Issue 685

Australia

Avery Vincent, Melbourne On November 18-19, the G20 summit of finance ministers and central bank governors from the world's 19 largest national economies — Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia,
SYDNEY — One hundred and twenty people attended a rally at against Australia's participation in the US-led wars on Iraq and Afghanistan on September 21 — the UN's Global Ceasefire and Non-violence Day. Held outside the Sydney Town Hall and
MELBOURNE — Maintenance workers at Toyota went on strike for three days after an Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) delegate was stood down by management on August 29. When Toyota relocated its Port Melbourne production facility to
Mick Bull, Melbourne An historic agreement has been signed by the Victorian metals division of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Victorian construction division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union. In the
MELBOURNE — Fifty people attended a "Noise for Darfur" rally on September 18 to call for an end to the war in Sudan. Since 2003, thousands of people have been killed and millions have been displaced by the fighting. The rally was organised by the
Simon Cunich, Sydney For the first time in a number of years, the left activist tickets in the Sydney University student representative council elections, which finished on September 21, posed a serious challenge to Labor students' dominance of the
ADELAIDE — A forum on renewable energy production drew 140 people to the University of Adelaide on September 21. The forum, organised by the Conservation Council of SA and Greenpeace, sought to outline the state of SA's renewable energy sector and
SYDNEY — Forty members of the Asbestos Diseases Foundation and supporters from the union movement protested outside the James Hardie shareholders' meeting on September 19. "It's outrageous that we're still asking James Hardie Industries to pay
Adam Maclean On September 21, Australian Broadcasting Corporation members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance held a 24-hour national stoppage. After 10 months of negotiations with ABC
Shelly Dahl & Fred Fuentes, Sydney Recent academic and technical staff retrenchments have cast doubts about the future of the fine arts course at the Penrith campus of the University of Western Sydney (UWS). As a result of the Howard government's
Duncan Meerding, Hobart In a letter dated September 15 to the Wilderness Society (TWS), timber giant Gunns Ltd revealed that its original integrated impact statement (IIS) had underestimated, by a factor of 45, the dioxin emissions for its proposed
Sam Wainwright, Perth Forty workers known as the TCC 40 and their union, who were being sued by Total Corrosion Control under the Howard government's new anti-worker laws, claimed victory on September 21 when the company advised the Australian
Vannessa Hearman, Melbourne A coalition of welfare and legal groups launched Operation Smart Justice on September 19. It aims to challenge "law and order populism" in the lead-up to Victoria's November 25 state election. Anthony Kelly from the
Tim Stewart, Melbourne A September 15-16 national symposium hosted by the Beyond Nuclear Initiative — a collaboration between Friends of the Earth, the Australian Conservation Foundation and the Poola Foundation (Tom Kantor Fund) — featured
NEWCASTLE — Forty people attended a meeting on September 17 to hear anti-war activist Donna Mulhearn describe last December's inspection of Pine Gap by Christians Against All Terrorism. Pine Gap plays a vital role in aiding US-led wars and
HOBART — "The reason the nuclear industry has collapsed worldwide is because of the unresolved dangers of weapons and waste", Greens Senator Christine Milne told a forum at the University of Tasmania on September 20. Explaining that nuclear energy
Cleaners, members of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU), held a cake stall outside the Commonwealth Bank headquarters on September 20 as part of a "Cleanstart" campaign national day of action. The cake stall was a tongue-in-cheek
Brianna Pike, Melbourne Fourteen RMIT students marched into the main cafeteria of the university's city campus on September 21 to hold a "kiss-off" against homophobia, as part of the RMIT queer collective's Week of Sexuality. Marti Fooks, organiser
Russell Pickering, Perth In a landmark ruling, the Federal Court on September 19 granted Western Australia's Noongar people one of Australia's largest native title claims. Covering more than 193,000 square kilometres, from Hopetoun in the south to
BRISBANE — Queensland Department of Boating and Fisheries Patrol staff struck for 24 hours on September 17. The patrol workers, members of the Queensland Public Sector Union, are negotiating an enterprise agreement and protesting the lack of

World

Neville Spencer On September 16 — Independence Day — 1,025,724 registered delegates and many thousands of others gathered at the National Democratic Convention in Mexico City's main square, the Zocalo. Accusing right-wing president-elect Felipe
Jeff Shantz The Canadian government, under both Liberal and Conservative parties, has moved quickly over the last two years to prosecute on immigration charges, and to seek deportations of, several US soldiers who fled to Canada as war resisters.
Nicole Colson, Chicago On September 12, US magistrate Norbert Garney recommended releasing 79-year-old Luis Posada Carriles from the Texas detention centre where he has been held since last year on immigration charges. Posada is an anti-Castro Cuban
Doug Lorimer According to the September 11 Washington Post, Colonel Peter Devlin, chief of intelligence for the US Marine Corps in Iraq, sent a secret report to the Pentagon on August 16 saying that the 30,000 US marines, soldiers and sailors
Eva Cheng Tainted by allegations of corruption and shady dealings of his family and key staffers, since mid-year President Chen Shui-bian has faced an escalating campaign seeking to unseat him. A week-long protest, culminating in a 300,000-strong
Pablo Alfonso and Wilfredo Cancio Isla, two of the Miami Herald's most recalcitrant journalists, have been fired in the wake of a scandal involving them receiving US government payments to appear on Radio Marti and TV Marti to transmit anti-Cuba
Jim McIlroy & Coral Wynter, Caracas Spokespeople for the main Venezuelan left parties that are campaigning for the re-election of socialist President Hugo Chavez on December 3 have generally supported Chavez's September 9 call for the formation of a
Kim Bullimore Since June 25, when the Israeli assault on Gaza began, at least 263 Palestinians have been killed, including 51 children and 12 women. In the past three months nearly 1000 Palestinians have been injured by Israel military attacks,
Briggs Bomba The cruel impact of the Zimbabwean crisis on the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans can no longer be fully described through terms such as rate of inflation, percentage unemployment, GDP, and so forth. Today one has to talk in terms of the
Jim McIlroy & Coral Wynter, Caracas A feature article in the August 21 Newsweek International criticised the role of state-owned oil companies (dubbed the "Seven Sovereigns") that compete with privately owned oil multinationals in the world market.
Stuart Munckton In an exclusive interview with the September 10 Spanish-language daily Diario Panorama, Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chavez spoke about the challenges facing the Bolivarian revolution — as the process of social
Only days after handing over his irrevocable resignation as hydrocarbons minister on September 15, Andres Soliz Rada, described by many as the strongman of left-wing President Evo Morales who pushed a hard line on the nationalisation of gas, lashed
Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy, Caracas Walter Gaviria, president of the Latin American Parliament, spoke briefly to Green Left Weekly on September 1, during a march to greet President Hugo Chavez, who had returned from an overseas trip. The campaign
Duroyan Fertl The small oil-rich Andean country of Ecuador goes to the polls on October 15 to elect a new president. Normally, the US isn't too worried about who wins the presidential sash, as they usually end up dancing to Washington's tune. But
Liam Mitchell On September 22, Progressive Enterprises distribution centre workers who had been locked out for four weeks by their employer returned to work after the company, a subsidiary of Woolworths Australia, reached a settlement the day before
Pat Denny The Labour Party Pakistan has issued a financial appeal to help maintain the newspaper Mazdoor Jeddojuhd (Workers' Struggle), which is Pakistan's only weekly Urdu-language socialist paper. The campaign is running until October 31. In
The following comments were given by Desiree Santos Amaral, first vice-president of Venezuela's National Assembly, to Green Left Weekly. Come to Venezuela, all of you in Australia. Come and see whatever you want to, and go back to tell the stories
The following is an edited extract from the speech delivered by Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, to the United Nations on September 19. During the republic, we [indigenous people] were discriminated, marginalised. They never took
Doug Lorimer "We need to change the way we run the oil sector in Iraq. We need to engage with the major oil companies who will bring in investment as well as technology", Barham Saleh, deputy PM in Washington's puppet Iraqi government, told
Peter Gellert, Mexico City A new stage in Mexican political life was opened last weekend with the National Democratic Convention, which brings together the broad array of political and social forces that have fought against alleged electoral fraud
Coral Wynter & Jim McIlroy, Caracas Comandante William Izarra was a key member of the revolutionary organisation that Hugo Chavez, now Venezuela's president, led inside the armed forces, the MBR-200 (Movement for a Bolivarian Republic-200). Later he
Max Lane Several prominent Indonesian historians have come under criminal investigation for writing an official history textbook in 2004 in which they no longer insisted that the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) was the mastermind of an attempted
Olivia Burlingame Goumbri, Washington For many months now, energy stability has been a hot topic in Washington. Local government officials, members of Congress, and even the president have raised the issue with as much fervour as they do the "war on
Doug Lorimer In a September 18 national radio address — six days after ordering the expulsion of Australian high commissioner Patrick Cole — Solomon Islands PM Manasseh Sogavare accused Canberra of using aid and the presence of Australian troops
Doug Lorimer On September 21, while the US government was considering freeing notorious right-wing Cuban emigre terrorist Luis Posada Carriles from detention for illegally entering the US, supporters of five Cuban men convicted in 2001 of spying on
Chris Slee Since December 2005 there has been an escalating armed conflict between the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Sri Lankan armed forces have carried out a series of brutal massacres of Tamils, such
During the night of September 19 Thailand's military overthrew the government of PM Thaksin Shinawatra while he was in New York to address the UN General Assembly, abolished the constitution and imposed martial law. In a national TV broadcast the

Culture

PREVIEW BY AZLAN McLENNAN Melbourne artist Van Rudd responds to the contemporary political climate with his new art project entitled Portrait of an Exploding Terrorist. The project is to consist of a graphic painting by Rudd of a figure blowing
Lafayette MarquisC C AdcockYeproc Records <http://www.yeproc.com> REVIEW BY BILL NEVINS "Oh, yeah, it's a runaway life," wails Charles "C C" Adcock from the stage of Tipitina's Uptown one rainy New Orleans night at the start of Jazz
Art for quake victims ArtquakeStone Gallery at Eastside Arts (Paddington markets, Sydney)October 7, view from 10am, auction at 3pm. PREVIEW BY REBECCA CONROY As the monsoon season draws near, post-earthquake recovery in Indonesia is increasingly
Nuclear Power is Not the Answer. To Global Warming or Anything ElseBy Helen CaldicottMelbourne University Press, 2006248 pages, $24.95 REVIEW BY TIM STEWART Helen Caldicott, veteran campaigner and ferocious critic of everything nuclear, has
The Iron WallDirected by Mohammed AlatarBenefit screening for Melbourne Palestine Solidarity NetworkArt Auditorium of the Victorian College of the ArtsSeptember 28, 7pmDownload or purchase at . REVIEW BY MICHAEL SHAIK Ever had friends who say that