Issue 677

Australia

Alex Bainbridge, Sydney "We are not facing an enemy to the Muslim people, nor an enemy to the Middle East ... It's an enemy to humanity in general", Islamic Friendship Association president Keysar Trad told a July 26 public forum on Israel's wars on
SYDNEY — Addressing 60 people at the Parramatta Town Hall on July 25, ABC TV's NSW Stateline program presenter Quentin Dempster challenged the recent appointment of conservative historian Keith Windschuttle to the ABC's board of directors. Dempster
CANBERRA — Hundreds of protesters converged on the opening of the ALP ACT branch annual conference on July 29, leafleting delegates on issues ranging from uranium mining, through public education to the Save the Ridge campaign. The protest was
Colin Mitchell, Melbourne On July 24, activists from Civil Rights Defence (CRD) protested in front of the County Court at the committal hearing of 13 Muslim men arrested in raids in Melbourne last November and March. The men are accused of
Following the 30,000-strong protests around Australia on July 22 against Israel's bombing of Lebanon and Gaza, anti-war actions continued last week, with plans for more during the next fortnight. Linda Seaborn reports from Hobart that 40 people
Liam Mitchell, Sydney On July 24, a lunchtime solidarity meeting with a member of the Western Australian branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) who is facing a heavy fine for taking strike action was held on the
NEWCASTLE — On July 21, 70 truck drivers protested outside the Coles store in the NSW Central Coast town of Wyoming after being left with no job security by Coles-Myer and the Linfox trucking company following the closure of the nearby Coles-Myer
In a July 29 media release, the refugee rights group Project SafeCom condemned the immigration department's decision to order a sick nine-year-old Afghan boy living in community detention in Brisbane to be relocated to the detention facility on
SYDNEY — Thirty people attended a forum organised by the Parramatta Peace Group on July 29 on the theme of "Iran and the myth of a nuclear threat". The keynote speaker, Greens Senator Kerry Nettle, restated the Greens' opposition to nuclear energy
GEELONG — On July 24, 200 people jeered PM John Howard as he arrived to attend a meet-and-greet in Bannockburn, a small rural town 22 kilometres north-west of Geelong. The protesters, including trade unionists, environmentalists, pensioners,
Sashi Dharann, Melbourne A 24-hour candlelight vigil was held on July 24-25 in remembrance of the victims of the 1983 "Black July" anti-Tamil riots in Sri Lanka. "There is not one Tamil person who was not directly affected by these events, whether
Peter Boyle Share prices for BHP Billiton (Olympic Dam uranium mine) and Rio Tinto (Ranger mine) leapt up when Labor leader Kim Beazley announced that he would campaign to overturn Labor's "no new uranium mines" policy at the next party conference.
A former union organiser in Australia, Sari Kassis, is in war-torn southern Lebanon helping 750 displaced people sheltering in a local school. Kassis is appealing for help as hundreds of thousands of Lebanese families flee their homes. "Internally

World

According to Doug Rokke, the former director of the US Army's depleted uranium project, the US's delivery of 100 GBU 28 laser-guided bunker-buster bombs with depleted uranium warheads to Israel for use in its brutal offensive against Lebanon will
Doug Lorimer On July 22, US troops attacked the offices of the Shiite-based Mahdi Army militia in the town of Musayyib, 64 kilometres south of Baghdad, "killing 15 militiamen in a three-hour battle", Associated Press reported. AP also reported that
John Pilger The National Museum of American History is part of the celebrated Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Surrounded by mock Graeco-Roman edifices with their soaring Corinthian columns, rampant eagles and chiselled profundities, it is
On July 24 representatives of the six commands of the Tentara Pembebasan Nasional (the National Liberation Army) announced the creation of a unified command structure. The representatives, who held a meeting in Madang in neighbouring Papua New
Roberto Jorquera Mexicans went to the polls on July 2 to elect a new president. Officially, Felipe Calderon from the pro-business National Action Party won by 0.58%. However, it has become increasingly clear that the elections were stolen by
ISTANBUL — More than 5000 people assembled for a rally and march in Taksim Square on July 29 to demand that Israel halt its military offensive against Lebanon and the Palestinians in the Gaza strip. The demonstration was called by the Confederation
Stuart Munckton According to a July 23 VHeadline.com report, campesino [peasant] leader Braulio Alvarez escaped with minor injuries after the car he was driving "came under a hail of bullets". Alvarez is a deputy in the National Assembly (AN) for
Max Lane, Jakarta On July 23, 1500 people attended a rally at the National Library of Indonesia to publicly launch a new political party — the Preparatory Committee of the National Liberation Party of Unity (KP-Papernas) — for the 2009
On July 25, an Irish court acquitted five protesters, including Ciaran O'Reilly from Brisbane, of damaging a US war plane at Shannon airport to protest against the Iraq war. All are pacifists from the Catholic Worker Movement, and used hammers and an
Protests were held in some 30 of Nepal's 75 districts on July 26, organised by the Citizens Movement for Democracy and Peace, an umbrella body of non-party organisations. The protest in the capital, Kathmandu, reportedly attracted 2000-3000.
Dale T. McKinley, Johannesburg The alliance is dead! Long live the alliance! That about sums up the politics of the organisational marriage between the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of
Kim Bullimore While most world attention has focused on the brutal Israeli attack on Lebanon, Israeli occupation forces have continued to their month-long assault on the Gaza Strip. Since June 28, Israeli occupation forces have carried out more than
US Socialist Worker's Eric Ruder looks at debates about the impact of the "pro-Israel lobby" on US foreign policy and the real reasons behind US backing of Israel's wars. In March, two academics touched off a firestorm of debate with a paper called
An opinion poll conducted by ISM research found that 63% of British voters believe the British government should break from its current position of subservience to the US administration. The findings of the poll were published in the July 25 London
On July 24, 20,000 people rallied to mark President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's annual State of the Nation address to the Philippines Congress. Arroyo has survived a deep political crisis that resulted from revelations of widespread cheating during the
Eva Cheng Led by the United States and the European Union, the rich nations' campaign to force open Third World countries' markets while protecting their own was frustrated again when the round of World Trade Organisation-sponsored negotiations
Stuart Munckton The 30th Common Market of the South (Mercosur) summit was held on July 20-21 in Cordoba, Argentina, and was the first presidential summit since Mercosur accepted Venezuela as a full member on July 4. Mercosur also includes Brazil,
An estimated 100,000 people gathered to celebrate Revolution Day (July 26) in Bayamo, the capital of Cuba's Granma Province. The rally marked the 53rd anniversary of the attacks on the Moncada Barracks led by Fidel Castro, now Cuba's president.
Coral Wynter&Jim McIlroy, Caracas Around 10,000 people rallied in the Poliedro amphitheatre on June 29 to celebrate the third anniversary of the founding of the Frente Francisco de Miranda. The FFM is the leading organisation mobilising youth in

Editorial

On July 23, defence minister Brendan Nelson announced that Canberra is willing to contribute armed Australian soldiers to a "robust" (meaning armed and prepared to carry out combat operations) international "peacekeeping" force to "stablise" Lebanon.

Culture

Stalingrad — Anti-war drama made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the pivotal WWII battle, Germany's worst defeat and the beginning of the end. SBS, Friday, August 4, 12.05am. Message Stick: Faith Thomas — Faith Thomas was the first
J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American CenturyBy David C. CassidyPi Press, 2005462 pages, $39.95 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON J. Robert Oppenheimer built the atomic bomb. Awestruck by the power of its test bombing at Alamogordo in the New Mexico
JindabyneDirected by Ray LawrenceScreenplay by Beatrix ChristianWith Laura Linney and Gabriel ByrneShowing at major cinemas REVIEW BY GRAHAM MATTHEWS Four men go on a weekend fishing trip into the high-country of the Snowy Mountains. It's an
Suiting Themselves, How Corporations are Driving the Global AgendaBy Sharon BederEarthscan, London258 pages, $55.50available in Australia from <http://www.dadirect.com.au> Escaping the Matrix, How We the People Can change the WorldBy
Come and SeeDirected by Elem KlimovScreenplay by Elem Klimov and Ales AdamovichDVD Release, Noveaux Pictures REVIEW BY ALEX MILLER This film, directed by Soviet cinema legend Elem Klimov, was originally released in cinemas in 1985 and is here