Issue 645

Australia

Pip Hinman, Sydney A public meeting to launch a campaign for a human rights act at the Sydney Town Hall on October 4 attracted 1000 people. Hosted by NewMatilda.com, the meeting heard from a range of people about why they supported the idea of a
Alex Bainbridge, Hobart The Save Our Sisters campaign group has been forced to withdraw from a Resource Management Planning Appeals Tribunal hearing because the law is stacked against "small fish" in favour of corporate interests, according to
Alex Bainbridge, Hobart The federal government will allow logging to occur at Recherche Bay, despite including the area on the National Heritage List on October 6. Recherche Bay was the site of two French landings in 1792-93, notable for the
Bronwyn Jennings, Geelong Geelong Trades Hall launched two new picket-line "kits" at a practice picket line on its building on October 7. State union secretaries and delegates attending the launch inspected the large marquee-type tents, generators,
Peter Boyle This could be the most pleasant correction Green Left Weekly has ever had to make: The final tally for our $100,000 Emergency Appeal was not $110,615 as reported in the last issue, but a whopping $117,156.05! This tremendous response
Ray Jackson, Sydney In reply to written requests to our new premier Morris Iemma and our new minister for Aboriginal affairs Milton Oskopoulos, sent on August 15, the Indigenous Social Justice Association was contacted by the chief of staff of the
Jim McIlroy Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) employed in Centrelink are holding rolling stop-work meetings around the country in their campaign for a fair enterprise bargaining agreement. The previous agreement expired on
WANGARATTA — A panel of unionists discussed their concerns about the federal government's proposed changes to industrial relations laws at a meeting on October 5 chaired by NSW North East and Border Trades and Labor Council (NEBTLC) secretary Steve
Ben Courtice, Melbourne Two days after the October 1 terrorist bombing in Bali, 70 people protested outside the Victorian Supreme Court against the government's new terror laws, and in support of the democratic rights of terrorism suspect Jack
Jon Lamb, Darwin Record world prices for uranium and the federal government's green light for new uranium mines has spurred exploration for uranium deposits across the Northern Territory. Since March, the number of companies searching for viable
In the article titled "New ACT peace coalition" in Green Left Weekly #643, Mohammed Berjaoui was mistakenly said to represent the Canberra Islamic Centre. He is in fact a representative of the ACT Islamic Society.From Green Left Weekly, October 12,
Marie Martinez, Darwin Opposition is growing to attempts to crush the Charles Darwin University Students' Union. On September 29, 150 students and staff demonstrated in defence of the CDUSU and against the recently announced slashing of almost 400
James Vassilopoulos, Melbourne A 15-day strike at Australian Envelopes ended on September 28 with occupational, health and safety representative and union delegate Matthew Stephen losing his job, but with union activism stronger at the factory.
Ian Jamieson, Fremantle In yet another cynical move to deflect criticism from his draconian industrial relations plans, PM John Howard announced on September 29 that legal aid will be made available to some workers sacked under the government's new
Jim McIlroy, Brisbane "No-one in Iraq supports the US invasion; no-one supports the occupation; we all want the invasion to end", Farouk Ismaal, international relations officer of the General Union of Oil Employees (Iraq), told 100 people in the
Michael Ascroft, Melbourne On October 2-3, the socialist youth organisation Resistance, which is affiliated to the Socialist Alliance, held its 43th national conference at Trades Hall in Melbourne. Participants from Resistance branches across
Nick Hamilton, Melbourne More than 200 people attended the Third Australian Conference in Solidarity with Latin America at Trades Hall on October 1. The event opened with presentations by Nelson Davila, Venezuelan charge d'affaires to Australia,
Alex Bainbridge, Hobart Commercial media, politicians and business commentators are describing as a "rail crisis" the September 27 announcement by Pacific National Tasmania that it will cease freight rail services between Hobart and Burnie unless
Stephen Garvey, Melbourne One hundred and twenty people attended a forum on September 27 to discuss the treatment of refugees in the global social and political context. Melbourne QC Julian Burnside, Green Left Weekly's Sarah Stephen, former Manus
Ruth Ratcliffe, Newcastle The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) has rejected an application by the Australian Workers Union for a secret ballot of striking maintenance workers at Boeing's Williamtown RAAF site. "We proposed the
Takver, Melbourne Anti-nuclear activists have replied to advocates of nuclear power with a comprehensively damning report, "Nuclear power - no solution to climate change". Fifty people attended the launch of the report at Northcote Town Hall on
Green Left Weekly will not be producing an issue next week. Our next issue will be dated October 26 and our regular schedule will resume from that issue. Check our website for updates: <http://www.greenleft.org.au>.From Green Left Weekly,
Susan Price, Melbourne On September 30, the National Tertiary Education Union's national council overwhelmingly endorsed a motion to continue to resource a political and industrial campaign that includes building NTEU involvement in the November

World

On October 4, at least one million workers joined a general strike across France in opposition to stagnant wages and privatisation. Strikers demanded an end to the implementation of labour laws, passed over the northern summer, which allow companies
On September 28, Tariq Khan, a sociology student who served four years in the US Air Force, was beaten and brutalised by right-wing students and campus police for staging a peaceful protest at a military recruitment table at George Mason University
Federico Fuentes, Caracas Responding to the latest hysterical campaign being led by the right-wing media and big business, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez stated on September 25 on his weekly Alo, Presidente TV program that "a small group ... of
James Balowski, Jakarta On October 1, under pressure from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced massive cuts to fuel subsidies. The average cost of domestic fuel rose by
Stuart Munckton Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced on September 30 that his government had sold its foreign currency holdings, held in US treasury bonds, and deposited them in banks in Europe. According to an October 1 Venezuelanalysis.com
Max Lane "This is similar to when martial law was implemented more than 30 years ago", said 70-year-old Professor Francisco Nemenzo, outgoing President of the University of the Philippines and convener of the left coalition Laban ng Masa. Nemenzo
On September 22, Diosdado Fortuna, a union leader at the Cabuyao Nestle factory, was shot by unidentified gunmen as he travelled home from a picket line. An international campaign has been launched to demand that the Philippines government
John Pilger, London Here are questions that are not being asked about the latest twist of a cynical war. Were explosives and a remote-control detonator found in the car of the two British SAS special forces men "rescued" from prison in Basra on
Clinton Fernandes The destruction of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), 40 years ago following the seizure of power by pro-US military officers headed by General Suharto was a decisive event in the history of South-East Asia in the second half
Lara Pullin On October 12, most countries in Latin America will celebrate Dia de la Raza, or Colombus Day, which in 1492 marked the beginning of the Spanish empire's destruction of millions of years of the continent's indigenous history in just a
Rohan Pearce "The progress we've seen in Iraq has been superb, and we can be confident going forward because the Iraqi people value their own liberty and are determined to choose their own destiny", US Vice-President Dick Cheney declared on October
Axel Troost, national co-chairperson of the west German-based WASG (Electoral Alternative for Jobs and Social Justice), and Michael Leutert, vice-chairperson of the east German-based Left Party-Party of Democratic Socialism (Die Linkepartei.PDS) in
Stuart Munckton While the land reform process and expropriation of idle factories led by the government of socialist President Hugo Chavez has captured the most media attention, a series of other measures are being put in place that give the
Eva Cheng For the last few decades, Malaysia's capitalist rulers have governed with an iron fist, using the notorious Internal Security Act (ISA) inherited from British colonial rule to jail dissidents without trial and for an indefinite period.
An interim legislative committee in Indiana is considering a bill to prohibit gay men, lesbians and single people from using medical science to help them have a child. Assisted reproduction is defined in the bill as causing pregnancy through means
Max Lane An eight-month election process for village councils has finished in East Timor. Although the village councils have no power and are primarily vehicles through which local people can articulate their opinions, the elections were contested
The article "Police drop investigation into murder of 13 Arab citizens" in GLW #644 incorrectly stated: "In the first week of the demonstrations, some 100 peaceful demonstrators and 13 Palestinians with Israeli citizenship were killed in Umm el Fahm,
An 82-year-old man was evicted from the Labour Party conference on September 28 and then refused re-entry under "terrorism" laws. Foreign secretary Jack Straw told delegates that British troops were in Iraq "for one reason only" — to help the
In the September 20 Seattle City Council election, Freedom Socialist Party activist Linda Averill won 18% — almost 16,000 votes. Averill, a bus driver, campaigned for an increase in the minimum wage, raised the need for an elected civilian review
Elizabeth Schulte& Eric Ruder, Chicago From all 50 states and all walks of life, they poured into the US capital on September 24. On buses and trains and planes, in cars and vans, they made their way to Washington, DC, to take a stand against the
Winfried Wolf, Berlin The Left Party.PDS [Party of Democratic Socialism] performed best in the German federal election on September 18. Receiving 8.7% of the national vote, it has more than doubled its result from 2002, when it failed to jump the
On September 29, the First People of the Kalahari (FPK), the grassroots organisation of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen, who are fighting for their right to return to their ancestral homeland, were awarded Sweden's Right Livelihood Award, known as the
Under the headline "Infamous Judicial Decision: Posada under the Empire's Protection", the Cuban daily Granma reported on September 28 that US immigration judge William Abbott chose not to deport Cuban-born terrorist Posada Carriles, either to
A growing list of groups and individuals around the world have signed a petition calling on the United Nations secretary-general to initiate a review of the role of the UN in West Papua's 1969 "Act of Free Choice". An alternative to a democratic
Doug Lorimer Despite the fact that in a report to the September 19-24 meeting of the board of governors of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA director-general Mohamed ElBaradei acknowledged that Iran had not breached its obligations

Culture

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the RoomWritten and directed by Alex GibneyDendy Cinemas from October 13 REVIEW BY LACHLAN MALLOCH "Burn baby, burn!" These malicious, greedy words of an Enron trader, referring to a bushfire threatening power lines
Paradise NowDirected by Hani Abu-AssadStarring Kais Nashif, Ali Suliman and Lubna AzabalOpens October 27 at Cinema Nova (Melbourne), Paris Cinema (Fox Studios, Sydney) and Palace Nova (Adelaide). REVIEW BY KIM BULLIMORE "Every day in the
City of the long weary revolutioncity with much bread and no brickscity of dancing torsos and all night communistsof police who read and kiss on dutya place where children form conga linesin liberated palaceswhere millions chanted dancedalong the
REVIEW BY BEN COURTICE Justice For Jack: the real story behind the 'Jihad Jack' caseBy Stefan MarkworthAvailable from <http://www.justice4jack.com> While many are familiar with the case of David Hicks, currently held by the US at the