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.
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.
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.
About 300 people gathered outside Newtown’s Town Hall Hotel on June 8 to protest against the bashing of trans-woman Stephanie McCarthy as she was preparing to perform with her band at the hotel. The crowd were there to stand by McCarthy, condemn the hotel’s actions in not calling police or offering McCarthy support and protest against violence against women and transphobia. Speakers demanded that the community boycott the hotel until it apologises and offers McCarthy compensation. McCarthy gave this speech at the protest. * * *
On June 4 the silhouettes of 231 children were placed outside Parliament House in Canberra as a representation of the children still held in Australia’s detention centres.
On May 31, about 400 anti- racist protestors confronted a far-right protest of racists outside Richmond Town Hall in Melbourne. There were about 70 far-right protesters, carrying Australian flags and wearing swastika t-shirts and green and gold. The action was called by a splinter group of Reclaim Australia that calls itself United Patriots Front (UPF). They attempted to storm the town hall but were thwarted by the hundreds of anti-racists present.
For young people today, the international situation can seem hopeless. The world seems increasingly filled with chaos and crisis, as austerity and war impoverish and immiserate increasing numbers of people around the globe. The situation facing young people today, in Australia and around the world, is difficult to say the least, and it is important to confront such a situation seriously and with determination.
Legislation allowing the 99-year lease — effectively privatisation — of the majority of the NSW electricity network passed through state parliament on June 3. The bill was passed through the Legislative Council, after more than 60 amendments were debated, with the support of Rev Fred Nile's Christian Democrats. Labor and the Greens opposed the bill. Labor leader in the Legislative Council Adam Searle said on June 3 that the outcome showed a debasing of parliamentary process: