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Issue No. 222 28 May 2004  

The New Radicals
Many of us lament the fact the Labor Party has little these days to do with labour; some even whimsically remember how the Liberals were once liberal; but evolving world events are now putting a lie to that most enduring of political labels ‘the conservative’.


Interview: Machine Man
It’s regarded as the most powerful job in the Party, but new NSW ALP general secretary Mark Arbib wants to build a bridge with the union movement.

Unions: Testing Times
Unions are not opposed to drug and alcohol testing, but they do want to see real safety issues addressed, writes Phil Doyle.

Bad Boss: Freespirit Haunts Internet
FreeSpirit forked out a motza for a whiz bang internet presence then disappeared right off the radar – once it was nominated as our Bad Boss for May.

Unions: Badge of Honour
Surry Hills is home to one of the world’s finest displays of union badges thanks to Bill "The Bear" Pirie and a supporting cast headed by Joe Strummer, Mark Knopfler, George Benson, Annie Lennox and other seriously big noises.

National Focus: Noel's World
Shrill bosses bleat over minimum wage rise, union spinmeisters congregate in Melbourne and Tassie’s nurses take the baton from their mob in Victoria reports Noel Hester in this national round up.

Economics: Safe Refuge
A humanitarian approach to refugees and an economically rational one?? I’d like to see that. Frank Stilwell did, when he went to Young in NSW to look into the impact of the Afghan refugees on temporary protection visas who came to work for the local abattoir

International: Global Abuse
Amnesty International have joined the chorus against the violation of trade union rights in the former Soviet republic of Belarus.

History: The Honeypot
To the Honeypot come those individuals anxious to get their hands on instant wealth. So it was in the early days of Broken Hill, wrties Grace Hawes in this homage to the mining town.

Review: Death And The Barbarians
This new take on coming of age films focuses on the coming of death and the dignity and maturity it can inspire among those touched by it - though not always easily in the overcrowded Canadian public health system, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers some of the unfolding mysteries of talk back radio.


 Why Cole is a Merry Old Soul

 Fight Breaks Out of Schoolyard

 Child Care for a Song

 "Back Off" Call To Death Inquiry

 Carr No Mussolini

 Sweet Box-all for Ballot Bureaucrats

 Unions Fire Up

 Beattie Papers Over Stink

 Glue Bullies Come Unstuck

 Johnnie Tugs the Rug

 Bank Jobs Under Spotlight

 Federal Muzzle for Shareholders

 Unions Earn $19 For Low Paid

 Fashionistas Go Fair

 Activists What’s On!


The Soapbox
Rethinking Left and Right Part 1
Dr David McKnight, from the University of Technology, Sydney presents a new frame for looking at the competing ideas within Social Democracy.

The Soapbox
Rethinking Left and Right Part 2
David McKnight concludes the paper he presented to the ‘Rethinking Social Democracy’ conference, in London, April 15-17, 2004.

Out On A Limb
Phil Doyle becomes the first Australian journalist to state that the Olympics will be called off.

The Westie Wing
In the latest episode, Ian West explores what Disraeli called "Lies, damn lies and statistics".

Message from America
Searing snapshots from a landscape of uncertainty have plunged the Bush Administration into deeper crisis, writes WorkingForChange's Bill Berkowitz.

 Howard The Chucker
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Activists What’s On!

Alternative Voice

Workers Radio every Wednesday from 5pm on 88.5FM 2RRR.

Your Alternative News and Information Radio!

Featuring: Current Affairs - Union Campaigns - What's Happening in Politics - Events and Actions - Views and Breaking News - Music


Jagath 0419 404 997 Monica 0400 055 081 John 0418 839 026 Martin 0409 911 127

Pig On a Spit - Safari Picket

The famous CFMEU safari restaurant picket is now a nightly picket!

The CFMEU are conducting a picket of the Safari restaurant to get the owners to pay entitlements owed to workers (the owners are also builders). The Safari restaurant is in King Street Newtown. Picket is nightly (and every night until they pay up!). From 6pm. All welcome.

Donna Mulhearn - Iraq activist in Sydney

For those in Sydney: I'd like to invite you to a fundraising event to held on Sunday night in Balmain for "Our Home - Iraq".

There'll be live music, food and dancing - so it should be a great night for a good cause!

I'll be there to give a report on the projects, Ra'id will give an Iraqi perspective and there'll be lots of pictures!

The details are:

'Our Home - Iraq' fundraiser

Sunday 30th May, 6-10pm at the Exchange Hotel, Cnr

Beattie & Mullens St, Balmain.

Two bands playing : "Portrait "& "Phoenyx & Scott."

Fingerfood provided (snacks not full dinner) & drinks

at the bar. $25 per head. Replies (preferably before

the night) to Tonia Norton 98682501 or 0417696830.

So please come along and say "G'day".

Redfern at the Block - Open Day

Whanau Iwi Inc invites you to attend an open day at "the block' in Redfern (between Everleigh Street and Louis street) on Sunday May 30 - 10am to 5pm.





Face painting


Kapa Haka


Powhiri and Karakia starts at 10.00am sharp

This will be an alcohol and drug free open day.


Oxfam/Community Aid Abroad will be holding the Sydney launch of its labour rights campaign on Tuesday 1st June between 11am and 1pm in Martin Place near the Ampitheatre.

This international campaign is focussing on the working conditions of garment workers in the sportswear industry. Oxfam/CAA want to convince the Australian Olympic Committee and leading sportswear brands to ensure that all uniforms worn by Australian athletes and officials at this year's Olympics are made under fair working conditions.

For more information please contact Oxfam/CAA on 02 8204 3900 or at [email protected]

Labor for Refugees meeting with Carmen Lawrence

Date: Friday 4 June 2004 Time: 5.30 - 7pm.

Place: Meredith Burgmann's Office President's Dining Room Parliament House Sydney Aim: Debriefing after ALP National Conference Please advise [email protected] if you wish to attend so that we can organise numbers for the alcohol and nibbles which will be supplied.


7.30pm Wednesday June 9 at the Hutley Hall, North Sydney Council

$10 entry payable at the door

Involvement with the Iraq war is providing alarming insights into the wobbly health of the Australian democracy. The government is habitually dishonest, the public service is increasingly politicised, whistleblowers are vilified personally and the mainstream media is often reluctant to do what it can to turn events around.

Andrew Wilkie will explore all of these issues with the benefit of first-hand observations gathered as a true government insider ˆ until his resignation on principle a year ago.


Is Australian Democracy Working for Women?

The Women's Electoral Lobby (WEL) are holding their national conference in Sydney on the 12th and 13th June. Sessions will cover

* legislation as a way to protect women's rights

* measuring the quality of women's lives

* creating a culture for work and family reform

* what women want

Speakers include Elain Thompson, Pru Goward, Reg Graycar, Eva Cox and Mary Crooks

To register and for further information contact WEL on 9212 4374 or logon to the website at

Popular Education Activism & Organising

Education is a key to developing activists and active members of organisations. The new activist educator is an organiser, teacher, consultant and theorist. What methods are being used today to equip activists to build social movements? Does activist education reflect a democratic agenda or is it largely instrumental? How do we know if educational practices are working? Are new theories of learning be utilised? This is the second of a three forum series looking at different education, organising and activist strategies being used by movements and organizations pursuing social justice and change agendas. Union activists, environmental campaigners, community advocates, educators and grassroots campaigners are participating in the forums. The forum will actively engage participants in discussing and analysing different experiences. Case Studies Date: Friday, 18 June 2004 Time: 9am - 1.30pm Location: Centre for Popular Education University of Technology, Sydney Jones St, Broadway (Old Fairfax Building) FEES - $30 for one forum; $50 for two forums For further details contact Lee Malone (02) 9514 3861, Daniel Ng (02) 9514 3843 or Tony Brown (02) 9514 3866 email: [email protected] For updates go the Centre for Popular Education website


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