Issue 646

Australia

Tim Doughney The next major anti-war protests, to be held on November 5 and 6 around Australia, will focus on the main aspects of the "war on terror", calling for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq, and also an end to the attacks
NEWCASTLE — A Railfest picnic in the Foreshore Park on October 2 attracted more than 1000 people over the day. The picnic was organised by Save Our Rail, which is campaigning to stop the planned closure of the Broadmeadow to Newcastle rail line.
Barry Healy, Perth Venezuela is making great gains in health-care delivery, said local doctor Colin Hughes in an eyewitness account of his recent visit as part of an Australia-Venezuela solidarity brigade. At the public meeting in Darlington on
Jon Lamb, Darwin The announcement on October 13 by the federal government that it will pass special legislation to override Northern Territory laws that may obstruct the location of a nuclear waste dump in the NT has hardened local opposition to
Pip Hinman, Sydney "It seems that the Howard government is happy to recognise same-sex partnerships to deny us our civil rights, but when it comes to extending rights, they exclude us", Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) spokesperson Rachel
HOBART — Launceston City Council mayoral candidate Ted Sands has revealed that Boags, one of the two major breweries in Tasmania, pays the council only $50 a year for waste treatment, according to the October 18 Hobart Mercury. The company would
Terry Costello, Melbourne At a Your Rights at Work forum on October 17, Community and Public Sector Union assistant national secretaries Margaret Gillespie and Stephen Jones signaled their intention not to mobilise members against the federal
MELBOURNE — On October 18, social justice activists met to plan a rally on December 10, International Human Rights Day. The meeting was initiated by the Refugee Action Collective in response to the attacks on civil liberties contained in the
Marie Martinez, Darwin Under public pressure about the cuts to more than 300 subjects at Charles Darwin University (CDU), Vice-Chancellor Helen Garnett told local ABC Radio on September 30 that there would be no courses lost. Since then, the CDU
Pip Hinman What do conservative church leaders, a couple of neoliberal economics editors and Green Left Weekly have in common? Warning against the disastrous effect of the federal Coalition government's new industrial relations agenda, misnamed
Kathy Newnam, Darwin On October 19, social justice campaigner Stuart Highway was sentenced to eight months' jail, suspended after three months, for his involvement in a smoke-in on October 2002. The smoke-in, organised by the drug-law reform
FREMANTLE — On October 16, 20 refugee-rights activists commemorated the fourth anniversary of the SIEV X disaster, in which 353 people drowned inside Australia's Operation Relex aerial surveillance zone. Since then, the government has actively
SYDNEY — Anthony Albanese, the Labor MP for the federal electorate of Grayndler, opened a forum on public health care at Marrickville Town Hall on October 18. Attended by 260 people, the forum was also addressed by shadow health minister Julia
Simon Cunich, Sydney On October 18, an otherwise normal day in Newtown turned into an exercise in intimidation by the state as scores of police, some on horse-back, some with attack dogs in paddy waggons, stationed themselves outside the Newtown
Kylie Moon, Melbourne Under new regulations expected to be introduced by the state Labor government, women wanting to terminate a pregnancy after 20 weeks' gestation will be required to undergo mandatory counselling and a mandatory "cooling-off"
Bronwyn Jennings, Geelong Fifty women unionists and community activists attended training sessions at Geelong Trades Hall on October 17, the last in a series organised by the GTH Women's Committee to educate women about the Howard government's
MELBOURNE — As of October 18, 11,475 employees of the Australian Taxation Office, 53% of all ATO staff, have signed a petition calling on management to negotiate a new agency agreement with the Community and Public Sector Union when the current
Alex Bainbridge, Hobart Six months after they forced Forestry Tasmania to promise a six-month moratorium on logging and road construction in the Weld Valley, protesters have returned to make sure the forests are saved. The Weld Valley, a
Craig Hall A petition was launched by the Indigenous Social Justice Association Melbourne Supporters Group (ISJA MSG) on October 8, calling on the NT government to open a new inquiry into the death of Douglas Bruce Scott in Darwin's Berrimah Prison
SYDNEY — On October 20, the Australia Western Sahara Association held a protest outside NSW Parliament House, addressed by, among others, the Polisario representative in Australia and AWSA president Nick O'Neill. Unions NSW secretary John Robertson
Alex Bainbridge, Hobart After years of advocating for a bill to legalise brothels, the state government announced on October 5 that it would amend draft legislation to instead ban brothels outright. The new legislation was passed by Tasmania's
SYDNEY - A Western Sydney Peace and Community Group public forum at Rooty Hill on October 17 explained how ordinary people will be affected by the federal government's proposed new "anti-terror" laws. Cameron Murphy from the NSW Council of Civil
SYDNEY — Members of the Maritime Union of Australia employed at the Glebe Island car terminal refused to go to work on October 14 after hearing of a NSW Labor government plan to fast-track the site's closure. With the support of Unions NSW and the
SYDNEY — The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network and Green Left Weekly held a public forum and film night in Penrith on October 15 to discuss the progress being made by the revolutionary government of President Hugo Chavez. Members of the first
Nick Hamilton, Melbourne On October 18, 200 people attended a forum at Preston Town Hall on the federal government's industrial relations changes. Organised by the Darebin Workers' Rights and Community Justice Campaign, speakers included Victorian

World

Since September 29, up to 1200 Sudanese refugees have been holding a sit-in near the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) regional office in Cairo, demanding protection from forced repatriation and protesting poor conditions and human-rights
Michael Karadjis, Hanoi Vietnam is facing the dilemma of a highly successful campaign to restore forest destroyed during the US war, combined with continuing deforestation resulting from break-neck economic development. Green Left Weekly asked
Doug Lorimer While US President George Bush praised the October 15 referendum on the new Iraqi constitution as evidence of Iraq's "progress toward democracy", preliminary results of the voting released by the Independent Election Commission of Iraq
On October 19, amid accusations of bribery, Colombia's Constitutional Court gave right-wing President Alvaro Uribe the green light to seek a second term in office. Previously, it was impossible for a president to stand for re-election. Uribe is a key
According to a new survey by Mossawa, the Advocacy Centre for Arab Citizens in Israel, 45% of Jewish Israelis oppose the decision to reopen the investigation into the October 2000 killing of 13 Israeli Arab citizens by Israeli police and military.
Kim Bullimore In the month since Israel's unilateral "disengagement" from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military has killed 24 Palestinians, including three children, arrested at least 700 Palestinians and continued to use airborne missile strikes to
Alex Miller The dispute at airline catering firm Gate Gourmet — which sparked illegal solidarity action by British Airways ground staff, causing massive disruption at Heathrow Airport in August — has ended in a compromise. Under the terms of
Reihana Mohideen, Manila Around 2000 delegates from factory unions and urban poor organisations attended a Working People's Summit organised by Laban ng Masa (Struggle of the Masses) on October 17. Laban ng Masa is a new left coalition that has
On October 20, Nigeria reached an agreement with the rich, creditor countries of the Paris Club for the cancellation of US$18 billion of Nigeria's US$35.9 billion debt. However, in return, Nigeria had to commit to paying the Paris Club $12.4 billion,
In Hidalgo, Mexico, a group of young, mostly female workers as young as 13 years of age have been illegally locked out for protesting their unsafe, unjust working conditions (including child labour violations, forced pregnancy testing and appalling
Federico Fuentes, Caracas The last time I spoke with long-time influential writer on Latin American politics Marta Harnecker was at the 2003 World Social Forum, where we talked of the "most important anti-neoliberal struggle in the world" unfolding
Winfried Wolf, Berlin On October 10, a de facto decision was made to form a new federal coalition government, made up of the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and the "centre-left" Social-democratic Party of Germany (SPD). If that also
James Balowski, Jakarta Attending a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the Indonesian military (TNI) on October 5, just days after the deadly bombing in Bali, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono instructed the TNI to "take part in effectively
Murray Smith The mobilisation for the one-day strike and day of action on October 4 called by a united front of French trade unions was expected to be massive, and it lived up to expectations. Across the country there were an estimated 1.3 million
Stuart Munckton The Venezuelan government has reacted to fresh allegations, originating from inside the US. According to an October 11 Venezuelanalysis.com article, the Miami-based Inter-American Press Association accused the left-wing government
Rizwan Atta, Lahore Although no-one knows the exact figure, the 7.6 magnitude earthquake on October 8 killed an estimated 53,000 people. On October 13, the World Health Organisation's regional director Hussein Gezairy said the earthquake was a
Iraq correspondent for the British Guardian Rory Carroll was kidnapped by Shia gunmen in Baghdad on October 19 after conducting an interview with a victim of Saddam Hussein's regime in Sadr City. Carroll, who has been in Iraq since January, was
Stuart Munckton Venezuela's poverty rate is expected to drop from 47% in 2004 to 35% by the end of 2005, according to figures from Venezuela's National Institute of Statistics (INE). The figure was calculated to be at 38.5% half-way through this
Federico Fuentes, Caracas Some 500 residents of the township of Cumanacoa, in the state of Sucre — mostly workers and cooperative members directly or indirectly employed by the local sugar processing plant, Central Azucarero Cumanacoa — turned
On October 15, 25 Survival International members were removed from the Oxford Union for "wearing offensive T-shirts" and "asking offensive questions" during a visit by Botswana's President Festus Mogae. The protesters wore shirts reading "Botswana
Louay Alzaher Last month, "civilised" Britain troops revenged themselves on the police headquarters of Basra city, because the police had arrested two British commandos, disguised in traditional Iraqi dress, who had fired on Iraqi police, killing
Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific is collecting donations from Australian activists to send to Pakistan for the Labour Relief Camp for Earthquake Victims. The LRCEV is a coalition of progressive organisations, including the Labour
Alex Miller In September 29 by-elections, the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) polled 5.3% in Glasgow Cathcart and 1.4% in Livingston. Labour Party candidates with much reduced majorities retained both seats. The turnout in Livingstone was 38.6%,

Culture

The Marvellous BoyBy Louis NowraThe Stables Theatre, Kings CrossUntil November 12 REVIEW BY BRENDAN DOYLE In 1975, Juanita Nielson disappeared while campaigning against developers in Kings Cross. Her body was never found, although it is assumed
I can't breathe tonight,I haven't any power that can help me tonight,my legs are shivering,my breath is panting,my tears run away,my heart is broken,the road is narrow tonight in the land of my eyes,mountains crumble in front of my sadness,Rain feels
BY MAX WATTS Georgi Plekhanov, a Russian who translated Karl Marx's writings and introduced them to Lenin, wrote a lot about the role of the individual, or the accident, in history. He thought that at certain times when the "masses" moved,
Innocents skip hand in hand in pleasure's garden,seeking out love's bloom and pulling the weedsof jealousy from the field of hope.But wait, my thigh is bleeding, I am wounded,struck down by the vicious rumour of pain.My life force drains away. There
Australian Rules — Tells the story of an adolescent boy struggling with family conflicts and inter-racial turmoil in the lonely fishing village where he lives. SBS, Sunday, October 30, 9.30pm. Living Black — Indigenous news and current affairs
Well-known Darwin performer, artist and Larrakia elder June Mills is releasing her debut album I'll be the One in October. This CD is a wonderful musical anthology, full of beauty and surprises with lines, melodies and riffs that stay long in the
Australian DreamPoetry by Mohsen SoltaniCD $30Available from <http://www.stickylabel.com.au> REVIEW BY SARAH STEPHEN Imagine life beginning as a young, idealistic poet in Iran, uncovering government corruption and trying to expose it,
Did you know that there are three major changes contained in these new industrial proposals? Did ya know that? — I estimated that maybe a cardinal figure of such numerate proportions was involved. There's three, see — one, two, three — 'tis
There is a coffin on my shoulder,Where is the graveyard?Show me the way to the graveyard,I have to carry this coffin,I have to bury this coffin,I must dig deeply in the soil with the fingertips of sentiment,I must reach this depth with all my