Protests continue to grip Mexico over the fate of 43 students from Ayotzinapawho were abducted -- in police vehvilces according to eyewitnesses -- Guerrerro state on September 26. Mexico's Attorney-General Jesus Murillo Karam says three detained “drug traffickers” had confessed to killing the students -- including burnig them alive. Dozens of police were arrested over allegations they had had students over to a drug cartel. Iguala mayor Jose Luis Abarca, accused of ordering the attacks, resigned on October 24.
Delegates from environmental groups from around the world gathered on the Venezuelan island of Margarita this month as part of the country's “Social Precop”. The event was coordinated by the Venezuelan government in a bid to take the “voice of the people” into the United Nations talks on climate change scheduled for December in Peru. Over several days, movements and activists put the final touches to the “Margarita Declaration” that was drafted in July after four days of debate and discussion.
Bolivian President Evo Morales has handed over three new schools and two roofed outdoor community centres in the Sacaca Municipality of the southern Potosi Department. “We are going to continue working, your vote has not been in vain,” said Morales, who was re-elected on October 12 with more than 60% of the vote. In the Caripuyo municipality in Potosi, Morales also inaugurated a market and an electrical system for the Caripuyo community.
In an interview with Pagina do MST's Iris Pacheco, Alexandre Conceicao, a national leader of the Movement of Rural Landless Workers (MST), said social movements played a fundamental role in the October 26 re-election of President Dilma Rousseff, the candidate of the Workers' Party (PT). Dilma won 51%, defeating her main rival, Aecio Neves. The interview, below, was translated by Federico Fuentes. * * *
The protests over the 43 missing students in Iguala, who are now said to have been assassinated and burned, have continued in Mexico City. Hundreds of Mexicans protested overnight on November 8 in Mexico capital. They expressed theri outrage in relation to statements given the day before by the head of the attorney-general's Office, Jesus Murillo Karam, who said the 43 students were executed and burned in Ayotzinapa.
Representatives of victims of Colombia's decades-long civil war, who are taking part in the peace talks in Cuba, issued a statement on November 2 requesting more protection from the Colombian government. They were responding to death threats and warnings from right-wing paramilitary groups. The talks are taking place between the Colombian government and the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
The statement below was released by the British Fire Brigades Union (FBU). *** The FBU Executive Council is appalled by the ongoing siege of the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobane in northern Syria by Islamic State (IS) forces. The executive council notes: • The IS attack on Kobane and resistance of Kurdish and other local forces. • The role of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE (all British/US allies) in building, assisting and encouraging the growth of IS.
The number of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land have doubled in the past 54 months, UN Commission on Human Rights member Cees Flinterman said ton October 31. Middle East Monitor said that day that Flinterman presented the fourth stage of a report monitoring activity of Israel's practices in Palestinian territory.
An incredible political transformation has been taking shape in the “Land of the Upright or Incorruptible People”, Burkina Faso. Twenty-seven years after the assassination of revolutionary leader Thomas Sankara, Burkinabes turned out in their hundreds of thousands, for several days of protest. Chanting “enough is enough”, it echoed a long history of trade union activism against political repression in the country, as well as protests staged through the Balai Citoyen collective. After four days of the popular anger, president Blaise Compaore vacated his post.
The controversial Sivens dam project in south-west France has been temporarily suspended after the death of 21-year-old activist Remi Fraisse while protesting at the site on October 25. An autopsy found that Fraisse had likely died from a police stun grenade that hit him in the back. Protests erupted across France in the immediate aftermath of the incident.
The statement below was released by WikiLeaks on October 16 after it published a second leaked chapter from the proposed TransPacific Partnership trade deal. The TPP is being negotiated behind closed doors by the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. ***
Sarah Hathway and Sean Brocklehurst are running as Socialist Alliance candidates in the Victorian election. They released this statement on November 7. *** The federal government's concern about “corruption” is very selective. For many months, there have been calls for a royal commission into the Commonwealth Bank and ASIC to investigate how thousands of people were stripped of their life savings as a result of fraud by dodgy financial planners working for the bank.
Residents of Millers Point public housing are supporting the campaign to stop the sell-off and possible demolition of the iconic Sirius apartments in the nearby suburb of The Rocks. The Save Our Sirius (SOS) campaign was launched on November 2 with an open day at the Sirius apartments building. The Sirius apartments were designed by Tao Gofers in 1975 for the NSW Housing Commission. Sitting beside the southern approaches to the Harbour Bridge, the apartments look out to Circular Quay and the Opera House.
“The Battle of Brisbane.” These were the words that greeted readers of Queensland’s Courier Mail on October 28. The article, taking up the front cover and several subsequent pages, dealt with the alleged threat of violent protests at the G20 summit to be held in Brisbane on November 15 and 16. The police, according to the Courier Mail, should meet the protesters with brutal suppression. The actual threat of violence was left vague. In many ways, the phrasing of the subhead for the piece told it all: “Cops vow to crush G20 ferals”.
For those paying attention to the science of climate change, it might seem counterintuitive to talk about hope. To some it might even seem in bad taste, given that the future impacts include the melting away of the Himalayan glaciers that provide fresh water for 1.3 billion people in Asia and the possibility that many low-lying island nations may become uninhabitable.