College football star Michael Sam has made history as the United States' National Football League’s first openly gay player, Democracy Now! said on May 12. The St Louis Rams picked Sam in the final round of the NFL draft, months after he publicly came out. Sam was a first-team, All-American and the Southeastern Conference’s defensive player for the year as a lineman for the University of Missouri. Sam broke into tears as he took the call informing him of his draft selection. The sports network ESPN showed footage of him kissing his boyfriend in celebration.
The Wilderness Society released the statement below on May 5. *** An Environmental Protection Authority report says gas company Santos can’t fully clean up the uranium contamination of an aquifer in the Pilliga Forest in north-west NSW, saying that attempts to recover the polluted water were “impractical”.
After a few years in the making, Partizan Travel has finally been launched. It is a social enterprise that provides progressive-minded people across the world the chance to visit various countries in a different, authentic way. Visitors will learn about those nations by meeting grassroots activists and hearing about the history and reality of their struggles. They will take part in political events, enjoy local culture and traditional food.
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.
"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.
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.