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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
For people just tuning in, the idea that people in Brazil would be protesting the 2014 World Cup makes about as much sense as New Yorkers' rebelling against pizza. And yet here we are, less than one month before the start of the Cup, and demonstrations bear the slogan #NãoVaiTerCopa, or "There will be no Cup".
Radical changes to university and TAFE education were announced in the federal budget on May 13. These changes include removing the cap on university fees and changes to welfare payments. People under 25 are no longer eligible for the Newstart allowance. Treasurer Joe Hockey said the theme of the budget was "contribution and building" and "sharing the pain", but it will make it even tougher for struggling families.
Public housing tenants and nearby residents gathered at Debney's Park in Melbourne's inner-west to protest the impact of the East West Link on public housing flats, Debney's Park and the Flemington Community Centre. The protest was organised by local Greens MP Adam Bandt. Yasseen Musa, a leader of the local African community living in the flats, told the protesters: “It took 15 years to get a sports ground, then another 10 years to get two soccer pitches and a pavilion. Now we have a soccer team for the African community.
There is a lot of hype about so-called pain in this budget, and sure, not everyone comes out a winner. But, basically, as long as you are not a young person or an old person, you should be fine. Or a middle-aged person who plans on getting old. Or a public servant. Or a farmer. Or someone who wants to study at university, or who owes money from past study.
The Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, which began on May 12, opened with allegations against former Labor prime minister Julia Gillard. The commission's first day receiving evidence confirmed it is a political show trial. The first person in the witness box was former Australian Workers Union (AWU) official Ralph Blewitt. The “explosive allegation” he made was that Gillard was at home when he paid a builder $7000 for renovations at her Melbourne home from a slush fund.