Issue 669

Australia

SYDNEY — On May 23, David Burgess and Will Saunders gave $10,000 to Dr Salam Ismael from Doctors for Iraq. Burgess and Saunders were jailed for nine months in 2004 for painting "NO WAR" in giant letters on the Sydney Opera House two days before the
Tony Iltis, Melbourne One hundred and twenty people rallied in the Footscray Mall around the slogans "Stand up for multicultural communities!" and "Howard's racism will not divide us: say no to attacks on Muslims!". The May 20 rally, organised by
Ian Jamieson Following the death of miner Larry Knight and the rescue of two trapped miners 14 days after the April 25 rock fall at the Beaconsfield goldmine in northern Tasmania, on May 22 the state government established a special inquiry to
Gerard Morel, Melbourne At a lunchtime rally outside the Liberal Party's Victorian head office on May 26, US anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and the Democrats' Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja called for an end to the US military's imprisonment of
Gillian Davy, Melbourne Despite pressure from the local Union Solidarity group and other residents, and opposition from its two Greens' members, Moreland City Council voted on May 22 to put control of the Coburg Leisure Complex into the hands of
A recently published Attorney-General's department report shows that Australians are 24 times more likely to have their phones tapped than people living in the United States. The report on the use of the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979
Peter Boyle In a May 25 column entitled "Split atoms, not hairs", the Sydney Daily Telegraph's infamous warrior of the right, Piers Ackerman, assures his readers: "Contrary to the grim maunderings of Australia's Green Left, there is no mystique
Lauren Caulfield, Melbourne On June 4, people from around Victoria will rally here to protect the state's forests. The World Environment Day event will start at 11am at the State Library in Swanston Street and march to Federation Square. It will
Andrea Mears, Melbourne RMIT appears to be looking to end a project that provides tuition-free scholarships for a small number of refugees. Currently, 61 refugees are enrolled at RMIT through the project, which provides scholarships to temporary
MELBOURNE — Seven RMIT University staff have been diagnosed with brain tumours since 1999, five in the past month. All seven have worked on the same two floors of a building at RMIT's city campus, with six of them working there for 10 years. One of

World

On May 23, Australian Prime Minister John Howard made a speech to Ireland's Dail (parliament). Almost a quarter of the 166-member chamber failed to show for the occasion, many in protest at Howard's support for the war on Iraq. One of those absent
Doug Lorimer US military investigators have concluded that US marines may have deliberately massacred up to 24 unarmed civilians, including seven women and three children, last November in the western Iraqi town of Haditha, US House of
Doug Lorimer On May 21, newly elected Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare accused Australian foreign minister Alexander Downer of bullying tactics over the future of the Australian-dominated Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon
Jim McIlroy & Coral Wynter, Quito In a victory for the broad-based popular movement against the proposed free trade agreement between Ecuador and the US (TLC), energy minister Ivan Rodriguez announced on May 15 that the contract for oil exploration
Kerryn Williams "Sri Lanka's military is now killing Tamil civilians with abandon", the Tamil Guardian stated in its May 17 editorial, following a wave of violence that has left dozens of civilians dead. The violence has sparked fears of a
Washington In countries around the world, demonstrations were held on May 20 to demand an end to US aggression against Cuba and Venezuela. Protesters called for an end to Washington's economic embargo against Cuba and for freedom for the Cuban
Jim McIlroy & Coral Wynter, Caracas The capitalist system headed by the US is like a "venomous snake", Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told an audience in the east of the country on May 20. "Capitalism is the science of the devil." "The
Jim McIlroy, Caracas The spirit of the Bolivarian revolution shone brightly in Plaza Bolivar on May 25 when several hundred people, mainly members of the local Colombian and Peruvian communities, rallied to support progressive candidates in the
Leo Zeilig, Johannesburg On May 18, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) led a general strike to protest against low pay, job losses and casualisation. There is growing working-class anger at the levels of poverty and unemployment in
Stuart Munckton When he issued the decree nationalising the gas industry on May 1, fulfilling the main demand of the popular movement that overthrew the two preceding presidents as well as the key promise in his election campaign, Bolivian
Jon Lamb In response to ongoing clashes between the East Timor Defence Force (FDTL) and rebel soldiers and police, the East Timorese president, prime minister, foreign minister and speaker to the parliament sent a joint communique on the evening of
Liam Mac Uaid Respect's performance in England's May 4 local government elections has been impressive. These were the first elections of this type the organisation has contested on such a scale. Sixteen candidates were elected as councillors. In
Stuart Munckton BBC News reported on May 15 that the US government was placing a sanction on the sale of arms to Venezuela. The US State Department justified the ban by claiming that Venezuela is failing to assist counter-terrorism efforts, and has
Eva Cheng A secret March gathering in Beijing of high profile pro-capitalist economists, legal experts and government advisers — most of whom are members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) — have alarmed China's waning pro-socialist forces.
Maria Julua Mayoral, Pedro de la Hoz & Jose de la Osa, Havana Cuban President Fidel Castro has challenged US President George Bush, the CIA, the 33 US intelligence agencies, the thousands of banks in the world and the "servants" of Forbes magazine

Editorial

On June 1, students and young workers around Australia will be leading by example — showing why young people have always been at the forefront of progressive struggles. The June 1 student strike initiated by the Resistance socialist youth

Culture

BY DOMENICA SETTLE Community radio station 3CR is celebrating 30 years of bringing diverse voices to the streets of Melbourne. From May 29 to June 11, 3CR's 450 volunteers will be calling on the community to donate to the station's 13th birthday
POEM BY JOHN TOMLINSON Battlers all, come rally roundkeep your noses to the ground.Doff your caps to interest ratefeed off loathing, fear and hate.Praise the Leader one and allat 5 foot 2 he's standing tall.He's deaf and mean, he is obscene.Small
The Da Vinci CodeDirected by Ron HowardStarring Tom Hanks and Audrey TautouScreening nationally REVIEW BY ELAINE GRAHAM-LEIGH The film of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code opened the Cannes film festival on May 17 to universal critical panning. The
Jane Fonda: My Life So FarBy Jane FondaEbury Press, 2005599 pp, $49.95 (hb) Jane Fonda's War: A Political Biography of an Antiwar IconBy Mary HershbergerThe New Press, 2005228 pp, $39.95 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON "Feed Fonda to the whales"