Spain's left-wing Podemos party would win a general election if it were held today, a Metroscopa poll released on April 12 found. General elections are scheduled for December. Podemos, which was founded in January last year, came first with the support of 22.1% of those questioned. The opposition Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) regained lost ground to come second with 21.9% of the vote. The ruling conservative Popular Party (PP) would come third with 20.8% of the vote.
Clashes erupted on April 15 at the Wickham Point detention centre in Darwin when refugees resisted attempts to send them back to the Australian-run concentration camp in Nauru where they have suffered serious human rights abuses.
The Palestine Action Group released the following statement on April 9. * * * Today, April 9, we remember 67 years since the Deir Yassin massacre. Over 100 Palestinians were murdered, with many children left orphaned. Palestinians soon began to leave their homes after witnessing such atrocities, even before the mass exodus that came with the Nakba. And still 67 years on, the effects of diaspora are being felt harshly by Palestinians. After being forced to flee their homeland, Palestinians in the Yarmouk refugee camp are under attack yet again.
Günter Grass, who was one of Germany’s most important post-war novelists, died on April 13 at the age of 87 in the town of Lübeck, in northern Germany. Grass was perhaps most famous for his 1959 book The Tin Drum, a novel that embodied fantastical elements in its critique of Weimar and Nazi Germany. As such, his style bore resemblances to Latin America’s genre of magical realism. In 1979, the book was turned into an Academy Award winning film by Volker Schlöndorff, which won the Oscar for best foreign film.
Protesters demanding widespread reform of the police took the streets on April 14, as killings of unarmed black men have become all-too frequent in US headlines. Activists from various civil rights groups rallied in different cities throughout the country. Signs carried by the protesters in New York read: “Stop Police brutality and mass murder.” Protesters spread the message on social media websites using hashtags, including the popular #BlackLivesMatter.
Internationally awarded Uruguayan author and journalist Eduardo Galeano died on April 13 of lung cancer at age 75 in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Born September 3, 1940, Galeano was author of about 35 books, including 1971’s Open Veins of Latin America, which details how Western powers have exploited Latin America and its resources for centuries. It became a bestseller overnight after the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez handed the book a Barack Obama during the fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009.
Police have cautioned the Knitting Nannas Against Gas that their actions could be illegal and warned them to stop protesting. For three years the group has met weekly outside the offices of MPs in NSW to protest against coal seam gas development in the state. The nannas say their knitting is a form of non-violent political activism to remind politicians they are being watched.
Zakia Baig from the Australian Hazara Women’s Friendship Network speaking at the rally. One hundred and fifty people rallied in Melbourne on April 11 against the kidnapping of 31 Hazara people in Afghanistan. This action was part of Australia-wide rallies.
More than 100 people joined a rally at Sydney Town Hall on April 11 to demand "US hands off Venezuela!" The rally demands were: "No more coups; End foreign intervention; Respect Venezuela's revolution; and Peace in Latin America!"
Thousands of people took to the streets of Melbourne and Sydney on April 10 to protest against the forced closure of remote Aboriginal communities.
A new police murder of an unarmed Black man in the United States has received global attention. It comes as the #BlackLivesMatter movement has swept the country since the police murder of an unarmed Black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri last August. On April 4, officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, South Carolina, shot 50-year-old Walter Scott in the back as he was fleeing. The police initially tried to whitewash the incident, with the all-too-familiar assertion that Slager was assaulted by Scott and feared for his life. So the killing was justified. Q.E.D.