Issue 637

Australia

Farida Iqbal, Perth The Western Australian Labor government is granting exploration leases for mining tenements holding uranium. The government claims that the leases include a condition to prevent uranium mining from occurring, however the
CANBERRA — One-hundred-and-fifty Community and Public Sector Union members rallied on August 5 alongside Department of Employment and Workplace Relations workers who are campaigning to have their certified agreement ratified. The rally marched
Kathy Newnam and Jon Lamb, Darwin Federal resources minister Ian Macfarlane announced on August 4 that the federal Coalition government will seize control of the approval process for new uranium mines in the Northern Territory. After meeting with
Jim McIlroy& Mike Byrne, Brisbane Prominent Indian anti-neoliberal globalisation campaigner Arundhati Roy's saying, "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way", was the theme for the fourth Brisbane Social Forum (BSF), held at the
SYDNEY — Transport Workers Union members stopped traffic in the CBD on July 28 as they dragged wooden pallets up George Street to protest against the federal government's planned anti-worker and anti-union laws (pictured). "Ultimately it will be
DARWIN — Phillip Ruddock's visit to Darwin on August 3 was met by a protest in support of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks. When protester Cindy Watson questioned Ruddock about the protection due to Australian citizens, he replied that any right
Lynda Hansen, Brisbane On August 3, about 600 Qbuild workers across Queensland voted to implement work bans on administrative work as part of their campaign for a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). Qbuild is the agency responsible for
MELBOURNE — Brunswick Town Hall was full for Melbourne's Global Solidarity Fiesta on July 30. An annual event now in its fourth year, this Green Left Weekly fundraiser was, once again, a great night out. Guests heard greetings from Joan Doyle
Jim McIlroy and Pip Hinman The US government faces "deficits" on a number of fronts in its occupation of Iraq, peace activist and author Phyllis Bennis commented at a meeting sponsored by the Brisbane Social Forum and Just Peace Queensland on July
Lisa Macdonald, Sydney A July 30 emergency public meeting titled "The war on Islam intensifies" attracted 300 people to the Auburn Town Hall. Soadad Doureihi from Hizb ut-Tahrir, the meeting's organiser, described the oppression of Muslim
Sue Bull, Ballarat On July 30, 500 workers voiced their anger over the federal Coalition government's proposed changes to industrial relations laws at a community rally organised by the Ballarat Trades and Labour Council. BTLC secretary Graham
DARWIN — Two political activists were convicted on July 29 for trespass after they participated in a peaceful protest against PM John Howard during his visit to Darwin in September 2004. Justin Tutty and Stuart Highway were arrested at the protest
Thank you supporters, we have raised nearly half our target! Peter Boyle In just three weeks of campaigning, Green Left Weekly's supporters have raised $46,630 for the Emergency Appeal. This is a spectacular response. Certainly, John Pilger's
Sue Bolton, Melbourne When General Motors-Holden's contract with Pilkington Glass to supply windscreens and back windows for cars ends at the beginning of 2006, 120 jobs will be lost from the Geelong and Laverton plants in Victoria, and the Pooraka
Following the success of the June 30-July 1 nationwide union protests against the Howard government's proposed anti-union laws, in which up to 350,000 people participated, the ACTU executive has called a national day of protest action on Tuesday,
SYDNEY — Roland Oldham, president of MoruroeTatou, an association of former workers from the French nuclear test sites of Moruroa and Tangataufa, told a meeting on August 3 that no Tahitian worker had yet received compensation for their part in the
Sue Bull, Ballarat At a meeting on August 5, 90 National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members employed at Ballarat University vowed to fight any attempts by their administration to stand them down for bans imposed as part of a dispute over a new
SYDNEY — On August 5, 300 people attended a forum at Macquarie University to discuss the university's decision to ban racist academic Andrew Fraser from teaching his classes in the public law department. Speakers from several university
Susan Price, Sydney Carmen Walacz Vel Walewska picked mushrooms for a living until she was sacked on July 27 for resisting signing an individual contract. The contract reduced her pay to $16.50 per hour, below the award rate, and removed all
Sue Bolton The Labor Party has again undercut the union movement's campaign against the Coalition government's plans for broad-sweeping attacks on workers' rights. On July 29, in response to a journalist's question about whether a Labor
Susan Price, Sydney The announcement by two key NSW Labor MPs — former treasurer and deputy premier Andrew Refshauge and former planning minister Craig Knowles — that they would be following former Premier Bob Carr into political retirement has
BRISBANE — "While we're fighting the IR laws, socialists need to never lose sight of the goal of replacing the capitalist system entirely", well-known left-wing historian Humphrey McQueen told a public forum held at the Brisbane Activist Centre on
Marce Cameron, Sydney Without any public consultation, Sydney City Council (SCC) voted on August 1 to allow a council sub-committee to consider a development application that would grant "consent to enable the lodgement of a development application
Sibylle Kaczorek, Sydney On August 2, Sister Susan Connelly, assistant director of the Mary MacKillop Institute for East Timor Studies, said that "fairness" should be the overarching principle in the David versus Goliath stand-off that
Anti-nuclear and anti-war activists rallied and marched around Australia, and the world, on August 6 to mark the 60th anniversary of the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. The Sydney rally (pictured) called on the Australian government to withdraw

World

The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) will embark on an indefinite strike from August 8 in support of its demands for a living wage. This follows a three-day strike that began on July 27, along with large marches in most major cities. On
Lee Sustar, Chicago Call it the wishbone strategy — grab hold of a big part of the labour movement, give a hard pull and hope to end up with the biggest piece. That's the method of the seven-union Change to Win coalition, whose three biggest
Speaking at an event in New Mexico on July 23 to promote her new book My Life So Far, actor and activist Jane Fonda announced that she was joining the movement to oppose the war in Iraq. "I've decided I'm coming out. I have not taken a stand on any
On July 27, a 100-strong protest of mostly women textile workers in the south-eastern province of Kerman was brutally attacked by security forces. The workers at the Asia Wool-Spinning Company are owed up to 3 million Tomans (about $3500) in unpaid
The following is abridged from a July 27 article by Thamrin Ananda, the chairperson of the Acehnese Popular Democratic Resistance Front (FPDRA). The negotiations between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) to resolve the Aceh
Colin Hughes, Apartaderos The old man carries his X-ray across the brand spanking new clinic. He enters the specialists' room and is given the news he is to be flown to Cuba within five days for a life-saving operation. Three days earlier, the
Bernie Stephens, Harare The finding by UN Special Envoy Anna Tibaijuka that Operation Murambatsvina (drive out rubbish) — the bulldozing of informal settlements — has left up to 3.3 million Zimbabweans "deeper in poverty, deprivation and
Doug Lorimer Over the last few weeks the US corporate media have been abuzz with reports that the Pentagon has secretly drawn up plans to withdraw most of its troops from Iraq next year. This story was given a major boost when General George Casey,
Girma Belay, a 52-year-old Ethiopian refugee who has lived in London for 12 years, was detained for six days in connection with the London bombings. He told the August 4 Guardian that he was at a friend's apartment when officers burst in and forced
The Israeli government has cancelled a course on multiculturalism because of the inclusion in the curriculum of articles by Palestinian writer and activist Edward Said. The course, initiated and funded by the Jerusalem Foundation, was designed to
Tonga's public servants, who have been on strike since July 22, rejected a new government pay offer on August 1, which fell well short of the 60-80% rises the workers are demanding. A further offer was also rejected on August 4, and on August 5 a
Kim Bullimore On August 4, Eden Natan Zada, an Israeli military deserter and member of the outlawed anti-Arab terrorist organisation Kach, open fired on a bus carrying Palestinians with Israeli citizenship (so-called Israeli Arabs), killing four
Marcus Pabian, Ciudad Bolivar On August 3, our solidarity brigade group ventured out early to visit 16 young Indigenous students at the National Experimental University in Ciudad Bolivar. As we arrived, a veteran indigenous leader was addressing
Federico Fuentes, Caracas With a firm date, December 4, set for Bolivia's presidential elections, the left is discussing how to best approach the current political situation. The elections were won through a popular uprising in May-June, which
Paul Benedek, Venezuela solidarity "brigadista", describes his experiences meeting with workers and unionists, including teachers, in Merida. After returning from a beautiful trip through the Andes, we entered the offices of the UNT (National Union
On August 4, 90% of nurses went on strike across Fiji after the government failed to agree to agree to their demands. The nurses are demanding a wage rise and are refusing to accept a pay cut due to a recent overpayment. Labour minister Kenneth Zinck
Workers on all of Argentina's railroads, except the Buenos Aires subway network, went on strike on August 4, together with other sectors, demanding a salary rise. Engine-driver guild representatives warned that if there was no agreement in a week,
John Pilger, London The latest bombings in London have produced a strange political atmosphere here; I cannot recall anything like it. A truth is struggling to be heard. It is being said guardedly, apologetically. Occasionally, a member of the
On August 1, more than 300 women from Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and more than 20 men marched in Bulawayo to hand over a letter to the provincial governor for President Robert Mugabe. The letter called for the repeal of unjust laws and the
Dick Nichols The death on July 26 of renowned French Marxist historian Pierre Broue after a long and painful battle with cancer closes the life of one of European Trotskyism's most remarkable figures. Born in 1926 into a family of deeply
Rohan Pearce The August 1 death of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz al Saud triggered a predictable, and nauseating, flurry of tributes from the "Coalition of the Willing" — the Iraq invasion alliance of Australia, Britain and the US. In

Editorial

"Media executives [have] to accept their responsibilities in time of war", argues Daniel Pipes, a rabidly pro-war US commentator. "On their initiative, they should exclude the enemy's apologists and advocates. Lively debate does not require such

Culture

Navigating FlindersBy Don ReidDirected by Christopher HurrellStarring Drew Forsythe, Jonathan Gavin & Ksenja LogosEnsemble Theatre, SydneyUntil August 27 REVIEW BY BRENDAN DOYLE There must have been a conspiracy to make Australian history boring
Citizens Guide to Climate RefugeesPublished by Friends of the Earth AustraliaDownload at <http://www.foe.org.au/download/CitizensGuide.pdf> It is now widely accepted in the scientific community that climate change will lead to both
Oil: Anatomy of an IndustryBy Matthew YeomansThe New Press, 2004246 pages, $39.95 (hb) Crude: The Story of OilBy Sonia ShahSeven Stories Press, 2004232 pages, $48 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Oil was in trouble until the German inventor, Karl