Issue 72

News

Police bashing in Melbourne MELBOURNE — An allegation of police violence has been reported to Green Left Weekly. The victim, Scott Baker, says he was walking to the local "7-Eleven" store in Fitzroy at about 3 p.m. when he was stopped by
Story and photo by Tamara Desiatov MELBOURNE — About 200 people attended a September 12 protest against the proposed Williamstown Mobil oil refinery expansion into a two-kilometre buffer zone around the plant. Construction in the zone, which
Nightcap Forest Festival Residents of Nimbin on NSW's north coast are gearing up for their spring Nightcap Forest Festival, to be held between October 1 and October 5. The festival will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the historic
Multiplex destroys reconciliation By Leon Harrison PERTH — Building contractor Multiplex sent in workers with bulldozers to destroy the Grove of Reconciliation, a plantation of 50 trees on the old Swan Brewery site, on September 14.
Barbra Q stirs a storm By Mark Urban MELBOURNE — Shane Tonks alias drag performer Barbra Quicksand, is running for inner-city Albert Park in the Victorian elections as a gay, independent candidate. His relatively high media profile is
Green candidate: 'Jobs and the environment go together' By Jason Cheng and Jeremy Smith MELBOURNE — In the Victorian elections, Francesca Davidson, 22, is contesting the seat of Prahran as a Green Alliance candidate, also aligned with the
By Bill Mason BRISBANE — In an election in which the major parties dodged most of the key issues, the Labor Party government has been returned at the September 19 Queensland poll. Despite late opinion polls showing a possible landslide to
By Pip Hinman MELBOURNE — About 60 people attended an October 16 public meeting organised by Independent Action, a loose alliance linking left independents in the state elections. They heard three progressive candidates: Colleen Hartland
Groom to allow mining in national parks By Natasha Simons HOBART — The Tasmanian Liberal government has announced plans to allow mining in the state's national parks. Addressing a mining seminar in Hobart on September 16, Premier Ray Groom
Socialist candidate wins 9% By Bill Mason BRISBANE — In the best vote for an openly socialist campaign here in many years, Susan Price gained 9.2% for the Democratic Socialists in the seat of Brisbane Central on September 19. "I'm
By Frank Noakes and Catherine Brown LONDON — Even by its own criteria, the British Tory government is an economic failure. Talkback radio programs have been inundated with questions from a British public still in a daze from four changes to
Victorian branch of Green Party formed By Jason Cheng and Jeremy Smith MELBOURNE — A meeting of 20 people here on September 12 decided to form a Victorian branch of the Green Party. Among those in attendance were representatives from the
Public radio barred from NSW budget lockup By Sean Malloy SYDNEY — Three journalists from public radio station 2SER-FM was denied entry to the September 15 NSW budget "lockup". According to current affairs producer Stafford Sanders, 2SER
HOBART — Trespass charges against 54 waterside workers were adjourned until next March after they marched on the court here last week. The workers were arrested in a dispute over attempts to use non-union contract labour to unload a fishing

World

By Norm Dixon The Australian government has "blood on its hands", Moses Havini, Australian representative of the Bougainville Interim Government, said in response to the lethal September 12 raid on Komaliae, a Solomon Islands village, by
By Alison McCulloch AUCKLAND — In a nationwide referendum on September 19, New Zealanders voted overwhelmingly to reform their current first-past-the-post electoral system. Some 85% favoured switching to a new system. From a list of five
Czecho-Slovak federation set to dissolve By Peter Anderson The Czecho-Slovak federation will dissolve on December 31 following an August 26 meeting between leaders of the major parties in the Czech and Slovak republics, the ODS and the HZDS.
'Morning Star' relaunched By Frank Noakes BLACKPOOL — Britain's only alternative daily paper, the Morning Star, was relaunched here on September 9, at the annual Trade Union Congress. The newspaper has been in production for over 60
From Nicaragua, STEPHEN MARKS reports on the aftermath of the tsunami that devastated the country's Pacific coast. El Transito was a small fishing village on the coast. We had recently been there for a Sunday afternoon swim; people fished in
Nicaragua changes police chiefs amid US pressure MANAGUA — The Nicaraguan government has embarked on a series of changes within the national police force amid mounting pressure from the United States and official anger at what is seen as
Fiji miners closer to victory By Norm Dixon In a dramatic somersault, the Fiji government led by Sitiveni Rabuka has backed striking members of the Fiji Mine Workers Union and ordered the Australian-owned Emperor gold mine to recognise and
By Chris Beale Amid the euphoria of pro-democracy parties winning Thailand's elections on September 13, there was a chill feeling of deja vu. Unstable civilian governments have been one of the Thai military's most used excuses for staging
By Catherine Brown GENEVA — "The government of Israel is continuing its predecessor's iron-fist policy of oppression, repression and terrorism against our people", Yasser Arafat, chair of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, told activists
By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Russian President Boris Yeltsin intervened personally during August to block his own corruption-fighting unit from investigating crooked deals by officials of the Moscow city administration. Responding to
By Louise Christian In Turkey's Kurdish areas, more than five people die every day (nearly 2000 so far this year) as security forces continue their indiscriminate spree of extrajudicial killings, torture and repression. Locals describe the
By Peter Anderson Robert Green has seen the nuclear industry from the inside, and what he found convinced him he should do everything possible to stop it. A former British navy commander, he is now seeking international support for a campaign

Culture

The Collapse of 'Communism' in the USSR By Doug Lorimer New Course Publications 43 pp. $2.50 Reviewed by Sean Malloy "Socialism can never work" is the conclusion promoted by mainstream ideologues in the wake of Stalinism's collapse.
'Oppressor man, your kingdom is falling!' House of Exile Lucky Dube Dolphin/BMG Records (also Shanachie Records through Larrikin) Available on CD and cassette Reviewed by Norm Dixon In the year since his spectacular first tour of
Life Is A Dream A play by Calderon de la Barca Directed by Jean-Pierre Mignon Performed by the Australian Nouveau Theatre At Melbourne's Gasworks Theatre until September 27 Part of the Melbourne International Festival Reviewed by Peter
SYDNEY — "The left has always been good at producing alternatives. It has not been so good at communicating those alternatives to a broad audience", commented 2SER-FM development manager Steve Cassidy, launching 2SER's 13th Birthday Week.
Oedipus without the Freud Greek By Steven Berkoff Directed by Michael Gillett Designed by Robyn Buschmann Cast: Richard Lindsell, Hugh Devaney, Jennifer Don and Heather Simpson The Rep Theatre, Newtown Reviewed by Angela Matheson Oedipus
By Lee Wallace During World War II, as a means of maintaining public interest in baseball, US businesses sponsored a league of all-female teams. Like Rosie the Riveter, they were a temporary measure, just until the boys came home. The story

Editorial

The sterling crisis The idea that it was possible to create a single currency by consent among competing capitalist powers in Europe was always a long shot. Now the bitter realities of the "free market" have been sheeted home to its own