is facing increasingly fierce opposition to its proposed bi-national "Pascua Lama" open-pit mine on the border of Chile and Argentina. The powerful multinational, notorious in Australia for its
On June 21, communities across the Niger Delta, supported by Friends of the Earth Nigeria, filed legal action in Nigeria's High Court against Shell, Chevron-Texaco and Nigerian oil companies, to stop the flaring (burning off) of associated gas. While
Doug Lorimer In stark contrast to the endless coverage of the supposed "rescue" of Australian-born hostage Douglas Wood, most media has been silent on revelations of hundreds of Iraqi Arabs and Turkmen kidnapped by US-backed Kurdish police and
On June 21, 200 people, representing 127 organisations, gathered at Malaysia's Parliament House to protest the proposed privatisation of the country's water supply management. Malaysia's ruling National Front party is rapidly privatising basic

Editorial

PM John Howard's new industrial relations laws will be disastrous for working people. The changes are not simply an attack on the wages and conditions of today's workers, they are an attempt to render workers powerless and allow bosses free reign in

Culture

Australian Biography: Jack Mundey — As secretary of the NSW branch of the Builders Labourers Federation, Jack Mundey led the union's famous "green bans", a conservation campaign that redefined the development of Australia's major cities. SBS,
Pablo Neruda: A Passion for LifeBy Adam FeinsteinBloomsbury, 2004497 pages, $65 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Pablo Neruda was a poet who won the Nobel prize for literature. He was also a lifelong, if increasingly troubled, Stalinist. As Adam
BY JOHN REYNOLDS Help support the development of progressive and radical TV — Actively Radical TV is offering the Art Resistance Community TV weekly program for purchase on DVD or VHS. The Art Resistance hour is broadcast 9.30-10.30pm on Sunday
BY SARAH STEPHEN Charmaine Chew is one of hundreds of presenters who volunteer their time for Melbourne community radio 3CR's 132 programs that go to air each week. Chew presents the Borderlines program at 5-5.30pm each Wednesday, which deals with
Live radio plays: July 3, 7pm, The Body in the Basement and July 10, 7pm, Sit on My FacetsThe Studio, Sydney Opera House$20/$15, for bookings phone (02) 9250 7777 or visit <http://sydneyoperahouse.com/thestudio> Feel the drama. Live the