Issue 672


PERTH — A 10-year-old Aboriginal girl was pepper-sprayed and handcuffed by four police officers at Millen Primary School in East Victoria Park on June 14. According to an Aboriginal tutor at the school, the girl was denied the right to go to
Sue Bolton, Melbourne In cities across Australia on June 15, nearly 1000 people joined rallies and marches to demand a "fair deal for cleaners". Rallies were held in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. The
Farida Iqbal, Canberra On June 13, federal attorney-general Philip Ruddock and federal territories minister Jim Lloyd met with Governor-General Michael Jeffery to disallow legislation adopted by the Australian Capital Territory parliament according
PERTH — One hundred and fifty people held a candlelight vigil on the steps of Parliament House on June 15 to remember and demand justice for Carl Woods, who died in police custody on April 11. A relative who saw Woods' body in the morgue said he'd
PERTH — The Kalamunda Shire council, which covers some of the outer suburbs east of Perth, has written to Stuart Henry, Liberal MHR for the seat of Hasluck, to express its opposition to the location of any nuclear reactor within the shire. This
In Canberra, 150 people joined the World Refugee Day rally on June 13, organised by the Refugee Action Committee. Photo by Andrew Hall. From Green Left Weekly, June 21 2006. Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.
Kiraz Janicke, Geelong More than 80 people, including young workers from the Gold Coast, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, joined local participants at Geelong Trades Hall on June 17 for the "Up Yours Howard" young workers' conference. The conference
Dirk van Dalen & Liam Mitchell The retailer Spotlight has imposed Australian Workplace Agreements on staff, giving a $0.02 per hour wage rise in exchange for eliminating penalty rates, rest breaks, and overtime and holiday pay rates. The result is
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) is to launch a website, the contents of which will be secret, for large corporations to be fed information about "threats". It is expected that the site will contain information about protest
Carey Hemingway, Brisbane The 15th annual Students of Sustainability (SoS) conference, the largest student-run environment conference in Australia, will take place in Brisbane on July 9-15. Ellie Smith, convenor of Queensland Environment Activist
Peter Boyle Michael Gerson, US President George Bush's chief speechwriter for the past seven years, is retiring from the White House. Someone else will have to come up with phrases like "axis of evil", "the soft bigotry of low expectations" and
CANBERRA — "The discussion we are having in Australia at the moment about uranium has nothing to do with nuclear power for energy. The whole debate is about mining, enrichment and taking back waste, about generating export dollars from the sale of
Gerry Watt The tragedy of woodchipping in south-eastern Australia continues behind a smokescreen of glossy state and industry propaganda that has led many to believe the problems in our forests are over. Forestry management practices are rapidly
Andrew Hall, Canberra Many refugee-rights advocates describe the Howard government's Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill 2006 as worse than the policy of mandatory detention introduced by the Hawke Labor government in the
Geoff Payne, Newcastle The Queen's Birthday weekend conference of the NSW Labor Party rejected a motion, moved by the Newcastle State Electorate Council, supporting the rank-and-file preselection of Bryce Gaudry, the member for Newcastle since
Gregory Martin, Gold Coast On June 10, 20 people attended a seminar and political performance at Fradgely Hall in Burleigh Heads, organised by the Gold Coast branch of the Socialist Alliance. Participants discussed progress in socialist


On June 12, a demonstration in Tehran demanding equal rights for women was brutally repressed by police as protesters began gathering for the action. More than 70 people were arrested when police used tear gas and beat protesters. Red paint was
Tomas Freitas is the director of Luta Hamutuk (Fight Together), a research and advocacy institute focusing on economic issues, including East Timor's Petroleum Fund. The Petroleum Fund is a mechanism to regulate the expenditure of East Timor's oil
On June 12, up to 10 students were killed when security forces shot protesters in Conakry. The students were demonstrating against the cancellation of pre-university exams after teachers joined a nationwide strike against price rises for fuel and
Kim Bullimore In a dangerous game of brinkmanship with the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the main opposition Fatah party, issued a presidential decree on June 10
A 15-country poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press had found that people believe the US-led occupation is a greater threat to stability in the Middle East than Iran, Associated Press reported on June 13. People in Britain,
Aurora Morales, member of the Venezuelan National Assembly and secretary for international relations for the Movement for the Fifth Republic (MVR) party, was a guest speaker at an international conference, "Socialism in Latin America: Experiences in
Two Sri Lankan Air Force jets began bombing the town of Mullaithivu and its suburbs on June 15, according to a TamilNet report. The town is controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. The LTTE's S. Elilan said that Sampoor and Muttur East in
On June 11, Suzanne Swift was arrested at her mother's house in Eugene, Oregon. Swift, a soldier in the military police, had refused to return to Iraq. The Register-Guard reported on June 15 that Swift says she will not redeploy because "she was
On June 12, Bolivian President Evo Morales encouraged indigenous Ecuadorians to continue their fight for control over their natural resources during a visit to Quito for a meeting of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN). Addressing a crowd opposite
On June 14, West Papuan non-violent activist and human rights advocate Jonah Wenda was arrested in the West Koya area, about 30 kilometres from the Papua New Guinean border, and later transferred to Jayapura, where he is being detained. Wenda was
Robyn Marshall & Bill Mason On May 27, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the country's main revolutionary guerrilla movement, marked 42 years of struggle. Speaking from a jungle camp, Raul Reyes, secretary for international
William Engdahl Curiously and quietly the United States is being outflanked in its now-obvious strategy of controlling major oil and energy sources of the Persian Gulf, Central Asia's Caspian Basin, Africa and beyond. The US's global energy
Jim McIlroy & Coral Wynter, Caracas Several thousand indigenous people gathered in the Plaza Venezuela on June 7 for the First National March of Indigenous Peoples, organised by Conive (the National Council of Indigenous People of Venezuela).
Stuart Munckton Venezuela has launched a new social mission aiming to reverse deforestation, according to a June 4 Venezuelan Presidential Press Office statement. Mission Tree aims to plant 100 million trees within five years. Launching the
Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy, Caracas Maria Rosa Jimenez is a leader of the Frente Francisco de Miranda (FFM), the major organisation mobilising young people in support of Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution. She will shortly be touring Australia to
Doug Lorimer Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, who holds the European Union rotating presidency, told the June 9 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Iran had until the next meeting of the Group of Eight industrialised countries (G8) to
On June 15, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's flagship, Farley Mowat, managed to escape from Cape Town's harbour. The ship had been detained when it returned from Antarctic waters, where it had pursued the Japanese whaling fleet. The Sea
Doug Lorimer "Fears of an imminent offensive by the US troops massed around the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi intensified Saturday, with residents pouring out of the city to escape what they describe as a mounting humanitarian crisis", the June 11
In response to the suicides of inmates at the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, US group International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and Racism) issued the following statement. Three men who had been held at Guantanamo Bay for four years resorted to
Kim Bullimore On June 13, the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) organisation called on Israel to launch an immediate, independent investigation into the explosion on June 9 that killed seven Palestinian civilians picnicking on a northern Gaza
Doug Lorimer "The investigation of an alleged Marine massacre of 24 civilians in Haditha, Iraq, last year has focused on whether cash payments to the families of victims were part of a cover-up", the June 8 New York Daily News reported. The
Jon Lamb East Timor's foreign minister Jose Ramos Horta formally requested to a special session of the United Nations Security Council on June 14 that the UN Office In East Timor be extended by at least one month to August 22. The Security Council


The Chaser's War on Everything — Confronting and lampooning key players from the world of politics, business, religion, media and culture. ABC, Friday, June 23, 10.15pm. Sixty Thousand Barrels — Nancy Hillier, a defiant and audacious
POEM BY JOHN TOMLINSON Refugee, asylum seekerwho's the listener,who's the speaker? Are you ventriloquist or fakerwho's the giver,who's the taker? Compassion now, or racist pridewhich is decent,who has lied? Come, citizen or overlordwere children
The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man who sent Charles I to the ScaffoldBy Geoffrey RobertsonVintage Books, 2006429 pages, $35 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON "You shall be hung by the neck", declaimed the gleeful judge in 1660, "and being
A Fantastic Dad and His Romantic DaughterBy Mairi McKenzie378 pages, $30Phone (08) 9371 8521 REVIEW BY BARRY HEALY The fantastic dad of this title, Thomas Wignall, was a leading member of the Communist Party in WA from the 1920s onwards. He was
BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS British/ Sri Lankan singer MIA. (Maya Arulpragasam) was banned from entering the United States in May by the US immigration department. While US officials are refusing to make public any reason, there is speculation that the