Issue 675

Australia

Sam Wainwright Thirty-six seafarers employed on the chemical carrier MT Stolt Australia who were facing the sack won a victory on July 14, when their employer signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). On
Lisa Macdonald, Sydney Braving heavy rain, around 100 people rallied at Sydney Town Hall on July 15 to demand "Close Guantanamo", "Stop the torture" and "Bring David Hicks home". The action, organised by Sydney's Stop the War Coalition, the
MELBOURNE — The annual Network of Women Students Australia conference was held at Melbourne University on July 10-14. The national conference brought together more than 60 women students for a week of discussion around the theme "Pushing
Clayton McDonald, Sydney There are 800,000 children under 14 years of age in Gaza, and the sonic booms being deliberately created by low-flying Israeli military aircraft are inflicting psychological damage on these children, Dr Bernard Sabella, a
Tony Iltis, Melbourne Following an emergency demonstration of 150 people on July 5 to call for a halt to Israel's military assault on Gaza and recognition of Palestine's national and democratic rights, a second rally supporting these demands and
Kerry Smith On July 11, more than 1000 workers at Coles Myer distribution centres — 440 in Somersby near Gosford and 580 in Hampton Park in Melbourne — received redundancy notices. The Somersby workers say they had heard rumours the warehouse
Sunday, August 6 No nuclear power, no uranium mining, troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and no attack on Iran Sydney 1pm rally at Hyde Park North for a march through the city. Ph Diane 0413 003 148 Brisbane 2pm rally at Queens Park.
Ana Hanson, Eden Six hundred activists from around Australia gathered at the South East Fibre Exports woodchip mill, south of Eden in NSW, on July 2 to protest against the logging of native forests. Ninety per cent of wood logged in the Eden area
Emma Brown & Marcus Greville, Melbourne Alex Tilman, a representative of Fretlin, the largest political party in East Timor, and Vannessa Hearman, an Asia-Pacific journalist and solidarity activist, addressed a July 13 Green Left Weekly-organised
CANBERRA — Ali Kazak, head of the Palestinian delegation in Canberra, and James Crafti from the Socialist Alliance addressed an emergency rally on July 13 organised by Australians for Justice and Peace in Palestine. The protesters called for an end
SYDNEY — Mal Peters from the WA CFMEU, who was fined $28,000 for participating in a strike on the Perth to Mandura rail line construction project, and his partner Bernadette, will speak about what led to the workers taking the strike action that
MELBOURNE — Solidarity activists protested outside the El Salvador consulate here on July 14, where members of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) explained the atrocities being committed by El Salvador's government, which is
SYDNEY — On July 12, 100 people picketed John Howard as he arrived to address a meeting in the Blacktown Workers Club. The action, organised by Unions NSW to protest against the Work Choices laws, was attended by members of the Construction,
Kerry Smith, Sydney On July 14, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) announced that Lucas Heights would be given an operating licence for its new reactor. The decision will allow the Australian Nuclear Science
SYDNEY — The Department of Corrective Services' decision to reduce family contact with women prisoners, and children seeing their mothers, is "heartless mismanagement that will have disastrous effects on prisoners' rehabilitation" said Kat
Noreen Navin, Sydney After a drawn-out absence from Community TV Sydney (TVS), Actively Radical TV (ARTV) has been reinstated to the community station, Channel 31. However, the conditions imposed by TVS management are unnecessarily onerous.
Peter Boyle Have you had enough of the tug of war between John Howard and Peter Costello over who gets to run the government of the corporate rich in Australia? You promised me I could be PM, whines Costello. Howard responds with standard Howardian
SYDNEY — At least 120 people assembled outside the Egyptian consulate here on July 15 to condemn Israel's aggression against Palestine and Lebanon. The protest, called by Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia, also condemned Arab leaders, particularly Egyptian
PERTH — Three women set off from Perth on July 11 to cross the Nullarbor on foot and deliver a message against racism to Canberra. Jane Paterson (70), Kathryn Newmar (62) and Pam Morris (74) will be armed with petitions, to be completed by people
Sue Bull, Geelong On July 5, unionists at the University of Ballarat voted to accept a new collective agreement. The agreement is the result of a long fight led by the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) against the university and the
BRISBANE — Workers at garage-door company Gliderol became a test case for Howard's new industrial relations laws. According to Darren Needham, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) delegate at Gliderol, the company refused to negotiate
Alex Milne, Melbourne Helen Caldicott's book Nuclear Power is not the Answer to Global Warming or Anything Else was launched at Trades Hall on June 3. Speaking with her were Hillel Freedman from Nuclear Free Australia, former Nuclear Disarmament
Bronwyn Jennings Around 100 teachers and school support staff attended the annual state conference of the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) on July 8. One of the most contentious issues was public-private partnerships (PPPs)

Bronwyn Jennings

Around 100 teachers and school support staff attended the annual state conference of the Victorian branch of the Australian Education Union (AEU) on July 8. One of the most contentious issues was public-private partnerships (PPPs) in education.

World

On July 10, Samsul Bahri, the chairperson of the Centre for Information on Aceh Referendum (SIRA) in the Tamiang region, and Saharuddin, SIRA chairperson in the Blang Pidie region, were arrested by security officers and taken to the police
On June 24, draft legislation was presented to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress — China's rubber-stamp law-making body — that would require reporters to ask for official permission before reporting on incidents of
Doug Lorimer "Hundreds of US Marines stormed through dimly lit hallways of the largest hospital in western Iraq on [July 5], taking control of a facility allegedly used by insurgents", Associated Press reported from Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's
On July 5, the US-based Venezuela Solidarity Network launched a campaign against the Mercenaries 2: World in Flames video game, which simulates an invasion of Venezuela to regain control of Venezuela's oil supply from a "power hungry tyrant". The
Venezuelanalysis.com reported on July 11 that the government of socialist President Hugo Chavez has set aside $10 million to compensate the families of campesino (peasant) leaders assassinated in the period since Venezuela's land reform program began
Simon Cooper, Istanbul In three successive days, criminal investigations were launched against five leaders of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) by Turkish government authorities. The alleged crimes are of "praising and aiding" the
Lara Pullin "I'm letting you know they have killed my parents ... I don't know exactly at what hour but it was early this morning ... you are my only family now, and we can't rest until justice is done." On the morning of July 1, members of the
Jim McIlroy& Coral Wynter, Barquisimeto Some 800-1000 members of revolutionary organisations from around Venezuela gathered in the regional centre of Barquisimeto in the state of Lara on July 1-2 for the First National Conference of Revolutionaries
On June 29, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) picketed the Johannesburg offices of BHP Billiton in solidarity with Australian unions fighting against the government's draconian anti-worker laws. A COSATU statement noted that "These
Michael Fox, Caracas Thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people marched in this year's GLBT Pride parade in Caracas on July 2. This marks the sixth year in a row that Venezuela has held a gay pride parade. The colorful and
According to a July 11 statement issued by the Trade Union Solidarity Action Committee of St Petersburg and Leningrad region, activists planning protests against the July 15-17 G8 summit in St Petersburg are facing a wave of violence and repression.
Eva Cheng On July 12, rebel legislator "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung and fellow pro-democracy activist Koo Sze-yiu won a partial victory against the Hong Kong government in the Court of Final Appeal, and were awarded their legal costs for the case.
Alex Miller Prime Minister Tony Blair's government has announced that nearly 900 additional troops are to be sent to Afghanistan, bringing the total number of British troops there to around 4500. The July 11 British Guardian reported that an
Roberto Jorquera The July 2 Mexican presidential election were marked by large-scale vote rigging by the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE). There has been overwhelming condemnation by Mexican and international observers, with many referring to the
Avelino Coelho da Silva, Dili The conflict that arose recently in Timor Leste has caused more suffering for the nation's poor people, confronting them with an uncertain economic and political future. This conflict need not have happened if all
Jim McIlroy & Coral Wynter, Caracas Ninety workers employed as security guards at the University of the Oriente, mostly from the Cumana campus in the state of Sucre, protested outside the National Assembly on June 29 over the refusal of the
Katarina Pujiastuti The spirit of unity filled the air as democratic organisations agreed to build a Party of National Liberation Unity (KP-PAPERNAS). Trade unions, student organisations, progressive political parties and poor people's
The following is abridged from a July 6 blog entry by Lama Hourani, the coordinator of the Palestinian Working Women Society for Development in Gaza. Hanan, a field educator in our organisation, lives in the northern area of Gaza City. A beautiful,
The following is abridged from a statement issued on July 10 by Friends of the Earth International. Friends of the Earth International, the Climate Justice Programme and Greenpeace have reacted angrily after the World Heritage Committee refused to
Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy, Caracas Merida is a lovely city located high in the Andes. It is a famous resort, well-known to tourists. On the afternoon of June 21 students were watching a game of football on the TV set in the cafeteria of the
Stuart Harrison A US$80 million fund has been approved by US President George Bush to help the United States achieve "regime change" in Cuba. The second report from the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba, released on July 5, outlines
In response to the bombing of seven trains in Mumbai on July 11, which killed some 200 people and wounded hundreds more, the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) made the following statement. The CPI(ML) condemns in the strongest words the
Rupen Savoulian Afghanistan faces its worst military crisis since the fall of the Taliban in October 2001. There has been a surge of fighting particularly, but not only, in the southern provinces. The US-sponsored government of President Hamid
According to the July 15 London Guardian, "No individual police officers involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes will face prosecution over his death. The Crown Prosecution Service has ruled out murder or manslaughter charges after a
Most of Papua New Guinea's 37,000 teachers have embarked on an indefinite strike over a pay dispute. According to the July 11 Post-Courier, Papua New Guinea Teachers Association president Tommy Hecko said that some 25,000 teachers are not receiving

Culture

Ten CanoesWritten by Rolf de Heer and the people of RaminginingCo-directed by Peter Djigirr and Rolf de HeerScreening nationally at selected cinemas REVIEW BY LACHLAN MALLOCH "We come from this land. People, Balanda [white people], always come,
A Rebel's Guide to MarxBy Mick GonzalezBookmarks Publications 200657 pages (Available from <http://www.bookmarks.uk.com>) REVIEW BY ALEX MILLER Karl Marx is a notoriously difficult author: despite writing some of the most effective
Caetano Veloso — Musicians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil express their views on the racial problems in Brazil and how music has been a way for them to implement changes in society. SBS, Saturday, July 22, 2.25pm. Fond Memories of Cuba — David
The Real Oliver Twist: Robert Blincoe — A Life that Illuminates an AgeBy John WallerIcon Books, 2005468pp, $39.95 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON The beatings and tortures were cruel and constant — Robert Blincoe, a mere child, would be kicked