WL Aus 35

The Barbarian Invasions

Published on: Sun, 01/08/2004 - 00:00

The Barbarian Invasions is an intelligent, curious and complex film which revolves around two emotional and social poles.

Set in Montreal, it explores the last days of a 50-something history lecturer, a civilized and self indulgent womaniser, a self professed "sensual socialist" who is dying of cancer. Directed by Denys Arcand, who made The Decline of the American Empire (1986) and Jesus of Montreal (1989), the film meticulously reveals the life and times of Remy.

This is Remy, who we met in The Decline... Who at first seems oddly resigned to his death perhaps because he expects nobody to care

Sydney forum on Iraq

Published on: Mon, 26/07/2004 - 12:43

Report by Janet Burstall

The Occupation combined with lack of general lack of security in civil society are central problems facing Iraqi women and workers, according to Iraqi speakers at a forum in Sydney on 20 March.
Layla Mohammed (Organisation of Women's Freedom in Iraq) and Jalal Mohamad (Australian representative of the Unemployed Union of Iraq) both argued that the Interim Governing Council (IGC) had been set up by the US based on a view of Iraq as a tribal, ethnic and nationally divided country. Because representation on the IGC is according to these loyalties, disagreements on the IGC

Eyewitness: Iraq's new trade unions

Published on: Mon, 26/07/2004 - 12:38

Ewa Jasiewicz spent eight months in Iraq, mainly in Baghdad and Basra, working for Occupation Watch. She worked with the trade union movement in Basra, especially the Southern Oil Company Union. From Basra she used to post regular reports at the anarchist website infoshop, and via other web resources (for example, Voices in the Wilderness), about workers' struggles in Iraq. Clive Bradley talked to her.
Ewa went to Iraq from Palestine, because while many activists from around the world were working to help the Palestinians, few were supporting Iraqis. It's an impressive degree of commitment,

Australian Socialist Alliance: a balance sheet

Published on: Mon, 26/07/2004 - 12:35

By Riki Lane and Janet Burstall

The Socialist Alliance (SA) began as an electoral alliance in early 2001 and has developed work in other areas, especially trade unions and anti-war campaigning. In local areas specific campaigns have also been taken up. Membership has grown, but the active membership core has not grown in proportion. The Alliance is changing as an organisation too, with a publication program, and organisational structures to include the affiliates and non-aligned members in Alliance decision making.
There are contentious issues here, with the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP)

AWL greetings to Australian Socialist Alliance conference

Published on: Mon, 26/07/2004 - 12:32

The Alliance for Workers' Liberty in Britain sends its best wishes to the Australian Socialist Alliance conference for further progress towards the development of an open, pluralist, multi-tendency socialist party.
In England and Wales that project has had a setback with the effective liquidation of the majority of the Socialist Alliance into the Respect coalition, a narrower, non-socialist, electoralist enterprise built around the dubious personality of George Galloway MP.

We continue, however, to maintain some local Socialist Alliance groups, collaborating with a range of other comrades in

Women's peace march: West Bank and Israel

Published on: Mon, 26/07/2004 - 12:30

By Janet Burstall

Palestinian, Israeli, Jewish and international women marched for peace through Israel and the West Bank in January 2004.

Sydney activist Vivienne Porzsolt from Jews Against the Occupation was the only Australian on the march. She presented a slide show and spoke about the march at a meeting in Sydney on 22 April.
Women's peace march - West Bank and Israel
Vivienne told stories of the obstacles faced by the marchers. Checkpoints operate not only at the borders between the West Bank and Israel. Vivienne had photos of checkpoints all through the West Bank, blocking or delaying

Victorian times under Bracks

Published on: Mon, 26/07/2004 - 12:27

By Bryan Sketchley

If any Victorian trade unionist had an inkling that Bracks and the state ALP would deliver up a half way decent deal for workers, they would, by now be sadly disappointed.
With the current round of enterprise bargaining recently concluded for public servants some unionists have been heard to say that 'at least under Kennett you could expect to get a kicking, and prepare accordingly.' The deal stitched up between CPSU officials and the government has seen pay outcomes that will stay marginally ahead of inflation and a handful of minor improvements in conditions. Every pissant

Boss watch

Published on: Mon, 26/07/2004 - 12:25

By Lynn Smith


Determined to make his point at Coca-Cola's AGM in Wilmington Delaware a few weeks ago, Ray Rogers of New York's "Corporate Campaign" took the microphone.
When chairman and chief executive Doug Daft had had enough of this he told Rogers "you have exceeded your speaking time". Rogers refused to relinquish the mic, security guards moved in and surrounded him, a scuffle began and Rogers fell to the floor.

He was then hustled outside the hotel where 20 other protesters with placards were voicing their anger on the same issue. Spokesperson Jana Silverman

15 years since the Cockatoo Island occupation

Published on: Mon, 26/07/2004 - 12:20

From a speech by Claude Sandaljian at a meeting sponsored by Solidarity, Socialist Democracy and the Workers League on 24 April 2004.

Claude Sandaljian worked as a boilermaker at Cockatoo Island Dockyard (in Sydney Harbour) for 17 years. At the time of the occupation he was the Convenor of the Amalgamated Metal Workers Union (AMWU) and Chairman of the Cockatoo Island Shop Committee, which represented all the workers on the island.

It's very hard to put 14 weeks of industrial struggle into a ten-minute talk, but I'll give a resume.

In 1987 there was a White Paper on defence and the Hawke

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