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(en) Anarchist Age Weekly Review No.525 18th November ­ 24th November, 2002

From Phil McCrory <philmcc@melbpc.org.au>
Date Wed, 20 Nov 2002 05:46:32 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E


Anybody who has any illusions about how the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund manipulate democratically elected governments, only has to
look at what is happening in Papua New Guinea. The current Prime Minister,
Michael Somare, finds that Papua New Guinea not only has to deal with
predatory foreign corporations, many of them Australian, but with a troika
of evil, which includes the Australian government, the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Shocked at the loss of this yearıs election by Mekere Morouta, their golden
haired boy (although money had been pumped into Marouta's war chest by the
Australian government), they have entered into a pact to further destabilise
the Papua New Guinea economy by starving the new government of capital
unless the Somare government reduces services to the community and adopts
the IMF's and the World Bank's harsh economic medicine. The troika of evil
are placing direct pressure on the Papua New Guinea government by pursuing a
high-risk policy that has seen the value of the currency, the Kina,
free-fall. The Kina lost 20% of its value in a two-week period in the last
month. This means increased prices for basic commodities for the people of
Papua New Guinea.

The deterioration in the countryıs economy and the resulting dislocation
will be seized on by the Australian government as the excuse it needs to
send in Australian troops to restore order and protect Australian interests
in the region. This cynical attempt to bring down a democratically elected
government because it won't accept the demands of the IMF and the World Bank
to scale down services, by their proxy in the region (the Australian
government), will lead to the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of
Papuans through disease, starvation, intertribal and intercommunity warfare,
and possible invasion by Australian forces.

What is happening in Papua New Guinea is a classical example of what happens
around the world when governments refuse to play out the economic script
that has been written for them by the World Bank and the IMF. What is
happening needs to be resisted here in Australia. Direct pressure needs to
be placed on the Australian government by the Australian people to force the
government to abandon its unholy alliance with the World Bank and the IMF.
The sooner this alliance is broken, the sooner the spectre of death and
destruction that's hanging over Papua New Guinea will be lifted.

Few people know that the Australian Treasury is a major player in the money
market. Fewer people know that currency swap losses topped one billion
dollars last financial year and have already cost Australian taxpayers 300
million dollars this year. Treasury, under Peter Costello, has ventured into
the money markets to generate windfall gains. The only difference between
Treasury and the private sector is that Treasury is using taxpayers money to
play the money markets.

Flushed with its success at off-loading Australia's gold reserves on the
money markets and driving the price of gold down by flooding the market,
Treasuryıs regulating role has been usurped by its increasing speculative
role in the world's financial markets. What at first seemed a good idea, has
soured as Treasuryıs speculative investments have hit the wall. The problem
with the government's strategy is that in terms of global speculative flow
of money, the Australian Treasury is a tiny minnow in a sea of sharks.

Money market profits derived from the speculative flow of trillions of
dollars punting on the value of currency swaps is little more than betting
the financial future of the country on the role of a dice. If the government
wins, it's a welcome windfall; if it loses, and lose it will as the money
markets are manipulated by corporations and speculators who have far more
funds at their disposal to manipulate the market than the Australian
government has, then the result is increased taxes and reduced services.
While the corporate dominated media foams at the mouth about whether a State
based politician lived at his principle place of residence, few media
commentators, apart from the Melbourne Age's Kenneth Davidson, have raised
this point in the public arena.

The deregulation of the money markets by governments has placed all the
cards in the hands of corporate speculators. When governments abrogate their
responsibility to the community and start gambling with tax payer funds,
it's time questions were asked about how the Howard government's policy of
gambling with community money earmarked for social projects effects all of

I'd like to offer my commiserations to Dr. Robert Dean, the former Liberal
Party Shadow Treasurer, who has found that he cannot stand for election as
his name was removed from the Victorian electoral roll. I'd like to assure
him that his parliamentary career is far from over.

If he'd like to take a leaf out of my book, he could transfer his
parliamentary ambitions from the stagnant backwaters of State Politics into
the Federal arena. I have stood as a Victorian Senate candidate in the last
five Federal elections, encouraging people to vote informal or not vote at
all, to highlight that parliamentary politics is nothing more than two
minutes of illusory power and that real power in this country lies in the
boardrooms of national and transnational corporations, not in parliament,
although I am not on the electoral roll.

I have been able to do this because under the Australian Constitution I can
stand for Federal parliament if I'm entitled to vote at a Federal election.
So Mr. Dean, if you're over eighteen and an Australian citizen, put your
personal disappointments behind you, don't worry about whether you're on the
electoral roll or not, and get involved in one of those murky backroom
battles for a safe Federal Liberal parliamentary seat.

The appearance of Denis Richardson, ASIOıs director-general, at a Senate
Committee hearing that is examining the Howard governmentıs attempts to push
legislation through parliament that will strip Australians of what few civil
liberties they still enjoy, is of great concern. Itıs ironic that the
government is pedaling the line that they need to remove the very rights and
freedoms that set us apart from authoritarian movements and regimes to
protect us from these very same movements and regimes. Richardsonıs call for
ASIO to have powers that will allow them to legally detain and interrogate
people in secret for up to seven days because they may inadvertently have
information that could assist them with their investigations without charges
even being laid, needs to be vigorously resisted.

Allowing the State to have draconian powers over its citizens has far more
serious consequences than any perceived or real terrorist threat. The 20th
century is littered with examples of what happens when the State controls
every aspect of its citizenıs lives. Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot could never
have caused the deaths of millions of people without their total domination
of the State apparatus.

In the face of the current media onslaught to give ASIO these draconian new
powers, itıs important that the ALP be given credit for listening to the
widespread community concerns about this unacceptable piece of legislation
and have this legislation blocked in the Senate.

Itıs important that they continue to hold their nerve, support the Greens
and the Democrats in the Senate, and refuse to give the State the green
light to curb those rights and freedoms which have taken hundreds of years
to win, which could be extinguished overnight if the Senate Select Committee
supports its passage through Federal parliament.

The conviction by an Italian Appeal Court of seven times Italian Prime
Minister, Giulio Andreotti, "Mr. Italy", for complicity to murder
investigative journalist Mino Pecorelli in 1979, vindicates the stand
Italian Anarchists have taken since WWII. Italian radical activists have
borne the brunt of attacks orchestrated by successive Italian governments
and their Mafia allies for having the audacity to raise the unholy alliance
between successive conservative governments, the Mafia and the Vatican.

They have been marginalised, interrogated, imprisoned and killed by a State
apparatus that is intrinsically corrupt. The corruption endemic within
Italian society is a legacy of the cold war that was waged between the
United States and the Soviet Union. The post-war parliamentary success of
the Italian Communist Party and a radical extra-parliamentary movement was
countered by a government­Mafia alliance that was supported and bankrolled
by successive United States governments, fearful of the consequences of a
Communist Party electoral victory.

The same cold war rhetoric and state of mind still permeates the Italian
political system. The conviction of Andreotti has been met with a full scale
attack on the Italian judicial system by the current Prime Minister, Silvio
Berlusconi, who is using his near monopoly of the Italian media to push the
line that a judicial system that has the audacity to convict "Mr. Italy"
needs to be reformed. His criticisms of the Italian judicial system have
been supported by other conservative Italian politicians and surprise,
surprise, the Vatican.

Although Andreotti will never serve a day in jail, his reputation and the
reputation of the conservatives in Italian politics has been dealt a
significant blow. His conviction reinforces many Italiansı opinion that the
post WWII growth of the Mafia in Italian society occurred because the Mafia
and successive conservative Italian government's fortunes were interlinked.
The conviction of Andreotti has finally opened the lid on the personal price
Italians and their institutions have paid and continue to pay as a
consequence of the cold war strategy pursued by the United States in Europe
after WWII.

Q.        Are anarchists dangerous?
A.    They sure are, not because they are violent or terrorists but because
of their ideas.  There is nothing more dangerous in life than somebody who
knows how the system works and knows what they want to replace it with.
Anarchists are dangerous to those in power and authority because they can
see right through their little games.  They are dangerous because they have
no respect for them and what they stand for.
They are exceptionally dangerous because the ideas they promote encourage
self-activity, direct action and direct democracy.  Can you imagine how much
of a threat somebody is who believes that ordinary people can organise their
own lives and donıt need Gods or masters.  Can you imagine how dangerous
somebody is who wants to break down hierarchies, abolish the State and
replace it with a Federation of community and workplace councils.
Anarchists are dangerous because the ideas they promote resonate with
people.  They are not new ideas, but they are powerful ideas that value the
worth of all human beings.  Our strength ultimately lies in the strength of
our ideas.  Our strength lies in our ability to influence other people to
take up our ideas.  Each time, we as anarchists become involved in an action
or activity, we challenge the authority of those who try to use social and
political movements for their own ends.
The State being a terrorist organisation, knows how to deal with threats of
violence and terrorism.  If there werenıt any political or social movements
that used terrorism as a weapon, they would have to create one to justify
their own existence.  Our very presence strikes fear in those who wield
power and authority.  The strength of our ideas is our major weapon.
Irrespective of whether they try to dismiss us as utopian fools or as
irrational terrorists, they will not succeed because our ideas will
ultimately overcome any obstacles they put in our path.  Weıre dangerous
because we pose a threat to secular and religious authoritarian movements
and regimes.  Dangerous to those who wield power? Yes!!  Dangerous to those
who take orders? Never!!

The 1930ıs and the 1940ıs were two periods in 20th Century history where
direct action was placed on the historical agenda, by people who rejected
mainstream society.  As we enter the 21st Century, those young men and women
who were at the forefront of this struggle, are in their eighties and
nineties.  Although most may have led ordinary lives and have melted back
into the community, their experiences need to be recorded.
Although I have no time for Marxism, one of the most important statements
Marx made was "those who donıt learn from the past are doomed to repeat the
mistakes of the past" or something to that effect.  In other words, if we
donıt record the past and learn from other peopleıs experiences, we may be
forced to reinvent the wheel.  If you think about it, this is a very
wasteful way to approach social change.  As one of those activists who was
involved in the radical social movement that swept the world in the late
1960ıs and early 1970ıs, one of the things I most regret is that we
mistakenly thought we were pioneers and had little, if any knowledge of the
role the Australian Anarchist movement had played in this countryıs past.
It was only years later when this history was unearthed by people like the
radical historian Bob James, that we began to realise that we had wasted
years reinventing the wheel.  Now is the perfect opportunity to put some of
the wisdom of the past on the public record.  Look around you, are you
involved in any activity with older activists?  If youıre not, ask around,
somebody will know somebody who was.  Itıs up to you to take the initiative,
most people are not going to volunteer their past and many have little idea
about how important their individual contribution may be.
It doesnıt have to be a long formal affair, the best way to approach the
task is to buy or borrow a tape recorder.  Tapes are an effective way of
collecting information and holding that information.  You can use it over
and over again.  Written notes are not that useful and videotaping can make
the person youıre interviewing guarded.  Also be prepared, learn as much as
you can before you begin your interview and have an outline of how you will
be conducting the interview down on paper.
Always acknowledge the contribution of the person who has provided the
information and try to keep in touch with them.  Itıs important to remember
weıre not just researchers.  Itıs important to remember, the relationships
we strike up with older members of the activist community, help to build
that bridge between generations that is essential if we want to help create
a mass movement for radical egalitarian social change.

Over the past 9 months, the Australian Radical Historyı section of the
Anarchist Age Weekly Reviewı has attempted to outline the importance of the
Eureka rebellion on the 3rd December 1854.  As the 148th anniversary
approaches, itıs essential we examine the reasons this rebellion is
significant to those of us who want radical egalitarian change.
The Eureka rebellion cannot be dismissed as a petit bourgeoise riot that was
solely concerned about the abolition of gold licences.  It was much more.
The men and women involved in the rebellion came from every corner of the
globe, many had been involved in militant action in their homelands.  The
organisational model and strategies pursued by the miners are very similar
to the strategies that are advocated by anarchists.  The miners used mass
meetings to make decisions, they elected their leaders and they had no
hesitation in removing a leaderıs mandate at the next mass meeting, if they
werenıt satisfied with their efforts.
They used direct action as their main strategical weapon and were willing to
take up arms to defend their rights and liberties.  Human solidarity was one
of the central tenets of the minersı struggles.  Men and women of all
nationalities were welcomed into the movement.  John Joseph, a black New
Yorker, fought at the Eureka stockade and was the first of the 13 charged
with High Treason to be acquitted of the charge by a Melbourne jury.  The
people of Melbourne feted him as a hero.  Interestingly, the American
government pressured the Victorian government to release a number of
Americans who were arrested as a consequence of their participation in the
rebellion, but they didnıt care about the fate of one of their black
citizens, leaving John Joseph to rot in jail.  The people of Melbourne, not
the United States government, were those who took up his cause.
Eureka is a story of human courage and the right for freedom and dignity.
It is a story about human solidarity, direct action and direct democracy,
itıs a seminal part of the history of radical egalitarian change in this
country.  As individuals, groups and a community, we need to reclaim the
radical spirit of the Eureka rebellion and use that spirit to influence the
present and change the future.
 Introduction & Notes by C. E. SAYERS,
 Mullaya Publications, 1st Published 1973,
 ISBN 0-85914004-0
Eureka and its Flagı is one of a plethora of books that have been published
over the last 148 years about the Eureka rebellion.  After a 20 year study
into the fate of the Eureka flag, Len Fox a Sydney journalist, published
The Strange Story of the Eureka Flag" in 1963, his efforts were
instrumental in having the flag taken out of mothballs and put on permanent
display in the Ballarat Art Gallery.  Eureka and its Flagı published in
1973 is a re-release of the 1963 booklet.
This 42 page booklet is divided into three distinct sections: The Events of
Eurekaı (12 pages), The Heritage of Eurekaı (3 pages), and The Flag of
Eurekaı (19 pages), the rest of the booklet is taken up by 4 pages of
references and a 4 page index.
Section 3, The Flag of Eurekaı initially examines the role flags with the
Southern Cross on them, in Australia played, before December 3rd 1854.  He
then outlines a few theories about who actually designed the flag.  After
trooper John King tore down the Eureka Flag from the flagpole, it eventually
made its way to the High Treason trials in Ballarat.  King took the flag to
Warrnambool with him and gave it to an Inspector P. H. Smith, who eventually
returned the flag to Kingıs family in 1881.  In 1895 after a campaign in the
Melbourne Argusı, James King, John Kingıs son loaned the flag to the
Ballarat Art Gallery in November 1895.  During this early period, the Eureka
Flag had been considered to be evidence of the "shame" of Ballarat and when
John King offered it for sale to the trustees of the Melbourne Public
Library in 1877, they rejected his offer.  The flag was displayed briefly at
the Ballarat Art Gallery and then locked away till the author Len Fox
examined it in the early 1940ıs.  Fox was told that it was not the original
flag and spent the next 20 years digging up information that led to the
publication of this booklet and the eventual public display of the Eureka
Flag in 1973 at the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery.
Thanks to Steve Reghenzani for providing me with the review copy of this
booklet which he picked up at a Melbourne Trash & Treasure market for 10
cents.  About the only place youıll find a copy today is he State Library of

I donıt know if anybody else has noticed, but this is a great year for
roses, at least in Melbourne it is.  The hot dry weather seems to suit them
to a tee.  Having lived in Melbourne for 25 years, Iıve never noticed such a
good year for roses not that I took much notice of them when I first came to
Roses are one of those plants that have been bred and cross bred over the
centuries.  Iıve noticed that the English Rugby Union team has a red rose on
their guernsey.  For those lovers of English history (Iım sure thereıs one
or two about), we all learnt (well people of my vintage did) about the war
of the roses in England, a nasty period for rose lovers.  Thereıs climbing
roses, roses that are coaxed to grow over arches, long stem roses, short
stem roses and a hundred other types of roses.  The thing that catches
everybodyıs attention is the profusion of colours and smells, everything
from deep red to purple.  Any walk down a suburban street will be punctuated
by well kept rose bushes, as well as some that have not been pruned for 20
I assume there are rose clubs of all varieties, a well as specialist rose
nurseries that sell rose bushes that are grown for the mass market.  One
interesting rose nursery nestles among suburban houses in Shannon Street,
Box Hill.  It has every variety of rose imaginable and then some more.
Every time I drive past a Ministry of Housing cluster near Nunawading
Railway Station in Melbourne, this large rose tree currently laden with
little red flowers waves over one of those 2 metre wooden gardens fences,
that are the rage today.
A very nasty type used to live behind that fence, he was a large man covered
with tatoos from head to toe.  He had be involved in a motor bike accident
when he was 19 and had been in a wheelchair for two and a half decades
before he died unexpectedly at the age of 45.  He loved roses and would
treat himself and buy one ever so often from the Shannon Street rose
nursery, plant it in his front garden and promptly forget about it.  When he
died a few years ago, one of the little blighters had taken hold.  As his
take away preservative laden body resists the ravages of time, his red roses
grows and grows a silent but spectacular testimony to his life.

Phillip Ruddockıs caring bureaucrats down at the immigration department are
at it again.  It seems that 1800 Timorese who made their way to Australia
after the Indonesian massacre at the Santa Cruz cemetery in 1991, are to be
deported because it is safe for them to return to East Timor.  Those folks
in the Federal Liberal government, who gave you the detention centres, are
about to open a new chapter in Australiaıs relationship with refugees.
The East Timorese refugees who arrived in 1991 are not "illegals", far from
it, they have visas, not your ordinary visas, but a special "open ended
visa" which can be terminated anytime the government feels like it.  As far
as the Howard government is concerned these people have been living in the
"lap of luxury" far too long and itıs time they went back to East Timor.
Mind you, 10 years down the track, many have steady jobs, most have had
children who have integrated into Australian society, speaking English and
attending local schools.
The question that should be asked is not whether they should be deported,
but why have successive Australian governments refused to grant these
refugees permanent residence.  When does a refugee cease to become a
refugee?  When the government says so or when they have put down roots in
their new country.  Many East Timorese have returned to back East Timor.
Many refuse to return because they have been here so long they have become
totally integrated into the Australian community.  Uprooting these people
now and forcing them, and more importantly their children who have never
known another life, to return to a country that has 70% unemployment and
where the basic infrastructure is in disarray, is potentially dangerous to
the East Timorese themselves.
Those who want to return to East Timor should be assisted, those who want to
stay should be allowed to stay.  To forcibly deport people after a decade
because things may have changed in their homeland, is as barbaric a practice
as holding asylum seekers in concentration camps in the middle of the
Joseph TOSCANO/LibertarianWorkers
for a Self-Managed Society.

Excellent documentary recently screened in Melbourne and may be shown on SBS
television. plot: Families finally find the site of their relatives murdered
in the 1965 suppression. Upon return to their village their home is attacked
by local right wing religious gang.  Also shown are excerpts from the annual
Military TV hate-propaganda and ignorant students visiting the official
memorial site for Generals whose murder was basis for the coup.

1948 103 minutes black & white.
British version of the gold miners revolt made by Ealing Studios' Leslie
Norman. Stars Chips rafferty & Peter Finch. Gotta be a better version of the
event around or is still yet to be made ?
* politics **entertainment

Tapol -political prisoner- and exiled life long human rights defender Carmel
Budiardo speaks out in Shadow Play. See http://www.gn.apc.org/tapol or
contact Tapol Australia, PO Box 121, Clifton Hill Vic 3068.

Religious school students were trained in Pakistan used as Mujahedin in
the1980's war against Russian occupied Afghanistan.  This Contra force was
funded by the CIA & Saudi capital. It resulted in the Taliban regime and
recruited mercenaries like Osama Bin Laden & armed bigots from South East
Asia..  However "fundamentalist Muslims" were used in the earlier war on
communism in Indonesia in 1965. The Indonesian military used these militias
to terrorise the poor and suppress their organisations. This blood bath was
applauded by the US and Australian regimes and the Corporate media at the
time.  Military sponsored "militias" have been used ever since in Aceh,
Ambon, East Timor, West Papua etc as thugs for hire.  The TNI Indonesian
Military has been armed, funded and trained by American & Australian
Governments and Officers for three decades.  The only interruption to this
was during the uprising against the mass murders in East Timor in 1999;
which many good folks in Australia marched in the streets to end.  The TNI's
elite Kopassus killers have moved headquarters, from Bali to West Timor,
near Kupang, to keep an eye on East Timor and the local West Timorese.
After the Bali bombing atrocity we are now expected to see the bloody
Indonesian military as our allies again in TheWarAgainstTerrorism spectacle.
                                                   - PHIL OXENIA

 FREEDOM Vol.63 No.21, 2nd NOV. 2002, Anarchist Fortnightly, 84b
Whitechapel High St, London E17QX, ENGLAND Email:FreedomCopy@aol.com
 LIBERTAIRE Vol.4, No.4 Oct/Dec 2002,, Il piacere dellıutopia, Editrice A,
Cas.Post.17025, 20170 Milano, ITALY, Email:eleuthera@tin.it
 LE MONDE LIBERTAIRE No.1294 24th ­ 30th Oct. 2002, 145 Rue Amelot, 75011
Paris, FRANCE, Tel:0148053408, Fax:0149299859
 UMANITA NOVA Vol 82 No.34 EL l27thOct.ı02, Settimanale Anarchico, C.50
Palermo 46, 10152, Torino ITALY. tel/fax (011) 857850 Mobile 338-6594361
 OPERAI CONTRO Vol.21 No.102 Oct/2002, Giornale per la Critica La Latta,
Lıorganizzazionale degli Operai Contro La Struttamento, Via Falck 44, 20099,
Sesto S.Giovanni (MI), ITALY,
DEBT ELIMINATION APPEAL ­ Our debt stands at $946.50
We need to raise $200.00 per week in order to cover typing, printing,
postage and radio program and ongoing campaign costs.  Subscriptions are
$10.00 = 10 Issues, $50.00 = 50 Issues.  Donations and subscriptions can be
AUSTRALIA.  If sending less than $20.00 please send us 45cent stamps.
Otherwise make out cheques and money orders to LIBERTARIAN WORKERS.  Think
about joining the DOLLAR A DAY GROUP.

Debt 20-11-2002            $946.50
FEDERATION SQUARE (Cnr Flinders St & St.Kilda Rd)
Opposite Flinders Street Station
If you canıt come to Ballarat on the 3rd December
Join us on the 27th November 2002

Our arrangement to broadcast the Anarchist World This Weekı over the
internet has collapsed because of techincal problems.  If you can help us by
taking over the job of placing the programme on the net email us at:
Anarchistage@yahoo.com  - THANKS

We have a number of
"Melbourne Australia 1st ­ 4th May 1986"
Which we are selling for $10.00 each (includes packaging and postage within
Australia).  Send 45c stamps or cheques or money or money orders for $10.00
AUSTRALIA, if youıd like one

Has been awarded to the New South Wales police for their paramilitary
response to 1000 peaceful protestors attempting to protest against the World
Trade Organisation meeting at Homebush in Sydney. ­ good one boys and girls,
youıll be able to tell your grandchildren how you saved civilisation from
the barbarians.  

THIS WEEK'S STORIES: Proof That Bosses Are Worse Than Useless...New Refugee
Centre Has Same Old Brutality...I Don't Care What You Want, You're Getting
Freedom of Choice... Govt Ignored Rape...Nursing Home Crisis Impacting On
Public Hospital System...Another Liberal Party...It's Not Terror When Our
Govt Does It...

Like many people in Argentina, the employees at the Grissinopoli bread
factory were caught up in the country's economic collapse, after the govt
completely followed International Monetary Fund policy. They saw their
weekly salary steadily decline from 150 pesos to 100 & then to 40. Finally
with the firm headed for bankruptcy, the workers demanded compensation. The
plant manager offered 10 pesos to each of the 14 employees & asked them to
leave the factory. "He closed the shutters & we stayed inside," said Norma
Pintos, 49, whoıs worked at the factory for 11 years. "We just wanted to
keep coming to work." What began as a last-ditch effort to save their jobs
or at the very least to get some back wages, turned into an effort to gain
control of the factory. The workers began taking turns guarding the factory
24 hours a day, surviving by asking for spare change at the public
university and selling food on the street. 4 months later, the city govt
handed the factory over to the workers. In little more than a year, workers
have seized control of dozens of foundering factories across Argentina. In
some cases the factories havenıt just survived but are doing better than
under their previous ownerships. In Feb, the owners of the Ghelco factory
locked the doors & soon afterwards filed for bankruptcy. The workers, who
were owed the equivalent of thousands of dollars in back wages & benefits,
were left to fend for themselves as they awaited the outcome of a long &
uncertain legal process. At the urging of Luis Caro, a lawyer whoıs
represented some 40 occupied factories, the workers formed a co-operative &
mounted a permanent protest in front of the factory preventing attempts to
remove any equipment or inventory. After 3 months the bankruptcy judge
allowed them temporarily to rent the factory. In Sept, the Buenos Aires
legislature expropriated Ghelco & gave it to the co-operative. Now 43 of
Ghelco's former employees, all of whom worked on the factory floor, run the
company. Workers at another factory are earning more than twice as much as
they did as employees & are set to take on 20 new members. Theyıre expanding
the plant & have plans to export their products. "The fellows still think
this is all a dream" said the co-operative's president, Roberto Salcedo, 49.
"Nowadays if you lose your job you know that you aren't going to find work
again & much less at our age." The workers say that one reason they can run
the factory better than their managers & bosses is because of the money
freed by getting rid of the owners' hefty take & the higher salaries paid to
managerial staff. As in most of the occupied factories, the Union and Force
Co-operative has an egalitarian pay scale. Decisions are made by direct vote
in regular assemblies & each worker earns the same, based on the previous
week's profits. Caro estimates that workers have taken over 100 factories &
other businesses nationwide. While most takeovers have been at factories,
theyıve also included a supermarket, a medical clinic, a mine & a shipyard.
With local support for the factory-occupying workers strong, authorities
have had little success removing them by force. In March, about 200 people
from neighbourhood assemblies and human rights groups, converged on the
worker-controlled Brukman textile factory, forcing the retreat of 70 riot
police who were acting on a judge's order to reclaim the property. "The idea
that a capitalist is needed to organise production is being demystified,"
said Christian Castillo, a sociology professor at the University of Buenos
Aires. (Sydney Morning Herald, Nov. 9).
Detainees at the new Baxter refugee detention centre had their heads kicked
by guards during an altercation. In an email, Anne Simpson, from the
Bellingen Rural Australians Refugees group, said an asylum seeker told her
that about 30 guards in full riot gear beat a detainee during the incident.
Another refugee advocate was told detainees had to lie on the ground & were
kicked in the head by guards. (news.com.au, Nov. 5).
The Community and Public Sector Union has called on WR Minister Tony Abbott
to come clean on reports heıs proposed that the entire Cıwealth public
sector workforce to be put on Australian Workplace Agreements - the
unpopular system of individual contracts favoured by the govt.  AWAs involve
individuals bargaining directly with managers without union involvement.
Unions say that this gives all the power to management & leads to lower
wages & worse conditions. The minister's spokesperson refused to comment.
CPSU national secretary Adrian O'Connell said the reforms, if true, would
damage the integrity of the public service. "If Tony Abbott is fair dinkum
about freedom of choice, he should respect the choices that tens of
thousands of people have already made - that is, to be part of collective
workplace agreements," he said. According to the Herald Sun, Abbott's plans
also include bonuses for workers who sign AWAs, holding back promotions for
those that don't & making AWAs compulsory for all new public servants. The
union is looking at its legal options & thinks at this stage many of
Abbott's proposals may be impossible to carry out under current laws. "As
far as we can ascertain based on information in the media, what the minister
is putting forward runs contrary to the Workplace Relations Act and the
Public Service Act," O'Connell said. While not shedding any light on the
alleged proposals, Abbott's spokesperson didnıt hide the minister's
preference for AWAs, saying theyıre "a beneficial form of employment
contract" offering "flexibilities & choice". "The govt is always keen to
encourage people to sign AWAs," she said. Less than 6% of Cıwealth public
servants are on AWAs & Abbott is currently embroiled in an industrial
dispute in his own dept over plans to force workers off the union agreement.
The low take up of AWA's in the Federal public sector is seen to be an
embarrassment to the govt, which has often lectured the business sector that
it must do more to encourage individual contracts. Abbott's reported plans
resemble former Vict. Premier Jeff Kennett's 1997 crackdown on the public
service in which thousands of public servants were fired. (NSW Labor Council
An asylum seeker was gang raped in an Australian jail & this was ignored by
authorities, who later sent him to the same jail. The 23-year-old Angolan
man had been returned by the Immigration Dept to the same remand centre in
Sydney where he claimed he was raped by 5 prisoners. In a letter written 8
months after the alleged rape, he begged to be removed from Australia
because of fear of other inmates. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission has found the Immigration Dept had breached the human rights of
asylum seekers by putting them in prisons with hardened criminals. The most
serious finding was that the Immigration Dept ignored the rape claims of the
Angolan, listed only as 'Mr AB'. Mr AB had claimed he was raped at
knifepoint at Silverwater in April 1998. He told immigration authorities in
July, but in August was returned to Silverwater where he was held until he
was deported in April 2000. An investigation failed to substantiate the
allegation, but the commissioner said there was enough evidence to believe
his story. In a letter to the Immigration Dept in Feb. 1999, Mr AB said: "I
just want to get away from people who want to put my future in danger here
in an Australian jail." Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock attacked the
commission's "gratuitous advice". (Herald Sun, Nov.15).
Victoria's public hospital system is being further overstretched by the
crisis in nursing homes - on any given day, an average of 614 public
hospital beds are taken up by people waiting for nursing home places.
Hospitals say that waiting lists have gotten longer and surgery has been
delayed as a result. (The Age, Nov. 17).
A political analyst has said that the Labor and Liberal parties are
virtually identical.  Looking at the upcoming Victorian election, Dr David
Hayward of Swinburne University's Institute for Social Research says that
the differences are comparable to the differences between Coke and
Pepsi.(The Age, Nov. 7).
According to a new report by British health professionals, a war against
Iraq could kill half a million people, mostly civilians. 260,000 are likely
to die in the conflict & its immediate aftermath, with a further 200,000
dying later from famine and disease - the US will target bombs on water
systems & other infrastructure to cripple the country and will ensure these
deaths. In the report's worst case scenario, nuclear weapons are fired on
Iraq in response to a chemical or biological attack on Kuwait or Israel,
leaving a massive 3.9 million people dead. (SchNEWS).

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Some other Australian anarchist websites: band interviews etc. Now with
internet radio.
www.angry.at/racists - Anarchist/anti-racist music site with free mp3s, Real
Audio, Real Video, 
www.dolearmy.org - information for unemployed people. www.activate.8m.com -
anarchist magazine aimed at teenagers.

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