Issue 678

Australia

Mick Bull, Melbourne A community assembly was set up on August 4 outside the gates of Amcor Flexibles' factory in the northern suburb of Preston to support union delegates and members victimised by the anti-union packaging giant. The workers belong
NEWCASTLE — The Socialist Alliance, Rising Tide and the ALP organised a commemoration of Hiroshima Day with a rally on August 5. Speakers from each supporting group addressed the injustice of Israel's occupation of Palestine and bombing of
Pip Hinman Refugee-rights campaigners and supporters of a free West Papua welcomed the Refugee Review Tribunal's (RRT) ruling on July 31 to overturn the government's decision not to grant a temporary visa to the last of the 43 West Papuan asylum
Chris Latham, Perth On July 29, 200 people gathered in the city to express their opposition to Israel's wars on Lebanon and Palestine. The rally, called by the recently formed Just Peace in the Middle East, was addressed by members of Perth's
Rallies marking the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing took place in cities around Australia on August 6, including in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth. As well as opposing nuclear power and uranium mining, the protesters demanded
Sue Bolton Some employers are salivating for an opportunity to try out the parts of the federal government's new industrial laws that fine workers for taking industrial action. Leading the charge is the Western Australian-based Total Corrosion
Ian Jamieson, Perth Messages of support continue to pour into the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union's (CFMEU) Western Australian branch office for the 107 construction workers on the Mandurah to Perth rail line who are facing $22,000
Justine Kamprad, Sydney Some 120 delegates and observers gathered for the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) national conference in Sydney on July 23-27. The two main issues discussed were the strategy the union movement should adopt to
SYDNEY — The ABC reported on August 1 that the federal government had issued a "$17 million contract for a private boat that will be fitted with machine guns and used to patrol the waters off the Northern Territory and Western Australia ... The
Annolies Truman, Perth On July 26, a union community solidarity group was launched in Mandurah, a city with 50,000 residents situated 60 kilometres south of Perth. Attended by 26 people, the meeting was organised by Ian Bray, assistant secretary of
Ian Jamieson, Fremantle Up to 300 union activists attended the second biennial conference of the Western Australian branch of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), held July 26-28. Coming at a time when the union movement is facing vicious attacks
PERTH — As part of the Australian Council of Trade Unions' Your Rights at Work campaign, Unions WA is undertaking a bus trip, beginning on August 5, through the north-west of Western Australia to build community support for the campaign against the
Peter Boyle Last week we received an excellent $6263 boost to the Green Left Weekly Fighting Fund, bringing the total we have raised this year to $107,386 — 43% of our 2006 target of $250,000. How did we do it? Donations totalling $3835 came in
Kerry Smith Byron Bay woman Frankie Lee was arrested outside a Japanese Airlines office on July 31 while calling on people to boycott Japanese products and services while Japan continues its whale-killing industry. Lee was charged with not following
PERTH — On July 30, 40 people attended a showing in the suburb of Darlington of the film The Power of Community, How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. Organised by the East/Hills branch of the Socialist Alliance, the screening prompted discussion afterwards
PERTH — On July 30, 130 people attended a forum organised by the Perth Peace Group on the conflicts enveloping the Middle East. The speakers were Carmen Lawrence, federal MP for Fremantle; Dr Simon Adams from Notre Dame University and NoWar
Max Menyhart & Kiraz Janicke, Sydney More than 150 students joined a speak-out at Sydney University on August 3. The protest was called by Students Against War, and supported by the Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Arab Students Association
Dale Mills, Sydney Forklift driver Mohamed Abdulrahman was awarded $25,000 compensation and legal costs by the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal on August 1 after the tribunal upheld his complaint that he had been subjected to illegal racial
GEELONG — Forty people joined a rally on August 4 to protest against Israel's war on Lebanon and Palestine. The action was organised by the Geelong Anti-War Coalition, which has re-activated its networks to campaign against the war. The protesters

GEELONG — Forty people joined a rally on August 4 to protest against Israel's war on Lebanon and Palestine. The action was organised by the Geelong Anti-War Coalition, which has re-activated its networks to campaign against the war.

World

The families of four British soldiers killed in combat in Iraq have won a court appeal enabling them to apply for a judicial review of PM Tony Blair's decision to involve Britain in the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. A previous bid for a judicial
MEXICO: Follow the yellow brick road Mitchel Cohen, Mexico City The sea of yellow swept through the veins of Mexico City en route to the Zocalo (central square) on July 30, the platelets returning to the heart. Yellow for clean elections; amarillo
Derrick O'Keefe Just in case the idea is taking root that the US policy of empire building is the invention of the current gang of neo-conservative hawks in power, one need only conduct a cursory examination of the history of Cuba. With world
Steve O'Brien, Durban Organisers are expecting 100,000 people to attend the Nairobi World Social Forum next January in Kenya. While some smaller regional meetings have been held, this will be the first time that the WSF has come to Africa in such a
On August 3, 26 striking power-loom workers in Gojra were arrested, including union chairperson Mian Abdul Qayum. Cases were also registered against 30 other activists, including Farooq Tariq, general secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan and
A July 26 Venezuelan foreign affairs ministry statement reported that Venezuela had initiated a solidarity campaign with Lebanon and Palestine "so that Venezuelans could help mitigate the tragedy caused by the Israeli elite's attacks through
Simon Cooper& Ruth Riordan, Istanbul Since 1982, 122 people have given their lives in unlimited hunger strikes, known as death fasts — in struggling for the human rights of political prisoners in Turkey. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the
Eva Cheng According to a university pilot study released on July 28, the dioxin-contaminated defoliant Agent Orange, which the US Army sprayed and dumped extensively during the Vietnam War, has led to significant genetic damage for those exposed to
Doug Lorimer On July 31, Iranian UN ambassador Javad Zarif denounced as illegal a resolution adopted by the UN Security Council demanding that his country suspend its research into the production of nuclear power-plant fuel (low-enriched uranium) by
After it was announced that the US-backed right-wing candidate Felipe Calderon had won the July 2 Mexican election by a tiny margin, supporters of opposition candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador began mass demonstrations claiming the election had
Pablo Stefanoni, La Paz A Quechuan indigenous woman, Silvia Lazarte, will become the president of Bolivia's new Constituent Assembly after gaining the blessing of Bolivian President Evo Morales and the support of the campesino (peasant)
Lynette Dumble & Susanne Menihane July 1 marked the departure of the first train from Beijing to the roof of the world, with President Hu Jintao trumpeting an engineering feat that puts China's interests within 48 hours of Tibet's heartland, as
On July 31, some 200 protesters from Indonesian Solidarity for Palestine and Lebanon held a solidarity march to the US embassy in Central Jakarta to protest Israel's war against Palestine and Lebanon. The action — the first solidarity action since
The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador reported on August 2 that violence and intimidation against progressive forces has continued since the July 2 political murders of Juana and Francisco Manzanares and the brutal police attacks
TamilNet reported on August 2 that an eight-year-old boy was killed by Sri Lankan Army artillery fire in a church in Muttur where more than 600 Tamils were seeking refuge after fighting broke out on August 1 between the SLA and the Liberation Tigers
Doug Lorimer "The US commander in Iraq confirmed that a 3700-strong contingent of American combat troops equipped with armoured fighting vehicles is to be brought into Baghdad", Agence France Presse reported on July 29, adding: "General George Casey
Stuart Munckton Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez carried out a successful two-week international tour, beginning on July 21, to Argentina, Russia, Belarus, Iran, Qatar and Vietnam, frustrating efforts by the US government to isolate
Steve O'Brien, Durban "It is less risky and more realistic to face police bullets than it is to sit at home and do nothing without electricity", a young settlement activist comment on the opening panel at a July 21-22 workshop on the World Social
Michael Karadjis The United States and Israel claim the horrific attack on Lebanese civilians is necessary to destroy the "terrorist" organisation Hezbollah, which is also routinely referred to as an "Islamic fundamentalist" movement. Some such
Zoe Kenny Israel's US-backed military campaign against the Gaza Strip and Lebanon is not only directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians and displacement of hundreds of thousands of others. There are increasing signs of the onset
Kim Bullimore Another Palestinian woman and child were killed on August 1, as the Israeli military continued its relentless round-the-clock bombardment of the Gaza Strip. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Mervat Fayez Abu Sharikh
Palestinian trade unions and workers' organisations have joined together to issue an international appeal for solidarity and support. "The Israeli occupying power is waging a ruthless war on Palestine and Lebanon, which resulted in the killing and

Editorial

The July 30 Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun reported that a McNair Gallup Poll commissioned by the newspaper had found that "Four in 10 Australians believe Islam is a threat to our way of life". According to the newspaper, the poll of 502 people also

Culture

Hard CandyWritten by Brian NelsonDirected by David SladeGeneral release REVIEW BY LACHLAN MALLOCH A female avenger who turns the tables on a predator is an appealing dramatic idea. Thelma and Louise and Bandit Queen did it well on the big screen;
The RumourWritten and directed by Jane MaloneWith Patrick Drew, Cherie Davis, Fiona Butler, Randall Mettam, Ross YoungPlaying at the Crypt Theatre, Cat & Fiddle Hotel, BalmainUntil August 20 REVIEW BY LACHLAN MALLOCH How the times have changed
Zones of Contact — Biennale of Sydney 2006Until August 27, venues throughout SydneyDetails of artists and venues at <http://www.bos2006.com> REVIEW BY VIVIAN MESSIMERIS Every two years Sydney showcases contemporary art from around the
Citizen King — Explores the life of Martin Luther King in his crusade for the human rights of all people. SBS, Saturday, August 12, 7.30pm. Broken News: Bolivian Crisis — Satirical, tongue-in-cheek look at the proliferation of 24-hour rolling
Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of GarbageBy Heather RogersThe New Press, 2005288 pages, $39.95 (hb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Three human-made objects are visible from outer space — the Great Wall of China, the pyramids, and another "towering