Issue 681

Australia

Frances Evans, Melbourne "We're not a protest organisation, we're a law enforcement organisation. We're planning on shutting down the Japanese whaling industry", Peter Hammarstedt, coordinator of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), told a
Lily Wright, Sydney On August 25, a meeting of National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members employed at the University of NSW condemned UNSW's August 23 announcement that it would shed up to 500 administrative and support staff jobs, and decided
SYDNEY — On August 24, around 80 people attended a UNSW Law Society forum to hear John von Doussa QC, president of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. HREOC is concerned about the consequences for human rights of the "anti-terror"
CANBERRA — Activists from the Canberra Region Anti-Nuclear Campaign made a submission to the Howard government's Uranium Mining Processing and Nuclear Energy Review, which closed on August 18. The CRANC submission criticised the narrow terms of
SYDNEY — On August 22, a gay couple was removed by police from the Sydney offices of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) after insisting that their legal same-sex marriage entered into overseas be counted in this year's census. ABS census
Pip Hinman, Sydney On August 15, Marrickville Council reaffirmed its anti-nuclear stance, unanimously adopting a motion from Greens' Mayor Sam Byrne that called on policy makers to "focus on the practical benefits provided by renewable energy and
MELBOURNE — On August 19, 200 people attended a Justice for Lebanon and Palestine rally organised by the Melbourne Palestine Solidarity Network. Speakers at the rally included Palestinian-Australian activist Nasser Mashani, Aber Chandab from the
Noreen Navin, Sydney On August 21, the NSW Teachers Federation website reported that nearly 1000 schools and 16,000 teachers have sent resolutions to the state education minister, Carmel Tebbutt, opposing the new government-imposed A-to-E student
Colin Mitchell, Melbourne About 60 people joined a protest ride on August 20 to Barwon prison, near Geelong, where 13 Muslim men, known as the "Melbourne 13", are being held. The men were arrested in highly sensationalised raids last November,
Andrew Martin, Brisbane On August 16, Australian Provincial Newspapers (APN), Australia's largest regional newspaper publisher, announced that it will close the Queensland Times print facility in Ipswich and move the printing of the daily to Yandina
Peter Boyle This was a slogan on popular anti-war badges and posters in the 1960s and 1970s. It also sums up (without the dressing) PM John Howard's recent call for a bigger Australian army. He's spending $10 billion to add two new battalions to
Selena Black, Melbourne Three Socialist Alliance candidates in the upcoming Victorian election joined s protest outside Barwon prison on August 20. "We now have our very own Guantanamo-style prison camp", said Vannessa Hearman, the candidate for
CANBERRA — Activists from the Canberra Region Anti-Nuclear Campaign made a submission to the Howard government's Uranium Mining Processing and Nuclear Energy Review, which closed on August 18. The CRANC submission criticised the narrow terms of
PERTH — Garry Graham is one of the 40 workers being sued by Kwinana contracting firm Total Corrosion Control who will appear in the Federal Court in Perth on August 29 facing fines of up to $28,600. The 43-year-old, who has four children aged
SYDNEY — Speaking at a public meeting on August 25, Rob Stary (pictured), the defence lawyer for Jack Thomas (who was convicted on terrorism charges, but released on appeal on August 13), argued that the federal government has still not provided
HOBART — On August 26, 100 trade unionists protested for workers' rights outside the state Liberal Party conference. The conference was attended by workplace relations minister Kevin Andrews and PM John Howard. Represented at the protest were the
Kerry Vernon, Sydney Office cleaners held two noisy rallies in the city on August 24, part of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union's (LHMU) "Clean start — fair deal for cleaners" campaign. The action at Martin Place defended 20
Sue Bolton, Melbourne After Hawker de Havilland, a subsidiary of Boeing, unjustly sacked three union delegates at the Fisherman's Bend site in Port Melbourne, an August 17 meeting of workers voted to strike until the workers were reinstated. The
Justin Tutty, Darwin On August 23, environmentalists conducted a site inspection of the Browns mining project at Batchelor. Spokesperson John Oakley said that Compass Resources' secrecy about its activities at the old Rum Jungle uranium lease had

World

Australian oil giant Oil Search has admitted that it caused an oil spill on August 9 between Papua New Guinea and Australia after earlier telling media it was unaware of any such spill. Following an expose in the PNG press, the company issued a
Eva Golinger, Caracas John Negroponte, director of national intelligence for the United States, announced on August 18 the creation of a new special CIA mission to oversee intelligence activities in Venezuela and Cuba. Negroponte, who coordinates
Green Left Weekly's Steve O'Brien spoke to Trevor Ngwane, a leader of the Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), about the renewed talk of a break-up of the Tripartite Alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party
"Opposition among Americans to the war in Iraq has reached a new high, with only about a third of respondents saying they favor it", CNN reported on August 21, adding that "61 percent say they oppose it — the highest opposition noted in any CNN
On August 20, miners on strike at the Escondida copper mine rejected BHP Billiton's latest pay rise offer, which fell way short of the strikers' demands. The miners have been on strike since August 7 over pay, bonuses and working conditions. The
Rupen Savoulian The Israeli and US ruling elites are exchanging bitter recriminations over the failure of Israel's four-week mass bombing campaign to destroy Lebanon's Hezbollah-led resistance movement. The August 16 Tel Aviv Haaretz carried an
Pat Denny On August 22, the Pentagon announced that it had issued an involuntary call-up of Marine reservists. Those affected by what has been described as a "backdoor draft" are members of the Individual Ready Reserve — reservists who for the
Doug Lorimer "The insurgency has more public support and is demonstrably more capable in numbers of people active and in its ability to direct violence than at any point in time", an unnamed "senior" US defence department official, speaking "off the
Coral Wynter& Jim McIlroy, Caracas More than 1000 students from the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV) received their higher technician diplomas at a graduation ceremony at the Poliedro stadium on August 16, presided over by Venezuelan
Kim Bullimore An investigative committee established by Israeli "defence" minister Amir Peretz to examine the military conduct of the war against Lebanon was suspended on August 22 after only a single day's work. It was suspended amid growing calls
Peter Gellert, Mexico City Following presidential elections widely viewed as marred by fraud, Mexico's political crisis not only shows no signs of being resolved, but in fact is intensifying almost daily. In the six weeks since the July 2
Vannessa Hearman Australian company Santos is a shareholder in an energy concession in East Java that has been the source of hot toxic mud flows following a well-head accident in May. The accident occurred near Porong, a small town close to the
According to the August 20 London Sunday Mirror, a quarter of the soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Staffordshire Regiment have quit after the news that their regiment was to be redeployed to Iraq. Three members of the regiment died and 20 were
Luis Tascon is a leading Venezuelan parliamentarian and a founding member of the Movement for the Fifth Republic (MVR). The MVR is the main parliamentary party supporting socialist President Hugo Chavez and the revolutionary process he is leading,
The government of socialist President Hugo Chavez has launched a campaign to collect money in Venezuela for donation to Lebanon, in an attempt to help reconstructing Lebanon following Israel's war on the country, according to the foreign minister,
Vannessa Hearman Solidarity organisations in the United States and East Timor have accused the Australian government of holding up the extension and expansion of the United Nations mission in East Timor, in particular the deployment of peacekeeping
John Pilger, London If the alleged plot to attack airliners flying from London is true — remember the lies that led to the invasion of Iraq, and to the raid on a "terrorist cell" in east London — then one person ultimately is to blame, as he was
Pablo Stefanoni, La Paz "Move from words to action." This phrase flew around in the evaluations and self-evaluations in August of the strengths and weaknesses of the Bolivian government. First it was the turn of the social movements close to the

Editorial

The conviction of Dr Suman Sood on August 23 for unlawfully procuring a miscarriage brings NSW's antiquated abortion laws into the spotlight. Sood was found by a jury to have supplied an abortion-inducing drug to a 20-year-old woman at 23 weeks of

Culture

Message Stick: Matthew Doyle — Musician, dancer, man of culture, yet Matthew Doyle grew up in the city not even knowing he was Aboriginal. ABC, Friday, September 1, 6pm. Surviving Katrina — Explores the human experience of the aftermath of
The New PuritansBy Muriel PorterMelbourne University Press, 2006184 pages, $29.95 Voting for Jesus: Christianity and Politics in AustraliaQuarterly EssayBy Amanda LohreyBlack Inc.111 pages, $14.95 REVIEW BY BARRY HEALY Christianity arrived with a
The Ethics of What We EatBy Peter Singer & Jim MasonText Publishing, Melbourne2006, $32.95 REVIEW BY BELINDA SELKE The Ethics of What We Eat by world-renowned ethicist and animal liberationist Peter Singer, and Jim Mason, a journalist, lawyer and