Issue 673

Australia

Nick Fredman, Lismore Following a successful tour last September, Unions NSW has again decked out a bus in orange and the Rights at Work logo and taken the campaign against the federal government's Work Choices legislation to regional NSW. Many of
The following abridged letter from Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of Congress of South African Trade Unions, was handed to the Australian High Commissioner on June 13. Workers' interests in Australia are being increasingly undermined. The
CANBERRA — A delegation from the Northern Territory visited federal politicians in Canberra on June 21-22 to express their opposition to a proposed radioactive waste dump mooted for the NT. The delegation consisted of Mt Everard traditional
Colin Mitchell, Melbourne On June 14, 13 men who were arrested in sensationalised raids in Melbourne in November and March appeared in court and were charged with belonging to an unnamed terrorist organisation and donating money to that
Paul Benedek, Brisbane "This bridge will mean more cars, more pollution, more asthma, more road deaths, and it will be the vulnerable — pensioners and children — that will suffer the most", a resident told a rowdy June 20 meeting discussing the
Rallies to mark World Refugee Day took place in Brisbane on June 24 and Sydney (pictured) on June 25, following protests in a range of other cities the previous week.From Green Left Weekly, June 28, 2006. Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.
Karl Miller, Canberra ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope says he is sorry the decision to close schools across Canberra has caused so much anger in the community. "I don't like the fact I've upset significant numbers of Canberrans", he said on June
Justine Kamprad, Geelong Inspired by the activities of Union Solidarity, a Melbourne community-union campaigning group, a group of 30 people met at South West Trades Hall on June 21 to set up South West Community Solidarity. In Liberal Party
BRISBANE — After two months of deliberation, Brisbane magistrate Kerry McGuiness found Jim Dowling, a long-time peace activist and member of the Catholic Worker group, not guilty on June 1 on a charge of obstructing police when they arrested him
NEWCASTLE — All kinds of drivers tooted their car horns as they drove past the protest outside the Newcastle Spotlight store on June 22. The community action expressed solidarity with Spotlight unionists and condemned Spotlight's attempts to
SYDNEY — Congratulations to the winners of the first Sydney Green Left Weekly raffle of 2006, which was drawn at GLW's Club Che Latin fiesta on June 17. First prize went to K. Baker of Caringbah, who won $400 worth of books, CDs and DVDs. Second
Rachel Evans A total of 400 people in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra took part in rallies in the week following the federal Coalition government's June 13 disallowing of the ACT's civil unions law. The law had granted legal recognition to same-sex

World

Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy, Caracas The June 20 Diario Vea reported that more than 4000 campesinos (peasants) marched in the town of Guasdualito, in Apure state, near the border with Colombia. The protesters alleged that right-wing paramilitaries
Protests calling for an end to Burma's military dictatorship were held in more than 25 countries around the world on June 19, marking the 61st birthday of Aung San Suu Kyi. Suu Kyi, the leader of Burma's National League For Democracy, is under house
Doug Lorimer The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued a statement on June 20 complaining that access to Ramadi, capital of Iraq's western Anbar province, "is very restricted. As a result, food and medical supplies are
Jim McIlroy & Coral Wynter, Caracas During its April-May tour of Venezuela, an Australian trade union brigade organised by the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network visited the Invepal paper plant at Moron, west of Caracas. After the owners
Pablo Stefanoni, La Paz Only a few days out from the July 2 constituent assembly elections and referendum on regional autonomy, the focus of Bolivia's electoral campaign was not any of the candidates — most of them practically unknown to voters
The June 13 ML Update reported that the Bharatiya Janata Party government of the state of Jharkhand has received nationwide condemnation for attempts to frame Dipankar Bhattacharya, the general secretary of the Communist Party of India
Percy Ngonyama, Durban In the days leading up to the 30th anniversary of the June 16, 1976, Soweto uprising, young people were urged by the government and South Africa's National Youth Commission to take part in planned nationwide commemorations.
Alex Miller In a near-repeat of the incident last July in which innocent electrician Jean Claude De Menezes was shot and killed at point-blank range by British armed police, Mohammed Abdul Kahar was shot in the chest during a June 2 "anti-terror"
Doug Lorimer The Washington Post reported on June 18 that it had obtained a copy of a cable sent to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from the US embassy in Baghdad that paints "a starkly different portrait" from the White House's public
Ian Angus, Toronto On June 2, a combined force of local, provincial and federal police arrested 15 young Muslim men, including five minors, in the Toronto area. Those 15, and two others who have been in jail since last August, are accused of
An appeal for help has been smuggled out by the final group of Bushmen still inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. The 30-odd Bushmen wrote that they are continually "harassed and threatened by wildlife officials and scouts", who "pressure us to
Vannessa Hearman On June 22, East Timor's President Xanana Gusmao threatened to resign if Fretilin Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri does not resign first. Gusmao accused the Fretilin majority in the government of doing "bad things to the people". In
Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy, Caracas Thousands of women gathered in front of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) on June 8 to demonstrate against the partial annulment of the law dealing with "violence against women and the family". The event,
Wael Khalil from the Egyptian Anti-Globalisation Group remains in pre-trial detention after he was arrested at an April 27 protest in support of the independence of the judiciary. Khalil has been actively involved in many grassroots campaigns against
Chris Slee On June 17, troops from the Sri Lankan navy carried out a massacre of Tamil civilians hiding in a church in the fishing village of Pesalai. According to a report by Krishan Francis in the June 19 Melbourne Age, "Sri Lankan forces,
Rohan Pearce On June 5, militia aligned with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) declared victory in their struggle to control Mogadishu, capital of the east African country of Somalia. The militia had routed the grossly misnamed Alliance for the
The Washington Post reported on June 18 that 340 air strikes have been carried out by US forces in Afghanistan over the past three months. According to a Reuters report, more than double the number of air strikes were carried out in Afghanistan than
On June 19 prosecutors requested the indictment of Mario Lozano, a member of the US National Guard, over the murder of Nicola Calipari. Calipari was killed in Iraq in March last year when at least one soldier at a US checkpoint opened fire on the car
According to an opinion poll conducted by Hart/McInturff on June 9-12 for the Wall Street Journal and NBC TV News, 52% of US adults think removing Iraq's Saddam Hussein from power was not worth the number of US military casualties and the financial
On June 19, police arrested some 100 women at a march in Filabusi organised by Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA). The protesters were demanding the reinstatement of their children, who had been expelled from their schools for failing to pay fees. Two
EUROPEAN UNION: Complicity with US torture slammed Human rights group Amnesty International has released a report on the role of European Union nations in the US program of "renditions". The report, published on June 14, documents EU complicity
Stuart Munckton Venezuela's push to join the United Nations Security Council has triggered a new conflict between the government of socialist President Hugo Chavez and Washington, which is desperately manoeuvring to stop this from occurring.
Nick Everett East Timor's current political crisis began when a group of soldiers from the country's west — which grew from 140 to 591 — signed a petition claiming discrimination inside the 1300-strong East Timorese Defence Force (FDTL). In
Shane Bentley The weeks of street demonstrations and strike days that forced the French government to withdraw the First Employment Contract laws in April occurred 70 years after another historic event — the wave of strikes and factory
Sarah Knopp, a member of the Green Party and the International Socialist Organization, won 17.2% of the vote in the June 6 election for California's superintendent for public instruction. The result is believed to be a Green Party record for a

Culture

Message Stick: Glenn Skuthorpe — Inside the lives and characters of Indigenous Australians across the country, presented in their own voices. ABC, Friday, June 30, 6.04pm. The Chaser's War on Everything — Confronting and lampooning key players
REVIEW BY TOM CRUMPACKER Fightback: A Collection of Socialist EssaysBy Sylvia WeinsteinSocialist Viewpoint Publishing, 2003358 pages, US$ 25.00 (pb)Order from 1380 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110Send cheque for US$25.00 + 5.95, shipping and
BY BREE MCKILLIGAN Indigenous prisoners in Victoria will be broadcasting live from July 3 to 7 on 3CR 855AM in Melbourne during NAIDOC (National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee) Week. In Australia's only live broadcasts from
Enemy Combatant, A British Muslim's Journey to Guantanamo and BackBy Moazzam Begg with Victoria BrittainFree Press, 2006395 pages, $34.95 REVIEW BY BARRY HEALY After the suicide of three inmates of the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp on June
Art Resistance TV, edition 14Produced by Art ResistanceSingle DVD $25, or by subscriptionemail <artres@aussieisp.net.au> REVIEW BY JILL HICKSON The latest DVD release from Art Resistance contains four programs. The first features