Issue 647

Australia

Kerry Vernon, Newcastle The University of Newcastle will expel the offices of staff unions from its campus in November in order to receive an extra $6 million in funding from the federal Coalition government. A letter of expulsion was sent to the
Andrew Hall, Canberra Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) working in Centrelink are set to stop work nationally for several hours on November 15 to attend the ACTU's national SkyChannel broadcast and protest rallies against the
WOLLONGONG — With only a few days' notice, 700 people protested PM John Howard's visit on October 18, when he opened the office of a local Liberal MP. The South Coast Labor Council coordinated the action and contingents from many unions
Andrew Martin, Brisbane On October 19, workers at James Hardie's Meeandah concrete pipe factory arrived for their usual start time of 6.30 am to find factory's gates locked. The company had initiated a 28-hour lockout in response to workers holding
Sue Bull, Geelong Trades halls and labour councils throughout regional Victoria are mobilising their members for big rallies in November against the federal Coalition government's proposed industrial relations laws. There will be community
15 union protests PERTH — The anti-union West Australian has stepped up its campaign of demonising the CFMEU construction union. In what appears to be an attempt to dissuade construction workers from attending the November 15 community day of
Jeremy Smith, Ballarat A long campaign for an enterprise agreement at the University of Ballarat came to a head in the middle of October with a ballot on a management-drafted non-union enterprise agreement. At stake was a 5% increase in
DARWIN — The Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU) launched a campaign on October 22 to win better wages and professional recognition for child-care workers in the Northern Territory. The LHMU has targeted low wages as one of the key
HOBART — After a lengthy recess, the Tasmanian Council for Civil Liberties recommenced activity in August in response to recent government attacks on democracy. Demanding "no police state in Australia", the council will hold a rally on November 12
PERTH — More than 200 people crammed into the Maritime Union of Australia's North Fremantle office on October 29 to hear discussion about how to fight the Howard government's proposed industrial relations laws. Speakers included former
MELBOURNE — More than 80 people attended a double-header launch on October 28. The Melbourne west district of Socialist Alliance launched its campaign for the Maribyrnong Council elections and new activist band The Conch gave its first ever
Kerry Vernon, Maitland Two-hundred women, their relatives and supporters marched along Maitland's main street on the night of October 28 in the first Reclaim the Night event to be held in this city of 54,000 residents. Led by 83-year-old feminist
Help get GLW around! Pip Hinman It seems that PM John Howard is keen to make Melbourne Cup week this year very memorable. He wants to introduce his terror bills — aimed at dissenters, including us — and more of his anti-worker bills into
Sarah Stephen Following a coordinated series of raids by Australian Federal Police and immigration department (DIMIA) officers on houses in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane last December 1, four refugee supporters in Sydney were charged with helping
BRISBANE — Ambulance officers around Queensland stopped work on October 26 to demand improvements in staffing and working conditions, in the first statewide strike in history. Around 500 paramedics and their families demonstrated outside the Kedron
CANBERRA — On October 27, 100 people attended a public forum at the Australian National Library on the federal government's planned new anti-terrorism laws. Organised by Civil Liberties Australia ACT, the forum was told by the group's secretary
Alex Bainbridge, Hobart The Recherche Bay Protection Group held a commemoration on October 28 for the 250th anniversary of the birth of French botanist Jacques-Julian Houtou de Labillardiere. The group used the occasion to call once again on the
Kathy Newnam, Darwin Opponents of the nuclear industry took their message to the federal parliamentary inquiry into uranium resources when it met in Darwin on October 24. Deceptively calling itself "the inquiry into developing Australia's

World

On October 26, Venezuelan ambassador Fermin Toro Jimenez told the UN Security Council that his country has begun processing an extradition request for Reverend Pat Robertson from the US. Robertson has publicly called for the assassination of
Dave Airhart, an anti-war activist and an Iraq war veteran, is being threatened with expulsion from Kent State University for his anti-war activities. On October 19, the Kent State Anti-War Committee disrupted US Army recruiters as they attempted to
Alex Miller A British Royal Air Force officer is facing a court martial after refusing to return to Iraq on the grounds that the war is illegal. The October 17 British Guardian reported that Flight-Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith is facing four
Green Left Weekly has officially opened its Caracas news bureau, sharing an office with the web news service Venezuelanalysis.com, in the administrative division of TELESUR, the new pan Latin American television channel. Pictured are GLW
Federico Fuentes, Caracas While much of the nation's attention is focussed on the December 4 National Assembly elections, another set of important elections are scheduled to take place during November in the municipality of Sucre. Here it is hoped
Doug Lorimer A secret survey of Iraqi public opinion undertaken in August for the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) shows that up to 65% of Iraqis support attacks by the Iraqi armed resistance on the US-led occupation forces. Reporting on the
Peter Boyle, Auckland The first national Workers Charter conference, attended by more than 100 activists, was held on October 22 in Auckland. The draft charter (see <http://workerscharter.org.nz> ) was endorsed and will now be taken
Marce Cameron On November 8, Cuba will once again present a resolution to the UN General Assembly calling for an end to the US economic blockade of the island nation. Last year, the assembly voted by 179 votes in favour, four against (the US,
Kim Bullimore On October 9, Israel's Ministerial Committee for Legal Affairs approved the Criminal Law Procedures Bill. If implemented, it will enable Israel to implement a two-track law — one for Israelis and one for Palestinians — to govern
Doug Lorimer Argentine President Nestor Kirchner emerged as the victor after the country's October 23 mid-term legislative elections. Kirchner's Peronist governing Front for Victory (FPV) won 43% of the popular vote in the lower-house Chamber of
American Civil Liberties Union analysis has found "irrefutable evidence that US operatives tortured detainees to death during interrogations", according to ACLU attorney Amrit Singh. The ACLU studied the cases of 44 prisoners who died in US military
The October 13 Scottish Socialist Voice reported that the Labour government's work and pensions secretary, David Blunkett, says that applicants for welfare benefits should undergo lie-detector tests. Blunkett is especially qualified to comment on
On October 13, the US government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the average global temperature for combined land and ocean surfaces for September 2005 was 0.63ø C above the 1880-2004 long-term mean. It was the
Margarita Windisch & Susan Price, Caracas In January, the Sixth World Social Forum will take place on three continents: Africa (in Mali), Asia (in Pakistan) and Latin America (in Venezuela). The Caracas forum is scheduled for January 24-29 on the
At the Tyson Foods slaughterhouse in Brooks, more than 2300 workers have been on strike since October 12 to demand better wages and conditions. The United Food and Commercial Workers members are demanding an end to harassment, improved safety
Nicole Colson, Chicago Force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is being used as a form of torture, says a lawyer for several detainees. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, Julia
Pablo Stefanoni, La Paz Bolivia is once again on the path of political uncertainty, after the Constitutional Tribunal (CT) on September 22 ordered the Congress to modify the electoral law (used to convoke the December 4 general elections) to
Max Lane It has been almost a month since the Indonesian government increased the retail price of petrol by 126% and of kerosene by 300%. The increases are a part of the Jakarta government's commitments made to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
On October 27, some 1000 people rallied in Port Moresby to highlight the struggle for West Papua's independence. West Papua was annexed by Indonesia in 1969 after a sham "act of free choice" and both the PNG and Australian governments support
Duroyan Fertl In the last couple of weeks, Ecuador's fragile democracy has threatened once again to come apart at the seams. On October 20, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) ruled that President Alfredo Palacio's call to hold a referendum in
Ike Okonta, Lagos It's nearly 10 years since Nigerian activist and writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other members of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) were hanged on the morning of November 10, 1995. Today, Nigeria faces fresh

Culture

Blowin' in the WindDirected by David BradburyLimited national season commencing in Sydney and Melbourne at Dendy cinemas on October 27, other cities to follow REVIEW BY LACHLAN MALLOCH David Bradbury needs almost no introduction to Green Left
Frida Kahlo: Between Passion and Pain — Tells the story of world-renowned Mexican artist and iconic figure Frida Kahlo, in her own words using extracts from her diary. SBS, Saturday, November 5, 3.05pm. Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of
Refusenik! Israel's Soldiers of ConscienceCompiled and edited by Peretz KidronZed Books120 pages REVIEW BY KIM BULLIMORE On October 20, 1956, Israeli soldiers killed 47 Palestinians from the village of Kafr Qasem, who were returning home from
The PessoptimistDirected by Don MamouneyUntil November 19 at the Sidetrack Theatre, Addison Road Community Centre, Marrickville, SydneyPhone (02) 9294 4655 or email <theatre@sidetrack.com.au> REVIEW BY SIMON TAYLER Based on the novel by