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Year End 2006   

Interview: The Terminator
Unions NSW secretary John Robertson looks back on the highs and lows of a year when the battle lines were drawn.

Industrial: Vive La Resistance
Jim Marr glances back through a year of news and discovers plenty of reason for optimism�

Unions: Breaking News
The web offered new ways of covering unions issues. Here�s ten ways Workers Online tried to do things differently.

History: Seven Deadly Sins
Looking back on our annual year-ender editorials gives a nice overview of the journey we have taken.

Economics: Back to the Future
Political economist Frank Stilwell looks back at a year that saw the passing of the drivers of two strains of economic thought.

Politics: Organising and Organisations
Organising for unionists can mean overcoming the �union�. The �rolling of the right� by the BLF rank and file shows the power of workers united to defeat the power of bosses and certain union bosses.

International: Web Retrospective
Unions and the web � What's changed in the last seven years? The short answer is � everything and nothing, wrties Eric Lee

Review: Shock Therapy
Unreconstructed Kazakhi journalist Borat is unleashed on the �US and A� offending everyone � except the bigots.


The Future
So Where to Now?
Amanda Tattersall outlines her plans for Working NSW and the challenge of connecting research, communications and campaigning.

Gone But Not Forgotten
Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (1915-2006). His memory is still being honoured, writes Jim Marr

The Westie Wing
Our favourite politician bids adieu and hangs up his chestnuts.


The End
In vintage Workers Online fashion we have detected a minor, but telling, factual error in last week�s missive/suicide note. It�s not a seven year itch � this is, in fact, the end of an eight year project.


 High Flyers Go For Gold

 Hospital Staff Prescribe Radical Surgery

 Holland Goes Dutch on Safety

 New Thinking to Transport Sydney

 Check Mate - Track Your Personal Info

 WorkChoices on a Trolley

 See No Evil, OEA

 Feltex Carpets PM's Fibs

 Workers Blood on the Walls

 Lift For Unfair Dismissal Campaign

 No Discrimination on Choice

 Vanstone Opens New Meat Market

 Activists' Notebook

 Hit For Six
 Kind Words
 Sorely Missed
 All the Best
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Gone But Not Forgotten

Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (1915-2006). His memory is still being honoured, writes Jim Marr

On December 10 dictator and thug, Augusto Pinochet, died in his home town of Valpraiso, aged 91.

That Pinochet lived so long, in luxury, after a rule that was brutal, even by Latin American standards of the day, was little surprise.

After all, the Chilean strongman was "our" murderer, torturer and terrorist, not "theirs".

Pinochet came to power in Santiago after elected president Salvador Allende, was murdered in a CIA-sponsored coup on September 11, 1973.

His military junta ruled the country, traditionally one of South America's most liberal with a long parliamentary tradition, for 17 years.

Under his regime, trade unions were closed down, political parties banned and opponents were tortured and killed at purpose-built facilities.

Even Catholic nuns were fair game for Pinochet's henchmen.

Chile's current president, Michelle Bachelet, was one of many women tortured in his prisons. Her father, Alberto, died in another.

Football stadiums and naval ships were transformed into detention centres and torture chamers.

Evidence suggests that, in an effort to cover their crimes, Pinochet's men would fly the bodies of their victims well off the coast, by military helicopter, and drop them in the ocean.

These people became known as the "disappeared" because their families never learned of their fates.

As Pinochet grew more bold, he took the campaign offshore, blowing up former Allende supporters in foreign cities, including Washington DC.

Official investigations put the number of murdered opponents at more than 3000, with many more tortured.

Pinochet had the support of powerful backers, including Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

They liked his hard right economic agenda that transferred wealth from the people to big business.

Pinochet was the world's first leader to embrace the Chicago school of economics that now holds sway in much of the west.

Without any opposition to take the hard edges off the dogma he went for broke and so did Chile. After a decade of no-holds-barred economic rationalism, industry was decimated and official unemployment topped 30 percent.

When then US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, met Pinochet in 1976, according to documents released 13 years later, he told the despot to ignore his critics.

"We wish your government well," the State Department papers record him as saying.

Going even further, Baroness Thatcher publicly thanked the General "for bringing democracy to Chile".

But Pinochet's economic experiments weren't confined to the macro sphere. A 2005 US Senate investigation revealed he had opened and closed more than 120 personal accounts at nine separate US banks, through which $US28 million had passed.

The dictator expired with more than 300 criminal cases pending against him, including one for multiple murders and torture at the notorious Villa Grimaldi.

And, if that were that, it would turn the page on another bleak chapter in human history. But it's not.

As Pinochet breathed his last, on International Human Rights Day, 2006, reports indicated the War on Terror had given state-sponsored torture a new lease on life.

One came in the form of video footage released by lawyers for Jose Padilla, a US citizen being held, without trial, on suspicion of terrorism.

Padilla has spent three years under a regime of total sensory deprivation. He has been kept in a blacked out cell, unable to see or hear anything beyond its confines.

According to a forensic psychiatrist who examined him, it has cost him his mind.

Video footage showed him visiting the prison dentist, blindfolded by blackout goggles, and hearing shut off by headphones.

Meanwhile, the US-based Detainee Abuse and Accountability Project, has documented more than 400 cases of torture or killings at military prisons in Afghanistan, Cuba and Iraq.

The New York Times and Washington Post both report torture at Bagram Airbase, where sleep deprivation, stress positions, sexual assault, black hoods and spray painted googles are listed among the tools of preference.

And a British monitoring group, Cageprisoners, claims that 14,000 people, of many nationalities, have been 'disappeared' into hell holes across the globe since the US tasted its own September 11.

They enter a world where the rules do not apply.

Augusto Pinochet is gone but the world can't afford to forget him while his spirit is being honoured - in our names.


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