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(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review Number 578 19th January ­ 25th January 2004

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 21 Jan 2004 13:55:46 +0100 (CET)


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HERE WE GO AGAIN: If Japan had succeeded in invading and conquering Australia during
World War Two, I wonder how many Australians would think it's
appropriate that Australia's national day is celebrated on the day
Australia surrendered to the Japanese? Persisting with celebrating
Australia Day on the 26th January, the day that marks the beginning of the
colonisation process and the dispossession of the original inhabitants of
this country, displays an immaturity and insensitivity that is hard to fathom.
If as a people we believe it's important we have a national day that we are able to
be proud of, it's essential the day does not alienate a significant section of the community.
It's time that consideration be given to choosing another day to celebrate Australia's national day.

NO GLOBALISATION WITHOUT DIRECT DEMOCRACY ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE
'WE SWEAR BY THE SOUTHERN CROSS TO STAND TRULY BY EACH OTHER AND
FIGHT TO DEFEND OUR RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES' ­ EUREKA REBELLION OATH 1854

Over the years the 1st January Federation Day, the 25th April
ANZAC Day, the 1st September Wattle Day and the 3rd December
Eureka Stockade Day have all been suggested as alternatives to the
26th January. Although each one of these days could be seen as a
suitable alternative to the current celebrations, they don't quite
measure up to the occasion.

An alternative for a national day, that's both inclusive and central to
our identity as a people, is the 3rd June ­ Mabo Day. On the 3rd
June 1992 the High Court of Australia decided that indigenous
Australians (as the occupiers of the land before white colonisation
began), had rights to land in law. The 3rd June marks the beginning of
the reconciliation process between this country's original inhabitants
and the waves of immigrants that have now made this land their land.
Jettisoning the 26th January as Australia's national day and replacing
it with the 3rd June would make Australia's national day a day all
Australians could proudly call their own.

SAD!! SAD!! SAD!!

It's a pity that journalists, even journalists with a reputation for astute
political analysis, have not alerted their readers, listeners and viewers
to the misleading content in the Howard government's MedicarePlus
package.

Its ironic that MedicarePlus, a package that the Federal Health
Minister Tony Abbott claims will halt the dramatic fall in bulk billing
rates, will lead to even further falls in bulk billing.

The introduction by regulation on the 1st February of a differential
Medicare rebate for Australians with concession cards, children
under 16 and the rest of the community, marks the end of Medicare as
a universal health scheme. Even the most cursory analysis of the
figures presented by Mr. Abbott shows that the Health Minister's
assertions that the MedicarePlus package will halt the decline in bulk
billing rates are wrong.

The Howard government's claims that increasing the general
practitioner rebate for concession card holders and children under 16
will halt the fall in bulk billing rates, does not stand up to scrutiny.
Those general practitioners who have abandoned bulk billing, normally
charge between $35 to $50 for a standard consultation. It's unrealistic
to expect that they will accept a $30 government rebate for their
services and recommence bulk billing concession card holders and
children under 16 as a result of the MedicarePlus package.

The biggest losers will be those general practitioners who against all
the odds have continued to bulk bill all their patients. The $5 increase
in the standard consultation rebate from $25 to $30 will allow them to
continue to bulk bill concession card holders and children under 16.
Unfortunately what journalists and the community don't understand is
that the Medicare rebate for all other patients will remain at the
current rate $25. Economic reality will force general practitioners
who have bulk billed all their patients up to the 1st of February to stop
bulk billing non-concession card holders.

The Howard government's introduction of the Medicare Minus
package on the 1st of February will result in the murder of Medicare.
A scheme that potentially provided universal access to health care for
all Australians irrespective of how much they earned, how sick they
were and where they lived, has almost overnight been transformed
into a two tier health care delivery system. Those with resources will
be able to access the best health care money can buy while the rest of
the community, will have to rely on a second rate health care delivery
system that will act as a safety net for those who can't afford to buy
health care.

HOWARD, FEEL THE HEAT

John Howard the self appointed spokesman for the God, Queen and
Country brigade is up to his old tricks again. Faced with a revolt by
middle Australia about his government's exclusive and elitist
education policies, he has attempted to deflect people's concerns
about the thousands of Year 12 students who will miss out on
university placements this year by publicly making a few pathetic
remarks about the public school sector.

John Howard, the Prime Minister who has burdened the Australian
taxpayer with the bill for running both Kirribilli House in Sydney and
the Lodge in Canberra, because a move to Canberra would have
interfered with his children's private education, expects other people's
children to shoulder the burden of their own education. Suggesting
that Australians are sending their children to private schools because
State schools offer a value free education, flies in the face of reality.

Parents are sending their children to private schools for one simple
reason because private schools fees are kept artificially low through
the diversion of billions of dollars from the State school sector into the
private sector.

While State schools struggle to make do with what is left, private
schools seem to have direct access to the treasury coffers courtesy
of the Howard government's elitist and exclusive education policies.
The difference this time is that Australians are no longer willing to
accept that the Prime Minister's politically correct assertions will
benefit them, their children or the communities they live in. Howard's
attempts to distract debate from the main game by making what are
obviously incorrect and ludicrous statements will fail to impress those
Australians who have felt and are feeling the cold winds of the God,
Queen and Country agenda promulgated by a 19th century government
that has ceased to have any relevance in the 21st century.

HE AIN'T HEAVY, HE'S MY BROTHER?

Faced with a trillion dollar budget deficit, increasing military
casualties, a hostile population in Iraq and an occupation that's going
nowhere fast, the Bush administration is trying to bully and cajole as
many nations as possible to join it, in its colonial quest in the Middle
East.

The Japanese Prime Minister in the face of a hostile public has
committed "peace" keeping troops to southern Iraq to ensure that
Japan continues to receive oil supplies from Iraq. Currently the
United State government is courting the United Nations to return back
to Iraq. Irrespective of the number of US troops in Saudi Arabia, Iraq
and the rest of the Middle East, they cannot hope to keep the lid on
the powder keg they are sitting on, unless the Palestinian crisis is
settled and the Iraqi people begin to derive benefits from their own
natural resources.

As the Bush administration can't deliver economic or political stability
to the region, their chances of diminishing both their economic and
military losses in Iraq are very slim indeed.

The Bush administration is not willing to hold free and fair elections in
Iraq because they know that Muslim fundamentalism is a growing
force, especially in the oil rich southern regions. Bush Senior's
nightmares, when he had the Baath Party administration on it's knees
after the first Gulf war in 1991, are as relevant today to his son
George Bush Junior as they were to Bush Senior 1991.

Iraq is on the brink of collapse. The Kurds in northern Iraq have a
Kurdish state in everything but name only. The Sunni Muslims and
the remnants of the Baath Party in central Iraq are conducting a
reasonably effective resistance against the US administration, while
the Shiites in the south are keen to establish a Muslim fundamentalist
republic centred on Basra. No wonder George Bush junior is
wondering whether he will be re-elected as President of the US of A
in 2004.

SAFETY NET?

The first issue that Federal parliament will be faced with when it
reconvenes on the 9th of February is the Howard government's
inappropriately named Medicare safety net. Listening to Tony Abbott
spruiking the Federal government's plans, you could be forgiven for
thinking that those patients who are not going to be bulk billed have
nothing to worry about. Let's take a look at what Tony Abbott is
proposing and lets see whether the rhetoric coming out of the
Minister's office matches the reality faced by people who require
access to the health delivery system.

The first question that Abbott has adroitly side stepped, is whether
the first $500 that a family has to spend on medical services before
they can access the safety net, is tied to the government
recommended doctor's fee. As most doctors who do not bulk bill
charge between 20 to 30% above the government recommended fee,
families will have to spend a few thousand dollars, not $500, before
they are eligible to use the safety net.

Let's give the government the benefit of the doubt and let's say that
the $500 is not tied to the government recommended fee and that
families are entitled to the safety net provisions when they spend
$500 more than they receive in Medicare rebates, what does this
mean for patients, doctors, the government and taxpayers? Abbott
seems to be suggesting that the government will pick up the bill for
whatever fee doctors feel they can get away with charging a patient.

If the Federal government does not put a limit on what they will pay
doctors for their services, it's likely Peter Costello will be forced to
double the health care budget overnight. If the Federal government
will only pay the gap between the Medicare rebate and the
recommended fee, the safety net is a safety net in name only because
doctors who don't bulk bill charge much more than the recommended
fee. Abbott's proposed safety net is either a recipe for national
bankruptcy or not a safety net at all. It falls far short of what has
been promised or what the community expects.

The solution to the current bulk-billing crisis is much simpler than
most people realise. All the Howard government has to do is increase
the general practitioner fee for their services to a reasonable level and
general practitioners will once again bulk bill over 90% of their
patients.

ANARCHIST QUESTION AND ANSWER

Q. Does personal choice increase in an anarchist community?

A. Capitalism presents itself as an economic and social system that
places a great deal of value on personal choice. We are told even the
poor have the power to make decisions about the types of breakfast
cereal they are able to buy. The key to the amount of personal choice
an individual is able to exercise in a capitalist society is tied up with
the amount of personal income at their disposal. The more money
they have, the greater the degrees of choice individuals are able to
exercise in a capitalist society.

The choices that people are able to make under the capitalist system
primarily revolve around consumption, real choice is denied to both the
poor and to some extend the rich. Anarchists take the matter of
choice very seriously, not just the choice to decide what brand of
tomato paste an individual is able to consume, but the choice to
decide what type of life people want to lead and the ability for the
individual to develop their inherent potential. Making access to
wealth the main criteria that determines the amount of choice an
individual is able to exercise, denies choice to a significant proportion
of the population.

Holding wealth in common and ensuing that everybody in the
community, irrespective of what they do or who they are, is able to
access that wealth, increases the amount of choice an individual is
able to practically exercise. Although the amount of real choice
increases in an anarchist society, virtual choice decreases. Although
most individuals in an anarchist community may be able to develop
their inherent potential, the consumer choices they are able to make
may decreases markedly. Instead of having access to 15 brands of
tomato paste, they may have access to only one or two. An anarchist
society is structured to satisfy human needs, it is not consumer
orientated. The main function of an anarchist society is to maximise
human potential, not increase the number of consumer products
individuals have access to. Consumer choice is an illusory
proposition that does little if anything to develop society and the
individuals that make up that particular community.

ACTION BOX
THE BOOK IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE BOOK

Technological innovations can have profound implications for radical
activists. The internet, mobile phones, printers, fax and copying
machines have helped to disseminate ideas to a wider audience. This
in turn has challenged the monopoly transnational corporations have
held over the transfer of information. It's important when we talk
about technological change, that we remember the use of these
innovations is not a universal phenomenon. Over half of the world's
population have never used a telephone, let alone a mobile telephone.

The strength of technological innovations that dilute the power of
established monopolies, lays in their ability to potentially benefit
everyone. Within the next few years, digital printing will revolutionise
the book trade. Currently, the great bulk of book publishing and
distribution is monopolised by 4 transnational publishing corporations.
The types of books that are printed and the way they are distributed
are ultimately decided by these corporations financial concerns. This
doesn't mean that other books are not printed, what it means is that
unless a book has a potential run of at least 3000, it will not be printed
and distributed through the established networks.

This is about to be radically altered by digital printing. The technology
now exists for a machine that takes up as much space as one of those
photo-developing machines you see in photographic shops to produce
books at will. Books with runs of just one can be printed on the spot.
Books that are located on the internet can be downloaded and printed
in 5 minutes. This means that you can walk into a digital bookshop and
ask for every 'Action Box' that has been written in the Anarchist Age
Weekly Review. The material will be downloaded on the spot and
printed in book form. Although the digital book revolution will have
profound ramifications for the profitability of publishing houses and
the job prospects of workers in book shops, publishing houses and
book distribution networks, it will make the world a more challenging
place for those who hold and exercise power. This will happen
because it will allow the dissemination of ideas to a greater number of
people. The only problem facing the digital book revolution is that the
current publishing monopolies will try to control this process.

Fortunately for radical activists, once the floodgates are opened, they
will not be able to hold back the pent up human demands for ideas that
challenge current orthodoxy.

AUSTRALIAN RADICAL HISTORY
THE EUREKA SERIES 2004 No.2 ­ 'IN THE BEGINNING!!'

It's interesting how accounts differ about what happened to the
Witowurrong, the original inhabitants of Ballarat. John Molony in his
book 'Eureka' (considered to be the definitive account about the
Eureka rebellion) claims that the squatters were able to establish
sheep runs in the land around Ballarat without meeting any resistance
from the local clans. He claims in his account that 'there is no
evidence that the (the squatters) did physical violence to the black
man'. The squatters, who took up land claims around Ballarat in the
1830's, adopted the Witowurrong name for the land 'Ballarat' ­ 'a
good place to rest'.

In the 3rd report of the Victorian Aboriginal Protection Board
published in 1863, 69 Aboriginals were recorded living on Mount Emu
and Ballarat. Considering that the Witowurrong, the Kulin clan, that
lived in the Ballarat region had hundreds of members when the
squatters first arrived in the 1830's, it's hard to believe Moloney's
account about what happened to the Aboriginal clans that lived in and
around Ballarat, the Lal Lal and the Merrina.

Raffaello Carboni, one of the major participants in the Eureka rebellion
in 1854, gives a more credible account in 'Giburnia'. (A pantomime in
8 scenes with prologue and moral that was written by Carboni in the
summer of 1854-55 while awaiting trial for 'High Treason' in
Melbourne in the Victorian Supreme Court.) Carboni worked as a
shepherd around present day Maldon in 1853 and '54. His work
brought him into contact with the Loddon River Aborigines. 'Gilburna'
represents the clash between white and black civilisation in
Australia. Carboni, a man who understood what it is like to be a
refugee in your own country, took the side of the Aborigines in
'Gildurna' and condemned the white invaders. It's not clear whether
Carboni lived with the Loddon River tribes or he camped next to them.
The 'pantomime' he wrote recounts the events leading up to a
massacre of Aborigines at Tarrengowar in the Loddon Valley by
goldminers and consequences of the massacre on both the invaders
and the invaded. It's likely that Carboni's first hand account of the
Loddon River Aborigines fate, reflects the reality faced by Aborigines
more so than Moloney's idyllic account about the first contact
between black and white in and around Ballarat.

BOOK REVIEW
'STUPID WHITE MEN'
Michael Moore, Penguin Books 2002 ISBN 5759 60 5856

It's taken me 2 years to get around to reading 'Stupid White Men'. A
friend with a sense of humour gave me a copy for my birthday. Not
that I have anything against Mike Moore, anybody who can get a book
with radical ideas to stay on the best seller list for months in spite of
a media blackout, must have something to say that strikes a cord with
lots and lots of people. 'Stupid White Men' is successful because
Mike is able to put down on paper what many other people only dare
think about. In spite of what most readers of the Anarchist Age
Weekly Review think about the United States, not everybody in the
US of A is a George Bush junior or a Ronald Reagan. Many people in
the US are sick and tired of the behaviour of their government. Many
others are livid about the virtual media blackout that exists in the US
when anybody tries to expose the utter hypocrisy of those who wield
power in the US.

Mike has done what Noam Chomsky has never been able to do. He
has been able to give form to the misgivings that many people in the
US share about corporate America and the corporate State. By fusing
humour, fact and in some cases fiction, he's been able to weave a
story about life in the land of the free and brave, that few people dare
tell. Political activists will find little that's new in 'Stupid White Men'.
Most of us know in one way or another the myths that are exposed by
Mike. What no other activist has been able to do is put the myths
down on paper in such an entertaining manner.

Just in case you think Mike is a revolutionary, think again. Mike
believes in the US, he believes in the system. He belongs to the
school so many Left liberals seem to belong to, that believe if the right
people were in positions of authority and power, things would turn out
alright. The difference between Mike and most readers of his review
is that we, unlike Mike, believe the system needs radical change.
Mike or no Mike, the 'right' person as President or George Bush as
President, nothing will change unless the system is radically
overhauled.

'Stupid White Men' is still available in most bookshops and can be
found in most libraries. Get a copy, have a laugh and double your
efforts to radically alter society.

PERSONAL OBSERVATION

One, two, three blue clothed valuers stand behind the counter,
Christmas is well and truly over. I don't know if you've noticed but
one of the big growth industries in Australia over the past few years
has been the corporatisation of the pawn broking industry. What was
once a cottage industry has now become big business. The 'cash
converter' revolution has given respectability to an industry that has
existed on the periphery of society.

I'd come down with a friend to help him redeem some goods that he
converted to cash a few weeks ago. There were 8 people before us.
Some had everything but possibly the kitchen sink with them. The
purpose of the exercise is very simple. You bring along something
that you value because you need cash in a hurry. An unexpected bill,
debt collectors or the Sheriff at the door. The valuers pay you a
fraction of the value of your goods, you agree to pay exorbitant
interest rates (approx. 300% per year) for the cash that's about to
burn a hole in your hot little hand. If you don't repay your debt in a few
months time, the goods become the property of the pawnbroker and
are resold at their real market value.

A lose / lose situation for the person who needs cash in a hurry and a
win / win situation for the pawnbroker.

A woman in her 30s is given $110 for a mountain of camping
equipment and an automatic blender. She takes back a child's small
yellow plastic surfboard from the pile and walks out ignoring the 15 to
20 people who have now lined up to exchange their goods for cash. A
group of young men trade in a set of drums and a mountain of DVD's
for cash. They giggle and carry on as they count a very thin wad of
cash. I wonder which one of their mates has woken up minus a drum
kit.

An old man with a walking stick leans on an equally old woman
waiting patiently in line to exorcise the Christmas demons. A large
woman in 'sloppy joes' and greasy unwashed hair accepts $15 for
what seems to be a new watch. A young couple plant over 200 videos
on the counter, an audible groan rises up from the waiting crowd. Do
you know how long it takes to process 200 videos? I didn't know then
but I know now. After about waiting an hour, my friend redeems his
goods courtesy of an interest free loan from yours truly. He coughs
up $19.50 for the privilege of recovering a mountain of videos that he
had been loaned $15 for, 4 weeks previously. He also coughs up
$39.50 to redeem a discman he was loaned $30 for, 4 weeks
previously. As Sting is fond of saying in one of his more popular
songs 'It's good money if you can get it'.

STOP PRES
S
YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!!

Just when I thought the standard of reporting by the Australian media
couldn't get any worse, something happens that forces me to
re-evaluate my generous assessment of their abilities. Late last week
General Richard Myers turned up on the Prime Minister's doorstep
asking him to increase Australia's military assistance in the United
States 'war on terror'. The media keen to get their hands on a good
story ran a number of articles about the General asking John Howard
to set up a US base in Australia. Within 24 hours of the story coming
to public attention, Gen. Myers categorically stated that there was 'no
need for a US base in Australia'. The Australian media pack accepted
the General's assurances and the story disappeared from public view.
The idea that was left in the public arena was that there are no US
bases in Australia and that cooperation with the US military is limited
to joint military exercises.

Wrong!! Wrong!! Wrong!! The US has had a military base at Pine Gap
in South Australia since the 1960's. It plays an essential role in the
deployment of US military personnel. The facilities at Pine Gap
played an important role in the Iraq war. The base at Pine Gap plays a
central role in the deployment of nuclear and non-nuclear armed
missiles and acts as an important part of the US intelligence gathering
efforts. Although on Australian soil and although some Australians
work at Pine Gap, the facility is controlled by the US. Pine Gap is
essentially a foreign base manned and controlled by US military
personnel. It was established to look after the worldwide interests of
the US, not the interests of Australia.

Gen. Myers is right, 'there is no need for a US base on Australian
soil', and the US already has one at Pine Gap. Maybe if Australian
journalists and their sub-editors and editors stopped accepting the
Howard and US government's Press releases as gospel truth and did
the minimal amount of investigative journalism (turned on a
computer), Australians wouldn't have to put up with the one
dimensional analysis that passes as political reporting in this great
south land.

Joseph TOSCANO / Libertarian Workers For A Self-Managed
Society.

FILM AND VIDEO REVIEW
WEATHER UNDERGROUND
2002 USA Directors Sam Green & Bill Siegel. 92min.

"Underground" tells the story of the Weathermen a splinter group of
young people from the Students for a Democratic Society, or S.D.S.
The former guerrillas now in their 50's & older, speak into the camera
& reveal a bit of their personal histories as well as what the peace
movement meant to them & how they determined to overthrow the US
govt, believing it had criminally waged war in Vietnam & persecuted
groups like the Black Panthers. The doco is packed with some of the
most powerful images of violence of the period: a bound Vietnamese
man being shot in the head at point-blank range, the bloody bed of the
Black Panther Fred Hampton after he was shot to death by the
authorities. The movie captures a movement in motion, with its
contradictions of good intentions & narcissism a revolt so accelerated
& noisy, there was no time for reflection during its heyday. Reflecting
on the impact of their behavior the group took responsibility for
bombing two dozen public buildings, including the Pentagon these
former radicals now reconsider their approach. A few are still in
prison. Brian Flanagan draws a connection between the
Weathermen's actions & the Oklahoma City bombing. "When you feel
you have right on your side, you can do some pretty horrific things."
While they see as much wrong as right in their previous lives, most
are still full of hope. One admits that she'd do it again if she could be
smarter about it. There is luckily an absence of the Marxist-Leninist
dogma which these folks ranted but we do see local black community
kids making fun of the ultra-serious "white" radicals.

POLITICS **** ENTERTAINMENT ****

With so many war films & bloke-focused flicks reviewed lately; here
are some seasonal girl alternatives from Hollywood wannabe
monopoly.

WHITE OLEANDER
2003 USA (on video & DVD) 106 min.

Michelle Feiffer plays an artist who murders two timing boyfriend
(played ever so briefly by Billy Connolly) with poisonous Oleander
flowers. Deleting his computer hard-drive & slashing his clothes
didn't satisfy. Her daughter Astrid (Alison Lohman) endures the
trauma of seeing mum get life in jail; survives the State run juvenile
institution & being fostered out to dysfunctional born-again Christian,
film-maker & a migrant hustler "happy families". The development of
the daughter's independence opens up her own life options to
friendship with a teenage cartoonist.

POLITICS ** ENTERTAINMENT ***

THE NICE GIRL

2003 USA (on video & DVD)

Millionaire actress Jennifer Aniston plays a Texan worker at a
suburban Retail Rodeo superstore. She's bored with this everyday life
& her impotent & stoned house-painter hubby. Enter a new check-out
bloke who is a would be Holden Caulfield (the angry young man of JD
Salinger's Catcher in the Rye novel). He's played by the lead actor
from the strange film Donny Darko. There's funny moments with a
'punk' worker saying some nasty announcements on the public
address system & at the checkout, & doing a classic 'chic clown of
Paris' make-up on a customer. Look out for a Halloween theme "black
cat", which begin to seem like a sabotage symbol for a brief time.
Looming Bible study classes, 'adultery' & blackmail, death of a
workmate & robbery from the store safe briefly interlude, but there's
no escape from the 'realistic/normal' conservative role of mother &
wife 'happy ending'.

POLITICS ** ENTERTAINMENT ***

ANARCHIST PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED SINCE LAST ISSUE

ANARCHIST BOOKSHOP OF JURA BOOKS, 2004, 440 Parramatta
Rd, Petersham 2049, Sydney, AUSTRALIA. Tel:02) 95509931,
email:jura@chaos.apanas.org.au, www.jura.org.au

FREEDOM Vol.65 No.1 10TH Jan 2004,, Anarchist Fortnightly, 84b
Whitechapel High St, London E17QX, ENGLAND
Email:FreedomCopy@aol.com, TEL/FAX: 02072479249

L'HOMME LIBRE, Fils de la terre, No.178 JAN ­ MARCH 2004,
Recherche d'une psychologie libertatrice, Marcel Renoulet, B.p.
205-42005, Saint-Etienne, FRANCE

OTHER PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED
HOBNAIL REVIEW, No.2 2004 A guide to Small Press &
Alternative Publishing, P.O. Box 44122, London SW6 7XJ,
ENGLAND, Tel: 07887658209

DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL Our debt stands at $324.15

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in 2004, we require readers to renew their subscriptions. We leave it
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Debt 21-01-2004 $324.15

ALL THE NEWS THAT FITS

Australian troops secretly attacked Iraqi forces a day before war was
announced by either the US or Aussie govts. SAS units attacked Iraqi
positions on the evening of March 18 (Iraq time). This was 16hours
after President Bush had given Saddam Hussein a 48hour ultimatum
to leave Iraq or be attacked. The troops had secretly entered Iraq
before the attack. (Source: The Age)

The Iraqi Governing Council appointed by the US has decided that
family laws should be "cancelled" & issues such as divorce placed
under strict religious law. The status of Iraqi women was much better
than in other Middle Eastern countries, with laws prohibiting child
marriage, arbitrary divorce (in some countries men can divorce their
wives instantly just by announcing the fact), or official sexism in child
custody or property disputes. The chief US administrator in Iraq, Paul
Bremer, has dictatorial powers & is expected to veto the decision.
However the US govt is planning to hand over power (without direct
elections) in June. (Source: The Age)

Victorian taxpayers are paying about $18,000.- a week to prop up the
Mount Buffalo Chalet tourist resort, whose private operator has been
accused of financial mismanagement. Parks Victoria chief executive
Mark Stone said payments had been made since Nov last year. Mr
Stone said "whether the chalet is occupied or not we still have to run
the sewerage & water systems up there". Chalet operator Robert
Arnold is at the centre of allegations including an ASIC complaint,
claims that staff superannuation hasn't been paid, failure to comply
with payroll tax requirements & failure to pay creditors. A source told
The Sunday Age employees' superannuation hadn't been paid since
Dec 2002, with staff voluntary contributions not being included in the
fund. The source also said that the ATO was owed more than $1
million in unpaid payroll tax. An ex employee of the chalet said she'd
received no superannuation payments since June 30, 2002 & the
voluntary contributions being set aside by staff weren't entering the
fund. She said former employees had contacted the Tax Office to
check the state of their superannuation funds. She said there'd also
been delays of up to 3 weeks in the payment of staff wages. One
employee says he is owed more than $10,000 in unpaid leave & other
entitlements. "I don't believe I'll see any of my money," he said.
(Source: The Age)

The suicide rate among US soldiers occupying Iraq is rising & is now
30% higher than the rate in peacetime. The 21 military suicides so far
represent 4.2% of the 496 US deaths in Iraq. William Winkenwerder,
US Ass Sect of Defence for health affairs, said "we don't see a trend
there in looking at these cases that tells us there is more we might be
doing". (Source: Hearst Newspapers, The New York Times)

A mentally ill man who was shot dead by police after attacking
someone had been trying to get help for days but was ignored by the
health system. Awale Mohamed had been telling people he was ready
to kill himself. A GP diagnosed Mr Mohamed as schitzophrenic &
wrote an urgent referral to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist said he
could see Mr Mohamed in 6 weeks. St George public hospital in
Sydney said they couldn't assess him until the next afternoon. When
he finally reached the hospital's mental health unit, he was sent home
after an hour's assessment by a nurse with an assurance that he'd be
OK, despite relatives telling the nurse that Mr Mohamed was
planning to kill himself & could hurt other people. The nurse refused to
let Mr Mohamed be assessed by a doctor. 24hours later, Mr
Mohamed was taken back to St George in an ambulance, having been
shot dead in the street by police. Mr Mohamed's cousin Sugule said
"he should've got the help that was asked for & he shouldn't have
died". (Source: Sydney Morning Herald)

Contracts signed under the govt's info tech outsourcing program are
running at least $750 million over budget. Under the program, govt
depts paid private companies to do computer work that would
previously have been done inside the dept. Advocates of the free
market said this would be cheaper & more efficient. The govt has
abandoned the program, but contracts that are already signed are still
in effect. (Source: Financial Review)

QUOTES OF THE WEEK: "My step-son xxx has been in Iraq since
March 19th. Last night he spoke to my husband on the phone (no, not
a phone provided by the US govt, an Iraqi satellite phone which he
pays for himself). His unit got hit in a mortar attack. He watched one
of his comrades get his legs blown off. His buddy tied tourniquets
around the other soldier's legs & managed to stop arterial bleeding,
luckily he is still alive. xxx tried to give one soldier (a woman MP)
CPR but she died in his arms. xxx said this is the worst it's been since
the "end" of the war. He said the troops have been given new rules of
engagement & that they're to "take out" any persons who aggress on
the Americans, even if it results in "collateral" damage.
Unfortunately, xxx did have to kill someone in self defense & was told
by his commanding officer "Good kill." xxx replied "You just don't get
it, do you?". Here we are...Vietnam all over again". (Mike Moore's
website).

All the News that Fits weekly anarchist news service visit us on the
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ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE OBSCENITY OF THE WEEK

Has been awarded to the man who's putty in the hands of the
President of the US of A, the one and only our beloved Prime Minister
John Howard. Free trade agreements?, American bases on Australian
soil?, George Bush names it, his boy in Australia delivers.

STAMP APPEAL We spend over $500.00 on postage stamps per
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A DOLLAR A DAY

Increasing financial problems have forced us to review how The
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necessary to cover our costs. To overcome this problem we've
launched a:- SAVE THE ANARCHIST MEDIA INSTITUTE ~ 'A
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ANARCHIST WORLD THIS WEEK

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anarchist analysis of local, national & international events. Tune into
your local community radio station to listen to the Anarchist World
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DEFEND & EXTEND MEDICARE RALLY

MIDDAY FRIDAY 13TH FEBRUARY THE STATE LIBRARY OF
VICTORIA Corner Swanston & Latrobe Streets, Melbourne. Access
to health care a right, not a charity or a luxury.

RECLAIM THE RADICAL SPIRIT OF THE EUREKA REBELLION

150TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS 4AM TO 4PM FRIDAY
3RD DECEMBER 2004 EUREKA STOCKADE SITE, BALLARAT,
VICTORIA Reclaim the past to understand the present and change
the future

If You Like What You Have Read, Photocopy This Publication and
Leave It In Doctors, Dentists, Vets Waiting Rooms and In Railway
Stations, Bus Stops, Libraries and Restaurants Etc.

The articles in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review reflect the personal
opinions of the authors, they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of
the publishers, the Libertarian Workers for a Self-Managed
Society/Anarchist Media Institute.

All material in the Anarchist Age Weekly Review can be used by
anarchists, anarchist collectives and non-profit organisations as long
as the source of the material is mentioned in the article. The
Anarchist Age Weekly Review reserves all rights as far as
commercial publications are concerned.

ANARCHISM ­ ADVANCING IN DIVERSITY STRIKING IN
UNISON ­ YAMAGUCHI KENJI WELCOME TO THE 21ST
CENTURY ­ THE ANARCHIST CENTURY




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