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Issue No. 166 14 February 2003  
E D I T O R I A L

A Call To Arms
Workers Online returns from our summer break to face a world on the brink, the structures of global cooperation being crushed by the iron will of the earth’s last remaining superpower.

F E A T U R E S

Interview: Agenda 2003
ACTU secretary Greg Combet looks at the year ahead and how a union movement can keep the focus on the workplace at a time of global crisis.

Peace: The Colour Purple
Local communities across Australia are taking stands against war by displaying purple banners. Jim Marr visits one.

Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
As Workers Online took its annual break, the world kept turning – at an increasingly alarming velocity.

Solidarity: Workers Against War
Joann Wypijewski reports on how union locals in the USA are fighting the hounds of war at home.

Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
With all the talk of terror, the Howard Government’s Achilles heel is its tolerance of Flags of Convenience shipping , writes Rowan Cahill

International: Industrial Warfare
Scottish freight train drivers have already acted to disrupt the war effort in the UK with crews of four freight trains carrying war supplies to ports walking off the job, writes Andrew Casey

History: Unions and the Vietnam War
The Vietnam experience steered some unions towards social activism for the first time. Unions are today key players in the anti-war movement, writes Tony Duras.

Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Mark Hebblewhites looks at two summer movies that tap into different sounds of American culture - white boy rap and motown blues.

Poetry: Return To Sender
Resident bard Divd Peetz discovers that Elvis has become the latest shock recruit to the peace cause.

Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
CIA Director George Tenet announced today that the agency has begun recruiting future enemies for the year 2014.

N E W S

 The Cuffe Link – Taxpayers Cough Up

 Carr: Secret Lib Plan to Slash Public Sector

 Abbott Comes Out Swinging

 Thanks a Million: Cole’s Lawyers Clean-up

 Corrigan Dogs On Jobs Promise

 Gnomes Fess Up – Unionism Best For All

 Owens Survives 30-Year Ban

 Ribs and Rumps Something for Government to Chew On

 Badges of Honour

 Guards Rail Against Assaults

 Workers Online Scoops Global Prize

 Currawong Must Pay It’s Way

 Let’s Get Real! 2nd Australasian Organising Conference

 Guard Knocked Out in Villawood Escape

 Activists Notebook

C O L U M N S

The Soapbox
Getting On with The Job
Premier Bob Carr chose Trades Hall as the venue to launch Labor's IR policy for the upcoming state election.

Postcard
Justice in Bogota
Sydney lawyer Ian Latham knows how to pick them. He’s gone straight from the Cole Royal Commission to justice Colombian-style.

The Locker Room
Heart Of Darkness
There is a school of thought that there is, in fact, only one World Cup - and it doesn’t involve cricket, writes Phil Doyle.

Politics
Danger Mouse
John Howard's politics have trapped him into supporting an unpopular war. He is in political trouble, Leonie Bronstein argues.

L E T T E R S
 Bouquets and Brickbats
 War Talk
 A Tale of Two Malls
 Talk Back Tom
 On The Beach
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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Letters to the Editor

War Talk


Dear Workers Online

The war on Iraq presents opportunities for the labour movement - both its political representatives and the industrial wing.

Howard is vulnerable.

The question is whether the Left understands the situtation and takes the opportunity presented to take on and beat Howard.

The ALP's response - to accept a war on Iraq if it has UN support - could backfire.

This is because the UN Security Council could give Bush what he wants. At a minimum whatever comes out of the UN will be ambigoous and give Bush and his allies enough wriggle room to invade Iraq.

Crean will then possibly support the invasion. This could see some leave the ALP (including MPs).

The Greens are no solution for the Left because they have no class analysis of society.

But one group in society does have the power to shift the whole debate to the Left.

During the Vietnam war some unions and workers adopted the slogan stop work to stop the war.

That lesson applies today. Australian workers can stop Australian participation in this immoral slaughter.

Stopping work heightens the class antogonisms.If we are resolute enough we can cut off the flow of profis to the bosses and as a consequence force the Government to stop its support for this imperialist adventure in Iraq.

Stopping work to stop the war also makes sense as part of a strategy to revitalise the union movement. The majority of Australians oppose in some form Australian involvement in teh war on Iraq. Thirty per cent oppose any attack, even if it is sanctioned by George Bush's UN. With solid trade union oppositon, that base could grow even more.

Further, twenty years of economic rationalism have produced an underlying working class anger that is looking for an outlet. Mobilising workers against the war has the potential to generate a more generalised response to globalisation and improve workers living standards.

John Passant

Kambah ACT

****************

: Writing to Howard is not not the best approach. As Australians we should be writing to the Governor General also, demanding a referendum or the dismissal of the Howard government. The government is responsible to the people, we can sack a government who does follow the wishes of the people in two ways.

Firstly by writing to our own MP and demanding he or she resigns or by writing to the Governor General and asking him to act on our behalf.

The Governor General does have the power to dismiss the Howard government if it is acting dictatorially. Howard is acting on his own even members of his own party are not listened to. Bush is now running Australia through Howard do your duty for Australia and demand that we are the bosses not Bush.

Copy and paste the following to [email protected] put your name and address on;

Govenor General, Mr Howard and his government are acting against the wishes of the Australian people in going to war against Iraq. I ask that a referendum be held on the issue or Mr Howards goverment be dissmissed before our troups are sent into action.

Arthur Kent


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