Two blasts ripped through a rally of the left-wing HDP (People’s Democratic Party) in the city of Amed (Diyarbakir) southeastern Turkey (North Kurdistan) on June 5, killing four people and injuring more than 400 just two days before a general election, the Dicle News Agency (DIHA) said. The HDP is presenting a strong challenge to the AK Party of authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Hundreds of environmental activists blocked a port terminal in Seattle on May 16 to protest against Royal Dutch Shell’s proposed drilling in the Arctic. Shell is set to carry out more environmentally irresponsible deep-water drilling as a result of their planned $US74 billion takeover of rival company BG. BG is a British multinational with several deep-water drilling projects around the globe. In 2008, it paid $US3.4 billion for Curtis LNG in Queensland and now exports coal seam gas (CSG) to Asia from Gladstone.
The Bulgarian Prisoners' Rehabilitation Association (BPRA) won a victory on May 22 when it was invited to send a representative to a Ministry of Justice working group on prison reform. The BPRA was founded in 2012 by Jock Palfreeman, an Australian anti-racist activist serving a 20-year sentence in Sofia central prison after he was framed for murdering a neo-Nazi. It is the first inmate-run prisoners' rights group in Bulgaria's history.
The long-running Iraq war, now in its 12th year, re-appeared in the corporate media with news another major city, Ramadi, had fallen to the self-styled Islamic State (IS). Barely 11 months after the Iraqi army's defeat in Mosul, it turned and fled the Ramadi battlefield, surrendering US military equipment to the IS. Ramadi, situated in the predominantly Sunni province of Anbar, has always resisted the US military and its client armies, such as Shia militias controlled by the Baghdad authorities.
“Iran is not a safe space,” Bahman, an Iranian refugee living in Australia and active in Iranian Workers Solidarity, told Green Left Weekly. Bahman was responding to Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop’s recent visit to Iran, where she tried to persuade the Iranian government to accept asylum seekers sent back to Iran involuntarily.
Since the 1973 United States Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision in legalising most abortions, there has been a steady erosion of women’s abortion rights in the US - with the complicity of both major capitalist parties. A new wave of restrictions spearheaded by Republicans has developed in the past three years, gaining more traction in the past year.
Saudi Arabia, a member of the UN's Human Rights Council and a close US ally, is hiring more executioners, according to its Ministry of Civil Service website.
This speech was given by high-school student Lawson Tanner at a rally for marriage equality in Sydney on May 31. *** The long road of changing public opinion and constant campaigning, which has brought us to now, a time where many believe this could be it. The Greens have recently introduced a private member’s bill to amend the Marriage Act to remove restrictions on marriage being between a man and a woman, and Labor have also put in a similar bill.
Protest against Guarimba, Caracas, January 21. Photo: Cory Fischer-Hoffman. Leftists in Venezuela have put forward several explanations for the pressing economic difficulties and growing discontent that have beset the nation recently. These difficulties raise the possibility of an opposition takeover of the National Assembly in this year’s elections.
Strike actions in the region of Puno. Photo: TeleSUR / Rael Mora. A 48-hour strike regional strike in the south of Peru defied a state of emergency on Mary 27 and 28, continuing to protest against Southern Copper Corp's unpopular Tia Maria mine.
Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen killed more than 80 people on May 27, making it the deadliest day since the start of Saudi military operations against the Yemeni rebels two months ago. The Saudi raids took place near Yemen's border with Saudi Arabia. Residents told Reuters that more than 40 civilians were killed as the coalition's planes failed to target the rebel combatants who were fighting Saudi border soldiers at Bakeel al-Meer area in Hajjah province.
Marriage Equality has come to Ireland through a popular referendum. The result was hailed by the May 23 New York Times as placing Ireland “at the vanguard of social change”. This will be surprising to many, considering Ireland is a country in which transgender status is not recognised by the state, abortion is illegal, gay couples are denied access to surrogacy, unmarried couples cannot adopt, and homosexuality was decriminalised as recently as 1994.
If you listen to most Western politicians you could be forgiven for thinking that refugees are a pesky annoyance, greedy “economic refugees” from the Third World illegitimately trying to break into this wealthy country. Their now monotonously routine scapegoating of refugees for the pain and insecurity that more and more people feel, even in the richest countries in the world, translates into plain abuse out there in the public.
Washington DC was the converging point for some of the world’s most oppressive regimes on May 13 and 14, when President Barack Obama hosted a billionaire conglomerate known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The group consists of the Middle Eastern countries of Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Oman. The cosy US-GCC relationship exemplifies the twisted nature of US foreign policy, especially in regards to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has been accused of human rights violations against its own citizens, including political activists, journalists, and women.
JAPANESE ZOOS TO BAN TAIJI DOLPHINS In a decision heralded as “the beginning of the end of dolphin hunting”, Japan’s peak zoo association has voted to stop members buying dolphins captured in the globally condemned Taiji hunts. The decision came after a decade of sustained pressure and a lawsuit begun by animal welfare charity Australia for Dolphins, which led the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) to suspend its Japanese member due to its involvement in the hunts.
On May 19, the federal government’s Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption released a 116-page discussion paper recommending a swathe of new attacks on union rights. The proposals give the clearest indication so far of the likely outcome of the expensive inquisition into the union movement when the commission releases its findings in December. The document presents little more than a sweeping wish list of restrictions on the rights of union officials and the ability of unions to carry out their work to benefit members.