1044

This week RE-fugue is happening. An artistic residency by Marziya Mohammedali about the intersection between art and activism. It's aimed at amplifying the voices of refugees, including those currently in detention and inspiring people to get active. As you enter the space you're confronted with an installation that resembles a tent from Manus Island detention centre. Depending on when you attend the residency, you might get to help out creating the installation — though you've missed the really fun part of getting the tarpaulins up.
About 400 people turned out to celebrate International Women's Day in Melbourne on March 8. Photos by Ali Bakhtiarvandi.
The Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) is an anti-imperialist trading bloc first formed by the left-wing governments of Venezuela and Cuba to promote trade on the basis of solidarity rather than competition. It has since expanded to include 11 nations, with Venezuela and Cuba joined by Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Honduras was an ALBA member, but was forced to withdraw when a 2009 US-backed coup installed a right-wing dictatorship.
The Bolivian government said the Andean nation’s gross domestic product grew US$34 billion last year, establishing it as one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera said that the country’s Social Community Productive Economic Model allowed for the economy to grow, despite a fall in prices for raw materials. “In 1996 the Bolivian economy accounted for $5.3 billion and by 2005, $9.5 billion dollars,” Garcia said.
The left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) has won 86 of the 262 mayorships of El Salvador in March 1 elections, including the capital San Salvador, according to preliminary reports, TeleSUR English said on March 4. The ruling FMLN also announced it won a legislative majority in the National Assembly and the Central American Parliament. The FMLN said it would now govern areas covering more than 65% of the population, compared to 45% in the past.
The Justice Department’s investigation of the Ferguson Police Department has uncovered an array of racially discriminatory practices that were commonplace in the St Louis, Missouri, suburb, Jack Holmes wrote at TheDailybeast.com on March 3. Holmes said: “Along with systemic issues, a pattern of personal racial bias among members of law enforcement was uncovered, perhaps best evidenced by a number of racist emails released with the report.”
LA cops shoot dead homeless man Los Angeles police fatally shot a man on March 1 in a confrontation that was caught on video, TeleSUR English reported on March 2. The shocking footage shows several officers struggling with a man in an area known for its homeless population. The struggle continued once the man was on the ground and several shots were fired.
Kurdish journalist Ozgur Amed was sentenced on February 21 to three years in prison for political activism for the rights of the Kurdish people, Firat News Agency reported on February 25. The 7th Criminal High Court of Diyarbakir sentenced him under Turkish Penal Code Article 220/6 for “committing an illegal organisation crime while not being an illegal organisation member”.
Bolivia's fast growing economy fuelled by social spending The Bolivian government said the Andean nation’s gross domestic product grew US$34 billion last year, establishing it as one of the fastest growing economies in the region, TeleSUR English said on February 17. Vice-President Alvaro Garcia Linera said that the country’s Social Community Productive Economic Model allowed for the economy to grow, despite a fall in prices for raw materials. “In 1996 the Bolivian economy accounted for $5.3 billion and by 2005, $9.5 billion dollars,” Garcia said.
The Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) is an anti-imperialist trading bloc first formed by the left-wing governments of Venezuela and Cuba to promote trade on the basis of solidarity rather than competition. It has since expanded to include Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Honduras was an ALBA member, but was forced to withdraw when a 2009 US-backed coup installed a right-wing dictatorship.
The internet will stay free and open thanks to a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission in the US on February 26. Internet activists waged a grassroots campaign to protect “net neutrality” and galvanised nearly 4 million submissions in support of the campaign to prevent internet service providers (ISPs) discriminating against particular websites.
GREEK ELECTIONS REPORT BACK GLW correspondent Dick Nichols reported from Athens during the Greek elections and will speak on SYRIZA and the fight against austerity. Cairns: Saturday March 14, 2pm, Yungaburra Pub. Phone Jonathan 0437 790 306. Perth: Wednesday March 18, 12.30pm Hosted by Murdoch University Resistance club. Murdoch University. Phone Gavin 0451 919 680. Perth: Thursday March 19, 6pm, Perth Activist Centre, 15/509 Aberdeen St. $6/$4 conc. Phone 9218 9608 or email perth@socialist-alliance.org.
No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban and the War Through Afghan Eyes By Anand Gopal Metropolitan books, 2014 304 pp, $27 Anand Gopal's book should be compulsory reading for every federal politician in Australia. Nobody could finish it and still have a shred of belief in US foreign policy. What comes through this history is that it is very dangerous to be an enemy of the US. However, it is just as dangerous to be an ally.
In August last year, Prime Minister Tony Abbott thought it would be a good idea to send 1000 Australian soldiers to Ukraine. Their intended purpose was to guard the crash site of the Malaysian Airlines plane that was shot down there killing 38 Australian citizens. The proposal was quietly dropped after military planners advised that, as none of the troops could speak either Ukrainian or Russian, and would not be able to tell the difference between the militias of either country, it was not such a great idea after all.
Every activist has at some point been told that activism is pointless today, that it achieves nothing and hasn’t since the ’70s. Others say that there’s no point to feminist activism in particular because we already have gender equality. A quick look at the issues feminists are struggling for, and the wins we’ve had recently, show that neither claim is true, nor are they likely to be for some time. 1. Zoe’s Law
The Irish coalition government of Fine Gael and the Labour Party tried to turn the tables on its left-wing opponents in recent days, with efforts to portray them as “dangerous” and “anti-democratic”. The exchanges came amid ongoing demonstrations over the jailing of anti-austerity protestors in Dublin. Five activists were ordered to be locked up by a court last month for failing to stay away from the installation of water metres.

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