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Thousands of students protested in the Mexican city of Guadalajara on October 22 to demand justice and a clear investigation into the death of an engineering student who was arrested by municipal police, only to be found dead hours later. The corpse of Ricardo Jesus Esparza Villegas was found on the morning of October 19 in an alley outside a private home in the historic city of Guanajuato. According to information provided by the municipal government, the student was killed “by a sharp blow to the skull”. However extra information from the authorities has yet to be made public.
The recent Australian Council of Social Service report into poverty has found one third of sole parents live in poverty. Many sole parents are suffering after being switched from Parenting Payment Single to the much lower Newstart Allowance. Under former prime minister Julia Gillard, about 100,000 sole parents were switched to the lower payment.
Recent opinion polls show the Queensland Liberal-National government has 51% electoral support compared with 49% for Labor. So it is not surprising that the privatisation rhetoric has shifted from asset sales to leasing. Under the “Strong Choices Plan”, endorsed by the government on October 7, $37 billion in public assets are to be leased to the private sector on 99-year contracts. Premier Campbell Newman said: “Today we say very clearly the assets are not for sale.”
In the outpouring of grief over Gough Whitlam’s death at the age of 98 on October 21, many people remembered how their lives were changed by the reforms his government brought in. In an age of worsening neoliberal attacks led by the anti-poor class warriors in Tony Abbott’s government, the reforms associated with Whitlam's twice-elected 1972-75 government can seem almost utopian.
Marx on Gender & the Family: A Critical Study By Heather A. Brown Haymarket, 2013 US socialist Heather Brown has performed a great service in this short, yet detailed survey of all of Karl Marx’s writings on women and gender ― including some that have never been published in any language. Brown shows how Marx did not just analyse economics and history, he interrogated all forms of literature (even police files) to tease out the threads of social oppression.
The statement below was released by the general command of the People's Protection Units (PYG) on October 19. *** To the media and the general public, It has been 33 days that the city of Kobane has been fighting terrorism, in eventful days of resistance, redemption, and enormous sacrifices in combating the terrorist attacks of ISIS and its evils.
Cairns Woolworths caused outrage recently by stocking a singlet with the Australian flag and the phrase “If you don't love it, leave...” But let no one be confused by such a slogan, which, at first glance would seem a little reminiscent of “Fuck off, we're full” stickers or even the infamous “I grew here, you flew here” slogan that raised its head during the 2005 Cronulla race riots.
With his harsh budget in tatters and his popularity in decline, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and outgoing head of ASIO David Irvine raised the terror alert from medium to high on September 13. It was justified, they claimed, by the threat of those returning from fighting in the Middle East — all 70 or so of them — posing an increased risk to Australia’s way of life.
A local man was arrested on October 23 after locking himself to the access gate to four coal seam gas (CSG) pilot wells in Gloucester, New South Wales. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of the wells, owned by AGL, was approved in August by NSW Minister for Resources and Energy Anthony Roberts. But residents in Gloucester stand opposed to any CSG drilling in the area. A resident of 25 years, Brett Jacobs, said: "AGL has a battle on its hands if it thinks it can turn our valley into a coal seam gasfield. This is our home and we are not giving up or going away.”
The controversial issue of where to dump dredge spoil from the Abbot Point coal port expansion was the focus for hundreds of North Queenslanders who want to protect the Great Barrier Reef from the environmental impacts the dredging will cause. On October 19, boats and kayaks formed a flotilla at the beach as others rallied onshore. After progressing a couple of hundred metres, the flotilla and the marchers were surprised to be joined by a group of scuba divers who emerged from under the water and made their way to the beach to join the rally on land.
Across the political and media elite in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam, who has died. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him.
About 8000 people packed the Palacio Vistalegre in Madrid on October 18 and 19, with 150,000 taking part online, for the the final stages of the Citizens' Assembly “Si se puede” (Yes we can). The assembly discussed draft documents for the foundation of Podemos.