Issue 636

Australia

NEWCASTLE — On the morning of July 29, 200 workers rallied outside the office of federal Coalition MP Bob Baldwin in the town of Raymond in a display of solidarity with the nine-week-long strike by maintenance workers employed by Boeing at the
Sue Bolton Victoria's South West Trades and Labour Council is organising a community rally in Warrnambool on August 6 against PM John Howard's plans to take the axe to workers' rights. SWTLC assistant secretary Margaret Brabender told Green Left
Kerry Smith A peaceful walk into Wandella State Forest, near the town of Cobargo in south-eastern NSW, turned into a terrifying experience for about 25 people on July 23. The adults and children were trapped in the forest for more than three hours
ARMIDALE — Since the July 1 Sky Channel meeting and rally to defend workers' rights, attended by 500-600 workers, unionists have been meeting weekly to organise a family picnic and rally on August 7, and to inform the community about the effects
HOBART — The Hobart Organic Food Co-operative distributed free food to 60 people in a Food not Bombs activity on Parliament House Lawns on July 22. Food not Bombs is a volunteer organisation dedicated to creating a world free from coercion and
BRISBANE — Thirty opponents of the controversial Woolworths construction site at Maleny, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, picketed the offices of the Queensland environment and planning minister Desley Boyle and Premier Peter Beattie on July 29.
BRISBANE — "The trade union movement is facing the biggest challenge in its history" from the Coalition government's planned anti-union laws, environmentalist and former NSW Builders Labourers Federation secretary Jack Mundey said at the July 24
NEWCASTLE — John Pilger's latest film Stealing a Nation was screened on July 23, and given media coverage by several local papers. The film tells the story of Diego Garcia, an island territory of Britain whose population was forced off their land
MELBOURNE — Rob Stary, the lawyer defending Jack Thomas against terrorism related charges, told a July 27 public forum on the "war on terror" that the government prosecutor had applied for Thomas' trial to be held in camera. "We think there
MELBOURNE — A fundraising event for a Victorian speaking tour by Letty Scott in November was held on July 21. Letty is campaigning for justice for her husband, Douglas Scott, who died in Darwin's Berrima prison 20 years ago. She believes that he
BRISBANE — The US government faces "deficits" on a number of fronts in its occupation of Iraq, leading US peace activist Phyllis Bennis told a public forum at the Avid Reader Bookshop on July 27. The forum was sponsored by the Brisbane Social Forum
DARWIN — A 20-year-old Aboriginal man was confined to a wheelchair on July 16 after being dragged behind a police wagon until the toenails and skin were torn off his feet. Police spokespeople told the July 24 Sunday Territorian that the incident
Chris Johnson, Queenscliffe They came in red coats, scarves and hats, wrapped in red blankets and waving red flags. One-hundred-and-fifty residents of the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria called on the state Labor government to reverse its decision
ADELAIDE — Local bands Traveling Sacks, Mandala Project, Candle Wax and Ezulai, and musicians from Spacial Monkey donated their time and music to help raise more than $500 for Green Left Weekly and the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network on
HOBART — Twenty people held banners and placards and chanted "Medicare, not warfare!" and "Bring the troops home now!" alongside a major road on July 26. The protesters, organised by the socialist youth organisation Resistance, were expressing

World

Duroyan Fertl, Havana On July 26, the Cuban people celebrated the 52nd anniversary of the failed attack on Moncada Barracks, an attack led by a 26-year-old lawyer named Fidel Castro. The 1953 attack was designed to inspire Cubans to rise up
Alex Miller On July 22, a 27-year-old Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes, was shot eight times by armed police in London — seven times in the head and once in the shoulder. The police later admitted that de Menezes had been unarmed and had no
Vikki John I am deeply saddened and in shock to find out that Francis Ona passed away suddenly on July 24 at his village in Guava, Bougainville, at the age of 52. Although I had not met Mr. Ona in person, I was privileged from 1993-95, with other
On July 27, the first ever solidarity brigade to Venezuela began, organised by the Australia Venezuela Solidarity Network. The brigade aims to give Australians a taste of the unfolding Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, a process led by President
At a joint press conference with visiting US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld on July 26, Kyrgystan's defence minister announced that his government would continue to allow Washington to station around 1000 US military personnel at an airport near
On July 26, more than 1000 Afghans protested at the US military base in Bagram, chanting "Die America!" and throwing stones. The protesters attempted to break down an outer gate, demanding that eight detainees who were arrested without consultation
To the chagrin of right-wing media pundits in Britain, Karl Marx has been voted "greatest ever philosopher" by listeners in a five-week online poll run by the BBC Radio 4 program In Our Time. The July 21 Weekly Worker reported that the In Our Time
Eva Cheng Chevron Corp, the second biggest US oil company, which is competing fiercely with China National Offshore Oil Corp to take over a smaller US oil concern, UNOCAL, has been found to have made big donations to vocal CNOOC critics, some of
Students were brutally attacked and tear-gassed by police at the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on July 27, following a series of clashes over a new grading system at the university. A number of students sustained serious injuries
Doug Lorimer "They just keep getting stronger. Despite months of assurances that their forces were on the wane, the guerrillas and terrorists battling the American-backed enterprise here appear to be growing more violent, more resilient and more
Political science professor Kenneth Good, who has taught at the University of Botswana for 15 years, lost an appeal in the Botswana courts on July 27 over his deportation from the country. Good was deported on May 31 as a "threat to national
On July 27, the South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) launched 'Project Escalate', a campaign for a living wage for its members. The strike, marches and pickets were well-supported in the main cities, with more than 4000 marching in Cape
On July 29, hundreds of people marched to the US embassy to protest the neoliberal policies of President Oscar Berger and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which was passed by US Congress in June. Protesters called for higher wages,
James Balowski, Jakarta Despite earlier opposition, leaders of Indonesia's parliament now appear to be willing to allow provincial-based political parties to be established in Aceh. This was a major sticking point in finalising the peace agreement
On July 28, the Islamic Human Rights Commission reported that attacks on Asian-Britons reported to it, and not to the police, had increased 13-fold since July 7 - from an average of 6-7 a week, to 170 in two weeks. The Muslim Safety Forum, which
On July 25, public servants rejected the acting prime minister's call to return to work, as the fourth day of their strike brought many government agencies to a standstill. Two-thousand workers marched to parliament in Nukualofa to present a letter
Alex Bainbridge, Toronto Two-hundred people, mainly academics and graduate students, participated in the first international anniversary conference of the California-based red-green journal Capitalism, Nature, Socialism over the July 22-24
Kim Bullimore Once hailed as the father of the Israeli settler movement in occupied Palestine, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is now regarded by the settlers as their enemy. With August 15 expected to be the date on which Israel begins to
Max Lane "The mobilisations on July 23 when Arroyo gave her state of the nation address to Congress were the biggest since the anti-Arroyo actions began", Sonny Melencio told Green Left Weekly by phone on July 27. Melencio is vice-chair of Bukluran
Max Lane East Timor's local elections are now in their eighth month. In Aileu, close to Dili, the Socialist Party of Timor (PST) achieved second place after Fretilin, pushing the Democrat Party into third place. Overall, in the districts contested
Raul Bassi "The end of the last hope", was the way that a worker from Rio de Janeiro expressed her disillusionment with the Workers Party (PT) government of President Lucio Inacio "Lula" da Silva. "There is corruption, and the president is

Culture

Turkeysthanksgivingandthose yankee doodleswiththeir big toysboomand gloomthe new centurionscast asliberatorswithno-man's landgrowing larger every daywhilecorpses pile upmulti-culturallyallreeking of democracy's deceptionandonly the desertkeeping it
REVIEW BY SARAH STEPHEN Code 46Directed by Michael WinterbottomStarring Samantha Morton and Tim RobbinsOpens nationally August 4 Code 46 is a love story, but it's not your usual love story. It has as a backdrop some fascinating and very
Satchmo Blows up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold WarBy Penny M. Von EschenHarvard University Press, 2004329 pages, $60 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Louis Armstrong was one of dozens of US jazz musicians sponsored by the US State
War of the WorldsDirected by Steven SpielbergStarring Tom Cruise REVIEW BY DAVE RILEY I think Steven Spielberg's movie Empire of the Sun is one of the great films of the 1980s. So when it comes to expecting something special from Spielberg, I