Issue 635

Australia

GREAT BARRIER REEF — This is a recent photograph of live bombing at Raymond Island in the mouth of Shoalwater Bay, inside the Great Barrier Reef marine national park. Raymond Island has been a regular target for ship-to-shore bombardments and
Sue Bull, Geelong As the campaign against PM John Howard's industrial relations legislation hots up, 88 women unionists in Geelong met over dinner to discuss the fight ahead. The July 21 dinner brought together women from all sections of the
James Vassilopoulos, Melbourne A forklift driver in Footscray ran out of petrol on his way to work. When he turned up, the boss told him that he was sacked, mistakenly believing that the new industrial relations laws had already been introduced, so
Lynda Hansen & Jim McIlroy, Brisbane "We need unity of all the elements of the campaign against Howard's anti-union laws: publicity, community alliances and industrial action", Sue Bolton, the Socialist Alliance's national trade union work
Kathy Newnam, Darwin The campaign against the federal government's planned nuclear dump in the Northern Territory is gathering pace. Anti-nuclear campaigners in Darwin have begun to organise a coalition against the dump and are planning a public
Bernie Wunsch, Lismore On July 19, Australian Council of Trade Unions president Sharan Burrow made a whirlwind one-day protest tour of the regional NSW town of Lismore. As part of the campaign to oppose the federal Coalition government's changes to
BRISBANE — Around 400 residents and supporters of the campaign against the controversial Woolworths supermarket development in the small Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Maleny marched on July 16. The project threatens dozens of platypus burrows.
Fiona Alcock, Sydney On July 20, two children — 12-year-old Ian Hwang and his six-year-old sister Janey — were released with their mother, Young Lee, from the Villawood immigration detention centre after the immigration department (DIMIA)
CANBERRA — Unions ACT will hold a protest rally against the federal Coalition government's proposed industrial laws at the opening of the new Senate at 10am on August 9. Australian Council of Trade Unions president Sharan Burrow will address the
ADELAIDE — Thirty people, mostly high school students, marched despite a torrential downpour on July 1. The protesters condemned Australia's hypocrisy in creating refugees through military aggression and exploitation of the Third World, then
Kerry Smith The Nauru consulate-gGeneral informed Greens senator Kerry Nettle on July 20 that she would not be granted a visa to visit the remaining 32 asylum seekers in the Australian detention centre on the Pacific Island. The
Kerry Smith Environmentalists and other activists are celebrating following the Victorian Supreme Court's initial rejection of woodchipping giant Gunns Ltd's lawsuit against forest protection campaigners in Tasmania. Last December, Gunns sued 20
Marlene Obeid, Sydney The US government claims that investigations by the US Navy's Criminal Investigative Service have found no evidence that two Australian citizens, David Hicks and Mamdouh Habid, were abused while held at the US military prison
Liam Mitchell, Sydney A recent case of workers being forced to sign AWAs has ended with a victory after a two-and-a-half week campaign by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU). When workers at Masterton Homes were told they
Sue Bull, Ballarat A long campaign by three unions at the University of Ballarat for an enterprise bargaining agreement is coming to a head. After 19 months of negotiations, a no-holds-barred fight is on for a union-based agreement; management is

World

Israeli security forces threatened to put "a bullet in the head" of peaceful Palestinian, Israeli and international peace protesters in Asira village in the Occupied West Bank on July 23. According to a statement issued by the International
Federico Fuentes With the second overthrow of a president in less than two years, Bolivia's social movements have paved the way for a new round of presidential and national assembly elections, which will be held on December 4. In the July 4
In the first strike in the tiny country's history, its 3000 public servants walked off the job on July 21, demanding the government reconsider huge disparities in public sector salaries introduced in this year's budget. The government refused a
Norman Brewer, Bremen According to an Infratest-dimap poll published on July 20, the new Left Party is likely to get 20% in Saarland, the home state of Oskar Lafontaine, in the September 18 national elections. The ruling Social-Democratic Party,
James Balowski, Jakarta A historic peace agreement has been reached between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) following a fifth round of negotiations in Helsinki, Finland, which ended on July 17. But strong opposition to
John Miller, Washington DC While media baron Rupert Murdoch toasted Australian PM John Howard at an exclusive business executives' dinner in the US capital on July 18, protesters outside decried his bullying of East Timor over maritime petroleum
Brett Prowse, Sana'a Violence erupted in Yemen on July 20, as the government's structural adjustment "reforms" — implemented at the demand of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund — resulted in the long-expected removal of subsidies
The Moroccan government continues to clamp down on dissent in Western Sahara, the country it occupies, following a pro-independence upsurge in protest in May-June. On July 21, five Saharawi human rights workers were arrested. All of the men have been
Alex Miller Following the expulsion of four of its parliamentarians from the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) has initiated legal action to challenge the ban. The four members of the Scottish parliament (MSPs) — Colin
Max Lane "Most polls are showing at the moment that 80% of Filipinos want President Gloria Arroyo to go", Professor Francisco Nemenzo told Green Left Weekly by phone from Manila. Nemenzo was recently elected as chairperson of a new left-wing
A planned three-week "border patrol" by the racist Minutemen movement appears to have ended less than 24 hours after it began, after the anti-immigrant vigilantes were outnumbered by peaceful protesters. The racists were organised by the Border
Stuart Munckton Broadcasting his weekly Hello President television show live from a newly worker-run cacao processing plant, on July 15 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced plans to expropriate privately owned companies that have been closed
On July 14, the British Home Office announced that it was suspending the deportation of Zimbabwean asylum seekers pending the outcome of an August 4 High Court test case. Earlier on July 14, in another test case, an asylum seeker applied to the High
Kim Bullimore While the rest of the world has been distracted by the chaos of the Gaza Disengagement, the Israeli government has quietly sped up the construction of the illegal apartheid wall in East Jerusalem. Under international law, East
On July 20, around 200 textile workers began marching from Kashan to Tehran to demand payment of their wages. By the evening their numbers had swelled to 600. More than 2500 textile workers in Kashan are on strike because they have not been paid for
On July 20, miners at Konkola Copper Mines, angered by reports that a strike at the mine had been abandoned, erupted. The miners are demanding a 100% salary increase, and were frustrated when the unions representing them agreed to a 30% increase.
Eva Cheng The June 23 US$18.5 billion proposal by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to take over US oil firm UNOCAL, an attempt to outbid a US$16.4 billion offer from the US's second biggest oil company ChevronTexaco, triggered an
Stuart Munckton "Zamora took Caracas" on July 11, according to a July 13 Venezuela Analysis report. More than 6000 peasants and agrarian workers marched to demand an end to the persecution of those who were fighting, as peasant hero Ezequiel Zamaro
Doug Lorimer The day after his landslide victory in the Kyrgyzstan's July 17 presidential election, Kurmanbek Bakiyev told a press conference the presence of a US military base in the Central Asian republic should be reconsidered. Bakiyev was the
Nick Griffen, the leader of the far-right racist British National Party, pled not guilty on July 21 to four charges of stirring up racial hatred as a result of the July 15 BBC screening of a documentary Secret Agent, which documented an investigation
On July 11, Port Moresby-based workers at Telikom marched to the prime minister's office, where they told chief secretary Joshua Kalinoe that they were on "indefinite holiday", and would switch off the county's telecommunications. The workers are
In a midnight raid on July 21, Zimbabwean police forcibly removed hundreds of homeless people from churches in Bulawayo, taking them to the Hellensvale transit camp, set up to house those made homeless by the government's crackdown on illegal
On July 15, half-a-million public sector workers joined a one-day strike to protest cuts to their pensions, a wages freeze and higher taxes. Organised by the Common Front of Civil Service Unions (FP), the strike involved garbage collectors, transport
On July 18, around 30 doctors walked out of Yarmouk Hospital, which takes many of Baghdad's worst cases, to protest Iraqi soldiers' behaviour during a raid. More than 100 patients were left without doctors. The problem occurred on July 17, when

Culture

The TakeBy Avi Lewis and Naomi KleinBarner Alpa Productions/National Film Board of Canada, 2004 REVIEW BY SEAN CAIN With the popularity of such documentaries as Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott's The Corporation and Michael Moore's Fahrenheit
The Age of Commodity: Water Privatisation in Southern AfricaEdited by David A. McDonald and Greg RuitersEarthscan, 2005303 pages, $55 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON One billion people in the world lack access to safe drinking water and two billion
NailedWritten by Caleb LewisDirected by David BertholdStarring Ursula Yovich, Tim Draxl, Wayne Pygram and Annie ByronGriffin Theatre CompanyThe Stables Theatre, Kings Cross, SydneyUntil August 14 REVIEW BY PETER BOYLE Caleb Lewis predicted his
Masterpiece on Saturday: Sheherazad & the Others — Some outstanding women of Iranian cinema discuss the cultural, social, political and cinematic histories of their country. SBS, Saturday, July 30, 3.25pm. Blowing up Paradise — In the year of