MANY TENS of thousands of people took to the streets December 13 in New York City, Washington D.C., and others cities in a powerful demonstration that the movement against police violence and lawlessness is only growing larger and stronger. As protesters in New York City got ready to march, Ann, an African American woman from the Bronx, summed up the message of the day. "It's a definite war," Ann said. "A lot of people aren't calling it that, but it's a war. I'm seeking justice for my family and other people who need it."
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has angrily rejected new sanctions against his nation signed into law by US President Barack Obama on December 18. The bill was passed by US Congress last week, authorising sanctions against Venezuelan officials. Via Twitter, Maduro said: “President Obama has taken a false step against our country by signing the sanctions, despite the national and continental rejection of them.
Cuban President Raul Castro gave a speech on December 17 in which he said relations between Cuba and the United States would be reset. “We have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations, but this does not mean that the main issue has been resolved, the blockade that generates economic losses and humanitarian problems in our country must stop,” Castro said.
Otis lift workers in Melbourne claimed victory on December 17 after an eight-week lockout when they voted to accept an agreement that included all but one of their demands. The 174 Otis workers had been trying to negotiate with the company since April. With the company insisting on a below-inflation 1% wage increase, the workers began industrial action at the end of September with bans on overtime, shiftwork and the commissioning of lifts and escalators. The company responded by locking out the workers on October 21.
Last month, Rolling Stone ran an article on rape culture in US colleges, focusing primarily on the experiences of a young woman who told the magazine she was gang raped at a frat party. Rolling Stone has been accused of letting rape survivors everywhere down by not properly fact checking the claims of the woman in question, Jackie, and for running a story with inconsistencies. The magazine did let rape survivors down, but not by believing Jackie. They let us down by abandoning her for not being a good enough victim.
In a statement condemning the “senseless and merciless slaughter of innocent school children” by by religious fanatics in Peshawar, Pakistan, the left-wing Awami Workers Party (AWP) accused the Pakistani state and military of complicity in “Islamist terrorism”. A hundred and thirty-two students were killed in the December 16 suicide attack by the Pakistani Taliban on the the military-run Army Public School, AWP general secretary Farooq Tariq told Green Left Weekly.
The statement below was released by Socialist Alliance on December 16. *** The Socialist Alliance has warned of a dangerous escalation of incitement of racial violence against Australia's Muslim communities in the wake of the tragic hostage incident in Sydney. “Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families and loved ones of the two victims who died and to all those caught up in the terrifying and tragic siege in Sydney's Martin Place over the past 24 hours,” said Socialist Alliance national co-convener Susan Price today.
Protest and counter-protest descended on Penrith on December 8 as Penrith’s council voted to uphold their decision to allow the construction of an Islamic community centre in Kemps Creek. Various far right groups turned up to show their opposition to the construction of the two-storey centre, including the Australia First Party, with chairman Jim Saleam present, as well as the Australian Defence League, Party for Freedom and Squadron 88. Counter-protestors in support of the centre’s construction included various left groups, the Greens and Antifa, the anti-fascist group.
Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers? Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what’s called the mainstream media is not information, but power?