Cleaners held rallies around Australia on June 15 to celebrate International Justice for Cleaners Day. In Canberra, angry Parliament House cleaners went on strike for the day. At a rally outside Parliament House, they awarded federal treasurer Joe Hockey a giant golden toilet brush. Yahoo news reported: "The cleaners have walked off the job for 24 hours from 6.30am on Monday, protesting a federal government decision to abolish Commonwealth Cleaning Services guidelines.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being negotiated between the US and 11 other Pacific Rim nations — including Australia — is a treaty covering regulations and investments. It is being negotiated in secret from the peoples of the affected nations, but not from the corporations that are set to benefit from the deal — as chapters leaked by WikiLeaks reveal. For the US side alone, about 600 corporate representatives are neck deep in the negotiations.
Rally against police brutality in McKinney, Texas, June 8, 2015. The head of the US's largest organisation of Black lawyers and judges joined activists and community leaders on June 10 to call for national police reform to address racial bias. She also backed calls for an independent investigation into a white police officer's recent assault of a young Black girl in her bathing suit at a pool party in McKinney, Texas.
The US government issued a congratulatory statement on June 9, praising the Mexican people after June 7 elections, despite large protests and boycotts held by activists and teacher unions across the nation. The elections were marked by violence, but the US Department of State considered the process democratic, saying: “We congratulate the people of Mexico for exercising its democratic right to vote and choosing its leaders.”
The leftist political party led by two-time former presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will govern in areas representing more than 8 million people after Mexico's June 7 elections. Lopez Obrador's National Regeneration Movement (Morena) took part for the first time in the mid-term elections. It won in six of the 16 districts of Mexico City, breaking the long-time hegemonic rule of the once popular Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) in the country's capital, which won five.
As opponents of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa made calls on social media for a military coup, a caravan of vehicles by right-wing protestors descended on the highway leading to Quito's international airport on June 14 in a bid to block Correa from being able to safely return to the country. Social media posts called on those opposed to Correa's democratically-elected government to flood the highway and try to take the airport. Pro-opposition newspaper El Comercio said more than 200 cars participated in the convoy.
Kenia Serrano, president of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) and a member of Cuba's National Assembly, attended the recent national consultation of the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society. Green Left Weekly's Denis Rogatyuk spoke with her about recent developments of the Cuban Revolution. *** Cuba has just been removed from the list of state-sponsors of terrorism. How do you think this will affect Cuba’s relations with the United States?
In the June 7 Turkish elections, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has ruled Turkey since 2002, won the largest vote and share of the new parliament – 258 of the 550 seats. But in a dramatic rise in its vote, the left-wing People's Democratic Party (HDP) came equal third, winning 80 seats.
WikiLeaks released 17 secret documents from the Trade In Service Agreement (TISA) negotiations on June 3. The documents have confirmed the fears of campaigners around the world that TISA is designed to benefit corporations at the expense of workers and the general public.
British submariner William McNeilly went on the run after he released confidential information about Britain's Trident nuclear weapons program on May 12. He was detained by police after returning to Scotland on May 18. McNeilly had been in hiding after he wrote and released an 18 page document highlighting a “disaster waiting to happen”. The British defence ministry said he was being held in a secure military base.
Members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) covering more than half the public service are planning a series of half-day strikes to attend mass meetings around the country between June 18 and 26. The industrial action is to protect their rights, conditions and pay from federal government attacks.
The BBC’s Panorama program on May 28 made explosive revelations about British state collusion with paramilitaries in the north of Ireland occupied by Britain. It implicates British authorities in the murder of hundreds of people, and in subsequent cover-ups. The documentary, titled “Britain’s Secret Terror Deals”, detailed the vast scale of British security forces' involvement with illegal paramilitary groups, running thousands of informants and agents. Serial killers
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott stating its complete opposition to the forced closure of remote Aboriginal communities.
CR gas was used to quell rioting in Long Kesh jail in October, 1974. Papers from 1976 obtained by the Observer under freedom of information laws show that the use of ‘CR’ or Dibenzoxazepine — a skin irritant 10 times more powerful than other tear gases — was permitted from 1973 to be used on Irish republican prisoners.
For a while in late May, it looked as if negotiations over terms for releasing the last €7.2 billion owed to Greece under its second bailout package with the “Troika” of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund might have some chance of success. The commentary from the SYRIZA-led Greek government's negotiators and from its creditors was of “fruitful discussions” and “meaningful progress”. Greek government spokespeople even spoke of reaching an agreement “within a week or two”, at the latest by the June 18 meeting of the eurozone finance ministers.
In a David and Goliath struggle that became known as the “Jobs for Women” campaign, 34 mostly migrant, unemployed, working-class women took on Australia’s largest company, Broken Hill Propriety Limited (BHP). In a landmark legal and industrial struggle, they sued BHP’s subsidiary, Australian Iron and Steel (AIS) in Port Kembla for sex discrimination because they refused to employ women. After a long, hard struggle over 14 years, the campaign eventually won damages estimated at up to $9 million for more than 700 women who had applied to work at the steelworks.