Dublin, February 20. Photo via An Phoblacht. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Dublin on February 20 in support of a Right2Change rally calling for an end to water charges and support for the Right2Change candidates in the February 26 general election, An Phoblacht said the next day
İlham Ehmed is Co-President of the Syrian Democratic Council, the political body with which the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) are affiliated, and a leading representative of the Kurdish-led Rojava Revolution in Northern Syria. She spoke to Firat News Agency on February 22 about the QSD's recent gains and Turkey's bombardment, and threatened invasion, of Rojava.
* * *What is your evaluation of Turkey's recent escalated attacks on Rojava?
Making a Murderer Written & directed by Laura Ricciardi & Moira Demos Netflix The Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer, directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, tears the mask off the United States criminal justice system. It reveals, in clear-cut, heart-wrenching detail, the depths of its inhumanity.
Protesters in working-class western Caracas hijacked trucks belonging to Venezuela’s number one private food chain, Polar, on February 18, demanding the company cease hoarding essential goods. The Polar food and beverage conglomerate is Venezuela’s largest private food provider, selling a range of products from beer to corn flour. But its owner, millionaire businessman Lorenzo Mendoza, has been consistently embroiled in scandal.
Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton secured a narrow win over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucus on February 20. The former secretary of state gathered 53% of the vote, while the self-described democratic socialist Sanders secured more than 47%. Despite his loss, Sanders proved his campaign could mobilise quickly and battle the odds. In a speech following the results, Sanders recalled that just a few weeks ago, he was 25 points behind Clinton in the polls in Nevada. "We have the wind on our backs, we have the momentum," he said.
When veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn was elected British Labour Party leader in September, many commentators in the corporate media and inside the Labour Party establishment warned his anti-austerity and anti-war positions would be a “disaster” for the party — rendering it “unelectable”. Assumed to have no chance at the start of the campaign, his staunch opposition to austerity measures impoverishing millions helped generate a tidal wave of enthusiasm.
While Israel’s supporters in Australia have worked themselves up over stationary shop Typo selling a world globe naming the area inhabited by the state of Israel as “Palestine”, this year has already involved new injustices for those living in occupied Palestine. The “new normal” of extrajudicial killings, set during the escalation of violence in Occupied Palestine last October, remains firmly in place. Israeli occupying forces have also accelerated their policy of housing demolitions.
There has been plenty of heat this Palestinian winter in the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. There have been some important victories, helped by the increased scrutiny of Israeli state violence since October. And equally, the hysteria from Israeli and Western political establishments over the “threat” posed by the BDS campaign has reached new levels.
February 4 protest in Vavuniyaa. Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka held protests on February 4, the former British colony's independence day.
Destruction caused by Turkish military in Diyarbakır (Amed), Turkish Kurdistan (Bakur), February 20. Australians for Kurdistan (AfK) is circulating an open letter urging Australian academics to support their colleagues in Turkey, who are facing massive repression by the government for denouncing the war on the Kurds.
Britain: Austerity killing the poor Cuts to social spending could be killing large numbers of vulnerable people in Britain, Public Health England said on February 16, as new figures show last year featured the largest rise in the national death rate for decades. TeleSUR English said the next day that the new preliminary figures from the Office for National Statistics show mortality rates last year rose by 5.4% compared with 2014.
A whole packet of new economic initiatives are set to take effect in Venezuela after socialist President Nicolas Maduro announced a series of far-reaching measures in response to the country’s economic crisis on February 17. In a televised five hour address to the nation, Maduro explained the extent of the economic crisis afflicting the country as well as his government’s plan to tackle it. Economic initiatives include changes to the country’s multi-tiered exchange rate, an increase in domestic petrol prices, a new tax system and expansion of community control over food distribution.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which involves 12 Pacific rim nations, seriously threatens indigenous land rights, as well as the natural resources they preserve, said United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Victoria Tauli-Corpuz. In an interview with the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, Tauli-Corpuz said a major issue with the trade deal is “the clause of non-discrimination between a local and an international investor ... [it] grants more rights to transnational firms, often at the expense of indigenous rights”.
Beyoncé's backing dancers display a "Justice for Mario Woods" sign. In the San Francisco Bay Area in California, where tent cities are slowly re-forming under bridges after being swept away in a “cleansing” of the homeless ahead of the February 7 NFL Super Bowl, there is still a palpable buzz about Beyoncé's performance in the Super Bowl half-time show (sorry, Coldplay). In fact, it is a topic with far more currency than the actual dud of a game — and for good reason.
Support for self-described socialist Bernie Sanders is based on his policies, such as supporting union campaigns for a $15 minimum wage. It can be difficult to understand what capitalist elections say about the relation of class forces. This is especially true for the United States where there are no mass workers parties of any type. The two pro-capitalist parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, dominate.