The London School of Economics (LSE) was occupied by students on March 17. The occupation, still going as of March 28, has since spread to King's College London, University of Arts London and Goldsmiths University of London. More than 100 students took over the school, which has been associated with neoliberal economic theory for decades, and declared that the central university administration building has been transformed into the Free University of London.
It was always a big ask for the NSW Labor Party to follow their counterparts in Victoria and Queensland and win the election on March 29. The corruption scandals involving former Labor ministers was a big handicap for the ALP at the previous election in 2011. As a result, Labor lost 32 lower house seats and the Coalition won 34 seats. The ALP was reduced to a rump of just 20 lower house members — the worst result for the party in more than 100 years.
Up to 15,000 people joined the Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees in Melbourne on March 29, more than double the numbers from last year refugee advocates said. Large rallies and marches were also held in 12 other Australian cities, and 19 cities overseas, demanding refugees be released from detention. Photo: Ali Bakhtiarvandi About 300 people in detention on Nauru also joined the protest and called for an end to offshore detention centres.
Nearly 90,000 people took to the streets of Dublin on March 21, in an unprecedented fifth mass protest in six months against the introduction of water charges by the Irish government. The sea of flags, banners and placards was addressed by a range of politicians, community activists and union leaders. The protest was organised by the Right2Water campaign — a broad coalition of community groups, NGOs and political parties, led by some of Ireland’s largest unions.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the creation of the Ministry of Ecosocialism and Water, which will be tasked with protecting the environment in the context of Venezuela's bid to build “21st century socialism”. The new body will supervise the National Water Plan, designed to ensure public access to water, as well as the Tree Mission, which involves the community in reforestation efforts.
Greece demands Germany pay war reparations Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has proposed creating a joint commission of Greek and German experts to address the issue of World War II reparations, TeleSUR English said on March 23. “Athens wants to come to an agreement regarding the issue of reparations, we need to find a common denominator,” Kotzias said. The foreign minister added that he prefers a political solution to the issue, rather than a legal one.
The Argentine government urged the British government to return to the negotiating table over the Malvinas Islands on March 25, TeleSUR English said. It comes in response to a planned “beef up” of British military presence on the disputed islands off the coast of South America that Britain occupies. In a statement, Argentina's foreign ministry described Britain's “growing militarisation” of the disputed islands as “absolutely unjustifiable”.
More than 4000 local and global groups from 120 countries took part in the 14th World Social Forum in Tunisia from March 24 to 28. The WSF was created as a popular alternative to the corporate-dominated, elite World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. The first WSF was held in Brazil in 2001 and was organised as an alternative to the WEF, the yearly meeting of the global ultra-rich.
On March 25 university students and supporters of accessible education participated in National Day of Action rallies against the ongoing attacks on education. There were rallies in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Tasmania and Wollongong.
The motto of the University of Wollongong (UOW) promises “Personalised Experiences: World Class Results”. It would do well to tell the public which persons in the institution availed themselves of the experience of authorising political donations of $26,175 in the last four years, and what world class results they expected. The signature on contribution donations in 2009 was the university’s director of government relations, Canio Fierravanti, brother of Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. Coincidentally, 82% of the donations since late-2010 have gone to the Liberal Party.