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Issue No. 246 12 November 2004  

How It Comes To This
There are times when a worker has no real option than to take a stand, no matter the cost. This is the situation confronting NSW’s 15,000 rail workers right now.


Interview: The Reich Stuff
Robert Reich has led the debate on the future of work – both as an academic and politician. Now he’s on his way to Australia to help NSW unions push the envelope.

Economics: Crime and Punishment
Mark Findlay argues that the present psychological approach to prison programs is increasing the likelihood of re-offending and the threat to community safety.

Environment: Beyond The Wedge
Whether the great forestry divide can ever be overcome or whether it is best sidestepped for the sake of unity and sustainability in other areas is up for debate, writes Tara de Boehmler.

International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews show us How To Kill A Country

Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Nick Lewocki from the RTBU lifts the lid on the shonky science behind RailCorp testing

Politics: Labo(u)r Day
John Robertson lets fly at this years Labor Day dinner

Human Rights: Arabian Lights
Tim Brunero reports on how a Sydney sparky took on the Taliban and lived to tell the tale.

History: Labour's Titan
Percy Brookfield was a big man who was at the heart of the trade union struggles that made Broken Hill a quintessential union town writes Neale Towart.

Review: Foxy Fiasco
To find out who is outfoxing who, read Tara de Boehmler's biased review of a subjective documentary about corrupt journalism.

Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
Brothers and sisters! Praise the Lord! Brother George has saved the White House from an invasion by infidels, writes resident bard David Peetz.


 Workers Seize Cat

 Castle Hill Uprising

 Carr Flips on Rail

 Producers Call "Cut"

 Fly Me To … Anywhere

 Saint Buzz: Hymn the Man

 Patricks Attacks Westies

 Cold Comfort for Scientists

 Mothball Bowls Port Hedland

 Boss Rejects AWA

 Asbestos Audit Refused

 Bear Mauls Children

 "Leave or Leave," Telstra

 Activists What's On!


The Locker Room
In Naming Rights Only
Phil Doyle has Gone to Gowings

The Soapbox
Homeland Insecurity
Rowan Cahill tells us how the Howard Government’s appointment of Major-General Duncan Lewis to head up the national security division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has received little critical comment, until now.

The Westie Wing
New proposed legislation in NSW provides a vital window of opportunity for unions to ensure they achieve convictions for workplace deaths, writes Ian West.

 What about the real crooks?
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Activists What's On!

Boycott and Picket the Safari Restaurant

SUPPORT UNPAID SUBCONTRACT BUILDING COMPANIES IN THEIR CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE how can you help? Boycott the Safari Restaurant, Sign our Supporters Petition, Make a donation to the campaign and Picket nightly from 6.15pm - 28 King Street, Newtown.

James Hardie Community Protest

James Hardie gates

Colquhoun Street Rosehill

Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm

Children in immigration detention:

Latest stats, rally next week: 16th November, lunch time

We have 101 children in immigration detention as at 3 November.

This is a disgrace - there are 41 children in Villawood alone, including an unaccompanied girl.

The Iraqi and Afghan children in Nauru have entered their 4th year of incarceration there.

Please come to Canberra on the first sitting day of the new Parliament to lodge your protest.

Details here:

To see some facts and to compare us with the world, check the link:

Our Home - Iraq‚ fundraising cocktail party!

When: 7pm, Thursday November 18

Where: The Roxbury Hotel, 182 St Johns Rd, Glebe

Cost: $30

What: Great live music, delicious cocktail food, drink on arrival, raffles, games, great prizes, project info, farewell Donna before she leaves, and the chance to help a good cause!

RSVP: Christian 02-9818 8422 Payment by cheque/money order including contact details to:

Our Home - Iraq C/- Senator Aiden Ridgeway P.O Box 278 Rozelle, NSW, 2039

Our Home - Iraq is a grassroots aid group working on the ground in Iraq alongside Iraqi people. Its aim is to improve conditions for disadvantaged children in Iraq and provide opportunities for them to heal from trauma and reach their full potential. Australian woman, Donna Mulhearn, will return to Iraq in November to continue this work.


Sydney 20/11 & Brisbane 23/11

Community organising methods aim to build power in communities by facilitating effective grassroots democratic participation. The method has been hugely successful in the USA and the UK, building massive networks of active and informed communities. Building strong and effective networks within and across our communities is crucial to respond to an increasingly conservative political situation. Following recent changes to the Senate and opportunities for electoral influence, community organising offers strategies to revitalise participatory democracy. Wenonah Hauter is visiting Australia from the US this November. Wenonah is Director of Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy Project and has extensive experience as an activist, community organiser and movement builder, campaigning on issues including food irradiation, sustainable energy and the privatisation of water. Join Wenonah for a half-day skillshare to gain inspiration, build networks and exchange ideas and resources. The day is a great opportunity to hear about Public Citizen's advocacy work and relate US experiences to community organising opportunities and strategies in Australia. The skillshare will be highly informal and interactive.

Sydney @ UTS Tower Building, Rm 2.4.29

Saturday November 20th, 9.30am-12noon

[online map]

details & rsvp - [email protected]

Facilitators (Sydney) Glen Klatovsky: Campaign Director, Worldwide Fund for Nature and Carolin Wenzel: Communications Officer, Greenpeace Australia Pacific

Brisbane @ Brisbane Powerhouse, Mezzamine Rm, Level 1

Tuesday November 23rd, 9.30am-12noon

details & rsvp - [email protected]

Public Meeting: Food Irradiation/b>

You need to know what is happening to the food you eat!

The European Union has imposed a moratorium of further food irradiation approvals, but the Australian Government is content to ignore the growing body of evidence pointing to the severe health and environmental impacts. Herbs, spices, herbal teas and tropical fruits can now be irradiated under Australian and NZ food guidelines. Irradiated foods may also be entering our food chain indirectly from irradiated grain fed to animals grown for meat and beehives.

The labelling laws are weak, with many escaping classification.

Come and find out about the problems with food irradiation and support the growing campaign.

When: 2pm-4pm, Saturday 20th November 2004

]Where: Room 2.4.29, Tower Building, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Broadway (diagonally opposite Central Station).

Speaker: Wenonah Hauter Consumer Advocate, food irradiation expert, and organic farmerDirector, Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program Public Citizen, Washington D.C., USA

Women in International Security Department of Defence Briefing

Monday 22nd November, 5.30-6.30pm including question time, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NSW Office Level 10 Angel Place 123 Pitt Street, Sydney, 'Women in International Security (Australia)' invite you to a Department of Defence Briefing Two senior women within the Australian Department of Defence will share their experiences from recent assignments in East Timor and Iraq. Speakers: Jacinta Carroll - Director Europe, Middle East and Rest of the World Major Powers and Global Interests Branch, International Policy Division Sari Sutton - Acting Director, South-West Pacific, International Policy Division Guests arrive - 5.15pm.

WIISA event - RSVP - Free Admission.

Politics In The Pub

Friday Nov 26th 6-8pm, Politics in the Pub, Gaelic Club, Surry Hills,

"Aceh & West Papua" with Dr Nurdin Rahman and John Martinkus.

150th Anniversary of Eureka Rebellion 2004

On Sunday 28th November Sydney will celebrate Eureka Stockade with a forum and concert at the NSW Writers' Centre in Rozelle.

The day will start with a morning forum on the significance of Eureka with two guest speakers. One will be Dr Anne Beggs Sunter, Ballarat authority on the history of the Victorian goldfields and the Eureka Stockade. The other is Sydney historian Bob Walshe. Bob was secretary of the 1954 Sydney centenary celebration of Eureka and has been promoting the importance of Eureka in Australian history since that time.

In the afternoon there will be a Eureka150 concert based on historical and contemporary themes of Eureka. It will feature well-known artists including Lyn Collingwood, Alex Hood, Carole Skinner and John Dengate They will be backed by New Theatre and the voices of the Sydney Trade Union Choir.

The $10 charge for the day includes morning tea and a sausage sizzle lunch.

For further information contact

Bob Walshe - 9528 0444; fax 9528 4445

Paula Bloch - 9665 0559; Email [email protected]

In Victoria The VTHC are organising celebrations. They are as follows:

Saturday 27th November: State Government major event in Federation Square:

Afternoon Family Day

Monday 29th November: Union Commemoration Event Flag raising - Federation Square or Lygon Street at 2.00pm. Simultaneous flag raising at Bakery Hill Ballarat and Latrobe Valley. Win TV to broadcast. VTHC Choir

Thursday 2nd December: 6.00pm: Unions have a presence in Eureka Compound

7.30pm VTHC, NSW & QLD Trade Union Choirs 8.30pm 'A Night Under the Southern Cross'. Story Telling and songs with Richard Franklin, Shayne Howard, Dennis Court

Friday 3rd December (Eureka Day): Dawn Ceremony at Eureka Compound

(Community and unions), followed by Community Breakfast. 9.00am Union Train from Melbourne. 10.30am Ballarat Building Unions Picnic. 8.00pm Danny Spooner

- History of Eureka at Ballarat Trades Hall.

Saturday 4th December: 2.00pm Eureka Diggers March. It is proposed that a bus will leave Carlton at aprox 10.00am, and leaving Ballarat at 4.00pm.

Sunday 5th December: 12 noon: Eureka Memorial Committee Dinner at Ballarat.

For more information:


Sat Dec 4th, 9am-1pm, UTS Broadway,Achehnese Community of Australia (ACA) seminar on human rights abuses in Aceh. Speakers include Ed Aspinall,

Justice John Dowd, etc. Contact Vacy (02)9949-3553. .

Films, Politics and Learning Conference

Organization: OVAL Research, Faculty of Education, University of Technology 6 & 7 Dec These nights aim:

- To bring together radical film-makers, radical film buffs, and radical educators.

- To inspire educators about ways they can use film in their work.

- To inspire film-makers about ways they might facilitate learning about politics.

- To foster discussion and advocacy about this field of practice.

We are seeking videos and films under 2 categories:

1. Agitprop: protest, guerrilla, activist, political, subversive short films /videos.

2. Participatory film-making: community films/videos as social intervention. The only format accepted is DVD.

Send copies with entry form to Celina McEwen, The Centre for Popular Education, UTS, PO Box 123, BROADWAY NSW 2007 AUSTRALIA. Deadline for entries is September 30, 2004. Entry forms can be downloaded from

For further information email Celina on (02) 9514 3847 or [email protected]


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