Issue 658

Australia

Duncan Meerding, Hobart The Socialist Alliance will be contesting Tasmania's March 18 state election, standing two candidates in the south of the state, in Franklin and Denison. The socialists will be running on a platform of opposition to the
SYDNEY — Members of Resistance, the Greens, the Uniting Church's Tertiary Students Association and Socialist Alternative picketed the University of NSW military recruitment stall on February 23 during the campus orientation week. "People come to
KURANDA — The Wet Tropics Management Authority is considering an application from the Department of Main Roads to downgrade the zoning of a high-conservation Wet Tropics World Heritage Area to accommodate the proposed Kuranda Range four-lane
Alex Bainbridge, Sydney Sixty unionists and their supporters gathered to defend specialised maintenance workers at the Sydney Opera House on February 24. The protest was directed against a new anti-union contractor who has refused employment to the
Peter Boyle On February 23, Australian treasurer Peter Costello belted out this warning to Muslim migrants: "Before becoming an Australian you will be asked to subscribe to certain values. If you have strong objections to those values, don't come
During a February 24 "doorstop interview" in Ballarat about federal treasurer Peter Costello's demand for greater Australian patriotism from Muslims and others, federal Labor leader Kim Beazley commented: "If somebody has a revolutionary view, I
Susan Price, Sydney On February 21, staff at the University of NSW launched their 2006 enterprise bargaining campaign. The launch, organised by the UNSW branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), coincided with the first day of
PERTH — On February 20, 250 people attended a forum organised by the WA Peace Network and addressed by Zaki Chehab, an Iraqi journalist for the British Guardian newspaper and author of the recently published book Iraq Ablaze — Inside the
SYDNEY — On February 15, Iranian members of different left-wing groups in Sydney travelled to Canberra to join with representatives of trade unions to protest outside the Iranian embassy. The action was one of a series held around the world, called
PERTH — Campaigning in the Victoria Park electorate for John Tattersall, the Socialist Alliance candidate in the March 11 by-election, is well under way. Tattersall, a committed trade union activist, is using the campaign to circulate an open
BRISBANE — One hundred people participated in a Green Left Weekly twilight river cruise on February 19, with entertainment from Adrian and Andrew (pictured), Nelson Mansilla and Ovidio Orellana, and delicious Mediterranean food. The cruise
A victory BBQ was held in Canberra on February 24 for three Filipino guest workers who spoke out against racist harassment and wage discrimination by their employers in the hospitality industry. The Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union
SYDNEY — More than 200 people packed a February 25 forum to hear Venezuelan revolutionary and deputy to the Latin American parliament Carolus Wimmer speak. Participants engaged in several hours of thought-provoking discussion about Venezuela's
DARWIN — The proposed expansion of the McArthur River lead and zinc mine near Borroloola has been rejected by the NT government. Environment minister Marion Scrymgour announced on February 23 that the environmental impact statement submitted by the
Simon Butler, Newcastle The three-year community campaign to save the heavy rail line into Newcastle has won. The NSW Labor government announced on February 21 that it was abandoning the unpopular plan to remove the rail line into Newcastle's CBD.
GEELONG — A young workers' network is being set up to organise a conference in May dealing with young workers' issues. The February 22 meeting of the Geelong Trades Hall Council (GTHC) voted to endorse and support the conference. Tim Gooden, GTHC

GEELONG — A young workers' network is being set up to organise a conference in May dealing with young workers' issues. The February 22 meeting of the Geelong Trades Hall Council (GTHC) voted to endorse and support the conference.

World

Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy, Santiago On February 18, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos denied that Chile was involved with the United States in forming a common front to counteract the influence in the region of the Venezuelan government of Hugo
Kim Bullimore On February 18, the newly elected, Hamas dominated, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) was officially sworn in, despite attempts by the Israeli military to disrupt the ceremony, which opened the way for a Palestinian government to
British singer Morrissey has been questioned by British intelligence and the FBI after expressing his opposition to the US-led war on Iraq and Britain's involvement. According to British MTV, Morrissey, who has described US President George Bush as a
Max Lane Warrantless arrests appear to be one of the first results of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyos's February 24 declaration of a state of emergency, professor Randy David from the University of the Philippines told Green Left Weekly from
The first issue of the Workers Charter newspaper was published in February, establishing a new forum for "workers to talk to workers". The paper's editor, well-known leftist John Minto, wrote in the first edition that the paper and the Workers
Max Lane The application for asylum by 43 West Papuan political activists and their families, who arrived on Australia's Cape York peninsula in January after a five-day voyage on a rickety boat, brought the political and social situation in the
At the January World Social Forum in Caracas, Green Left Weekly's Rachel Evans and Maurice Farrell caught up with Ricardo Hung from the Alianza Lambda gay-rights organisation and Moises Rivera Lopez, the coordinator of the Sexual Riverside Network
The US National Counterterrorism Centre has 325,000 names on its list of terrorists or people who aid them, according to the February 15 Washington Post. An unnamed official told the Post that "The vast majority are non-US persons and do not live in
Doug Lorimer In a report filed on February 15 from the Iraqi city of Samarra, 125 kilometres north of Baghdad, US Knight Ridders Newspapers correspondent Tom Lasseter described seeing a 21-year-old Texan named Michael Pena blast away from a school
In 1986, Mordechai Vanunu, an engineer at Israel's Dimona nuclear centre, revealed to the London Sunday Times the existence of the secret Israeli nuclear weapons program. He was kidnapped in Italy by Mossad, the Israeli secret service, following his
Kerryn Williams On February 20, four members of the Left Socialist party (VS) were arrested and three others had arrest orders issued against them. The activists were accused of violating the section of Denmark's criminal code relating to support
On February 17, Aceh Referendum Information Centre (SIRA) offices in West Aceh were attacked by militia, who destroyed a typewriter, radio and other office equipment. They also took documents including records of SIRA meetings and pushed SIRA staff
On February 22, the giant US-owned Freeport gold and copper mine in West Papua was forced to suspend operations following a demonstration by hundreds of people who live in the surrounding area. The demonstrators blocked the mine's access road after
Benjamin Ball, Kathmandu Since King Gyanendra seized direct power in February 2005, the Nepalese security forces have arrested hundreds of political leaders, trade unionists, student activists, journalists, and human rights defenders. More
Doug Lorimer On February 15, the US House of Representatives adopted a resolution by 404 to 4 votes condemning "the government of Iran for violating its international nuclear non-proliferation obligations and expressing support for efforts to
Leo Zeilig, Johannesburg The March 1 municipal elections in South Africa have again triggered questioning of the future of the Tripartite Alliance, the coalition led by the governing African National Congress (ANC) that includes the South African
Bernie Stephens, Harare With the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) divided down the middle, President Robert Mugabe would have celebrated his 82nd birthday in February with temporary respite. The MDC split in the lead-up to last
On February 22, a new law was passed in South Dakota outlawing abortion. Proposed amendments to the bill to allow abortions in the case or rape or incest, or where a pregnant woman's health is affected, were defeated. Abortion will only be legal in
The February 19 British Sunday Times featured a new Green Audit report indicating that depleted uranium from the 2003 bombing of Iraq spread across Europe and reached Britain within nine days. Radiation detectors in Britain recorded a quadrupling of
On February 18, the 43 US members of the World Council of Churches issued a statement denouncing the US-led war on Iraq "launched in deception and violating global norms of justice and human rights. We mourn all who have died or been injured in this

Editorial

Under a front-page banner headline "Iraq on brink of religious war", the February 24 Australian claimed that "Iraq was on the brink of civil war with up to 50 Sunni mosques destroyed and three imams slain in a wave of violence to avenge the bombing

Culture

Socialism on TrialBy James P CannonResistance Books, 1999200 pages, $17.95Available at Resistance bookshops (see page 2) or order at <http://www.resistancebooks.com> REVIEW BY JON PICCINI AND STELLA RIETHMULLER The Howard government
Message Stick: Pay it Forward — Inside the lives and characters of Indigenous Australians with stories presented from their own perspective. ABC, Friday, March 3, 6pm. One Night in Bhopal — Tells how a deadly chemical gas escaped from the Union
JarheadDirected by Sam MendesScreenplay by William Broyles Jr, based on the book by Anthony Swofford With Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Chris Cooper and Jamie FoxxShowing at major cinemas REVIEW BY CHRIS DUGAN In the book Jarhead, author
Marx in SohoWritten by Howard ZinnIron Age TheatreWith Bob Weick Imagine if Karl Marx could return from the grave — but only for one hour — to answer the 120-plus years of bad press since his death. This is the concept of the Howard Zinn play
RANDirected by David Caesar and Catriona McKenzieWritten by John Alsop, Alice Addison and Sue SmithWith Susie Porter and Charles PassiSBS-TV, Thursdays 8.30pm REVIEW BY DAVE RILEY There's a very successful tradition of serials on Australian TV