HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas. A delegation of six elections monitors sponsored by the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign to observe the June 7 Turkish election witnessed a stunning result took the left-wing Kurdish-based Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) into parliament for the first time.
The domestic act of terror at a historic African-American Church in South Carolina has quickly been branded as a “hate crime” by US officials, and the white man who perpetrated it is described as a “troubled” person who was otherwise “sweet and quiet”. This is a predictable media narrative has to many for whom the racist and white supremacist motives behind the killing are transparent.
Chilean teachers strike against education bill Thousands of Chilean teachers took to the streets of Santiago once again on June 17, TeleSUR English said that day. The protest was part of the indefinite national strike to protest against an education reform bill proposed by the government of President Michelle Bachelet. There were marches in at least five other cities across the country.
Grassroots climate groups are calling for large protests in cities around the world to coincide with the United Nations climate talks held in Paris in November and December, known as COP21. In France, a broad coalition of almost 100 groups, including trade unions, have created Coalition Climat 21 to organise mass mobilisations before and during the Paris talks.
Unionists, rural workers and environmentalists are coming together in Arequipa, in southern Peru, to halt the proposed Tia Maria copper mine. The mine project belongs to Southern Copper Corporation, a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico. Mine opponents are demanding respect for workers' rights, community democracy and involvement in development decisions, and protection for the ecosystem and rural farmers.
WikiLeaks released the secret draft of the healthcare annex to the transparency chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on June 10. If the TPP is adopted, the annex would adversely affect national pharmaceutical schemes, such as Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and New Zealand's Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC). The TPP is a free trade deal being negotiated by countries on the Pacific rim: the US, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Japan. These countries represent about 40% of global GDP.
The debt imposed on Greece and its people by creditors directly infringes the human rights of Greeks and is “illegal, illegitimate and odious”, a preliminary report issued by the Audit Committee on Public Debt declared on June 17. The finding came as talks between Greece and its creditors finished without a deal on June 18. The International Monetary Fund is threatening the near-bankrupt country with default unless it pays the US$1.7 billion it owes by the June 30 deadline.
The great African revolutionary Amilcar Cabral offered the famous injunction 50 years ago: “Tell no lies and claim no easy victories.” This advice hits at the temptation of back-slapping vanity. The leading spokespeople for the 41-million strong clicktivist team from the Avaaz NGO need to remember Cabral. They over-reached ridiculously in praising the Group of 7 meeting of seven rich nations held in Bavaria on June 7 and 8. Avaaz wrote: “Many told us it was a pipe dream, but the G7 Summit of leading world powers just committed to getting the global economy off fossil fuels forever!!!
A rally for justice for Eddie Murray, a 21-year-old Aboriginal man who was killed by "persons unknown" while detained in Wee Waa police station in north-western NSW on June 12, 1981, was held in Sydney on the anniversary of his death. Anna Murray, Eddie's younger sister recalled answering the door to the police who had come to arrest her brother 34 years ago. At 16, she was the last member of the family to see Eddie alive. She said that there had never been a protest in Wee Waa over her brother's death and she proposed that one be held there this time next year.
The campaign against closure of Aboriginal communities and mobilisations against unconventional gas in Eastern Australia are some examples of growing campaigns that are successfully challenging the agenda of capitalist governments in Australia, according to the eleventh national conference of Socialist Alliance.
Australia’s human rights reputation has been savaged in a new report by Amnesty International. The report is highly critical of Australia’s detention of Aboriginal children for minor offences. The Amnesty report, A brighter tomorrow: Keeping Indigenous kids in the community and out of detention in Australia, focuses on the crisis of Aboriginal child detention. The report says rates of Aboriginal youth detention are higher now than they were 20 years ago.
In 2013 the NSW Government took an axe to the existing victims of crime compensation scheme, introducing legislation that targeted survivors of sexual and domestic abuse. The government claimed this scheme would result in a faster and easier process for applicants, but this has not been the case, and the main changes make it more difficult, if not impossible, for many applicants.
Thousands protest in Athens against austerity and in support of the SYRIZA government, June 17. Thousands of Greek people took to the streets of Athens on June 17 to reject austerity measures and support the SYRIZA-led government, TeleSUR English said that day.
Violent right-wing protests erupted in Ecuador on June 8, sparked by plans for a new inheritance tax law that would target the richest 2% of the population. In response, President Rafael Correa agreed to temporarily halt two planned laws to carry out a nationwide debate on inequality and wealth redistribution – challenging the opposition to prove his government's laws would hurt the poor. On June 18, Correa took to social media to start the debate, asking: “How can we call a country a 'democracy' if less than 2% of families own 90 percent of big businesses?”
The federal government is keen to cut the age pension. Its latest proposal to double the taper rate on the assets test has been supported by the Greens on the basis that this measure will reduce government support to those with significant wealth. The Greens also hoped that by supporting these pension cuts, the government would rein in tax concessions on superannuation. However, the government has since publicly ruled out any superannuation changes.
Author Carla Gorton at the Cairns launch of the book and associated film project. Photo: Jobsforwomenfilm.com. Women of Steel: Gender, jobs & justice at BHP Carla Gorton & Pat Brewer Resistance Books, Sydney $10 paperback, 73 pages www.resistancebooks.com