Jeremy Corbyn's successful leadership campaign team launched a new group of the left on October 7 to transform Labour into a “mass movement.” Called Momentum, it will be independent of the party leadership, but was welcomed by Corbyn as offering to “put the people’s values back into politics”. It will hold mass rallies and seek to organise activists inspired by Corbyn both inside and outside the Labour Party.
Who won the September 27 elections for the Catalan parliament, called as a substitute for the Scottish-style independence referendum that the Spanish People's Party (PP) government refuses to allow? It depends who you ask. On the night, most commentators on Madrid-based TV and radio called the result a defeat for the pro-independence camp: its two tickets — the mainstream nationalist Together for Yes and the anti-capitalist People's Unity Candidacies (CUP) - won only 47.74% of the vote against 52.26% for “the rest”.
Indonesian police shot two senior high school students in Gorong Gorong, Timika, West Papua on September 28, the Institute for Papuan Advocacy and Human Rights (IPAHR) said the next day. The IPAHR said 17-year-old Kaleb Bogau was shot in the chest and died on the scene. Efrando Sabarofek, also 17, was shot in the chest and leg and is in a critical condition in the Timika hospital.
The United Nations Human Rights Council has unanimously adopted a resolution called “Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka”. This resolution, of which the United States was the main sponsor, welcomed a proposal by the Sri Lankan government to establish a “judicial mechanism” to investigate “abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law”.
A rally was held in Geelong on October 12 to protest sexism from the city's mayor Darryn Lyons. Lyons was photographed at a local Octoberfest event on October 10 wearing a tshirt featuring an image of a naked Madonna hitchhiking, taken from her 1992 book Sex, paired with the caption “Gas, grass or ass, no one rides for free”.
The statement below was released by Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance, the youth group of Australia's Socialist Alliance, on October 8. *** Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance condemns the killing of three Palestinian youth by Israeli security forces and settlers in the past 24 hours. They have joined the nearly 500 Palestinians who have been injured by the Israeli occupation forces since clashes began several days ago.
Every year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sends a group of economists to Australia to survey the domestic economy, comment on the effects of government policy and make some suggestions as to what might best be done in the coming year. It is known as an “article IV consultation”. The IMF executive board’s latest report was publicly released in early October. After commending Australia’s economic performance during the past two decades, the report noted some challenges ahead. Chief among them is the prospect of “slow growth” in the coming year.
Geelong Trades Hall Council president Jackie Kriz gave the following speech on October 12 at a rally protesting against Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons wearing a sexist tshirt. She is a member of the Australian Nurses and Midwives Federation and the Socialist Alliance. *** We have to ask ourselves — is what the mayor did really that bad? I mean, he only wore a tshirt depicting a naked lady with some captions. We've heard the comments — it's only a tshirt, or it's political correctness gone mad. What's the fuss? It's a trivial matter.
Thousands of people rallied in Melbourne on October 11 as part of a national day of action for refugee rights The day before, doctors at the Royal Children's Hospital announced that they would refuse to let children in hospital be discharged into detention.
Activists from France's Left Front. The Left Front is divided by strategic debates over how to confront Europe-wide austerity. Five key figures of the European left have launched a new initiative “for a Plan B in Europe”.
Photo: Jewish Voice for Peace Albuquerque Chapter. For most of its existence since 1948, Israel has had the support of most Jews in the US. There have always, however, been some dissident voices, especially among Jewish members of socialist and communist groups.
A desperate Conservative Party launched a vicious attack on Labour and the tens of thousands who have protested against its October 4-7 conference in Manchester — highlighting the government's fear of growing mass opposition. Wales Secretary Stephen Crabb accused protesters of spouting “venom and bile” because they dared to speak out against Tory cuts and oppose privatisation of public services and attacks on workers' rights.
3-400 people rallied and marched in Brisbane on October 11 calling for the closure of detention centres at Manus Island and Nauru. One feature of the rally was the involvement of campaigners for freedom of Mojgan - a refugee who was pulled out of her secondary school class in December 2014 and put back in detention. The rally was organised by the Refugee Action Collective.
Evo Morales. Bolivia is calling for investigations into cables leaked by WikiLeaks that reveal the US had plans in 2008 to topple the left-wing government of President Evo Morales, including potentially backing his assassination. “This requires an in-depth investigation,” said Bolivia's minister of the presidency, Juan Ramon Quintana. “We need to do an investigation to subsequently take decisions with regard to the United States government.”
Moreland City Council voted unanimously to divest from fossil fuels on October 7. It is the first Australian council to do so. Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton, who has been working with 350.org and Climate Action Moreland on the campaign, said it was a “tribute to their hard work over almost three years”. Greens councillors have also supported the campaign from the start. “Last night, we crossed the final hurdle and decided to divest. Without the grassroots campaign, councillors would never have done this,” Bolton said.
Russia followed the lead of Western powers on September 30 and began direct military intervention in Syria – using the same form (air strikes) and the same declared enemy, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Russia's campaign, aimed to shore up the beleaguered regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, will also target the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and other armed groups fighting the dictatorship. Russia's entry into the fray has dramatically heightened tensions between Russia and the West and further complicated the already confused, multi-sided conflict in Syria.