International News

By Vannessa Hearman and Tony Iltis The Indonesian Front for the Defence of Human Rights (INFIGHT) was formed in 1989 "to make a more democratic society in Indonesia, a society more respectful to basic human rights, especially basic community

By Norm Dixon Anti-African National Congress vigilantes and Inkatha fighters engaged in vicious attacks against township residents may have been the beneficiaries of 40 tonnes of grenades, shotguns, rifles and ammunition illegally shipped from the

By Norm Dixon The African National Congress has condemned constitutional arrangements proposed by South Africa's President F.W. de Klerk. It calls them a "recipe for disaster" and a ruse to "retain the accumulated privileges of apartheid". De

By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin moved on August 28 to strip the Moscow City Soviet of most of its authority. Taking advantage of the "democratic" euphoria following the collapse of the August 19-21 coup,

By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Since the August coup and the dissolution of the Communist Party, trade union and left activists in the Russian Federation have accelerated their efforts to build a new, democratic mass party fighting for the rights of

US blocks waste controls GENEVA — The United States has strongly resisted attempts by some Third World and European countries to strengthen international safeguards against the movement and dumping of hazardous wastes. In a carefully worded

By Norm Dixon The South African government was involved in a plot to assassinate a leader of the African National Congress as part of a coup in the "independent" Transkei bantustan. The target was Chris Hani, a senior member of the ANC's national

Governor bans rallies in Timor The Indonesian governor of East Timor has banned demonstrations during a scheduled visit by Portuguese parliamentarians later this year. "Demonstrators will face the Indonesian armed forces", Mario Carrascalao

By Sally Low Bill Kelty and Laurie Carmichael are often hailed as the brains behind the ALP-ACTU Prices and Incomes Accord but a short overview of the evolution of trade union and left politics in Italy since the late 1970s suggests at least one

Interview By Renfrey Clarke An economist and specialist on the problems of women in the workplace, ANASTASIYA POSADSKAYA is head of the Gender Studies Centre within one of the institutes of the Soviet Academy of Sciences. She was interviewed in

Hunger strike at Chinese embassy Li Lu, a student leader during the 1989 pro-democracy demonstration in Tienanmen Square in Beijing, is currently on a hunger strike in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC. He began his fast on August

By David Robie AUCKLAND — Fijian and New Zealand protest groups plan a direct action campaign to halt or disrupt a visit by military coup leader Major-General Sitiveni Rabuka. Rabuka plans to address the annual conference of the Pacific

Reward for murder By Robert Graham A talk given earlier this year by Noam Chomsky explains how the US government was able to feign outrage at the murder of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador in November 1989, while continuing to fund the

Frank Gollan On a visit to Indonesia, FRANK GOLLAN found widespread stirrings of opposition. "We are paid 1000 rupiah [less than 70 cents] a day", said a community leader in a village whose land had been flooded by the Kedung Ombo dam in

By Norm Dixon Many South Africans are convinced that the massacre of 23 Inkatha supporters on September 8 was carried out by covert elements of the South African Defence Forces. They believe the aim was to reignite violence within the black

Forced labour While people are being transmigrated to East Timor, several hundred young East Timorese workers have been brought to Java with promises of training and good jobs, but found themselves working in factories under appalling conditions.

By Irina Glushchenko MOSCOW — Until a few years ago, you could still read about it in the Soviet press: families in the USSR received small but comfortable state or municipal apartments on an egalitarian basis for some of the lowest rents in the

Dutch workers defend social security By Robert Went AMSTERDAM — At least a million workers are expected to strike and demonstrate for several hours on September 17, when the government presents its program in the queen's speech from the throne.

By Norm Dixon The Republic of Bougainville was accepted as a new members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) at its recent meeting in The Hague. The decision represents a small but important precedent in Bougainville's

Caravan for peace By Milan Nikolic BELGRADE — A peace movement is finally emerging in Serbia. Several groups have formed in the past two months, including: Citizens for Peace Actions, the Centre for Anti-War Activities, the Helsinki Citizens

By Sally Low Capitalist restoration in Poland is demonstrating an inability to coexist with even the formalities of parliamentary democracy. This is the explanation of the struggle between parliament and the executive power in the person of

By Peter Annear PRAGUE — The Czech-based Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM) has come under extreme pressure as a result of the attempted Soviet coup. Divisions within the party, and within the 24-member federal council it forms with

By Norm Dixon Cuba has demanded that the United States government close the Guantánamo Naval Base. The base, opened in 1903, was imposed on Cuba after US troops occupied the island during war with Spain in 1898. There are growing fears

From Milan and Turin, SALLY LOW concludes a report on trade union politics in the Italian car industry. After passage of a law to reduce the sliding scale, which tied wages to inflation, a strong movement based on the workers councils emerged in

By Robert Went AMSTERDAM — More than 600,000 workers went on strike during part of the day on September 17 as part of the campaign by three trade union federations against cuts in social security announced by the government. Trade union leaders

By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — Within weeks of the defeat of the August coup, important sections of the Russian democratic movement have come out in public opposition to actions of President Boris Yeltsin and his associates. In the second week of

By Norm Dixon The United Nations General Assembly, which convened on September 17, has been asked to put on its agenda the US government's end crippling 30-year economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba. The agenda will be

By Renfrey Clarke MOSCOW — It was, one of the participants remarked, like a bizarre flashback to the early days of the Russian democratic movement in 1988. Opposite the city soviet building, beneath the outstretched arm of the equestrian statue

By Tony Iltis Two million people are at risk of famine in Ethiopia and Eritrea, reports David Armstrong of Community Aid Abroad, who recently returned from Ethiopia. The overthrow on May 28 of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, ending a 17-year

By Peter Annear PRAGUE — Among all the countries of Eastern Europe, Czechoslovakia has been regarded as the most likely to succeed in the transition to a market economy. Its economy is stronger than others and it is not troubled by a massive

By Michele Lee On August 28, the village of Kijevo (population 1000), a Croat enclave in the middle of the so-called Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina, ceased to exist, having been razed to the ground by the Yugoslav army deploying aircraft, tanks

By John Mettam "Cuban athletes have stunned their larger, richer neighbours", the International Herald Tribune reported in its coverage of last month's Pan American Games. In number of participants and countries represented, the Pan American

By Mikael Hidayat JAKARTA — Sana, 19, and a group of fellow Timorese workers first came here in hope of a life better than that to be found in Timor. Their expectations had been raised by the promise of jobs in a Jakarta hotel. The promise

By Peter Annear Following its September 8 referendum on independence, Macedonia could become a new flashpoint in the Yugoslav civil war. With a 75% turnout, 98% of voters favoured a sovereign and independent Macedonia which would have the right to

Carmen Maclean Violating a United Nations peace plan, the Moroccan government has resumed its war against Western Sahara. Morocco first invaded Western Sahara in 1975. A cease-fire was due to come into effect on September 6. This was to be

The United Nations has appealed for $400 million in aid to help an estimated 22 million people affected by drought and civil war in the Horn of Africa. One of the countries worst afflicted is Sudan. The UN estimates that 8 million people in Sudan

The South African Communist Party is debating its vision for a democratic and socialist South Africa and its role in bringing it about. A document called Building Workers' Power for Democratic Change — the draft manifesto of the SACP — is

By Ian Powell WELLINGTON — There has been a dramatic shift in the popularity of New Zealand's political parties. A Morgan Gallup opinion poll conducted last month recorded a striking increase in support for the left-wing NewLabour Party from

By Peter Annear The federal army is now an independent factor in the national conflict in Yugoslavia, Sonja Licht, co-convener of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly, an eastern European peace and human rights watchdog, told Green Left Weekly in

By Sally Low PARIS — While the 10th anniversary in May of his election as president was an occasion for glowing eulogies to Socialist Party leader Francois Mitterrand, he and his party's government are now suffering from widespread

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