Issue 633

Australia

Trent Hawkins, Perth Around 150 university students gathered at Curtin University between June 29 and July 1 for the National Union of Students annual education conference. Much of the discussion focused on the federal Coalition government's
Leslie Richmond, Adelaide On July 5, 5000 Australian Education Union members from schools, preschools and TAFE campuses rallied at Parliament House, closing half of one of the city's main streets. The state-wide half-day strike was called in
Margarita Windisch, Melbourne On July 5, anti-war and Timor Sea oil protesters targeted foreign minister Alexander Downer over Australia's theft of East Timor's oil and gas and its ongoing role in the US-led occupation of Iraq. Downer was
Kerryn Williams, Sydney "Keep them out" declared the front-page headline of the July 6 Parramatta Sun. The article referred to a letter sent to the suburban newspaper by a university academic, warning that an increase in the settlement of Sudanese
No Sir!, James Courtney"> USS Kitty Hawk targeted SYDNEY — On July 7, activists held a day of peaceful protest at the USS Kitty Hawk, which was docked at Woolloomooloo. At an evening vigil in the shadow of the vessel, activists laid out
SYDNEY — Thirty people attended a rally outside the Glebe Coroners Court on July 5 to demand the reopening of the coronial inquiry into the death of young Redfern Aboriginal man Thomas "TJ" Hickey. On February 14, 2004, TJ, aged 17, was impaled
Jim McIlroy, Brisbane Protesters continued to occupy the site of a proposed Woolworths supermarket development at the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Maleny, defiant in the face of an eviction order served on them on July 6. The protesters, who
Lisa Macdonald, Sydney Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) members and supporters in Australia commemorated the life of the party's former general secretary George Hawi at a memorial meeting in Auburn Town Hall in Sydney's west on July 3. Hawi was
More than 400 people marched in Melbourne on July 8 for NAIDOC week. Chanting 'Always was, always will be Aboriginal land', protesters demanded land rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Two-hundred people rallied in Darwin, where
Susan Price, Sydney Campbelltown carpenter Phil worked for Masterton Homes for more than 26 years. This year the company decided to place him on an individual contract. Phil refused to lose many of his award rights, including overtime and penalty
Jon Lamb, Darwin There is mounting pressure from the federal government and mining companies for a new uranium mine in the Northern Territory. While the territory Labor government has stated it is opposed to a new uranium mine, how far it will go
Chris Slee, Melbourne Fifty people attended a July 4 meeting organised by the Socialist Alliance to discuss working-class resistance in Australia today. The theme of the meeting was "Bad laws are meant to be broken", and the discussion was
Nick Everett, Canberra "[Industrial relations minister] Kevin Andrews and [Department of Employment and Workplace Relations secretary Peter] Boxall are writing the new rules for public sector workers", Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU)
PERTH — On July 8, a queer-rights action protesting the federal Coalition government's attacks on student and trade unions, and calling on the government to repeal all homophobic laws — in particular the same-sex marriage ban — was brutality

World

James Balowski, Jakarta Hundreds of Acehnese residing in the Indonesian capital Jakarta demonstrated on July 4 in support of the current peace negotiations being held in Helsinki, Finland, between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh
Doug Lorimer On July 4, right-wing Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, a staunch supporter of Washington's global "war on terror", announced that at an hour-long meeting with the US ambassador he had demanded that the US government show "full
Marce Cameron On May 1, Cuba's socialist government raised the country's minimum wage — from 100 to 225 pesos per month — and sharply increased pensions for retirees. This was followed on July 1 by additional pay rises of 57 pesos for doctors
Doug Lorimer On July 2, 50 representatives and activists from an array of left groups, workers' unions and social movements, met in Auckland and founded a Workers Charter movement. "The voice of working people isn't reflected in the agendas of
On July 6, the Santiago Appeals Court ruled 11 to 10 to strip former dictator Augusto Pinochet of his presidential immunity, and investigate his involvement in the killing of 119 political prisoners, and a 1975 cover up of the deaths. Pinochet took
Norman Brewer, Bremen On July 3, the extraordinary national congress of the Electoral Alternative for Jobs and Social Justice (WASG) voted overwhelmingly to stand candidates on the "open list" of the PDS (Party for Democratic Socialism), which will
On June 28, Pastor Julius Ngayami, a spokesperson for the Ogiek people, appealed to the Kenyan government to stop evicting the Ogiek from their traditional home in the Mu forest. The Kenyan government has evicted more than 100 Ogiek families, many in
Marcus Greville, London The US-led invasion of Iraq had as its central aim the installation of a pro-US Iraqi regime that would give international legitimacy to the takeover of Iraq's nationalised oil industry by the big Western, particularly US,
Across Britain, anti-war and left-wings groups were quick to condemn the July 7 bombings in London. The Stop the War Coalition, which has organised some of the world's biggest anti-war protests in London in recent years, was quick to respond,
Neville Spencer On July 1, following an internal discussion among the indigenous villagers who make up its base, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) issued the "Sixth Declaration of the Lacondon Jungle". The statement declares the EZLN's
On July 1, the Vietnamese government introduced a new health insurance policy under which the Vietnam Social Insurance agency (VSI) will cover all medical costs for insured patients. Previously, insured patients had to pay 20% of medical treatment
A delegation of Norwegian nationals was deported on July 5 by Moroccan authorities from the long-contested Western Sahara region. The delegation, led by Arne Lynngard, chairperson of the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights, included representatives of
On July 6, a private corporate viewing of the British National Museum exhibition on diamonds sponsored by De Beers was protested by supporters of the Kalahari Bushmen, including actor Julie Christie. The Bushmen are fighting eviction from the
On June 26, the San Jose Mercury News published emails suggesting that the newly created Information Synchronization, Knowledge Management and Intelligence National Guard unit had been spying on members of the peace groups CodePink, Raging Grannies
Alex Miller On June 30, four of the Scottish Socialist Party's parliamentarians (MSPs) were expelled from the Scottish Parliament after a protest about the Scottish Executive's failure to uphold a previous resolution securing the right of anti-G8
Alison Dellit Zimbabwean asylum seekers have entered their third week of hunger strike, as their campaign to stop the Home Office deporting them gathers momentum. The British government resumed deporting failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe in
Stuart Munckton Venezuela hosted an energy summit with officials from 16 Caribbean countries on June 29 that furthered President Hugo Chavez's plan to create an alternative trading bloc known as the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).
Federico Fuentes, Caracas The Venezuelan government has announced plans for a widespread restructure of the nation's law enforcement agencies following a series of scandals. Most shocking was the late June murder of three students from the
Alex Bainbridge, Gleneagles It began with a protest by parliamentarians from the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) on June 30 and continued non-stop until the successful protest of around 10,000 on July 6 — the first day of the G8 summit. In
At its July 5 meeting, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), an alliance that groups Russia and China with the former Soviet Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, called on the US and its NATO allies to
Roberto Jorquera, Caracas On June 26, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez hosted his weekly TV show from the city of Coro, about six hours west of Caracas on the Caribbean coast. The 226th episode of Hello President was dedicated to the launching of
On June 28, Greenpeace activists and Greenpeace's Dutch branch were convicted of "terrorist"-related trespass. Greenpeace was fined 4000 euros. The charges related to an October 2003 action in which the activists hung a banner protesting genetic
Julian Coppens, London Riding the number 30 bus to the annual Marxism conference today, the day after a bus on that route was attacked, I caught a tiny glimpse of the terror in terrorism. When I went upstairs to sit down as usual, it was empty. As
Alex Bainbridge, Chicago The packed out "Rally against war and empire" was the highlight of the Socialism 2005 conference, held here on July 1-4. The 1000-strong conference was organised by the International Socialist Organisation (ISO) — the
Kim Bullimore Israel has begun a new wave of demolitions against Palestinian houses and buildings in occupied East Jerusalem. Earlier this year, the Israeli Jerusalem Municipality demolished 37 Palestinian homes. According to the Israeli
On June 30, the Paraguayan lower house, dominated by the ruling Colorado Party, unanimously voted down a bill calling for the privatisation of state-owned utilities that had been passed by the Senate. During the vote, the building was besieged by

Culture

Rhymes For TreasonThe Welfare PoetsOrder from <http://www.welfarepoets.com> REVIEW BY NORM DIXON In the mid-1990s, Hector Luis Rivera and Ray Ramirez — musicians, poets and political activists just graduated from Cornell University in
Boy OverboardAdapted by Patricia Cornelius from Morris Gleitzman's novelAustralian Theatre for Young PeopleJuly 19-23, Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres, corner of Church and Market streets, Parramatta, Sydney$21.65/$16.65, members $11.65Bookings,
Was it on the day when my father was executed in front of our house?Was it when they beat my mum because she went to a male doctor? Or was it when the Mullah's son said that he must have me for himself?When did I become a refugee?Was it when the boy
Bride of SilenceDirected by Doan Minh Phuong and Doan Thanh NghiaMelbourne Film Festival, July 20-August 5 REVIEW BY BRENDAN DOYLE Ten years in the making, Bride of Silence, which screened recently to full houses at the Sydney Film Festival, is
Unconstitutional — Details the unprecedented way that the civil liberties of US citizens have been infringed upon, curtailed and rolled back since 9/11 — all in the name of national security. SBS, Saturday, July 16, 7.30pm. Dramatically Black