Carr's land grab by suchenfz

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									                       COMMUNIST PARTY OF AUSTRALIA                                 December 8 2004 No.1210 $1.50 THE WORKERS’ WEEKLY ISSN 1325-295X




Racism inflames anger
Increasing racial tensions inflamed        paigns and legislation favouring the
by the Howard Government’s racist          rights of Aboriginal people, because
policies have boiled over into             they are seen as standing in the way
violent responses by Indigenous            of vested corporate interests. The
communities. The death in                  Government has also consistently
custody of an Aboriginal man on            refused to apologise to Aboriginal
November 21 sparked riots on               people over the Stolen Generations,
Queensland’s Palm Island two               for the same reason.
weeks ago. And in a shocking                    The deaths in custody at Palm
incident last week an Aboriginal           Island and Normanton, the death
youth accused of attempted theft           of Aboriginal boy Thomas (“T J”)
was dragged with a rope by the             Hickey who was being pursued by
neck around a river bank for 40            police in Redfern, Sydney, and the
minutes, near the Queensland town          shocking assault on Allan Boulan
of Goondiwindi.                            at Goondiwindi, are all symptom-
     Sixteen-year-old Allan Boulan         atic of a disastrous decline in rela-
was found allegedly attempting to          tions between government and the
steal a motorbike by the owner of          Aboriginal community.
a cattle station. In a reprisal that has        This manifests itself in a degree
been described as “KKK type stuff”         of public apathy or ignorance of the
he and his friend were then beaten         problems facing Aboriginal people,
with sticks.                               as well as blatantly racist criminal
     Following this, his friend was        behaviour by some individuals and
bound to a tree and forced to watch        groups. All of this has been given
while Boulan was stripped, bound           tacit encouragement by the Howard
and dragged around the river bank.         Government’s callous attitude and
It is enormous good fortune that he        policies towards Aboriginal people.
was not strangled. As it was, he suf-           The introduction of punitive
fered rope burns, head injuries and        new welfare laws targeting only
severe bruising to his body, and has       Indigenous Australians is another
experienced traumatic nausea and           demonstration of the arrogance and
vomiting ever since.                       racism driving Government policy.
                                                Aboriginal Senator Aden
                                           Ridgeway recently pointed out
                                           that the Howard Government still
All symptomatic of                         refused to acknowledge that there


                                                                                    Carr’s land grab
                                           was an urgent problem concerning
a disastrous decline                       the treatment of Aboriginal people,
                                           despite the disproportionately high
in relations between                       rate of Aboriginal people in cus-
                                           tody, and the appalling incidence of
government and the                         Aboriginal deaths in custody.
                                                He commented: “This country
                                                                                    In a massive property grab the
                                                                                    Carr Labor Government in NSW
                                                                                                                            will have unprecedented powers to
                                                                                                                            override normal planning controls,
                                                                                                                                                                    the 23 hectares of public housing
                                                                                                                                                                    estates, and the Block and its sur-
Aboriginal community                       does have major race relations prob-
                                           lems that are escalating under the
                                                                                    has set up the Redfern-Waterloo
                                                                                    Authority which is designed to
                                                                                                                            take control of areas at will, choose
                                                                                                                            developers for areas adjacent to such
                                                                                                                                                                    rounds, where the area’s Aboriginal
                                                                                                                                                                    community lives.
                                           reign of the Howard Government.          allow the Government to bypass          sites, and override the Heritage Act.       Sartor claims it is “not about
                                           I believe there is a growing indif-      decision making by local councils           Sydney Lord Mayor Clover            dispossessing Aboriginal people and
    The Goondiwindi beating, and           ference of Australians – the great       and communities. The two inner          Moore is also an MP whose elector-      sending them off somewhere else”.
the death in custody of Cameron            Australian silence about the increas-    city suburbs have Aboriginal            ate takes in Redfern and Waterloo.      But there will be no place for them
Doomadgee in Palm Island Police            ing rates of imprisonment and deaths     communities which have long             She described the plan as “nothing      in Redfern and Waterloo as it will
Station, followed another death in         in custody of Indigenous people and      been seen by the Government as a        but a grab for development-related      be changed into a high-income-only
custody at Normanton Police Station        treatment under the criminal justice     hindrance to plans by developers.       cash” by the Government.                residential and retail area.
some time ago. The deaths at Palm          system.                                       In March 2002, the Redfern-            In Parliament Ms Moore moved            There are already plans for the
Island and Normanton are both the               “Indigenous people in this coun-    Waterloo Partnership Project was        amendments to the proposed              construction of three shopping,
subject of an investigation by the         try are 15 times more likely to be       announced to address serious social     Redfern-Waterloo Authority Bill,        residential and office towers over
Queensland Crime and Misconduct            imprisoned than anyone else … Last       problems in the area. That was the      warning that it sets up a new super-    Redfern station and for residential
Commission.                                year, 75 percent of deaths in custody    stated intention, at any rate. But      authority with extraordinary powers     development of Eveleigh.
    The events at Goondiwindi and          of prisoners detained for no more        there was no movement to address        that will be above the law.                 It has also been revealed that
Normanton, as well as those on             than public order offences were          the problems, which arise out of            “The Minister will be account-      another, separate, body along the
Palm Island, are a clear outcome of        Indigenous Australians.”                 poverty and long-term racial dis-       able to no one and will have the        lines of the Redfern-Waterloo
government policies of neglect and              Robbie Williams, the ATSIC          crimination.                            capacity to annex other suburban        Authority is being formed to take
outright hostility towards Aboriginal      Commissioner for south-east                   There was little information and   areas at will, to cherry pick the       over what the Government describes
people.                                    Queensland, remarked grimly:             consultation from those running the     most valuable development sites,        as “run-down corridors” through-
    The Government has gone                “There’s been some militant red-         Project.                                and to act as the consent authority     out Sydney. Although details of
out of its way to denigrate and            necks who have taken the law into             Now the Redfern-Waterloo           for his developments without being      this body are as yet only sketchy
demonise attempts by Indigenous            their own hands. There’s a few           Authority, under Minister for           hindered by inconvenient planning       the Minister for Infrastructure
communities to overcome poverty,           people who are starting to think it’s    Energy and Utilities, Frank Sartor,     laws, such as the Heritage Act.”        and Planning, Craig Knowles,
discrimination and more than 200           open season on Aboriginal people.        is to control key sites, administer a       For starters, heritage laws will    has already earmarked Parramatta
years of dispossession.                    It started in Redfern, now it’s up       Redfern-Waterloo Fund and develop       no longer apply to four sites in        Road from City Road to Granville,
    The Howard Government has              on Palm Island: it could be escalat-     a ten year plan.                        Redfern: the Australian Technology      and set up a Parramatta Road Task
historically moved to block all cam-       ing.” J                                       Sartor, a former Sydney mayor,     Park, Eveleigh Railway Workshops,       Force. J



                                                   Eureka 150                            Chile: story of a                        Milosevic –                           Hard Ground –
     Sydney de-railed!
                                                   celebrations                          torture survivor                     evidence in defence                    Unions in the Pilbara
           - p3
                                                       - p5                                     - p7                                  - p8                                   - p12
2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       December 8                   2004




             The Guardian                                                  Exposure:
    No 1210                                 December 8, 2004
                                                                           The Bhopal disaster
               People before profits
                                                                           Peter Mac
    For decades governments have taken responsibility for the
provision of infrastructure and essential services such as educa-          Just after midnight on December
tion, water, sewerage, electricity, gas, roads, public transport,          3, 1984 there was a gas leakage at
post and telephones. In taking responsibility, they have provided          Union Carbide’s pesticide plant at
public services, totally or partially funding them, and have been          Bhopal in India. The accident, which
publicly accountable through parliament. The majority of the               is said to have been triggered in
population (apart from some rural and Aboriginal communi-                  part by a refrigeration plant being
ties) have taken it for granted that water would flow out of taps          turned off as an economy measure,
in their homes, that electricity would provide light and heat, or          released 40 tonnes of toxic methyl
that our cars or buses would freely use the roads.                         isocyanate gas into the atmosphere,
    We paid our taxes to government and government provides                forming a cloud that covered an
the necessary services to meet the needs of society – both                 area of 40 square kilometres around
individual, personal needs and those of businesses and the com-            the plant.
                                                                               It was the world’s worst indus-
munity at large. In some instances we might pay for the service            trial accident. Three thousand
or use of infrastructure such as electricity, telephones and rail,         people died that night from the
and in other instances it would be provided free of charge (eg             effects of the gas. There were 8000
roads, education).                                                         casualties in the three days after the
    The prime purpose of a service was its provision to meet a             accident, and another 20,000 have
need. Thus, public transport was to serve the needs of people to           died since. One hundred and twenty
commute to work, to school and so on. This may sound obvious               thousand people have survived, but
and logical. After all, why else would they be provided?                   with terrible injuries to the eyes,
    That was the case before the economic rationalists took over.          skin, lungs and other parts of the
They set about corporatising government utilities and services             body. Since the disaster, the rates of
to put them on a commercial footing. This was then extended                cancer, infant mortality and defor-
to making “reforms” to enable government “businesses” to                   mities in and around Bhopal area
recover the full cost of a service through “user pays” and other           have soared.
means.                                                                         More than 572,000 survivors
    Competition policy followed, with the abolition of cross-              have now been officially classified
subsidisation and the introduction of private sector providers.            as victims of the accident, either
The next step was to make a profit. When the service became                because of their injuries or because
                                                                           of loss of earning power or other ill
profitable, it was sold or public ownership and provision was              effects.
                                                                                                                                                                       From Raghu Rai’s exhibit
replaced by “public private partnerships” (PPPs) where the                     Union Carbide declined to                                                               victims, but it was not until 1989,                                                             about A$757, or approximately $38
government takes financial responsibility (ensures profits flow)           reveal the composition of the                                                               after a court case mounted by the                                                               for each year the victims have had
and the private sector provide or manage the service and pocket            chemicals involved on the basis                                                             Indian Government, that a legal                                                                 to wait.
huge profits.                                                              that this knowledge was their                                                               settlement was reached.                                                                              Not surprisingly, many of the
    There are endless government reports on public services                intellectual property. (This made                                                                The company had chosen to                                                                  victims felt that this did not repre-
and how to put them on a profitable footing – or in other words            it extremely difficult for medical                                                          contest the case in India, rather                                                               sent a just outcome. The environ-
fattening the turkey for the corporate table.                              authorities to treat the victims in the                                                     than in the US, where the dam-                                                                  mental organisation Greenpeace and
    Cross subsidisation works through the most profitable sector           immediate aftermath of the blast.)                                                          ages were likely to be much larger.                                                             a coalition of survivor groups is now
of a service subsidising the sectors which do not make a profit.           Although only five years old, the                                                           The Indian Government demanded                                                                  campaigning for adequate compen-
Thus, Telstra has an obligation to fund telecommunications in              plant had been losing money. After                                                          US$15 billion in damages, but in                                                                sation, as well as for the company
regional and remote areas so the people in those areas pay the             the accident the company simply                                                             the event only $US470 million was                                                               (which has been taken over by Dow
same for their services as those in the densely populated cities.          abandoned it. The manager, Warren                                                           forthcoming.                                                                                    Chemicals) to carry out remediation
    The abolition of cross-subsidisation means that services               Anderson, was arrested but skipped                                                               Moreover, the victims did not                                                              to the site, whose soil and water are
are cut or users pay more where it cost more to provide that               bail and lives in great comfort in the                                                      receive anything until November                                                                 still shockingly polluted.
service. This applies to many services, such as Australia Post             US despite an Interpol warrant for                                                          this year, just under 20 years after                                                                 An exhibition on the disaster
                                                                           his arrest.                                                                                 the tragedy. The entitlement for each                                                           is currently on display in Sydney.
and rail services. The concept of universal access and uniform
                                                                               The company later made a                                                                victim was some 25,000 rupees. At                                                               Shortly after the disaster, Indian
rates is being eroded and replaced by a new regime of making               small compensation payment to the                                                           the current rate of exchange that is                                                            photographer Raghu Rai visited the
everything turn a profit – focusing on every individual situation                                                                                                                                                                                                      site to record its aftermath. Last year
rather than the totality of the service and community needs.                                                                                                                                                                                                           he again visited Bhopal to document
    It is approaching the point where, every train trip, every                                                                                                                                                                                                         the long-term impacts on the local
letter delivery to every address, every phone call to every desti-
nation, every drop of water to every property – all will have to           Dulwich Hill Fair                                                                                                                                                                           residents. His haunting images,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       reminiscent of the post-Hiroshima
make a profit.                                                             Denis Doherty                                                                               Iraqi hospital appeal. At the moment                                                            photographs, form the basis of the
    This process is evident in the NSW public transport system                                                                                                         Port Jackson has topped $200 for                                                                exhibition.
where the government has proposed emasculating rail services               Port Jackson Branch was out in                                                              the appeal and is aiming for more.                                                              The exhibition will be
– focusing on peak periods and cutting services with smaller               force again at the Dulwich Hill                                                                 We still had a number of people                                                             on display in Sydney, with
patronage (see page 3).                                                    Fair on Saturday December 4. The                                                            coming up to us and saying “I                                                                   half the photographs at the
    The overriding reason for private provision of services is             Branch made a hit selling those now                                                         thought the CPA had gone out of                                                                 Tap Gallery at 278 Palmer St,
profit. The service itself is no longer the raison d’être: the ser-        famous revolutionary jams and the                                                           existence”. “Oh, no”, came the                                                                  Darlinghurst and the other half
vice becomes the vehicle for generating revenue for the coffers            usual party literature.                                                                     reply, “We not only exist but we are                                                            at the George Hannah Memorial
of big business. Public need comes a distant last, if it enters the            A feature of the Fair was that we                                                       going much better than the ALP and                                                              Library in King St, Mascot
picture at all.                                                            again used it to raise money for the                                                        Mark Latham.” J                                                                                 until January 30, 2005. J
    Every public asset and service is now in the firing line for
privatisation, from education through health to welfare. Those
parts that can’t be made profitable – many public services were
never going to make a profit and were never meant to – will
                                                                             Second Hospital Appeal for Iraq
either become a second rate, under-funded service provider or                The CPA is appealing to readers, members, supporters and friends to help raise $5000 for medical services for the
will be scrapped altogether.                                                 people of Iraq. The money collected will be conveyed to the Iraqi Communist Party which has set up a mobile hospital.
    It’s time to challenge the assumption that essential services            We know it is an expensive time of the year, but for the Iraqi people are doing it much tougher. We urge you to give what
should make a profit and return to the collective, efficient pub-            you can – and a bit more!
lic provision of services for the public good.                               Many thanks to the following for their generous contributions this week:
                                                                             Port Jackson Branch $229.50, Fred Rouady$20, Bob & Jenny Saltis $20, Pat & Janet Menz $50,
                                                                             Anonymous $20, Ian Pamment $10, Tom Simmons $100, Kathryn Clennell $20.
                           PRESS FUND                                        This week’s total $469.50. Cumulative total $793.50 .
As another Guardian goes to press, many people are doubtless                 !- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
wondering what awaits them in 2005. The year 2004 has seen a                 Hospital Appeal for Iraq
number of setbacks, but also a number of important gains. Whatever
happens, one thing is certain: the future will be determined by the          I…………………………………….of ……………………………………………………
mass action of the people of the world. In Australia, The Guardian
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We know it can be done. Our sincere thanks go to all those who
contributed this week, as follows:                                           Contributions by cheque, money order or credit card giving name on the card,
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$25, R Junkerstorff $50.                                                     Credit card _ _ _ _                                                ____                               ____                              ____                                          Expiry date                            __                  __
This week’s total: $888.50. Progressive total: $11,778.50.                   Please send donations to:                                                            74 Buckingham St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
The Guardian
December 8   2004                                                                                                                                                       AUSTRALIA                   3



Derailed to privatisation
The NSW Carr Government                 lines are separated it will be easier    on the train and terminate at Central
has announced a new timetable           to sell them off.                        are then forced to travel about 100
for Sydney’s trains to come into             Already commuters who use the       metres – and up and down two
force in September next year. The       Inner West line between Homebush         more lifts – before they can access
extent to which the Government has      and the city are being forced to         a city-bound train and continue their
allowed the service to deteriorate      change trains at Redfern station on      journey.
is evident in the proposed regime       the outskirts of the CBD because              North Shore line trains will be
which will see 720 services a           their service now terminates at          reduced by half between 10am and
day cut from off-peak services,         Central’s Country Link platforms.        2pm. The Southern Highlands line
amounting to3500 a week. The            This is because the Government has       which services the towns between
claim that fixing the system can be     dumped what it calls “low-patron-        Picton and Goulburn – which were
achieved by slashing services is not    age off-peak services” which go          left without a direct service to the
so ludicrous if seen in connection      through the city circle line – those     city when its weekend services were
with the Government’s longer term       CBD stations on the loop between         cut by 30 percent in July – doesn’t
goal of privatisation.                  Town Hall and Museum.                    even figure in the plan; no timetable
    The scheme is being implement-           This change spells serious diffi-   has been developed for it.
ed even though it has been pointed      culties for disabled and less mobile          For nearly a decade now people
out by commuters that with the          passengers.                              have been conditioned to accept that
changes taking place in the work-            For example: this year the          trains will not run on time, and in
force – increased casualisation and     State Government spent $6million         many cases not at all. This has now
shift work being prevalent among        upgrading Summer Hill Station with       manifested itself into City Rail poli-
them – many workers now go to and       lifts and ramps to allow disabled        cy with trains that run five minutes
from work during non-peak hours.        access. However, disabled pas-           late officially considered as on-time.
    Central to the privatisation pro-   sengers who use Summer Hill will              The cuts in funding and ser-
cess is the “clearways” program,        now no longer have direct access         vices are also reflected in the fact
which will break up the rails them-     to the city. An announcement in          that, except for the Olympic year in
selves into segregated lines. The       transit advises passengers travelling    2000, there has been no significant
Government says this is aimed at        to the city or transferring to other     increase in patronage on the service
stopping a problem on one line from     lines to change at Redfern Station.      since 1996. This has another impli-
affecting other lines. Clearly the      However, Redfern station is notori-      cation: Sydney has grown by almost
cause of such problems is not the       ous for its inaccessibility with no      half-a-million people in that time.
integrated system but the failure to    lifts or ramps between platforms.        This can only mean there are more
fully fund its maintenance. After the        Disabled passengers who stay        cars on the road. J




Australia’s nuclear proliferation risk revealed
A classified uranium enrichment         technology to be developed at Lucas      being denied by both Silex and the           • 2000: Silex secured a            unspecified access to ANSTO tech-
project is underway at Sydney’s         Heights seriously undermines our         Government.”                             “START” R&D Grant from the             nology and information;
nuclear reactor, according to a         Government’s commitment to the               Launching the Greepeace report       Australian Government to fund              • Silex Systems is the only
new report by Greenpeace. Secrets,      elimination of nuclear weapons.”         at Parliament House last week,           50 per cent of the SILEX Stable        private company in Australia to
Lies and Uranium Enrichment: The             Uranium enrichment is a highly      Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said:        Isotope Program.                       come under the regulation of the
classified Silex project at Lucas       classified activity because it pro-          “Alexander Downer describes              • 2001: The SILEX Technology       Australian Radiation Protection
Heights reveals the full extent         vides the main ingredient used in        Australia as a ‘leading country in the   was officially “Classified” by the     and Nuclear Safety Agency
of the project and the Federal          the production of nuclear weap-          area of nuclear non-proliferation’,      US and Australian Governments.         (ARPANSA). However no mention
Government’s involvement.               ons. The company conducting the          but has allowed the Silex project to     The implications of classification     of Silex Systems or laser enrich-
    The report highlights the hypoc-    research, Silex Systems Ltd, is the      continue to develop, with govern-        relate mainly to security protocols.   ment has ever appeared in a publicly
risy of the Australian Government       only company in the world pursu-         ment support, a uranium enrichment           The Greenpeace report further      available ARPANSA report.
wanting to play “a vital role in        ing laser enrichment of uranium. It      technology. As this report shows the     reveals that:                              Senator Nettle promised that the
helping stop the spread of WMD”         claims its technology is to be used      operations of Silex Systems and              • Silex Systems Ltd leases more    Greens would pursue the truth of
(Weapons of Mass Destruction), as       to create fuel for power reactors.       their relationship to government         than 2000 square metres of space at    the Government’s relationship with
stated by Defence Minister Robert            Former diplomat Richard             agencies is shrouded in secrecy.”        the Australian Nuclear Science &       Silex through the Senate estimates
Hill, while allowing weapons-           Broinowski and author of Fact                On its website under “company        Technology Organisation, and has       process. J
useable nuclear technology to be        or Fission – The Truth About             history”, Silex boasts of its govern-
developed in Sydney.                    Australia’s Nuclear Ambitions, has       ment connections and its “classi-
    “If this uranium enrichment         welcomed the Greenpeace report.          fied” work:
research were being conducted
by Iran or North Korea, our
                                        “It’s a nonsense to suggest that laser
                                        enrichment of uranium only has a
                                                                                     • 2000: Agreement for Co-
                                                                                 operation between the United States      Govt’s disability hypocrisy
Government would call it evidence       civil application. If you can enrich     and Australian Governments paved
of a covert weapons program”, said      Uranium-235 by 10% you can               the way for continued development        Bob Briton                             Disabilities. A media release from
Greenpeace nuclear campaigner,          enrich it to higher percentages to       of SILEX Technology for uranium                                                 Federal MP Sussan Ley had the fol-
James Courtney.                         make it weapons usable. The weap-        enrichment, facilitating its future      Last week the ABC’s AM program         lowing to say:
    “Allowing laser enrichment          ons application of this technology is    transfer to the US.                      lifted the lid on the outrageous            “It is often said that people with
                                                                                                                          hypocrisy of the Federal               disabilities are more likely to be
Pete’s Corner                                                                                                             Government in moving to deport         adversely affected by the barriers
                                                                                                                          an Indian family that has been         they face and society’s attitudes than
                                                                                                                          living in Australia for 10 years.      by the disability itself. International
                                                                                                                          The mother and father have been        Day really gives us the chance to
                                                                                                                          highly-valued suicide and domestic     break down those barriers and to
                                                                                                                          violence counsellors working for the   challenge people’s perceptions of
                                                                                                                          Queanbeyan Baptist Church.             disability.”
                                                                                                                              However, when Jude and                  Nobody from the Department
                                                                                                                          Daisy Morris recently applied for      of Family and Community Services
                                                                                                                          permanent residency, they were         was available for comment. A
                                                                                                                          turned down. No new temporary          spokesperson for the Minister for
                                                                                                                          visa was issued and the bridging       Immigration, Senator Amanda
                                                                                                                          visa they now have does not allow      Vanstone, said that she could not
                                                                                                                          them to work. The Department of        comment on individual immigration
                                                                                                                          Immigration is now asking them to      cases.
                                                                                                                          leave the country.                          Rophin’s father Jude is still hop-
                                                                                                                              The reason for the dramatic        ing that the government will review
                                                                                                                          turn of events? Rophin, the            the case and allow the family to
                                                                                                                          couple’s 12-year-old son, is mod-      stay in Australia. “That is my only
                                                                                                                          erately autistic. This only became     request. I hold no resentments, no
                                                                                                                          evident at age four, a couple of       bitterness against the Government. I
                                                                                                                          years after the family’s arrival in    am simply, as a father of a disabled
                                                                                                                          Australia. The callous hypocrisy       son, requesting the Minister to inter-
                                                                                                                          on the part of the government is       vene and to allow our son a future
                                                                                                                          that Rophin’s photo appears on         and a home.”
                                                                                                                          a Department of Family and                  Rophin’s picture features on the
                                                                                                                          Community Services calendar that       government calendar for the month
                                                                                                                          urges people to focus on the abili-    of December 2005. The Morris’
                                                                                                                          ties of people with disabilities.      many friends are now working hard
                                                                                                                              The calendar was launched          to ensure that the family is still liv-
                                                                                                                          last week to coincide with the         ing in their home in Australia when
                                                                                                                          International Day of People with       that month rolls around. J
4         LABOUR STRUGGLES                                                                                                                                                                The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                                                       December 8   2004




South Australia

Bosses’ frenzied campaign
Bob Briton                              casual workers can become perma-
                                        nent after six months of continuous
Employer group Business SA              employment – as the United Trades
kicked their ongoing industrial         and Labor Council very defensively
relations campaign into high gear       points out. The bosses have retained
last week. Half page ads appeared       their “right” to spy on workers.
in the Monday edition of Murdoch’s          The Bill will, however, afford
daily Advertiser carrying the crude     some minimum wage protection
propagandist image of a medicine        and allow for intervention by the
bottle clearly marked “POISON”.         Industrial Relations Commission
The supposedly deadly contents          where contracts are deemed harsh
were the Industrial Relations           and unfair. It will better protect
Bill (IR Bill) being considered         workers’ entitlements, especially
by the Upper House of the South         those of young, non-permanent
Australian Parliament.                  workers. It will ensure that workers
     The “bitter Bill Parliament        contracted from labour hire firms
could make us all swallow” was the      do not fall through the cracks of the
Rann Government’s Labour Market         state’s unfair dismissal laws. It will
Relations Bill – a piece of legisla-    preserve unions’ right of entry to
tion viewed as conservative by SA       workplaces.
unions that seeks to update the 1994        Business SA and other bosses’
Industrial and Employees Relations      organisations have been campaign-
Act. Bosses are alarmed that the        ing vigorously since the Bill was
latest Bill would clarify industrial    first drafted in December 2003.
relations developments of recent        They hired pro-boss outfit Access            The Australian Chamber of            are doing so out of their own free       as a means of avoiding employer
years that have worked overwhelm-       Economics to argue that 1700 jobs        Commerce and Industry (ACCI)             will. The gloves come off when           responsibilities and cheating work-
ingly in their favour. Employers        will go if the Bill were enacted.        submitted a tendentious docu-            questions of job security are raised:    ers. The whole Bill was written off
are outraged that there could be a      Their reading of the Bill would          ment to the government in March               “Whilst academics and theo-         as “policy adventurism”. In com-
minor pause in the legislative gift-    have it that unionists could demand      in which it clearly threatened           reticians might like to think that a     mon with Business SA, ACCI is
giving season from state and federal    to enter a boss’ home to examine a       that more and more bosses would          workplace can be micro managed           not interested in further negotiation
governments.                            business’ most sensitive documents.      remove their workers from the            by legislation and that the law can      on the matters and simply wants the
     The Bill has been watered          And pigs might fly! The Master           state’s jurisdiction and put them        create employment security, the real     Bill withdrawn.
down a number of times to meet the      Builders put it about that 3500          into federally administered              world of workplace relations and              Fortunately, independent Bob
demands coming from the big end         apprenticeships would be under           Australian Workplace Agreements.         business activity is quite different.”   Such and Greens MHA Kris Hanna
of town. There is no move to ensure     threat.                                  As the submission pointed out,                The “real world” the ACCI           saw to it that the Bill passed through
                                                                                 about half of SA’s workers are           wants us all to accept is that of the    the lower house. Maximum pressure
                                                                                 already under federal IR control.        master/servant relationship in every     is now on the Democrats, No Pokies
                                                                                 It makes flattering reference to         workplace in the state.                  MLC Nick Xenophon, independent
                                                                                 Victoria’s abdication of its IR sys-          The ACCI document goes to           Terry Cameron and Family First’s

Apprentice stands                                                                tem to the Commonwealth. ACCI
                                                                                 insists that the state should remain
                                                                                 “neutral” on whether workers
                                                                                                                          great lengths in complaining how
                                                                                                                          the legislation could allow a con-
                                                                                                                          tracted worker to be considered
                                                                                                                                                                   Andrew Evans. It is obvious that
                                                                                                                                                                   great hope has been placed in the
                                                                                                                                                                   last-mentioned fundamentalist coun-
                                                                                 are casuals or permanent or hired        an employee for purposes such as         cillor. Business SA’s pricey ad in the

up for rights                                                                    as contractors. Like the various
                                                                                 spokespersons for the Federal
                                                                                 Government, the bosses’ organisa-
                                                                                                                          unfair dismissal. It is revealing that
                                                                                                                          it uses terms like “genuine indepen-
                                                                                                                          dent contractors” – inadvertently
                                                                                                                                                                   Advertiser last week told us that the
                                                                                                                                                                   IR Bill is “bad for business, bad for
                                                                                                                                                                   families and bad for jobs” [emphasis
                                                                                 tion insists that all of the employees   conceding that at least some work-       added]. SA bosses are not known
A Perth teenager has beaten a               That was rectified last October,     working under these arrangements         ers are forced to become contractors     for their subtlety. J
Howard Government move to               but Ms Crowley was out of a job
prevent her seeking justice from a      within the month after a showdown
“deplorable” employer. Apprentice       over weekend rates.

                                                                                 Buckeridge Bill blocks entry
painter, Karen Cowley, 18, was              She told the Commission Milici
awarded nine weeks pay after the        offered her $50 tax-free for working
Western Australian Industrial           weekends but she had insisted on
Relations Commission found              the proper rate for the job. After a
contractor, Joe Milici, had abused      meeting at which Milici told her she     John Howard will over-ride state         and Energy Union (CFMEU)                 Copeman Medal for services to
his position by sacking her after she   wasn’t worth it, and that he intended    law to look after the interests of       assistant National Secretary, Dave       industrial reform, after being
insisted on being paid correctly.       to extend her apprenticeship by          a Perth building magnate who             Noonan, tagged this week’s legisla-      convicted of assaulting a union
    The Commission described            another three months, she admitted       has drawn up a hit list of worker        tion the “Buckeridge Bill”.              activist. In accepting that award,
Milici’s behaviour as “deplorable”.     breaking down.                           representatives. Workplace                   “Buckeridge was using AWAs           Buckeridge revealed he had drawn
    Under      planned      Howard          She told the Commission she          Relations Minister, Kevin Andrews,       to deny workers’ rights to union         up a “hit list” of trade unionists
Government legislation, Ms Cowley       stuck a finger in the air, swore and     confirmed his government would           access. What the Federal Court           who had earned his ire.
would have been unable to seek          turned away because she was about        restrict trade union right of entry      found was illegal, this government            Minister Andrews announced
redress because Milici’s company,       to cry. Milici sacked her.               provisions, effectively overturning      is moving to make legal”,                this week he would move well
JJ Painting Contractors, employs            The Commission found the             a Federal Court ruling against           Mr Noonan said.                          beyond the construction indus-
less than 20 people.                    “single incident” did not outweigh       construction multi-millionaire,              The Western Australian case          try by over-riding state right of
    She began on leaving school but     her good work record, or the fact        Len Buckeridge.                          was sensational because it under-        entry rules, across the board.
was only months into the job when       that Milici wanted her to work for           Andrews promised, last               mined arguments that AWAs were           Meanwhile, the CFMEU says the
warning signs starting flashing.        less than she was entitled to.           August, that a re-elected Coalition      about freedom of choice. It revealed     OEA has not taken any action
She expressed concern about “low”           It had heard that, prior to the      Government would trump a deci-           Buckeridge’s company, BGC,               over the fraudulent registering of
earnings but Milici insisted her        dismissal, Milici had talked about       sion that workers on AWAs, the           bound sub-contractors to employ          AWAs.
rates were correct until her mother     nominating her for apprentice of         government’s non-union contracts,        AWA labour only.                              “This government says it has
intervened. Then it was discovered      the year.                                were entitled to on-the-job access to        The court heard the Office of        a no tolerance policy towards law
she hadn’t been registered as an            Ms Cowley was represented in         union advice and assistance.             the Employment Advocate (OEA)            breakers. Clearly, that doesn’t apply
apprentice.                             the case by the CFMEU. J                     Construction, Forestry, Mining       was registering fraudulent AWAs,         if you are an employer”, observed
                                                                                                                          and green-lighting others lodged         Mr Noonan.
                                                                                                                          outside the time limit set in law.            The Queensland Council of
                                                                                                                              In uncontested evidence, indus-      Unions has urged all state gov-
Cleaners clean up                                                                                                         try veteran Alan Kuret, said a non-
                                                                                                                          union AWA had been registered in
                                                                                                                          his name although he had never
                                                                                                                                                                   ernments to oppose the Federal
                                                                                                                                                                   Government’s proposed “right of
                                                                                                                                                                   entry” laws which would severely
NSW school cleaners will have a         to protect their jobs and working        tract cleaning industry is endemi-       seen nor signed the document.            curtail the day-to-day work of
key role in ensuring a $200 million     conditions. The conference has           cally non-compliant with legal               He said when he refused to sign      unions.
contract delivers healthy schools.      been set down to ensure that the         requirements, including awards,          a pre-dated AWA, his employment               QCU General Secretary Grace
Cleaners will be joined by employers    new contract addresses health and        cleaners will make sure that com-        had been terminated.                     Grace said the proposed laws were
and government representatives at       safety concerns of cleaners and          panies are compliant with this               Justice French rejected Buck-        unworkable and unnecessary.
a conference held just days before      school communities.                      contract.                                eridge’s argument that the CFMEU              “Right of entry has never been
the cut off date for the lucrative          “This conference is about                Issues such as asthma, occu-         was not entitled to enter Burrup         an issue in workplaces and there is
state cleaning contract.                making sure our schools are clean        pational health and safety and           Fertilisers to speak with workers on     simply no need for the government
    The contract is responsible for     and our educational environments         “green” buildings will be addressed      AWAs.                                    to impose these laws.
keeping over 2000 schools, TAFE         are safe and that our cleaners are       along with presentations by a range          Buckeridge has become a Hard              “Unions play a vital role when
colleges and other state agencies       safe”, said Jim Lloyd, president         of experts. The conference, entitled     Right hero for his aggressive moves      visiting workplaces by ensuring,
clean.                                  of the cleaner’s union, the Liquor,      “Cleaners and the Health of our          to de-unionise workplaces.               amongst many things, that employ-
    Earlier this year school clean-     Hospitality and Miscellaneous            Schools”, is being sponsored by the          He was awarded the HR                ees are being paid correctly and that
ers won an important campaign           Workers’ Union. “While the con-          LHMU. J                                  Nicholls Society’s Charles               the workplace is a safe one.” J
                            The Guardian
                            December 8   2004                                                                                                                                                   AUSTRALIA                5



                            CPA celebrates Eureka
                            Last Sunday at the Gaelic Club in       1954 by R D Walshe and a portfolio        example of the jailing of union
                            Sydney, a great crowd assembled         of prints, Eureka 150th anniversary       leader Craig Johnson, whose main
                            to celebrate the 150th Anniversary      1854-2004. (See ad page 6)                crime was winning improved con-
                            of Eureka.                                  Members of the Philippines            ditions for his union members. A
                                The program opened with a ren-      group Migrante performed several          petition was circulated calling for
                            dition of Imagine – the John Lennon     songs from their heritage of struggle     his release.
                            song – sung by Larissa (10 years),      against Spanish and US colonial-              Another well-received petition
                            the daughter of party member Samir      ism along with a rendition of the         called for humanitarian justice for
                            Maarbani. Kassim Abood of the           Internationale in Tagalog.                Kasmiri asylum seeker Stephen
                            Iraqi Communist Party then sang a           One of Australia’s best-known         Khan to allow him to stay in
                            song in honour of all the Iraqi com-    folk singers and songwriters, John        Australia.
                            munist matyrs. Margaret Walters         Dengate, finished the program with            Lechie Hopkins of Women’s
                            sang the Ballad of 1891 – when the      rousing songs and poetry about            Studies at Edith Cowan University,
                            shearers went out on their historic     Eureka – including one of John’s          held the meeting’s attention with
                            strike – and other Australian work-     own poems.                                examples of the role of women in
                            ing class songs.                                                                  the Ballarat struggles. She high-
                                Drew Cottle, senior Lecturer in     Perth                                     lighted the story of Anastasia, the
                            politics at the University of Western       About a hundred people cele-          wife of Timothy Hayes, a leader of
                            Sydney, gave the keynote speech.        brated the Eureka anniversary in the      the miners and one of the 13 tried
                            Drew’s speech concentrated on the       State School Teachers Hall in Perth.      for high treason, and the militant




                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Photo: Avante Media Australia
                            economic and social conditions that         John Picton-Warlow, who co-           influence she had on Tim and Peter
                            added to the tension and caused the     wrote the opera Eureka Stockade,          Lalor.
                            men to revolt against oppression. He    told the meeting how the idea of the          Consistent work beforehand
                            outlined other struggles that have      libretto began with Italian interest in   brought many descendants of
                            happened in the 150 years since         the role of Carboni at Ballarat. They     Stockaders to the meeting. In con-
                            Eureka where the first response was     writers wanted to repay the support       versation before the meeting and in
                            to raise the Eureka flag.               they had found in Australia, and          the time set for discussion they add-
                                The flag, we heard often during     saw the opera as one way to do this.      ed a militancy and spoke proudly of     Adelaide: Lesley on the fiddle
                            the afternoon, is “more beautiful       John pointed out how Italians had         their Stockader heritage.
                            than any flag of Europe”. The flag      enriched the culture of Australia.            The singing and the music
                            did not belong to one ethnic group;         Chris Cain, WA Secretary of           of the Working Voices Choir and
                            it belonged to all people struggling    the Maritime Union of Australia,          other singers made for an enjoyable
                            for rights and democracy.               declared that the lessons of Eureka       afternoon.
                                Two publications produced by        were relevant today, that there had
                            the CPA for the commemoration           to be united resistance to the attacks    Adelaide
                            were launched: Eureka 1854 to           on union rights. He pointed to the             About 40 people attended the
                                                                                                              CPA’s lunch and celebration in
                                                                                                              the Semaphore Workers’ Club in
                                                                                                              Adelaide. Stirring Irish music was
                                                                                                              played by Sam on the pipes, Craig
                                                                                                              on the whistle and Lesley on the
                                                                                                              fiddle.
                                                                                                                   Retired unionist Cam Johnson         Primary schools around the country protested in 2000
                                                                                                              spoke on the various interpreta-          against school books not being exempt from the GST. As
                                                                                                              tions of the 1854 uprising and how        a result the Howard Government introduced funding for
                                                                                                              the enemies of the working people         primary schools to buy new books for their libraries. The
                                                                                                              have consistently tried to downplay       Grants to Primary School Libraries program had the pro-
                                                                                                              its importance. He quoted Raffaelo        viso that the new books be written by Australian authors or
                                                                                                              Carboni and Monty Miller to dem-
                                                                                                              onstrate the united, working class        be published in Australia. During the four years each school
                                                                                                              nature of Eureka and the cruelty of       bought an average of 350 books, worth a total of $45 mil-
                                                                                                              its suppression.                          lion. Now Education Minister Brendan Nelson has refused to
                                                                                                                   The musicians then accompa-          extend the program. Said one teacher/ librarian, “The GST
                                                                                                              nied George Cochram in a power-           is still there, we still need to buy books for our schools, but
                                                                                                              ful, deep rendition of the Ballad of      we’re not getting that allowance. And during the four years
                                                                                                              1891.
                                                                                                                                                        the price of books has gone up. It’s going to be tough.”
                                                                                                                   Bob Briton thanked the gath-
                                                                                                              ering for their participation on
                                                                                                              behalf of the State Committee of          Private means unaccountable, and so it was that Tara Angli-
                                                                                                              the CPA and noted that the spirit of      can School for Girls in Sydney was being sued by a student’s
                                                                                                              unity evident at Eureka is still vis-     parents for allegedly failing to provide adequate care during
                                                                                                              ible in the local community. Public       a school trip to Italy in 2001 where the teenager said she
                                                                                                              forums dedicated to finding ways          was pack raped. The school last week suddenly decided to
Photo: Warren Smith




                                                                                                              to fight back against the right-wing      settle out of court. And no wonder. It was a disgrace from
                                                                                                              Howard agenda will be held at the
                                                                                                              Semaphore Workers’ Club through-
                                                                                                                                                        beginning to end. Beginning with the legal representative
                                                                                                              out 2005.                                 for the school who in court told the girl she had “led the
                                                                                                              Contributions from                        boys on, flirted and encouraged them”. He introduced a se-
                             Sydney                                                                           Denis Doherty, Vinnie Molina,             ries of recent surveillance photos of her in a public place
                                                                                                              Bob Briton J                              (who took them?), questioning whether her self-esteem
                                                                                                                                                        had been affected when she was able “to sit on a bar stool
                                                                                                                                                        with a skirt as short as that…” Back in Sydney, after the
                                                                                                                                                        trip, the girl was reportedly ordered to write out a statement
                                                                                                                                                        saying she wouldn’t return to the school. The principal ar-
                                                                                                                                                        ranged for her to do her final examines in a room by herself.

                                                                                                                                                        ALP policy has been backsliding since the elections. It now
                                                                                                                                                        endorses the Government’s plans to strip back EBAs; supports
                                                                                                                                                        the plan to remove all tariffs on textiles, clothing and footwear;
                                                                                                                                                        has thrown away its list of rich private schools that were to have
                                                                                                                                                        their funding reduced; will back government moves to increase
                                                                                                                                                        the private health insurance rebate for older people; and do
                                                                                                                                                        an about turn on its promise for an inquiry into an $800 million
                                                                                                                                                        jobs fund for Tasmanian forests. They must have sore bottoms.

                                                                                                                                                        CAPITALIST HOG OF THE WEEK: is telecommunications
                                                                                                                                                        parasite Optus. Known for its anti-union stance and ruth-
                                                                                                                                                        less treatment of its workforce, it is less well known for its
                                                                                                                                                        role in the trade of pornography. Until last week in the NSW
     Photo: Vinnie Molina




                                                                                                                                                        Supreme Court that is. In a deal with telcos from Vanu-
                                                                                                                                                        atu to the USA it turned out that Optus’s “Yes” advertising
                                                                                                                                                        logo has a double meaning. Porn merchants have been
                                                                                                                                                        serving graphic sex photos and videos through its Austra-
                            Perth: Working Voices Choir
                                                                                                                                                        lian data computer centres. Optus refused to comment.
6           MAGAZINE                                                                                                                                                                         The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                                                          December 8     2004




War                                                                                                SPA Books – Summer Highlights
profiteering                                                                                                             Haydée Santamaría
                                                                                                                         Rebel Lives
                                                  kickbacks and other questionable
Susan Webb                                        practices, Halliburton continues to                                    Woman guerilla leader in Cuba whose passion for art and revolution
                                                  be paid in full by the Pentagon.
                                                                                                                         inspired Latin America’s cultural renaissance. Contributors
“Outrageous!” That is what many                       In November the House
are calling the war profiteering by               Government Reform Committee,                                           include Mario Benedetti, Ariel Dorfman, Silvio Rodríguez,
US corporations who have flocked                  released internal US embassy docu-                                     Roberto Fernández Retamar and Che Guevara.
into Iraq. In particular, Halliburton             ments indicating that KBR officers
Corp, which Vice President Dick                   in Kuwait solicited bribes from                                        130 Pages - $18.00 + $2.45 p&p
Cheney used to head, has come                     those seeking subcontract work
under scrutiny over its US$10                     from the firm. Kuwait is the main
billion Pentagon contracts, many                  supply and staging area for US
obtained without competitive                      operations in Iraq. Senior adminis-
bidding, its fuel-price gouging and               tration officials, including the US
other improper or illegal actions.                ambassador to Kuwait, steered a                                        Amerika Phsycho
Meanwhile, US cities and states are               lucrative fuel contract to a favoured
starved for cash.                                 Kuwaiti subcontractor, documents                                           – Behind Uncle Sam’s Mask of Sanity
    In a new scandal, a top govern-               showed.                                                                    Richard Neville
ment inspector has reported that                      FBI and Army criminal inves-
Halliburton lost millions of dollars              tigators are now pursuing charges                                      Political satirist Richard Neville takes a hilarious, if provocative, look at
worth of government property that it              made by Army Corps of Engineers                                        US culture which he says reveals “a disturbing identification with imperial
is being paid more millions to man-               contract        officer   Bunnatine                                    Rome”. “In these terrible times when dissent in the western world has gone
age for the US occupation in Iraq.                Greenhouse that the Pentagon                                           into hiding, Richard Neville remains steadfast.” - Tariq Ali
The missing property includes gen-                improperly favoured Halliburton in
erators, trucks, laptops, armoured                awarding no-bid contracts for Iraq.                                    126 Pages - $20.00 + $2.00 p&p
vests and helmets.                                    As the Pentagon continues to
    The Coalition Provisional                     pour millions into the Halliburton
Authority inspector general found                 trough, a new report by the Center
that Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg               for American Progress and the
Brown and Root (KBR) “did not                     National Priorities Project shows                                      Motorcycle Diaries
effectively manage government                     that American states and cities are
property”, and that “its property                 being short-changed. The report,                                       Che Guevara
records were not sufficiently accu-               Americans Pay High Price for
rate or available”.                               War, shows how much tax money
                                                                                                                         The young Che’s lively and highly entertaining travel diary. This new,
    KBR was unable to account for                 each state pays for the Iraq war and                                   expanded edition includes previously unpublished photos taken by the 23
one-third of the equipment it was                 occupation, and how little it gets                                     year-old-on his journey across the continent. To be released as a film in
supposed to manage, with a value of               back for homeland security and “No                                     Australia on December 16 – 20% off list price!!!
about US$20 million.                              Child Left Behind”.
    Associated Press reported on the                  Ohio, for example, spent                                           175 pages - $20.00 + $2.45 p&p
audit the day after Thanksgiving, a               US$5.7 billion on Iraq in fiscal year
“slow-news day”, and few media                    2003. In the same period it received
picked up the story, evidently pre-               only US$200 million for homeland
ferring to focus on holiday shoppers              security, and US$659 million for
lining up at 4am at discount stores.              “No Child Left Behind”. Cleveland,
    Pratap Chatterjee, director of                which sentUS$153 million to
CorpWatch, says the missing equip-                Washington for Iraq in 2003, now
                                                                                                                         Che Guevara Reader
ment is only part of a larger, “more              faces a US$60 million city budget                                      The most comprehensive selection of Che Guevara’s writings in an
damning” picture of mismanage-                    deficit, and another US$100 million                                    expanded edition. The reader contains four sections: the Cuban
ment, incompetence, corruption                    deficit in its school budget.                                          Revolutionary War; his views on major international issues; a vision
and in some cases fraud on the part                   More than 1000 teaching staff
of US corporations reaping profits                have been laid off. Seven percent                                      for the Latin American revolution and a selection of letters.
from Iraq. “This is not what we                   of the city’s firefighters have been
want people to be doing with our                  laid off this year, along with 250                                     438 pages - $39.95 + $6.80 p&p
tax dollars”, he noted dryly.                     police officers. Among the police
    Halliburton chairman, president               units eliminated are those for the
and CEO David Lesar received                      harbour, street crimes, auto thefts,
US$7,751,018 in total compensa-                   narcotics, youth gangs and commu-
tion in 2002. Vice President Dick                 nity policing.
Cheney was CEO of Halliburton                         In a recent issue of Online
for five years before running for the             Investors News, Bill Ridley crows
White House. Since taking office                  that “the big dogs of the corporate                                    War, Racism and Economic Injustice
as vice president, Cheney has con-                world stand to clean up” by “carv-                                     Fidel Castro
tinued to receive payments from                   ing up the spoils” from the Bush
Halliburton totalling about US$2                  administration’s Iraq occupation.                                      In a timely analysis of international events, including the 9/11 terrorist
million in bonuses and deferred sal-              The “big prize”, he writes, is “the                                    attacks and the “war against terrorism”, Fidel Castro discusses issues of
ary, and also holds Halliburton stock             Iraqi oil fields and putting these                                     globalisation and the growing phenomenon of global apartheid.
options.                                          prized assets into the hands of
    Despite numerous charges of                   friendly US oil corporations.”                                         126 pages - $18.95 + $2.45 p&p
mismanagement, overcharging,                      People’s Weekly World J


THE EUREKA STOCKADE 1854-1954 by R.D. Walshe
This important booklet by R.D. Walshe was originally produced for the 100th anniversary of
the Eureka Stockade. With an incisive political analysis, Bob Walshe traces the development
of the diggers’ struggle and the political implications of the Stockade for the movement for
independence and democracy in Australia then and today. Walshe writes: “Eureka Stockade was                              Louise Michel
the heroic forerunner of independent working-class activity in Australia.” and “There is much                            Rebel Lives
‘unfinished business’ of the Eureka Stockade, and it would be heresy against good Australianism
to take for granted the freedoms which come to us from past fighters in the Eureka tradition.”                           Anarchist and revolutionary feminist, jailed and exiled for leading the
The Communist Party of Australia has republished the booklet as a contribution to the 150th                              1871 popular uprising in Paris. Contributors include Emma Goldman,
anniversary of the Eureka Stockade. $6 plus $2 postage & packing                                                         Bertolt Brecht, Sheila Rowbotham, Howard Zinn, Victor Hugo and
EUREKA – 150TH ANNIV– A PORTFOLIO OF PRINTS                                                                              Karl Marx.
Includes 13 lino-cuts of the events of the Eureka Stockade and historical commentary on                                  130 pages - $18.00 + $2.45 p&p
this momentous occasion. The artists who contributed were Noel Counihan, Peter Miller, Pat
O’Connor, Ailsa O’Connor, Mary Zuvella (Hammond), Len Gale, Ray Wenban, Naomi Shipp and
Maurice Carter. Originally produced by the Melbourne Popular Art Group in 1954 for the 100th
anniversary, the Communist Party of Australia has republished the portfolio as a contribution to
the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade. $20 plus $3.40 postage & packing

                                                                                                   Send orders to:
                                CPA, 74 Buckingham Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
                   Please make cheques payable to CPA Sydney District Committee                    SPA Books, 74 Buckingham St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010
                                     Phone: (02) 9699 8844 Fax: (02) 9699 9833                     Please enclose cheque or money order made payable to “SPA Books”.
                             Email: cpa@cpa.org.au      Website: www.cpa.org.au
                                                                                                   Or call 02 9699 8844 with your credit card details.
The Guardian
December 8   2004                                                                                                                                                           MAGAZINE                    7



I’m a torture survivor
Tito Trico                               Chilean Government, after pressure
                                         from human rights organisations,
No one can really understand             issued a report about Torture and
what being tortured means until          Political Prisoners in Chile during
that fateful moment when you find        the dictatorship that ruled the coun-
yourself naked, blindfolded and tied     try between 1973 and 1990.
up at the mercy of your captors.              The truth is that it was an open
Your entire life is confined to that     secret that at least 300,000 Chileans
fragile moment when darkness             had been detained and tortured
becomes your enemy, yet at the           during that period, the report
same time, is your only ally, a          only makes official such a reality,
refuge from madness.                     although only 35,000 people came
    There is neither past nor future,    forward to testify before the com-
only the present of screams, fury        mission. Many of those who did not
and impotence when you find your-        testify are still afraid of their memo-
self defenceless at the mercy of the     ries or simply did not believe in the
torturer’s rage and coldness. You        commission’s work.



     It was a crime against mankind and
   those responsible for this crime must be
   brought to justice, anything else simply
             amounts to impunity.

never know when he is going to                Thirty-five thousand people
hit, shout, kick, hang, electrocute      tortured whose names have been
or kill you. You wait in darkness,       consigned in the report, but not a
disoriented, trying to guess where       single name of any of the torturers
the next blow will come from, your       is included. We know their names,
heart escaping through your dry          we know the places where they
mouth hoping that your bones will        tortured and we know which branch
resist the incessant pounding.           of the armed forces they belong to,
    You just try to stay alive,          therefore, there is no valid reason       Dictator Pinochet (centre) and his fellow officers have never been brought to justice
breathe madly after every electric       whatsoever to withhold their names.
shock, because you scream so much                                                  did not only torture individuals, but   an institutional practice. How can it    to feel guilty of the fact that we will
and so loudly that you feel that even                                              also the very soul of our nation.       be courageous to admit the obvious       receive money depriving our coun-
the earth’s entire air supply will not
                                         An offence to                             They did not only torture somebody      after 30 years of lies? It is shame-     trymen of a new highway!
be enough for you. But you keep on       the victims                               for a few hours or a few days, they     ful on the part of President Ricardo          Why not compare these $60
screaming amidst an explosion of             It is an offence to the victims of    destroyed their life forever. It was    Lagos to issue such a statement.         million a year with the military
a thousand colours that burn your        the repression, to all those defence-     a crime against mankind and those           It is also shameful that the gov-    budget? The Navy is acquiring five
flesh and shake you body.                less men and women, to the 90             responsible for this crime must be      ernment has proposed to compensate       new warships from Holland; the
    You can’t control electricity, you   children who were tortured, to those      brought to justice, anything else       torture victims with a life pension of   Air Force is getting new F-16 from
can’t tame electricity, but amidst       who died under torture and to those       simply amounts to impunity.             merely US$180 a month. Pain can-         the United States. Are these war
the bewildering storm of sparks          of us who survived, to keep silent            It is not enough for the mili-      not be measured in monetary terms,       machines more important than help-
and death rattles you can dream of       while the torturers laugh while they      tary to admit for the first time that   however, the meagre figure offends       ing torture victims whose lives were
green unicorns and the first time        read the report.                          they did indeed torture, because we     rather than compensates for 30 years     destroyed by the same people that
you made love right by the sea.              Because there is no doubt that        already knew that. It is not enough     of suffering.                            will use them?
Then it becomes somewhat easier          they enjoyed what they did, they          either for them to express their            It is even more offensive for             The fact is that the report loses
to dream of the day when no human        rejoiced at human suffering, they         sorrow for what happened or ask         the minister for finance to point        a substantial and fundamental part
being would ever torture another         enjoyed beating people up, fright-        for forgiveness – which they have       out that these pensions will cost        of its historical validity if it reduces
human being just because he thinks
differently.


                                                 The horror of the torture chamber will never go away.
    Unfortunately today, 30 years
later, I’m not sure this will never
happen again in my homeland.
Because, although for the first
time in three decades it has been
officially recognised that thousands     ening people, executing people. No        never done – for the only accept-       the government $60 million a year        compensation to financial help,
of Chileans were tortured by the         one told me this, I was there, I know     able path is for justice to be done.    and this will imply “painful budget      even if the announced pensions are
military dictatorship, not a word        they loved crushing bones and rap-        Each and every one of those who         readjustments”.                          eventually raised by parliament. The
has been said about bringing those       ing women of all ages. They loved         tortured must be tried and sentenced        Or, as the president did, to state   only true and acceptable compensa-
torturers to justice.                    the power they held over other            to prison.                              that with this amount of resources in    tion for torture victims is justice.
    So, what will prevent them from      human beings for 17 years.                    The government has stated that      10 years the government could build      Tito Tricot is Sociologist Director,
doing it again? After a year’s work,         The horror of the torture cham-       they value the army’s courage for       a brand new highway. So, not only        Center For Intercultural Studies,
a special commission set up by the       ber will never go away, the military      admitting that torture constituted      were we tortured, but we are made        Ilwen Chile J




US okays evidence gained through torture
Last week US military panels                 Boyle also insisted that there is     on the theory that it was totally       through the chain of command             – made up of three military officers
reviewing the detention of prisoners     nothing in the US Constitution to         unreliable”.                            and be dealt with. Boyle noted           – were set up in June when the
at the naval base at Guantanamo          prevent the military’s Combatant              Other High Court rulings were       that some US soldiers had been           Supreme Court ruled that detainees
Bay were given the green light to        Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs)           based on revulsion at “the unfair-      disciplined for misconduct at the        could ask US courts to challenge
use evidence gained by torture to        from relying on evidence of “ques-        ness and brutality of it and later on   base, including a female interroga-      their detention. They have just
keep them imprisoned.                    tionable provenance” if those in          the idea that confessions ought to be   tor who removed her top during           finished reviewing 440 cases and
    The announcement was made by         authority were to deem it reliable.       free and uncompelled”, the profes-      questioning.                             released just one detainee.
Principal Deputy Associate Attorney          Answering questions from US           sor added.                                  However, the International               Detainees cannot have a lawyer
General Brian Boyle during a hear-       District Judge Richard J Leon,                Torture is illegal in the US and    Committee of the Red Cross               at CSRT proceedings and are not
ing of a US District Court into law-     Boyle said that the US would never        violates its much-vaunted stan-         takes a dimmer view. It handed           able to see secret evidence against
suits brought by 550 prisoners who       adopt policies on evidence that           dards of due process. Boyle insists,    a confidential report to the Bush        them.
have been held without charge on         could have prevented attacks like         though, that evidence gained under      Administration that insists that even        At the military’s annual admin-
Guantanamo for up to three years.        that September 11. However, as            torture would necessarily come          the regular treatment of detainees       istrative review, the authorities
Answering allegations that some          Harvard Law Professor and former          from foreign sources and refuses        on Guantanamo is tantamount to           determine whether the detainee still
foreigners were being held solely        deputy US Attorney General Philip         to concede (despite mounting evi-       torture.                                 presents a danger to the US but
on the basis of evidence obtained        B Heyman has pointed out: “About          dence) that the US military engages         Boyle would have it that the         there is no review of the “enemy
under torture, Boyle argued that the     70 years ago, the Supreme Court           in torture. He maintains that allega-   existence and operation of the           combatant” status. So far there have
detainees “have no constitutional        stopped the use of evidence pro-          tions of mistreatment of prisoners      CSRT argues against claims of mis-       been only 161 such administrative
rights enforceable in this court.”       duced by third-degree tactics largely     at Guantanamo would be passed           treatment of detainees. The panels       reviews. J
8          INTERNATIONAL                                                                                                                                                                             The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                                                                  December 8     2004




Primakov: Milosevic did not want
to create a “Greater Serbia”
Yevgeny Primakov. former Russian          multi-ethnic Yugoslav federation
Foreign Minister and Prime                crumbled.
Minister, giving testimony in the             During his first meeting with the
Hague last week said that former          former Yugoslav President in 1993,
Yugoslav President Slobodan               Primakov said he specifically asked
Milosevic was a peacemaker who            Milosevic whether he had plans for
did not want to fight for a “Greater      a “Greater Serbia”.
Serbia”. Primakov was testifying              “He said this could only be
in defence of Milosevic, who is           achieved in theory and at the price
charged with genocide, crimes             of great bloodshed and ‘ I’m not pre-
against humanity and war crimes           pared to do that’ ”. Primakov said of
in the Balkans in the 1990s.              Milosevic’s reply. “He had no plans
     Primakov said the Western            and conducted no actions to achieve
media had portrayed Serbs as              a Greater Serbia.”
“aggressors” and after Bill Clinton           Primakov noted that Milosevic
was elected US President in 1992,         accepted the 1993 Vance-Owen
Washington became increasingly            peace plan for Bosnia and imposed
anti-Serb.                                an economic blockade after the
     “It became ever more apparent        Bosnian Serb parliament rejected
that their course was to weaken           the plan. “You wanted a peaceful
Serbia, to not allow it to gain           solution”, he said to Milosevic.
strength and possibly even to com-            The 1992-5 Bosnian war
plete the process of Yugoslavia’s         ended after US-sponsored talks in
complete disintegration”, he told         Dayton, Ohio. Primakov said for-
the UN tribunal in The Hague.             mer Secretary of State Madeleine
     Primakov, blamed the West,           Albright had told him Dayton
in particular Germany, for fuelling       would not have worked without
violence in Kosovo in the late 1990s      Milosevic’s support.
by supporting the separatist Kosovo           Primakov said Milosevic also
Liberation Army (KLA) despite ear-        tried to stop violence in Kosovo and
lier labelling them terrorists.           told the Russian Prime Minister on       “Freedom for Slobo”: protestors demand the releaseof the former President of Yugoslaia
     “The initiators and provocateurs     a visit to Belgrade on the eve of the
of so many events in Kosovo was           NATO bombing he was prepared
the so-called Kosovo Liberation           to pull his forces out of Kosovo if      defence, claiming it was to prevent
Army”, he said, adding that a mass        NATO withdrew from the border            delays to the trial due to his poor

                                                                                                                                Chinese trade with
exodus of refugees from the region        with Macedonia.                          health. During the trial he has been
started only after NATO launched              “We never had the chance to tell     held under poor conditions, denied
airstrikes in March 1999.                 what we had achieved”, Primakov          basic justice including medical
     Primakov pointed out that            said. “Barely had our plane taken        treatment that was needed.
Kosovo in an allusion to the US-led
war in Iraq, had set a precedent for
military action without a UN man-
                                          off than the bombing of the airport
                                          started.”
                                              Milosevic is a graduate in law
                                                                                       He wants to call more than 1000
                                                                                   witnesses in his defence including
                                                                                   British Prime Minister Tony Blair,
                                                                                                                                African countries
date. “This undermines undoubted-         and has sought to conduct his own        Albright and Clinton.
ly the international order”, he said.
     Primakov said the West was
wrong to assume that Milosevic
                                          defence. He refused to enter a plea
                                          to the charges laid against him, and
                                          pleas of not guilty were recorded.
                                                                                       Milosevic has accused the tri-
                                                                                   bunal of bias against him and the
                                                                                   Serb people, saying it is designed
                                                                                                                                makes steady
                                                                                                                                progress
wanted to create a “Greater Serbia”       The court appointed two lawyers          to cover up NATO war crimes in
or to unify all Serbs in a state as the   last September to conduct his            Kosovo. J


                                                                                                                                Zimbabwe’s national airline is to           management contract with Zisco,

Big protest at “School of Assassins”
                                                                                                                                start flying to the Chinese capital         the state steel firm, while technol-
                                                                                                                                Beijing twice a week. The plan was          ogy firm Huawei has a $440m con-
                                                                                                                                announced by the Chinese media              tract to supply telecommunications
                                                                                                                                recently. There are a number of             equipment.
Laura Massey                              their lack of visibility to the people   had become a beautiful makeshift             other Zimbabwe-China projects                   Zimbabwe has rich mineral
                                          on the base.                             memorial.                                    on the drawing board.                       wealth, including platinum, gold
I’ll be honest: I usually sleep as late       We arrived just in time for the           From a distance we began hear-               The long-standing relationship         and diamonds which is behind the
as possible on Sunday morning.            opening ceremony – a traditional         ing intermittent bursts of applause. I       between the two countries has seen          West’s attempt to overthrow the
So it was a major struggle to pull        Mayan prayer saluting the four           asked someone what it meant, and             floods of cheap goods imported              Mugabe Government and install a
myself out of bed when the alarm          directions and giving thanks to the      was told that activists were “cross-         from China, and big construction            puppet government.
went off at 4:45am. Groggily, I           Earth and Creator for sustaining us.     ing the line” over the fence and             deals going to Chinese firms.                   China has also developed sub-
wiped the sleep out of my eyes and        The mood was peaceful and reflec-        onto federal property to be peace-                Air Zimbabwe is thought to             stantial interests in the oil resources
remembered why I was awake — to           tive as thousands of people stood        fully arrested. Crossing the line is a       have only two working long-haul             of a number of other African
make the two hour trip from Atlanta       silently. We then recited a pledge of    powerful statement of commitment             aircraft, although it expects another       countries.
to Fort Benning in Columbus,              non-violence.                            to the cause and requires planning,          two from China thanks to the air-               In Sudan, the China National
Georgia, for the annual School of             Soon several activists came          sacrifice and patience. Even first-          lines deal.                                 Petroleum Corporation owns 40
the Americas protest and vigil on         onstage and testified about their        timers can be prosecuted and given                China’s relationship with              percent of the Greater Nile crude
November 21.                              experiences in Latin America. Many       fines, probation or serious prison           Zimbabwe dates back to the lib-             project, and has long-term con-
     In the pre-dawn darkness I           had been the victims of torture          sentences.                                   eration struggle of the 1970s, when         tracts with Nigeria and Angola. It
dressed, packed a lunch, and headed       by graduates of the School of the             According to School of the              troops were trained by Chinese              is undertaking construction projects
to campus where I met with a large        Americas. Particularly moving was        Americas Watch, 20 people were               advisers – as well as those from            in Botswana. In all, China-African
group of students organised by a          a woman who, her voice broken by         arrested this year in acts of non-           North Korea and elsewhere. Once             trade is expected to top US $20bn
local Amnesty International chap-         sobs, told of being tortured until she   violent civil disobedience.                  independence came in 1980, China            in 2004. J
ter. Though I’ve known about the          miscarried.                                   The march was the culmination           continued a small but reliable eco-
School and SOA Watch’s activities             The vigil was followed by a          of the entire weekend’s activities,          nomic interest in the country.
for many years, this was my first         funeral march, led by a large mourn-     and with an estimated 16,000 par-                 As Western aid dried up in the
time participating and I wasn’t sure      ing puppet and a group of people         ticipants, it took over two hours to         1990s to be replaced by sustained                   Pass it on!
what to expect.                           dressed in black robes carrying          complete. Afterward, my friends and          hostility from those countries, the
     Arriving in Columbus, we             coffins. They solemnly recited hun-      I lingered, taking photos and digest-        Chinese extended assistance.                   When you’ve finished this issue
parked in an aging strip mall             dreds of names of the dead, victims      ing what we had just experienced.                 Despite Zimbabwe’s economic               of The Guardian share it with
populated by fast food and dis-           of US-trained assassins and tortur-           People of all ages, races, and          difficulties China strengthened                    someone else. Give it to a
                                                                                                                                                                                friend or workmate, leave it in
count stores and joined the stream        ers. Between drumbeats, the name         faiths had joined together in soli-          its relationship. As many as 9000
                                                                                                                                                                               the dentist’s or doctor’s waiting
of excited people making their way        and age of each victim was sung          darity to remember the dead and to           Chinese are believed to be in                     room, at the bus station, on
to the base. The protest took place       and the crowd responded by chant-        fight torture and exploitation, not          Zimbabwe working on a wide range               the train, or give it to your local
on a long stretch of road, which the      ing the word “Presente!” and rais-       just for a day or weekend, but a life-       of projects.                                        library or reading room.
police had closed to traffic, leading     ing crosses, banners, signs, or their    time of commitment that would last                These projects include hydro-
up to Fort Benning.                       hands into the air.                      far beyond our goodbyes that eve-            electric and coal power stations,
     At the end of the road there was         As we neared the fence, people       ning. The protest had exceeded all           bridges, airports, and the reconstruc-
a small stage and behind it a new 10      placed their crosses and other sym-      my expectations, and I felt emotion-         tion of Zimbabwe’s most important                 Help The Guardian
foot [three-metre] chain-link fence       bols into the chain-links to pray        ally renewed and eager to continue           border post at Beit Bridge with                      get around.
in front of the base property. Many       and reflect. The fence, minutes          the struggle.                                South Africa.
regular attendees complained about        before a symbol of military might,       People’s Weekly World J                           A Chinese consortium has a
The Guardian
December 8   2004                                                                                                                                               INTERNATIONAL                    9



Equatorial Guinea in the crosshairs
Ron Bunvon                               2003 of what I discovered [about          Opposition parties were banned in
                                         the plot] to Michael Westphal of          1970, and Nguema declared himself
Imperialist conspiracies to seize        the Pentagon. ... I expected the US       President for life in 1972. In 1979,
control of natural resources and to      Government to take steps to warn          Lt Col Teodoro Obaing, his nephew,
dominate peoples of distant lands        Equatorial Guinea or to stop the          initiated a coup d’état, and has been
are in full swing. Apart from the        coup.                                     in power ever since.
Iraqi debacle, the events unfolding           “This was also my expectation             The country’s leadership is
in the former Spanish colony of          as regards the British Government,        notorious for its corruption and for
Equatorial Guinea, on the West           which I warned through two Secret         committing human rights abuses
African coast, are particularly          Intelligence Service (M16) people I       and torture. The recent trials in
instructive.                             knew.”                                    Malabo were criticised by Amnesty
    The discovery of huge oil                 Michael Westphal is US Deputy        International as unfair “in view of
deposits there in recent years, on the   Assistant Secretary of Defence in         serious procedural flaws and the
mainland and offshore, has been a        charge of special operations and          admission of confessions allegedly
catalyst for profit-driven proponents    combating terrorism.                      extracted under torture”. An alleged
of imperial conquest. Some of their           British Foreign Secretary Jack       co-conspirator of the coup attempt
agents were caught red-handed last       Straw denied prior knowledge of the       died in custody under questionable
spring.                                  coup conspiracy as recently as last       circumstances.
    Government investigators have        August. In November, however, he               Before the discovery and extrac-
established that dozens of merce-        conceded he knew quite a bit more.        tion of its oil, the country’s economy
naries and co-conspirators planned       The British Parliament has called         was primarily based on agricultural
to oust President Teodoro Obiang         for an investigation.                     exports, namely cocoa, coffee, and
Nguema Mbasogo through the use                The trial proceedings against        timber. Today, about 90 percent of
of assassination and brute force. The    the coup plotters have taken place        Equatorial Guinea’s export revenue
coup plot unravelled when a plane-       in Malabo, the nation’s capital, and      comes from oil, with output at about
load of 60 South African mercenar-       in Zimbabwe and South Africa,             360,000 barrels a day.
ies and weapons were discovered          as well. The sentences handed out              Whether its oil revenue has
by airport security on the tarmac of     range from one year to 64 years.          benefited the indigenous population
Zimbabwe’s Harare International          A political opponent to President         is highly questionable. The govern-
Airport on March 7, en route to          Obiang, Severo Moto, who main-            ment’s finances are anything but
Equatorial Guinea.                       tains a government-in-exile with          transparent, and its share of oil reve-
    But that is just the tip of the      his own appointed cabinet in Spain,       nue (most of which is kept by the oil

                                                                                                                                                   Global briefs
iceberg. Evidence is mounting that       received a 64-year sentence in            monopolies) has been estimated to
British Prime Minister Tony Blair        absentia.                                 be as low as 15 percent. Most of the
and US Defense Secretary Donald               Mark Thatcher, an alleged            population lives in extreme poverty
Rumsfeld were both aware of the          financier of the coup plan, faces tri-    and lacks electricity, running water
plot’s outlines months before it         al in South Africa. He was detained       or adequate nutrition.
began to unfold.                         as he was about to flee his home in            From the vantage point of the
    In a statement given to lawyers      Capetown, and is presently under          imperialist West, however, the flow       INDIA: A high-profile Hindu religious leader, Shankaracharya Jay-
in Equatorial Guinea, and reported       house arrest. A very wealthy man,         of oil remains paramount. An esti-        endra Saras-wathi, has been arrested as a primary suspect in the
by the British newspaper The             Thatcher is the son of former British     mated 15 percent of US oil imports        September 3 killing of one his most vocal critics, A Sankararaman,
Observer, Johann Smith, a former         Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.         come from Africa, with Nigeria,
                                                                                                                             the manager of the Varadaraja Perumal temple. Jayendra Saras-
commanding officer in the South               Equatorial Guinea gained politi-     Angola, and Equatorial Guinea at
African Special Forces, said that        cal independence in 1968, under the       the top of the list.                      wathi, 70, is very close to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and
he “submitted a report in December       presidency of Francisco Nguema.           People’s Weekly World J                   other “hindutva” (Hindu nationalist) forces in India and abroad.
                                                                                                                             The behaviour of the hindutva forces shows they want to capital-
                                                                                                                             ise on the arrest for narrow, partisan ends. They are trying to fan
                                                                                                                             religious intolerance, and – through tactics like staging a sit-in on

Guatemala: fear for safety                                                                                                   the steps of Parliament and a three-day, nationwide hunger strike
                                                                                                                             – have scored some initial success. Jayendra Saraswathi is also
                                                                                                                             infamous for his negative attitude towards lower-caste people

of Congress member                                                                                                           who live below the poverty line. Left parties in India welcomed
                                                                                                                             his arrest and said in separate statements that everyone should
                                                                                                                             be equal before the law. The Congress Party is silent, probably
Congress member Nineth                   mation on his death. The Minister         involvement in the embezzlement
Montenegro has received a death          of Defence claimed that the colonel       of 250 million quetzals (US$33            because some of its leaders are also very close to this guru.
threat, which appears to be              had simply deserted. In the com-          million) from the EMP budget. It is
linked to her work investigating         plaint filed with the Public Ministry,    feared that he was killed to prevent      SOUTHERN AFRICA: Over three-quarters of sub-Saharan
corruption among high-ranking            Colonel Raul Cerna was accused of         him implicating others.                   young people between 15 and 24 living with AIDS are women,
military officers.                                                                                                           as are over half the adults living with the disease, according to
    Nineth Montenegro is the Chair                                                                                           a United Nations report released on November 23. The report,
of the Congressional Commission           Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:                              prepared by the UN Secretary-General’s task force on women,
on Human Rights. She has been             • calling on the authorities to provide meaningful protection to Nineth            girls and AIDS in southern Africa, attributed the increased
investigating government spend-           Montenegro and her family;
                                                                                                                             vulnerability of women to sexual violence, unequal access to
ing from 2000 to 2004, and has            • calling for a prompt, impartial and exhaustive investigation into the death
discovered that over a billion quet-                                                                                         information, gender-power relations and traditions like wife
                                          threat received by Nineth Montenegro on November 22, with the results made
zals (US$133 million) has been            public and those responsible brought to justice;
                                                                                                                             inheritance, whereby a male relative of a deceased husband
embezzled from the budgets of the         • asking the authorities to carry out a full, prompt and impartial investigation
                                                                                                                             may marry his widow. The UN is calling for measures ensur-
Ministry of Defence and two other         into the killing of Colonel Raul Cerna, to publish the results and bring those     ing women have access to education, prevention information
military institutions.                    responsible to justice;                                                            and treatment, and are guaranteed the right to own property.
    On August 23 she filed a com-         • urging the authorities to secure the creation of an effective independent
plaint with the Public Ministry,          mechanism to investigate and prosecute illegal groups operating in                 USA: Some 4300 hotel workers have returned to work trium-
which prosecutes criminal cases,          Guatemala.                                                                         phantly at 14 of San Francisco’s premier hotels. Their victory
accusing senior military officers              APPEALS TO:                                                                   came when area health providers announced their decision to
of embezzlement and corruption,                                                                                              extend workers’ medical coverage for December and January,
                                                     President of the Republic of Guatemala
including Colonel Raul Cerna,
the former Financial Head of the
                                                     Licenciado Oscar Berger Perdomo                                         a main demand. This pulled the rug from under a weeks-long
                                                     Casa Presidencial, 6 a. Avenida, 4-18 zona 1                            lockout imposed by the hotels’ management. The union’s call
Estado Mayor Presidencial (EMP),                     Ciudad de Guatemala
Presidential High Command. On                                                                                                for a public boycott was heeded by a growing number of as-
                                                     Guatemala
November 22, a man approached a                      Fax: 0011 502 2221 4423 / 2239-0090
                                                                                                                             sociations and corporations, who were cancelling or moving
member of the human rights organi-                   Salutation: Excelentisimo Sr. Presidente/Dear President Berger          scheduled meetings, and guests who did check into the ho-
sation where Nineth Montenegro’s                                                                                             tels had to run the gauntlet of the workers’ lively picket lines.
husband works, and told him, “algo                  Attorney General
grande en contra de Nineth o su                     Fiscal General de la Republica y jefe del Ministerio Publico             CHILE: The Chilean Government is to compensate 28,000 vic-
familia iba a ocurrir antes de fin de               Juan Luis Florido                                                        tims of torture after a report concluded that Augusto Pinochet’s
año”, “something big will happen to                 8a. Avenida 10-67, Zona 1                                                regime in the 1970s and 1980s had organised a state policy of
Nineth or her family before the end                 Antiguo Edificio del Banco de los Trabajadores,
                                                                                                                             terror. A year-long commission heard testimony from 35,000
of the year”.                                       udad de Guatemala
    Colonel Raul Cerna had not                      Guatemala
                                                                                                                             people who had been victims of torture during the 1973-90
been seen since April 2004. His                     Fax: 0011 502 2251 2218                                                  dictatorship. Ninety four percent of those detained had been
body was found recently: accord-                                                                                             tortured the report found, and of the 3400 women who gave
ing to the press he had been poi-                   COPIES TO:                                                               evidence almost all had been victims of sexual violence.
soned, and died on April 12. The                    Mutual Support Group
public prosecutor’s office began an                 Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo                                                     BRITAIN: The Blair Govt has put forward eight more law and or-
investigation, but stopped it without               8a. Calle 3-11 Zona 1                                                    der bills, as outlined in the Queen’s Speech last week, bringing the
giving any reason. The authorities                  Ciudad de Guatemala
                                                                                                                             number of crime bills introduced since the 2001 general election
identified and buried the colonel’s                 Guatemala
                                                    Fax: 0011 502 2220 0606                                                  to 34 – more than one for every month that parliament sat.
body, but gave his family no infor-
10                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Guardian
                                                                                                                                                                                                           December 8   2004




                                            nial administrations in each state       We have only to look at Howard’s                          has had to come out and deny saying     2001 were a result of that country’s
                                            of Australia. No elected parliament      slavish relationship with the US and                      that the city would not be overtly      belligerent foreign policies, some
     Letters to the Editor                  and no adult franchise, not even         the fact that our economy is tied up                      marking Christmas because we            which deliberately target Islam. The
     The Guardian                           male adult franchise.                    and largely controlled by foreign                         live in a secular and multicultural     right jumped all over him.
                                                The Stockade was in a sense          transnational corporations.                               society.                                     Now it’s come down to
     74 Buckingham Street                   Australia’s democratic revolution.           The idea that these events were                           The howls from the right            something as inconsequential as
     Surry Hills NSW 2010                   After the Eureka Stockade male           nothing more than a struggle for a                        demanding a Christmas celebration       Christmas, the meaning of which
                                            adult franchise was achieved and         “fair go” is to belittle and smother                      to outdo the rest of the Christian      has anyhow long since been killed
               email: guardian@cpa.org.au   later this was extended to women         their real significance. The idea of                      world (presumably meaning               off through a massive corporate
                                            as well. British colonial administra-    a “fair go” contains within it an                         America, the land of commer-            takeover.
                                            tions survived for another 50 years      acceptance of the existing situation                      cialised Christmas) were not an              The real political correctness
                                            to be finally replaced by Federation     and that all that is needed is a few                      uncoordinated barking but a care-       police are those, such John Howard
The significance                            and the election of a Federal parlia-    peanuts. Peanuts are for monkeys as                       fully orchestrated chorus.              and NSW Premier Bob Carr, who
                                            ment in 1901. This started the pro-      the saying goes!                                              Indeed the mayor pointed out        are setting the agenda on “values”
of Eureka                                   cess to end British colonial control.                          Bruce Gillman                       that spending on Christmas hoo ha       that they claim define us as a people.
                                                In some other countries these                               Sydney, NSW                        such as fireworks and carol singing     These values are tied very closing to
The Eureka Stockade of 150 years            issues were fought out in civil wars                                                               and so on, had increased this year.     Christian fundamentalism.
ago has been touted by some                 and wars for national liberation. The                                                              What the rightward chorus demon-             Included also is the militarisa-
commentators as the beginning in            fact that neither civil war nor an       Political correctness                                     strates is that we as a society have    tion of society, so we have seen the
Australia of the concept of a “fair         armed national liberation struggle       The hullabaloo about Sydney not                           become less tolerant to views that      concerted promotion of Anzac Day.
go”. This is nonsense.                      took place in Australia (apart from      being tricked up for Christmas,                           diverge from what is considered the          We are reaching the point where
    The Eureka Stockade was a               the Stockade) does not detract from      mainly stirred up by the gutter                           norm.                                   there is to be no questioning, no
rebellion against police oppression         their political significance.            media, is another example of the                              Recall the statement by boxer       criticism, of such values lest you be
and harassment and for “no taxa-                As with many other former            right organising against what they                        and Aboriginal activist Tony            branded unpatriotic.
tion without representation”. At that       colonial countries full national inde-   call “political correctness”. The                         Mundine a few years back when                             Marcus Browning
time there were only British colo-          pendence has not yet been achieved.      Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore,                            he said that the attacks on the US in                         Sydney, NSW


     Sydney                                                                                                                                      Sydney
     Maritime Branch CPA                                                                                                                         Nikos Beloyannis Branch of CPA
     Invites you to join them in celebrating
                                                                                                                                                 Invites you to a function
     Harry Black
     50 Years of Struggle!                                                                                                                       Saturday 11 December 7.30 pm
                                                                                                                                                 Greek Orthodox Community Club
     50 Years of Leadership!
     Sunday 12 December 2pm                                                                                                                      206-210 Lakemba St, Lakemba
     CPA Headquarters,
     74 Buckingham Street, Surry Hills
                                                                                                                                                 International music provided by young performers
                                                                                                                              Photo: Ana Pha




     Light Buffet $5.00 – Drinks available
     Hear Comrade Black on this unique achievement                                                                                               Admission $25 including meal
     See the historic film November Victory
     RSVP 1/12/2004 Ina Heidtman 9818 1743, 0419 407 907                                                                                         In support of Communist Party of Australia




Culture
                                            in the process completing projects
                                            for which they themselves were




              &
                                            responsible.
                                                 Such a program is by no means
                                            an easy task and requires a great



      Life
                                            deal of sympathy and understanding
by                                          – and resilience – on the part of the
                                            person administering it. Makarenko
Rob Gowland                                 certainly had those qualities to
                                            spare, but he was also operating
                                            in a society that was conscious
                                            that it was building a new life for
                                            everyone.
                                                 Housing, working conditions,
                                            education, farming methods were all
Prisons                                     undergoing revolutionary changes
and punishment                              that were altering fundamentally
                                            people’s way of life and the way
In post-Civil War Russia, in the            they perceived their society and
early ’20s, the streets swarmed             their own place in it. In these con-
with waifs and gangs of homeless            ditions, Makarenko’s approach was
children living on their wits. So           very much a product of his time and
serious was the problem that Lenin          his (socialist) society.
gave the task of rounding up these               I was reminded of Makarenko
“wild” children to Felix Dzerzhinsky        and his pioneering efforts by the
and the Cheka (forerunner of the            transfer on November 10 of man-
KGB).                                       agement of the Kariong Juvenile          The Road to Life – building a sese of their own worth
    To the amazement of foreign             Justice Centre near Gosford from
observers, who saw the Cheka in             the NSW Department of Juvenile               Other “reforms” announced by                              Opposition Liberal Party MP         the rich even richer. They hold that
terms of their own anti-Soviet pro-         Justice to the Department of             the NSW minister include daily                            from Gosford Chris Hartcher fully       position with the help of misinfor-
paganda, Dzerzhinsky’s men and              Corrective Services. The latter          musters and daily “hygiene checks”                        supports the government’s harsh         mation and fear.
women did a splendid job of rescu-          Department promptly demonstrated         (a euphemism for intrusive harass-                        new regime at Kariong, demonstrat-          As the people overcome (and
ing kids off the streets. But what to       its enlightened approach to juvenile     ment of inmates). In future, visitors                     ing in the process his belief that      see through) the misinformation,
do with them then?                          detention and rehabilitation by fill-    will have to book their visits in                         “corrective centre” is synonymous       the ruling class will have to rely
    The answer was revealed in              ing the Centre’s swimming pool           advance and inmates receiving visi-                       with “punishment centre”.               more and more on fear – and out-
what became a Soviet classic, Road          with sand!                               tors will be searched and made to                             “We have long argued”, he           right repression. Prisons, and prison
to Life by Makarenko. It is the story            NSW Justice Minister John           wear pocketless overalls.                                 told the press, “that Kariong was       camps as used for the refugees,
of how he founded and ran for many          Hatzistergos told the Parliamentary          A graduated system of “rewards                        run more as a holiday camp than a       are going to become much better
years a labour camp for juvenile            Press Gallery that by filling the pool   and sanctions” is expected to be                          corrective centre and it’s taken the    known to a much wider section of
delinquents or “young offenders”.           with sand “we are sending a very         introduced shortly. This will allow                       Government five years and innu-         the populace.
    Makarenko’s approach was not            clear message to the inmates and the     guards to punish inmates who show                         merable riots to accept this”.              As we move towards neo-fascist
to punish but to build up – in often        public that the centre is being oper-    spirit or defiance and to reward                              Leaving aside the consider-         conditions in Australia, we can
very hostile youngsters whom life           ated in a very different way”.           those who metaphorically touch                            able exaggeration of “innumer-          expect to see the steady abandon-
had treated harshly – a sense of their           Not content with this bloody-       their forelock (however insin-                            able riots”, it has been known for      ment of the last vestiges of progres-
known worth and a pride in their            minded act, Hatzistergos announced       cerely).                                                  decades that prison riots are the       sive prison administration and its
own contribution to the advance-            a whole raft of punitive measures            Robert Stroud, the “Birdman of                        result of intolerable situations and    replacement by the same cruel and
ment of their society.                      for the Kariong facility, including      Alcatraz”, showed years ago how                           conditions. Removing the causes,        brutal methods that already dis-
    No small achievement in the             the extraordinarily petty and vindic-    ineffective and counterproductive                         not harsher, more punitive condi-       tinguish the prisons of the United
circumstances. Like the rest of the         tive removal of the barbecue from        such prison regimes were, but it                          tions is the solution.                  States.
population, while being educated            the visitors’ area with food only        seems that with nothing positive to                           The ruling class sits atop a sys-       After all, under Howard and co,
they also constructed, applying             available in future from vending         offer young people, punishment is                         tem of inequality and exploitation      the USA is now our role model for
the skills they were learning and           machines.                                the best capitalism can do.                               that blatantly robs the poor to make    everything else, isn’t it? J
The Guardian
December 8   2004                                                                                                                                                        WORTH WATCHING                                 11

                                          legitimate scientific enquiry and
                                          knee-jerk policing that produced the
                                          modern-day US narcotics policy.
       Rob Gowland                             Narrated by pot activist Woody
                                          Harrelson, the program tends to
        previews                          restrict itself to the absurd propa-
                                          ganda and often extraordinary moral
                                          arguments used to justify the crimi-
       ABC          &   SBS               nalising of marijuana. These includ-
                                          ed claims that pot smoking would
          Public Television
                                          turn America’s younger generations
                                          into “insane murderers”, “sex-
                                          crazed maniacs”, “heroin addicts”
                                          and “Communists” – and sometimes
                                          a combination of all four.
       Sun December 12 ~                       It would have been a stronger –
       ~ Sat December 18                  but a longer – program if it had also

    D     ecember, month of shop
          windows full of fake snow,
everybody else complaining of all
                                          covered the covert campaign by the
                                          Dupont Chemical Company, inven-
                                          tor and manufacturer of Nylon, to
the parties they have to go to, and       destroy its popular, organic and
television littered with “Christmas       cheaper main potential competitor,
Specials”. The latter, of course,         hemp (derived, like marijuana, from
are almost all from the Northern          the cannabis plant).
Hemisphere, where Christmas
images of snow and sleighbells
aren’t inappropriate.
                                              55      Degrees North (ABC
                                                      8.30pm Tuesdays) is
                                          the lattitude of the English city of
     For many years Australian            Newcastle, and that’s where this           Butch and Sundance (The Legend of the Tamworth Two)
writers strove to create a Christmas      new police series is set. If the series
tradition rooted in the reality of this   is any guide, then it’s a rather racist    question as black or white. Either         timetable which required that they               made stars of them, and the public
country in mid-December: heat,            city, at least within the police force.    the Bible account is all fiction or it     go to war when they did regardless               took up their cause, sending dona-
flies, bush-fires and native wildlife          The central character is a black      is entirely true.                          of any vote at the UN, is also                   tions and offers of homes, etc. By
instead of reindeer.                      London detective, Dominic ‘Nicky’              That the stories of the Old            demonstrated clearly.                            the time they were recaptured they
     Regrettably, the domination          Cole, who has been relocated to            Testament (and the Koran and the                As the French Foreign Minister              couldn’t be killed, so one of the
of the mass media by big business         Newcastle after blowing the whistle        Torah) are a mixture of myths and          points out towards the end of the                papers bought them and sent them
means that we get mainly imported         on police corruption.                      legends, of embroidered oral history       program, the US withdrew its                     to an animal sanctuary.
North American Christmas stories.              Made to work the nightshift by        and outright invention, augmented          second resolution on Iraq in the                     Inately amusing, this tale is
We certainly see few stories any-         a superior who does not want him,          by tales from other lands and              Security Council because it had                  ripe for satirical embroidering.
more like the lovely Aussie realist       surrounded by unfriendly colleagues        cultures, is raised as a possibility (to   failed to get support. Put to vote, the          Unfortunately, here it labours under
classic Santa Claus in Boyangs.           and very quickly aware that the            show the program’s objectivity).           US would have lost.                              a heavy dose of whimsy, which
     So, to SBS’ Christmas Special,       local criminals have a contact in the          But it is then dismissed, in                So they simply went to war                  makes the story pall after a while.
The Christmas Tree (SBS 7.30pm
Sunday), tracing the origins and
associated practices of the decorated
                                          nick itself, Cole has to work extra
                                          hard to keep himself out of trouble
                                          and to do his job.
                                                                                     favour of literal interpretations based
                                                                                     on the flimsiest of archeological
                                                                                     evidence.
                                                                                                                                behind a smokescreen of bullshit.
                                                                                                                                UN weapons inspector Hans Blix,
                                                                                                                                ever the diplomat, nevertheless
                                                                                                                                                                                      T   he ABC is repeating the two
                                                                                                                                                                                          Doc Martin dramas, starting
                                                                                                                                                                                 this week with the first, Doc Martin
fir tree.                                      Although the setting is north             It is a pity, because a genuinely      makes it very clear that there                   (ABC 8.30pm Friday), in which
     Apparently, it originated in         east England, the series is made by        scientific program on the same             were no Iraqi weapons of mass                    successful London obstetrician Dr
Alsace in the 16th century, and           BBC Scotland, and is a well-made,          subject using the same archeological       destruction to justify the US claims.            Martin Bamford discovers that his
spread through Germany and then           exciting police series laced with          evidence would be very interesting.             But it is the French Foreign                wife has been sleeping with all three
elsewhere in Europe. But if deco-         humour and some astute observation.        But not nearly so certain!                 Minister Dominique de Villepin who               of his best friends, and heads off to
rating a tree at Christmas is thus a
rather recent practice, using green
trees in ceremonies on December 25
                                          Cole is excellently played by Don
                                          Gilet, and he receives good support
                                          from some accomplished actors
                                                                                         T    he French-made Iraq: War
                                                                                              At Any Cost (ABC 9.25pm
                                                                                     Wednesday) essentially sets out
                                                                                                                                makes the most eloquent speech,
                                                                                                                                when telling the Security Council
                                                                                                                                – to uncharacteristic applause from
                                                                                                                                                                                 Cornwall on the spur of the moment
                                                                                                                                                                                 to get his head together.
                                                                                                                                                                                     There he finds himself con-
dates back to long before the birth       such as Dervla Kirwan (from the            to show that France did not try            other delegates – that France will               templating a possible future as a
of Christ.                                original series of Ballykissangel)         to sabotage the US in the United           veto any resolution to go to war.                lobster fisherman while also caught
     The Romans used evergreen            as a Crown Prosecution Service             Nations during the leadup to the                This is a fascinating piece of              up in the mystery of the “jellyman”,
trees on December 25 to celebrate         lawyer and Andrew Dunn (from               invasion of Iraq.                          television journalism. Well worth                a local poison pen letter writer
the winter solstice and the return of     dinnerladies) as a not very friendly           What the program succeeds              watching.                                        whose missives are left on villagers’
the invincible sun god, Sol Invictus.
So the next time some dour bible-
basher complains that the “real
                                          police sergeant.

                                              T     here is a type of program,
                                                    almost always from the
                                                                                     in showing very clearly is that the
                                                                                     combination of lying and bullying
                                                                                     used by the US was singularly
                                                                                                                                    T    he Legend Of The
                                                                                                                                         Tamworth Two (ABC
                                                                                                                                8.30pm Thursday) is based on
                                                                                                                                                                                 doorsteps in a plate of jelly.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Martin Clunes, from Men
                                                                                                                                                                                 Behaving Badly, does quite a
meaning” of Christmas is being for-       US, which seeks to demonstrate             unsuccessfdul in persuading most           a true incident from 1998: two                   good job of the Doc and it is not
gotten, tell him to get out of the sun.   the “historical truth” of the Bible.       other countries to support its war         Tamworth pigs escaped from an                    surprising that they made a second

    G     rass (SBS 10.30pm
          Tuesday) follows the trail
of dubious 20th century propaganda,
                                          Moses (ABC 8.30pm Wednesday)
                                          is one such program.
                                               They are all alike: they pose the
                                                                                     drive.
                                                                                         That it was a war drive, and that
                                                                                     the US was operating to a military
                                                                                                                                abbttoir and eluded recapture for a
                                                                                                                                week.
                                                                                                                                     The tabloid media, of course,
                                                                                                                                                                                 one (to be re-screened next week)
                                                                                                                                                                                 and then a whole series, to be shown
                                                                                                                                                                                 next year. J

   Combined South East &                                                                                                         SA Museum
   South West Annual Union
                                                                                                              B BQ               December – January

   Family Picnic Day
                                                                                                         Kids
                                                                                                                R
                                                                                                        Ice C ides
                                                                                                              re
                                                                                                        Soft D ams
                                                                                                              rin
                                                                                                                                 Treasures of Palestine
                                                                                                          Raff le ks             From the collection of Mr Ali Kazak, Head, General Palestinian Delegation, Canberra.
   CFMEU CEPU AMWU AWU                          Building Trades Federation
                                                                                                                                 The Treasures of Palestine exhibition showcases objects that are treasured
   Portland
                                                                                                                                 by Palestinian people, honouring the survival of Palestinian identity.
   Monday 13 December 11.00am - 3.00pm              Portland Soccer Ground          End of Percy St
                                                                                                                                 Embroidered national costumes, traditional carved olive wood, mother-of-pearl, and
   Contact: Mark Solly AMWU 0427 013 186; Travis Lawson CFMEU 0417 247 999;
                                                                                                                                 contemporary graphic design all tell stories of skill and adaptation.
   Margaret Brabender Portland 03 5523 4272; Aaron Cartlidge CFMEU 8211 5532; Chris Nesbitt AWU 0429 988 004
   Tickets are available from the Union Office, job delegate, organiser or on the day at the picnic                              They represent the integrity of a living tradition and of cultural and spiritual resilience
   Supported by the Portland & SE Trades and Labour Council                                                                      within Palestine and throughout the Palestinian diaspora.



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                                                                                                                                                                                          December 8    2004




This is an inspiring story of courage,
determination and the high principles
of the men and women of the Pilbara,
fighting these huge and powerful
transnational corporations.
Most Australians have an image           tionship of the 18th century between
of the Pilbara – one of a vast           employer and employee.
unforgiving and red landscape,
of huge holes in the ground where
millions of tons of iron ore have been
                                         Removal of
gouged out and railed to the coast       trade unions
for export overseas. The picture is           This ploy at Robe River and
one of huge dump-trucks dwarfing         Hamersley Iron together with ques-
the anonymous workers wearing            tionable trade union tactics and
hard hats. All this is associated        in-fighting rapidly led to the virtual
with the logo of BHP, the allegedly      elimination of trade union influence
“Big Australian”. Some will know         at these two mine-sites.
of the huge mineral resources of              On November 11, 1999 BHP
the region and the fantastic profits     moved to bring about the same
of the corporations. There may be        result at its mines and very quickly
memories of the name Robe River          almost 50 percent of the minework-
and Hamersley Iron, the scene of         ers signed the contracts. It appeared
major attacks on the Australian          that the last bastion of trade union-
trade union movement, and not            ism in the Pilbara was about to fall.
just the workers of these mines.              Brandon Ellem’s book of 78
    It was the mid-1980s and early       pages simply but graphically tells
1990s, when economic rationalism         the story of the survival and revival
was being pushed by the Labor            of trade unionism not only at the
and Liberal Parties. In 1983 the         BHP pits but in the Rio Tinto mines
trade unions entered into an Accord      as well.
(social partnership) with the ALP             It is as well to put the whole
with all its subsequent consequences     story on the background fact that
for the trade unions. New Right ide-     BHP-Billiton (as it is now known)
ologists such as Charles Copeman         and Rio Tinto are arguably the most
became the CEOs of major com-            powerful resource mining compa-
panies, including the mining com-        nies in the world.
panies of the Pilbara. Both State             In simple and very readable text
and Commonwealth Governments             the author traces the story of the last
were enacting laws that weakened,        five years and poses many questions
quite severely in some instances,        for the whole trade union move-
the rights and functioning of trade      ment – when to struggle and when          is called the Pilbara Mineworkers        Australian Workers’ Union (AWU)          the Pilbara, despite the years of anti-
unions.                                  not to struggle; what issues unite        Union (PMU).                             did a secretly negotiated deal with      union propaganda, some workers
    The restructuring of the trade       and which divide; what tactics; are            It is a creation of the rank and    Rio Tinto management.                    knew [what] was happening at BHP.
union movement by the ACTU led           scabs always scabs; why has union-        file and is an industrial union forma-        “… ‘betrayal’ was only the          The past remained a big obstacle
to bickering and in-fighting between     ism revived at BHP mines and what         tion uniting all mine-workers.           gentlest word for feelings on the        though. Local officials knew that
trade unions – no less than for          went wrong in Rio Tinto mines?                 It is not just an industrial body   ground”, writes Brandon Ellem.           any union revival in Hamersley
the bodies of mine-workers in the             The answers spring out of the        but one that not only thinks about       The names of Bill Ludwig and Bill        would have to be from the ground
Pilbara.                                 story itself.                             the collective and solidarity but also   Shorten the national president and       up …”
    Employers sensed that their time                                               about community, taking up issues        national secretary of the AWU are            “… the PMU has now become
had come and their objective was         Out of defeat …                           of health and education and even the     mentioned. But while there was           the official form of unionism at
nothing less than the elimination of          Out of the trauma of defeat          survival of the mining townships.        betrayal at the top, the unity on the    BHP. It may be that this kind of
trade unions from workplaces. Their      sprang the necessity for new forms        Rio Tinto is attempting a new tactic     ground remained intact.                  unionism, melding unions together
weapon in the Pilbara was individ-       of trade unionism such as the forma-      called FIFO, meaning, fly in/fly out,         They sold their “deal” by claim-    in new ways with new tactics and
ual work contracts which set out to      tion of a single negotiating unit, but    thereby destroying the townships         ing that it allowed trade unionism       methods, is a sign of things to come
re-establish the master-servant rela-    not a new union in its own right. It      which themselves became a col-           back in the gate forgetting, perhaps,    here and elsewhere.”
                                                                                   lective challenging the unfettered       that it was precisely their activities       This is a book that every trade
                                                                                   power of the mining companies.           and divisive policies that put union-    union and political activist must
                                                                                        To rebuild support for trade        ism out the gate in the first place.     read and study. It is an inspiration
                                                                                   unionism those who retained their             The author draws some conclu-       to all who may feel despondent
                                                                                   trade union commitment had to            sions from the regrouping of unions      when considering the re-election
                                                                                   go house to house to talk to the         at the BHP mines: “First, the work-      of the Howard Government, the
     The following poem by Nancy Missler, a shovel-operator
                                                                                   families. An important part of the       ers took the initiative back from the    trough into which the Australian
     on the BHP Newman mine, was one of the most popular                           process was the formation of Action      company. They resisted on every          trade union movement has sunk, the
     contributions on the union’s website and is reproduced in                     in Support of Partners, a women’s        front: locally, nationally, globally     weakness of the left and the appar-
     Hard Ground.                                                                  group. Workplace bulletins were          and at the state scale. They put their   ent overwhelming power of the
                                                                                   published and websites established.      own stamp on all these things.           transnational corporations.
                                                                                        Above all, this is an inspiring          “Secondly, the workers buried       Hard Ground – Unions
        There is a place far to the north                                          story of courage, determination and      the rivalry between unions that          in the Pilbara by
                                                                                   the high principles of the men and       had done so much to damage their         Brandon Ellem, published by
        Where the true believers have come forth.                                  women of the Pilbara, fighting these     cause … they started to make a new       the Pilbara Mineworkers Union,
        Shoulder to shoulder, a united band                                        huge and powerful transnational          kind of union, a one-union site and      80pp,illustrated. J
        This is where the last 500 stand.                                          corporations which have the support      what some people might call a com-
                                                                                   of State and Federal industrial legis-   munity union … Something was
                                                                                   lation and traitors within the ranks     happening that no-one had really          available from
     And then in the last verse:
                                                                                   of the trade union movement.             anticipated.”
        Now you will see our flag again
                                                                                        At the very moment the
                                                                                   mineworkers at Robe River and
                                                                                                                                 He ends on a positive note while
                                                                                                                            recognising that the struggle is far
                                                                                                                                                                      SPA Books
        We fight the odds, we fight to win.                                        Hamersley Iron were beginning to         from over.                                74 Buckingham St,
        A watershed across the land,                                               tread the path of the BHP-Billiton            “The story of the PMU is one         Surry Hills, NSW 2010
                                                                                   mineworkers and build new trade          of how activists learn from oth-
        We’re the FIRST 500 and here we stand.                                     union structures based on rank and       ers’ experiences and apply them to        02 9699 8844
                                                                                   file membership with new commu-          their own circumstances. Despite          $15 + $2.50 post/packing
                                                                                   nity based policies, officials of the    the great size and fragmentation of


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