Issue 679

Australia

Marcus Greville & Graham Williams, Melbourne Striking workers at the Amcor Flexibles plant in the northern suburb of Preston were given a big morale boost when workers at 13 other Amcor workplaces around the country took solidarity action during the
Peter Boyle With columnists for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian attacking Green Left Weekly in the same week, we must be doing something right. On August 8, Gerard Henderson, SMH columnist and executive director of the Sydney Institute
Tony Iltis, Melbourne Peace activist and socialist David Glanz has received messages of solidarity from the National Tertiary Education Union, the RMIT Student Union and various left activists following a slanderous attack on him in the August 4
Russell Pickering, Perth Mal Peters, the only remaining worker-elected occupational health and safety (OHS) representative on the Leighton Kumagai-run Perth-to-Mandurah rail construction project was sacked on August 8 after criticising fines that
HOBART — On August 9, Tasmanian-based timber company Gunns Ltd was ordered to pay preliminary legal costs of nearly $87,000 to defendants, including Greens Senator Bob Brown and Tasmanian Greens leader Peg Putt. Gunns, one of the world's biggest
Thousands of people rallied and marched in cities around Australia on August 12, demanding an immediate end to Israel's wars on Lebanon and Palestine. A diverse crowd of more than 5000 joined the rally in Sydney, organised by the Australian Arabic
Kerry Vernon, Sydney Rotem Mor, a young Israeli "refusenik" — a conscript who refuses to serve in the military to protest against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza — has just finished an Australia-wide speaking tour. His last
Green Left Weekly apologises for the error in issue #678 in which a photograph of Herman Wainggai was described as being of David Wainggai.
Ema Corro, Melbourne In 2002, the French companies Connex and Alstom, international investors in Melbourne's Citypass Consortium, won a 30-year tender to operate a light-rail system between illegal Israeli settlements around Jerusalem. The contract
Annolies Truman, Perth The conference of the WA branch of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) in Fremantle on July 26-28 strongly condemned the use of section 457 visas, used by employers to bring guest workers to Australia. It denounced the
Tony Iltis, Melbourne Following several weeks of mass demonstrations against Israel's wars on Lebanon and Palestine, there have been calls in the corporate media for the federal government to make it illegal for anti-war protesters to carry
Kerry Smith On August 7, the Edmund Rice Centre (ERC) released information indicating that up to nine asylum seekers and several of their children were killed upon return to Afghanistan after they were detained on Nauru by the Australian government.

World

Emma Clancy Watching television footage of the Qana massacre — the killing of dozens of civilians, including children — Beshara Doumani thought she was watching "the old footage of the Israeli massacre that killed one-hundred Lebanese civilians
Doug Lorimer On August 4, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shiites marched through the streets of Baghdad chanting "Death to Israel" and "Death to America" in the largest foreign show of support for Lebanon's Shiite-based Hezbollah resistance fighters
Sherdan Bircan& Simon Cunich Clashes between the Turkish army and People's Defence Force (HPG) guerrillas — the armed wing of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a long battle for Kurdish self-determination — have reached a
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the original convictions of the Cuban Five on August 10, overturning a unanimous ruling one year earlier by a three-judge panel of the same court, which found that the hostility in Miami towards supporters of
An August 8 Casablanca protest against Israel's war against Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territories drew thousands, according to the Morocco Times. The Times reported: "Hailing the resistance of Hizbollah, the demonstrators called for peace
Henning Melber Ever since independence in 1990, Namibia's South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) government has maintained the exploitative and discriminatory nature of the country's century of occupation by German and later South African
Norm Dixon Oscar Temaru, the pro-independence president of the Tahiti Nui (Temaru's preferred name for the French colony known as French Polynesia), dropped a political bombshell in the Pacific country's parliament on July 28. Temaru released a
Doug Lorimer US President George Bush and other US officials have opposed calls for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and the Lebanese forces resisting Israel's war on its northern Arab neighbour — the third in 30 years — because, they
On August 4 residents of the West Bank town of Bil'lin were joined by Israelis and members of the International Solidarity Movement to mourn the deaths of more than 1000 people killed in Gaza and Lebanon by the Israeli military. Protesters marched to
Michael Fox, Caracas On August 6, from the state of Bolivar, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the recuperation of the largest latifundio (plantation) in the country, and the creation of what he termed the new "socialist production unit",
Neville Spencer Left-leaning presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has reiterated his call for a campaign of civil disobedience against electoral fraud, after the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE) agreed only to a partial recount of
Some 2000 workers at the world's largest copper mine — Escondida, majority-owned by Australian mining giant BHP Billiton — have been on strike since August 7 to demand a 13% pay rise. BHP Billiton, despite increased profits from high copper
Alex Miller On August 4 at the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Tommy Sheridan, Scottish Socialist Party MSP and former national convener of the party, won a defamation case he had brought against the right-wing tabloid newspaper the News of the
Greenpeace reported on August 4 that four of Sweden's 10 nuclear plants were shut down after the discovery of several faults. The plant closures immediately cut Sweden's electricity supply by around 20%. Following a serious incident at the Forsmark
The following article is abridged from an entry by Gaza City resident Mona El-Farra in her blog, From Gaza, With Love (<http://fromgaza.blogspot.com>). August 1 — Today the Israeli Occupying Forces redeployed into the area south-east of
Simon Cooper& Ruth Riordan, Istanbul In a modest flat in the Istanbul suburb of Sisli, a lawyer named Behic Asci has not eaten for over 120 days. His ongoing hunger strike — or "death fast" — is an act of defiance against unjust laws, a stand of
On August 7 a candlelight vigil in Port Louis, Mauritius' capital, expressed solidarity with the people of Lebanon and Palestine. The protest called for a UN resolution to end Israel's war, as well as for a boycott of Israeli products and for the
Refusenik support group Yesh Gvul reported on July 31 that Captain Amir Pasteur was sentenced to 28 days' jail for his refusal to take part in Israel's war on Lebanon. Yesh Gvul spokesperson Ishai Menuchin said the group had contact with about a
Gideon Levy is a renowned Israeli journalist and broadcaster who writes for Haaretz, regularly covering the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. Levy, who is also an opponent of the war in Lebanon, spoke to Green Left Weekly's Kim
According to police, an August 6 anti-war protest in Montreal drew 15,000 people. A coalition of 60 groups called the demonstration. Some marchers chanted "Israel terrorist, Harper accomplice", referring to the country's Prime Minister Stephen
Steve Mather With punches being thrown and the odd chair flying through the air, it was clear there was a good old-fashioned union debate taking place on May 27. The different factions or currents within the National Union of Workers (UNT, the
Students are still hiding in the forests of West Papua after fleeing the repression during a protest against the Freeport mine in March. More than 20 students were injured, five from gunshot wounds, during a March 15-16 protest at the University of
Ha Joong Keun, a member of the Korean Federation of Construction Industry Unions, was severely beaten by riot police after joining a July 16 rally, and died in hospital on August 1. He was one of thousands of workers who attended the rally, held in
Federico Fuentes Describing the August 3 swearing in of the 255 elected members of Bolivia's Constituent Assembly, Dan Keane wrote in the Washington Post on August 6: "On one side of the narrow aisle sat the delegates from [Bolivian President Evo]
Nine protesters were arrested and charged on August 9 after occupying the Derry base of Raytheon, a US company that produces software for "Guided Missile Units" (GBU), according to a report by Britain's Socialist Worker. GBUs are being used by Israel
Jim McIlroy & Coral Wynter, Caracas Since Hugo Chavez took office as Venezuela's president in February 1999, the oil-rich South American country has been threatened by right-wing paramilitary forces from neighbouring Colombia. "What we call the
The India Resource Center reported on August 9 that the state government of Kerala, in southern India, has halted the production and sale of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. The community of Plachimada waged a four-year campaign against the soft-drink giant

Editorial

By a vote of 78 for and 62 against, the federal Coalition government's Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill was passed by the House of Representatives on August 10. Three Coalition MPs — Petro Georgiou, Russell Broadbent and

Culture

Peace concertMonday Sept. 11, 7pmHarp Hotel, Princess Highway, Tempe$15/$10 Enda Kenny, who has been described as "Australia's finest contemporary singer-songwriter" will perform in a once-only concert to raise money for a children's hospital in
t'feh...alaykoumraw responses from Arab artistsMori Gallery, Sydney6 September — 4 October 2006 An urgent call-out to Arab artists for raw new works for a quick response exhibition to Israel's invasion of Lebanon and incursion into Gaza.
Margaret Holmes: The Life and Times of an Australian Peace CampaignerBy Michelle CavanaghNew Holland, 2006319 pages, $29.95 (pb) REVIEW BY PHIL SHANNON Prime Minister Robert Menzies, two weeks after his Coalition government had reintroduced
BY ROSEMARY EVANS Wait for me mummy, wait for me!All is so dark, I can hardly see.Where are you taking us, mother, mother?Why are you carrying my little brother?Why are we running in the dark and cold?Mummy, give me your hand to hold.Why are we
Sophie Scholl — The Last DaysScreenplay by Fred BrienesdorferDirected by Marc RothermundWith Julia Jentsch, Alexander Held, Burghart Klassner, Fabrian HinrichsIn German, with English subtitlesIn cinemas now REVIEW BY ALEX SALMON Sophie Scholl
David Suzuki: an autobiographyBy David SuzukiAllen & Unwin, 2006416 pages, $29.95 (pb) REVIEW BY FRANCIE CAMPBELL A candid self-portrayal of this leading environmentalist. He begins by revisiting his childhood, revealing the racism and
Honour BoundWritten and directed by Nigel Jamieson in consultation with Terry HicksChoreography by Garry StewartThe Playhouse, Sydney Opera House until September 3Melbourne Malthouse Theatre, CUB Malthouse, Southbank, September 15 until October 1