The Spanish parliament was the scene of a sharp clash on April 6 over the March 18 European Union-Turkey “pact of shame” that will return up to 50,000 asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey. The asylum seekers — most fleeing from the Syrian civil war — will then be placed in an archipelago of detention centres. Acting Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, of the conservative People's Party (PP), defended the agreement, saying “things are getting better, we have a procedure”.
Thousands of protesters marched on Downing Street on April 9 to demand British Prime Minister David Cameron resign after revelations about his tax affairs emerged in preceding days in fall out from the huge Panama Papers tax haven leaks.
On April 1, police opened fire on indigenous and rural poor protesters who were blocking the highway into Kidapawan in the landlocked province of Cotabato on the island of Mindanao, killing three protesters and injuring at least 116. While no investigation of the police action has yet taken place, 71 protesters remain detained. On April 4 a police spokesperson announced that Cotabato police chief Alexander Tagum would be suspended pending an investigation.
Protest by members of the Wer'suwet'en First Nation against tar sands oil pipelines. Ian Angus is a Canadian ecosocialist activist and author. The editor of Climateandcapitalism.com, Angus is also the co-author of Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis with former Green Left Weekly editor Simon Butler (Haymarket, 2011).
The Immigration Department is reviewing Wilson Security's lucrative role at the Manus Island and Nauru offshore detention camps following allegations it was secretly controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Thomas Kwok, who is serving five years in jail for bribery, and his brother. Wilson Security has denied allegations that the brothers concealed their ownership and control of Wilson after the claims emerged as part of the Panama Papers, the leak of millions documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca, based in Panama.
Jasmine Pilbrow faced court on April 7 after she stood up for a refugee who was being deported on her Qantas flight.
Sanders addresses rally outside his childhood home in Brooklyn, New York. April 8. A McClatchy-Marist poll, conducted at the end of March, puts self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders ahead of establishment favourite Hillary Clinton by two percentage points in the Democratic presidential race, TeleSUR English said on April 5.
Immigration minister Peter Dutton announced on April 2 that for the first time in a decade there were no children in Australian detention centres. “When I got the call,” he said, “it was something I was proud of.” With the announcement came news that 196 of the 267 asylum seekers who lost the High Court case challenging the government's legal right to deport them to Nauru would be moved to community detention in Australia.
The 100th anniversary of Ireland’s Easter Rising against British rule was commemorated over the Easter weekend in Ireland and across the world. Although the rebellion failed, it spurred the Irish liberation struggle amid widespread anger at savage British repression. In 1918, Sinn Fein swept elections in Ireland to British parliament, with Sinn Fein MPs refusing to take their seats and instead declaring independence. A war for independence ended in 1921 with a treaty that partitioned the island — provoking an Irish civil war.
Australia's consumer affairs ministers have adopted a definition of "free range" eggs that allows eggs from hens kept at a stocking density of up to 10,000 birds per hectare — one bird per square metre — to be sold as "free range". This definition reflects pressure from industrial egg producers. Animal welfare advocates had supported the CSIRO's Model Code of Practice, which sets a limit of 1500 birds per hectare.