A military coup is developing on May 20 in Thailand. The military has stepped in to declare martial law to “restore peace and order while denying it is a coup. The country’s Constitutional Court had already dismissed the elected government of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra on May 7. It came after months of violent right-wing protests including sabotage of elections aimed to resolve the country’s political crisis.
This year's May Day rally in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur was the biggest in the country since independence in 1957. Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle spoke to S. Arutchelvan (Arul), the secretary general of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) and a spokesperson for the May 1 Committee.
A political crisis over the future of Ukraine has exploded in the past three months. Its catalyst has been the longstanding efforts of big imperialist countries to assert economic and military domination over the republics of the former Soviet Union, and to weaken and marginalise rival Russia. This takes the form of collaboration with a compliant local elite to impose capitalist austerity and bring the country under the military umbrella of the NATO military alliance.
A recent spate of high-profile campaigns against industrial projects based on extracting raw materials has opened up an important new dynamic within the broad processes of change sweeping South America. Understanding their nature and significance is crucial to grasping the complexities involved in bringing about social change and how best to build solidarity with peoples’ struggles. Many of the campaigns target that specific mining, oil, agribusiness or logging ventures share common elements.
Climate change driving extreme weather: report Last year again demonstrated the dramatic impact of droughts, heat waves, floods and tropical cyclones on people and property in all parts of the planet, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Annual Statement on the Status of the Climate.
No sooner had the final results of South Africa's May 7 national elections been announced than President Jacob Zuma gave a predictably self-congratulatory speech lauding the result as “the will of all the people”. The reality however is that the incumbent African National Congress’ (ANC) victory came from a distinct minority of “the people”. The real “winner”, as has been the case since the 2004 poll, was the stay-away “vote”.
Tens of thousands marched against Abbott government in six cities around Australia on May 18. The march in Sydney was bigger than the March In March demonstration. Peter Boyle, who took the photos below, estimates it was about 15,000-strong. He said: "It stretched more than two and half times the distance between Central Station and Victoria Park (where it ended). The recent horror budget angered many and the crowd overwhelmingly demanded that the opposition parties block the budget in the Senate -- where they have the numbers until July."
Tens of thousands marched against Abbott government in six cities around Australia on May 18. In Perth, Alex Bainbridge reports more than 2000 people took part. The photos below are by Bainbridge. See photos of the Sydney March in May and the Melbourne "Bust the budget' protest.
Tens of thousands marched against Abbott government in six cities around Australia on May 18. Despite having been called only four days before, thousands took to the streets in Melbourne to take part in the 'Bust the budget' march. The photos below are by Ali Bakhtiarvandi and Tony Iltis. See also photos from the Sydney and Perth March in May demonstrations. Photos by Ali Bakhtiarvandi:
The call for “$15 and a union” went up again across the United States on May 15, with a new — and bigger — group of allies. As striking fast food workers hit picket lines across the US to demand a US$15 minimum wage and the right to organise, fast food workers and supporters rallied in 30 other counties. Italian fast food workers also went on strike on May 16. Fast food workers went on strike in 130 US cities — some for the first time. Some stores were unable to open until managers could be called in to work the abandoned tills and fryers.
The day after the horrific May 14 mine tragedy in Soma in Turkey, people gathered in Union Square in New York to show support to the miners and condemn the conditions the workers faced.
The NSW government's suspension of Metgasco's licence at Bentley in the Northern Rivers of NSW has lifted spirits across Australia. For years, communities have been battling the bipartisan support for the unconventional gas industry's advance into prime agricultural land in NSW. The licence has been only suspended, not cancelled. Yet the decision is a vindication that people power — sustained mass community campaigning — can be a powerful force. Curiously, NSW energy minister Anthony Roberts said the licence suspension was because Metgasgo had failed to consult the community.
The NSW government has suspended Metgasco’s licence to drill for gas at Bentley, near Lismore. Energy minister Anthony Roberts said on May 15: “The Office of Coal Seam Gas made the suspension on the grounds that Metgasco did not fulfil a condition of its exploration licence, namely to undertake genuine and effective consultation with the community as required.”
Joyce Stevens was born on January 6, 1928 and was 87 when she died on May 6. She was the third child in a family of four children, with two older brothers and a younger sister, Lorna, who survives her. Her father was a railway fettler and her mother had been a nurse. The family lived in country NSW and Joyce enjoyed some of the pleasures and freedoms of country children. She moved to Sydney with her mother and two of her siblings when she was 14.
An international March Against Monsanto is scheduled for May 24. Hundreds of events around the world have already been scheduled to protest against the world's biggest agricultural biotechnology company. Like all capitalist monopolies, Monsanto got to where it is today by being ruthless. There are other big biotech companies with shocking records of disregarding people and planet in pursuit of profit — such as DuPont, Bayer and Dow Chemical — but Monsanto's record is so notorious, it warrants its own special international protest day.
The private media and important actors both at home and abroad, including Washington, have downplayed, and in some cases completely ignored, the terrorist actions perpetrated against the Venezuelan government over the past three months. Among the latest examples that have gone underreported abroad is the assassination in late April of Eliezer Otaiza, a historic leader of the Chavista movement and president of the Caracas city council.