In a speech to the nation on September 2, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced “five revolutions”, as part of a campaign to “improve our service to the people”, Venezuela Analysis said on September 3. Maduro said the revolutions would be a “a new way of functioning” for the government. The five revolutions “should be united, and should define the government policies, giving power to the people, it will be the people who push government policy”.
Israel has barred 13 European Parliament MPs from visiting Gaza during a four-day fact-finding visit to Palestine and Israel that started on September 4. The MEPs were from European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group in the European parliament. They met members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament), as well as activists from both Palestinian and Israeli human rights and peace groups.
In November 2006, leftist candidate Rafael Correa won the second round of the Ecuadorian presidential election with 57% of the vote, compare with his conservative opponent, Alvaro Noboa, who won 43%. Despite the US’s failure to undermine Correa’s candidacy, as shown by diplomatic cables published by WIkiLeaks, further US cables suggest the US Embassy in Quito believed it could hold sway over the new government.
New Zealand goes to the polls on September 20. Amid a big scandal of government “dirty tricks”, the Mana Movement is pushing the interests of the working-class and Maori communities. Mana was formed when firebrand Maori Party MP Hone Harawira split over the Maori Party's support for a right-wing National Party government in 2011. It brings together militant Maori activists with other working-class and left forces.
“Paddy wagon’s on its way,” announced a Chicago Police tactical officer over his radio early on the morning of September 4. Shortly after, a crowd of about 300 demonstrators ― including more than 100 striking fast food workers ― began chanting “Take the street!” and proceeded to do just that. Marching between a McDonald’s on one side and a Burger King on the other, the crowd blocked 87th street traffic on Chicago’s south side for about 20 minutes.
Indonesian authorities are pushing for two French journalists arrested in West Papua to face trial and up to 20 years jail. Valentine Bourrat and Thomas Dandois, journalists working for French media company Arte TV, were in West Papua filming a documentary about human rights. They were arrested in Wamena on August 6. Indigenous leader Areki Wanimbo, who was interviewed by them, was also arrested.
The Sydney Refugee Action Coalition released the statement below on September 10. *** Refugee advocates have rejected immigration minister Scott Morrison’s latest push to introduce temporary protection visas. “The Minister is holding asylum seeker children hostage to the introduction of temporary protection visas,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. "We are calling on all parliamentarians to reject the minister’s blackmail attempt and vote against the reintroduction of TPVs.
Nauru detention camps’ water reserves are close to running dry, leaked emails showed on September 10. A Transfield operations manager wrote in an email: “We are currently nearly out of water … Due to recent outages at the DIBP RO [immigration department reverse osmosis facility] we have not been able to build up stock so have been slowly going backwards.”
While Prime Minister Tony Abbott sealed a deal in New Delhi to export uranium to India, the Queensland government granted six mining development leases to two companies on September 5. No uranium has been mined in Queensland since 1982 and has been banned since 1989. However in October 2012 the QLD government lifted the mining ban. Summit Resources was granted four of the mining development leases and Fusion resources were granted two. The leases cover areas near Mount Isa and are the latest stage in Premier Campbell Newman’s plan for the uranium industry.
A small but growing group of workers in Sydney has been turning the tables on exploitative employers who have cheated staff out of minimum entitlements. Organised in the Sydney Solidarity Network (SydSol), workers have been using direct action to win wages from bosses who have paid employees less than the minimum wage, or not paid them for their work at all.
I often wish this government would cut the crap and just admit it governs for the rich and is determined to shift as much wealth as possible into their hands. We'd be saved their mind-boggling attempts at “logic”. Like their argument that we have a budget emergency, so we must absolutely take action now or our children and our children's children and our children's children's children will all die horrific deaths from starvation, so that is why we must abolish the mining tax.
Members of the Aboriginal community, faith-based groups, unionists, welfare activists, and others gathered at the State Administration Centre in Adelaide on September 9 to oppose a proposal to expand income management in South Australia. Labor Premier Jay Weatherill has announced he would “offer the broadest possible support” to all 27 of billionaire Andrew Forrest's recommendations in his Indigenous Employment and Training Review. This would include Forrest's controversial proposal to dramatically expand income management to all working-age Centrelink clients, or 2.5 million people.
After consultations with the family of Hamid Khazaei, who died on September 5 after being detained on Manus Island, an agreement has been made to give his family an Aboriginal passport, in his name, to honour both their son and their offer to donate his organs to Australian citizens. The Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) organised the passport proposal. ISJA president Ray Jackson said: “This gesture by his family shames the Tony Abbott government, in particular immigration minister Scott Morrison, for incarcerating innocent asylum seekers seeking sanctuary in this country.
The Queensland government has limited the ability of the public to object to a mining lease. The Mining and Energy Resources Bill, passed on September 9, means only affected landholders, their neighbours or local councils can object to mining lease applications in the Land Court. In a statement, campaign group Lock the Gate said: “In an 11th hour move, the Queensland government has silenced objections to mining projects across the state giving open slather to Indian coal billionaire Gautam Adani to develop the Galilee Basin into one of the largest coal precincts in the world.”
Residents in Gloucester, NSW, have set up a permanent camp to stop coal seam gas (CSG) company AGL from beginning exploration in the Gloucester Valley. Organisers of the camp said: “In August, the state government changed a state planning regulation to allow AGL to frack four existing coal seam gas wells without undertaking a full environmental impact statement. “AGL have not started fracking yet — they will give the government 28 days notice before beginning fracking, but we don’t want to let them get started at all.