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 Abbott government's proposed $7 co-payment for visits to the doctor, and for other medical services, will effectively destroy Medicare as a universal, bulk-billed health service for the community," Erima Dall, spokesperson for the Sydney Save Medicare Committee said on May 14. "The government is also opening the way for the states to charge an up-front fee for previously free treatment at public hospitals, in the expectation that people will be forced to turn to the emergency departments because of the GP co-payment.
Unions have slammed many aspects of the Coalition budget, released on May 13. Below, leaders of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Community and Public Sector Union respond. *** GED KEARNEY, PRESIDENT OF THE AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF TRADE UNIONS "The Abbott government's assault on welfare, Medicare, education and the public sector represents the end of the fair go and the biggest attack on the social wage this country has ever seen.
On May 13, at 3pm, Turkey witnessed one of the biggest workplace murders in its history. After a huge explosion, more than 700 mine workers were trapped in Soma Coal, a private lignite mine in Soma, in the western province of Manisa. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has tried to minimise the death toll, while deploying hundreds of soldiers and police officers to the town and the miners’ village of Eynes to head off possible unrest.
Violence broke out in the mining town of Soma on May 14 when embattled Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan made an emergency visit after a huge explosion at nearby mines. Erdogan’s attempted speech was met with shouts of “murderer” and rock throwing as police plucked people out of the crowd in an effort to maintain order. In the capital, Ankara, police fired tear gas at up to 800 protesters, who hurled stones and petrol bombs back and shouted anti-government slogans as they tried to march to the energy ministry.
One L-FRESH The LION Vienna People Recordings Released May 9, 2014 www.l-fresh.com Rapper L-FRESH The LION is as well known for his activism as he is for his music. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to the Sydney-raised Sikh about his newly released debut album, One. * * *
Tens of thousands of students protested in Chile on May 8. It was the first march demanding education reform since President Michelle Bachelet took power on promises of deep changes. Marchers passed through the streets of central Santiago towards the La Moneda presidential palace. The mostly peaceful protest that turned violent at the end as hooded rioters clashed with police, throwing rocks and petrol bombs. About 1800 police officers flanked the march that student leaders estimated at 100,000-strong, but police said was closer to 40,000.
A high stakes game in the north of Ireland’s unfinished peace process played out before the world’s media last week, writes Irish Republican News. But almost 20 years after the Provisional IRA’s ceasefire in its armed struggle against British occupation of the six counties in Ireland's north, the shock detention of Gerry Adams on allegations of past IRA activity on April 30 ended in a dramatic triumph for the Sinn Fein leader.
More than 270 female secondary students were kidnapped on April 14 as they sat matriculation exams in the north-east Nigerian town of Chibok. The kidnappers were members of a religious cult that calls itself Jama‘at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da‘wa wal-Jihad — Arabic for Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad. The group is more commonly known by its Hausa nickname, Boko Haram, which translate — very loosely — as “Western education is filthy”, although this is not a name that the group itself uses.