Issue 652

Australia

NEWCASTLE — Sixty people attended a forum at the Panthers Club on November 29 to discuss the federal government's new "anti-terror" laws. The speakers — Pauline Wright, vice-president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, and associate
Tim Gooden, Geelong An important test case for the federal government's new industrial relations laws, which aim to destroy organised labour, has arisen involving all building unions on an isolated construction site in Victoria's west. The
Jo Obronschka, Sydney More than 300 people attended a meeting organised by the Marrickville Transport Action Group (MTAG) on November 26 to discuss the Labor state government's plans for motorways, road construction and traffic increases in the
ADELAIDE — Fifty people gathered on the steps of Parliament House on November 28, surrounding a coffin shrouded with a black cloth declaring "Free speech", to protest against Howard's new "anti-terror" laws. Organised by the socialist youth

World

John 'Briggs' Bomba I was among 120 people who were arrested on the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU)-led Action Against Poverty demonstration on November 8. Hundreds of people had protested against spiralling levels of poverty. Those
Oscar Olivera is the leader of the Federation of Factory Workers of Cochabamba. He is well-known in Bolivia and internationally for his role as a leader of the Coalition in Defence of Water in the heroic victory of the people of Cochabamba against
Thousands of Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) activists demonstrated in Lahore on December 6 against the imperialist onslaught of privatisation and the World Trade Organisation, on the eve of the WTO ministerial meeting in Hong Kong. Trade union
On December 2, KFC workers in Balmoral went on strike in opposition to lower wage rates for young workers. The strike was organised by the Unite union, and more than 150 strikers and supporters protested at the store. Representatives from other KFC
Stuart Munckton "To the anger of many in Washington, Citgo Petroleum Corporation, a company controlled by the Venezuelan Government, will supply more than 45 million litres of oil at 40 per cent below market prices" to poor residents in Boston and
On December 1, South Africa's Constitutional Court unanimously ruled that same-sex marriages have equal status with those between men and women. The court stayed its ruling for one year, so that parliament may amend a 1961 marriage law to reflect the
Stephanie Long, Montreal From November 28 to December 9, more than 170 countries are engaging in negotiations under the Kyoto Protocol and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. To date, 157 countries have ratified the Kyoto
Barry Healy UN troops in Haiti are actively terrorising civilians, a coalition of human rights activists said in Washington on November 15, as they filed two legal petitions with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). The
Federico Fuentes, La Paz At 4000 metres above sea level and sprawling above the capital La Paz, the inhabitants of the fastest growing city in Latin America — El Alto — have consistently shown their readiness to fight for their rights,
Stuart Munckton "In what Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias has declared a victory for sovereignty, Spain proceeded with its sale of 12 aircraft and 8 patrol boats to the South American nation", reported Venezuelanalysis.com on November 28.
Rachel Evans & Samuel Pala Fabian Escalante joined the Cuban revolutionary movement in 1950 at the age of 15, when he became active in a socialist youth organisation. This extraordinary man was imprisoned a number of times before Cuba's 1959
Doug Lorimer In a speech given on November 30 at the US Naval Academy on November 30, US President George Bush admitted that "ordinary Iraqis" made up the majority of those fighting the US-led occupation of Iraq. The speech was the first of
Julian Coppens, London Four hundred people attended the second annual conference of the anti-war Respect coalition in London on November 19-20, including 350 delegates. The conference followed a year of unprecedented successes. The left gained
On December 1, police crushed a World Aids Day march in Harare, arresting several of the organisers, including activists from the International Socialist Organisation and Women Aids Support Network. Hundreds of people joined the march, demanding
Doug Lorimer At a December 17 Baghdad new conference, the main Sunni-led alliance that contested the December 15 elections for a new Iraqi parliament hailed the high voter turn-out by Sunni Muslims. Participation by Sunnis in the election had
Jamal Juma More than a year has passed since the Israeli occupation forces declared the completion of the first section of the Apartheid Wall — running from Jenin to Qalqiliya. Rapid construction around Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron
Pablo Stefanoni, La Paz In a press conference with foreign journalist, just before the December 18 national elections, Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) presidential candidate Evo Morales laid out a number of strategic points for a future leftist
On November 30, actions and meetings took place across the US calling on California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to grant clemency to Stan Tookie Williams, including a 1000-strong protest outside San Quentin Prison. Williams is scheduled to be
Rachel Evans, Merida On November 29, three of Venezuela's leading opposition parties announced they would not participate in the December 4 National Assembly elections. Late on November 30, a fourth party announced that it, too, would pull out. The
Gregory Wilpert, Caracas Chavez's party, the Movement for the Fifth Republic (MVR), won 114 or 68% of the 167 seats in the new National Assembly, according to preliminary results that MVR deputy William Lara announced on December 4. Pro-Chavez
Raul Bassi In the lead-up to the election of the centre-left Workers Party (PT) presidential candidate Luis Inacio "Lula" da Silva in 2002, one of the PT's key election promises was to get rid of corruption. Undoubtedly, in a country where
Eva Cheng In response to the moral outrage among broad sections of the populations of developed capitalist countries at the growing inequality of wealth and living standards between the rich "First World" countries and poor "Third World" countries,
Sami Ramadani was for many years an exile from his native Iraq as a political refugee from Saddam Hussein’s regime. Today, he is an outspoken opponent of the U.S. invasion and occupation. At an international antiwar conference in London in
Workers demonstrated outside the German embassy in Kuala Lampur on December 1, calling on the German ambassador to Malaysia to intervene in an industrial dispute at a German-owned factory. The workers also staged a noisy but peaceful protest outside
British water company Biwater has taken legal action against the Tanzanian government after the company was kicked out of Tanzania earlier this year, two years into a US$100 million water privatisation contract. Biwater had failed to meet the
On November 29, Brazilian federal police arrested 18 people for crimes against Indians and the environment. During the past decade, an uncontacted tribe known as the Rio Pardo Indians have had their land invaded by land grabbers and loggers. Despite

Culture

Manifesto: Three Classic Essays on How to Change the WorldKarl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Rosa Luxemburg, Ernesto Che GuevaraPreface by Adrienne RichIntroduction by Armando HartOcean Books, 2005168 pages REVIEW BY ALEX MILLER Given 170 or so
Upstaging: Leah Purcell — Profile of Indigenous artist Leah Purcell, who has performed as a singer, actor, writer, choreographer, producer and director for theatre, film and television. ABC, Friday, December 9, 1.20am. Living Black — Indigenous
The Weathermakers: The History and Future Impact of Climate ChangeBy Tim FlanneryText Publishing, 2005332 pages, $32.95 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Who cares about Bufo perigelenes, the golden toad of Costa Rica? We all should, argues Australian
And in the Third Worldpeople drop dead, asheavy, dirty rain in a storm And here, we dancewith effortwe singwithout songthey make us build their modernspace age buildingswithout colourwe createtheir paintings and gardens andlarge billboard
Melbourne's 3CR Community Radio is celebrating Australia's long history of creative resistance with a calendar featuring a collage of photographs from the lens of Australian activists. With a radical event listed for each day and photographs of
Brotherboys: The Story of Jim and Phillip KrakouerBy Sean GormanAllen & Unwin, 2005269 pages, $29.95 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON For over a decade, two brothers mesmerised hundreds of thousands of football fans with their skills of hand and foot
The broom-bristles-for-eyebrows neolithhammers away at our enmeshed foundations,ignoring centuries of same-sex promiscuities.He's teamed up with God to decide what's natural and right,hiding from the mardi-gras that leaves pride and defiance like
REVIEW BY SARAH STEPHEN Following Them Home: the Fate of the Returned Asylum SeekersBy David CorlettBlack Inc Books, 2005220 pages, $24.95 "The Australian government has long declared that it owes no duty of care to those asylum seekers it
Praised be our racehorse owners,Well-tailored and well-heeled,Who gaze from the enclosureUpon the surging field.Red-faced they cheer and stamp and screamAs if they'd go berserk,And dream upon their winningsWhile the horse does all the work.They're
BY DAVE RILEY All the contention that is focused on the world wide web's innate ability to facilitate the sharing of music files has obscured the significance of some more recent web audio developments. If the Mp3 revolution is impacting on sales
Good Night, and Good LuckDirected and co-written by George ClooneyScreening nationally from 15 December 2005 REVIEW BY LACHLAN MALLOCH Edward R. Murrow is the hero of the best and most politically prescient film scheduled for release this
I is for InfidelBy Kathy GannonPublic Affairs Books, 2005 REVIEW BY BILL NEVINS Kathy Gannon is an "old Afghan hand" and her book on Afghanistan is crucial reading. Four years after 9/11 and well into the third year of the US-led occupation, Iraq
Green Left Weekly #639 published a review of Alan Woods' The Venezuelan Revolution: A Marxist Perspective by Dave Raby. Below is another perspective on Woods' book written by John Riddell, originally published by Canada-based website Socialist
The larvae of light will never move in his eye,Despite his mother clapping her hands,And the drum throbbing, and the Udh thrumming,And the drum burrowing down the ears of the Universe; His legs will never unfold and run,Despite his mother taking