Remembrance Day is marked in Commonwealth nations on November 11 -- to commemorate the end of the bloodbath that was World War I. As a commemoration of fallen soldiers, it is overshadowed in Australia by Anzac Day -- but is a far bigger deal in Britain.
Tens of thousands of people have rallied worldwide to demand greater international support for Kurds battling the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the largely Kurdish territory of Rojava in northern Syria. Kobane is a Rojavan town that was the scene of prolonged and devastating conflict between the Rojavan revolutionary forces and ISIS, before finally being liberated in January. The battle for Kobane became symbolic of the Rojavan struggle against ISIS and its allies, such as the Turkish state.
Israel is carrying out summary executions of Palestinians, Amnesty International has confirmed. Sometimes it lets injured Palestinians bleed to death. The human rights group says it has “documented in depth at least four incidents in which Palestinians were deliberately shot dead by Israeli forces when they posed no imminent threat to life, in what appear to have been extra-judicial executions.”
Seattle voted for working-class politics by re-electing socialist incumbent Kshama Sawant to City Council with a five point lead over her challenger. As a result, Seattle residents can expect to see more campaigns in City Council and in the streets to fight inequality and build social justice. “We have accomplished something historic,” Sawant said to supporters on Capitol Hill on the night of November 3 as election results came in. “We have had an open socialist re-elected to City Council.”
Israeli occupation forces executed an injured Palestinian in Hebron on October 29, an eyewitness told Electronic Intifada on October 30. Video corroborates this clear case of extra-judicial execution, a war crime and part of a pattern of such killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces. Last month, 71 Palestinians had been killed according to the Palestinian Authority health ministry on October 30. This number includes five Palestinians who died as a possible result of tear gas inhalation, delayed medical treatment due to checkpoints and medical neglect by prison authorities.
Thousands of trade union activists mobilised outside Parliament on November 2 to protest the Conservative government's proposed ultra-right Trade Union bill. The turnout defied expectations of the event’s organisers, the Trade Union Congress. Speaking at the lobby’s Central Hall rally, the Fire Brigade Union's Matt Wrack channelled the anger of his union’s rank-and-file. Unite's Len McCluskey reiterated his union's commitment to extra-legal action should the bill be passed, invoking the movement’s proud historic tradition of overriding unjust laws.
The text of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership — negotiated by 12 Pacific rim nations including Australia — was released on November 5 after a negotiating process shrouded in secrecy. The release of the much-guarded text of the deal has renewed calls for action to stop the TPP as a “toxic deal” and “disaster for democracy”.
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has accused the Irish government of cosying up to British intelligence agency MI5 and the British government in a bid to halt the growth of Sinn Fein in Ireland's south. A recent British report claimed the Irish Republican Army Council still exists — something flatly rejected by Sinn Fein. The IRA decommissioned its weapons in an internationally validated process in 2005 as part of the peace process in the six counties of Ireland's north still claimed by Britain that began with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
Erdoğan’s electioneering: aftermath of October 10 bombing in Ankara. In Turkey’s November 1 election, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) increased its votes from 41% to 49% in the five months (143 days) from the election in June. The AKP won a majority of seats — 317 out of 550. The governing party gained 5 million extra votes. It adopted very risky policies to get this result, but was determined to win the elections — no matter how many lives were lost.