Issue 670

Australia

Rachel Evans, Sydney Sydney's Daily Telegraph fed readers a bucket-load of prejudicial rubbish on May 29. In a front-page article titled "Nursery revolt", we were told: "Parents, family groups and the Federal Government are demanding a Sydney
Sue Bull, Melbourne Anonymous late-night phone calls, threats of jail for non-appearance at interviews or for withholding information, allegations of illegal conduct at events up to two years previously and closed courts — such police-state
CANBERRA — On May 25, the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) held a lunchtime protest outside the ACT Legislative Assembly to oppose a planned cut to superannuation contributions for all future ACT government employees. Labor Chief Minister
Graham Matthews The workers' rights lobby group Unite, which formed in Melbourne in 2003 to "name and shame" dodgy bosses in the retail and fast-food industry, relaunched itself as an unregistered union on May 30. "The fast-food and retail
The federal government's Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has refused to approve a proposed agency agreement for the Australian Taxation Office, despite the fact that both the ATO and the Community and Public Sector Union had been
Fred Fuentes Chanting "Too young to vote, so hear us yell! Work Choices go to hell!", more than 500 young people, most of them high-school students, marched in Sydney on June 1 to protest against the Howard government's attacks on young workers
Graham Matthews, Sydney Up to 80 people rallied and marched against racism in Auburn on June 3, in a community action against the federal and state governments' attacks on the Arab and Muslim communities. With chants of "Migrants are welcome,
Simon Butler, Newcastle Climate action group Rising Tide Newcastle held a protest rally outside the Hunter Street office of federal Labor MP Sharon Grierson on May 29 to condemn her for failing to oppose the new coal export terminal in Newcastle
Jeffrey Wilson, Sydney Political economy students at Sydney University are organising against discriminatory policies in the economic and business faculty that under-fund departments teaching primarily HECS students (who repay their university fees
Stuart Harrison, Geelong Young workers are organising to fight back as PM John Howard's new "Work Choices" laws begin to take effect. A recent report by the government's Office of the Employment Advocate (OEA) showed that all the new Australian

Stuart Harrison, Geelong

Young workers are organising to fight back as PM John Howard's new "Work Choices" laws begin to take effect.

World

Dipankar Bhattacharya, the general-secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), has recently been charged with attempted murder for his role in leading a 2001 march against mass killings by the BJP-led government of Jharkhand state.
Michael Karadjis Montenegrins voted for independence for their tiny republic in a referendum on May 21, in a move that essentially formalised an already existing situation. Following the collapse of the former Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia
Norm Dixon In the early hours of May 5, the most militarily significant Darfur rebel group — a faction of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Minni Minnawi — reluctantly accepted a flawed "peace" agreement with Sudan's authoritarian
The Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) held its eighth congress in late May. Over the past period, the party has been involved in campaigns against the privatisation of health care, against the goods and services tax and against the fuel price hike,
Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy, Caracas Oscar Rodriguez* is a Venezuelan exile who currently lives in the United States, but he visiting his homeland and is full of hope for the "Bolivarian revolution", which he had observed developing over the past
Barry Weisleder & John Riddell, Toronto "General jubilation" greeted the Bolivian government's move to take control of the country's hydrocarbon resources on May 1, according to the Cuban daily newspaper Granma. "An impressive multitude [that]
The British military announced on May 29 that two of its soldiers had died in a roadside bomb attack in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, bringing the total number of British military fatalities in May to nine. "The deaths are a clear sign that rebel
Roberto Jorquera On May 31, Associated Press reported that for a second day Santiago police sprayed water cannon and tear gas to disperse protesters supporting a nationwide strike by high-school students demanding a national government takeover of
Doug Lorimer "Word that US Marines may have killed two dozen Iraqi civilians in 'cold-blooded' revenge after an insurgent attack has shocked Americans but many Iraqis shrug it off as an every day fact of life under occupation", Reuters reported on
Alastair Crooke Almost no-one believes that putting Palestinians on a "diet" will make them more moderate or help to restart a political process with Israel. The diet — a term coined by forumer Israeli PM Ariel Sharon's chief of staff, Dov
On May 28, the left-nationalist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced that it had informed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh that it was willing to enter into negotiations on joining the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government. AFP
On May 19, former University of the Philippines president Francisco Nemenzo, now chairperson of the left coalition Laban ng Masa (Struggle of the masses), denounced the murder of Movement for National Democracy (KDP) leader Analiza Gandia in Balanga,
On May 1, millions of immigrants and their supporters took part in protests and stay-aways throughout the US. Hundreds of thousands of others skipped school or boycotted shopping. It was a spectacular manifestation of the movement that arose in
Eva Cheng Having been revived after four years on the back of a mass people's movement, on May 18 Nepal's parliament proclaimed a series of measures to downgrade the power of the country's king. However, the measures stopped short of abolishing the
James Balowski, Jakarta The official death toll from the massive earthquake that struck densely populated Yogyakarta and parts of Central Java on May 27 now stands at more than 6200, with more than 46,000 people injured — 33,000 seriously.
Jim McIlroy & Coral Wynter, Caracas The second national congress of the National Union of Workers (UNT), the main progressive union federation in Venezuela, was suspended on May 27 after factional divisions led to a walkout by groups representing a
Jenny Richards Mexican state police unleashed a wave of terror on the towns of San Salvador Atenco and Texcoco, about 25 kilometres north-east of Mexico City, after residents staged highway blockades on May 3 in solidarity with 60 flower vendors
The following statement by Dita Indah Sari, chairperson of the People's Democratic Party, was issued on June 1. As a result of the earthquake that struck Yogyakarta and parts of Central Java on May 27, some 5800 people have died and 20,000 have
Josue Wilson, Merida Venezuelanalysis.com reported on May 30 that "Classes at the University of the Andes [ULA] were suspended again yesterday, as disturbances and protests continued in Merida for the fourth straight business day". The violent

Culture

Rob Riley, an Aboriginal Leader's Quest for JusticeBy Quentin BeresfordAboriginal Studies Press, 2006374 pages, $39.95 REVIEW BY BARRY HEALY Rob Riley was a major leader of Aboriginal Australia whose influence was felt from the streets of Perth,
What Every Radical Should Know About State RepressionBy Victor SergeOcean Press 2005148 pages (pb) $25 REVIEW BY ALEX MILLER Victor Serge was born to Russian refugee parents in Brussels in 1890. Originally an anarchist, he joined the Russian
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: The Shocking Inside Story of How America Really Took Over the WorldBy John PerkinsEbury Press, 2006250 pages, $24.95 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON John Perkins cut a brazen figure at meetings of the international
Compass: Mystery vs Rationalism — Examines the debates between science and religion. ABC2, Friday, June 9, 6.55pm. The Best of the Chaser's War on Everything — Confronting and lampooning key players from the world of politics, business,