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With polls showing growing support for the Greens and independents, the powers-that-be and their media hacks are becoming increasingly hysterical. For the 1% and their supporters, the prospect of the July 2 double dissolution election delivering a hung parliament is the worst of all possible worlds. Uncertainty threatens their profit margins and means political and economic chaos — a nightmare for the ruling class that has had it so good for so long.
Climate change was a glaring omission from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s address announcing the federal election. It has also been below the radar on the Labor’s campaign trail. In contrast the Greens launched their election campaign at a protest on May 8 organised by climate group 350.org, which closed down the coal port of Newcastle. Greens leader Richard Di Natale said it was time Australia got serious about “tackling dangerous global warming”.
Duncan Storrar, the man who dared to ask a question about tax thresholds on ABC TV's Q & A program on May 9, has thanked Australians for their support and criticised the Murdoch press after he was villified in News Corp newspapers the following week. A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign in the following days raised more than $60,000 for Storrar, after he questioned the Coalition government's tax policy, introducing himself as someone with a "disability and a low education".
Zebedee Parkes, an activist in Sydney’s Refugee Action Coalition and member of Socialist Alliance prepared this for Green Left Weekly. 1. Asylum seeker protests in Nauru detention centre for more than 60 days Protests in the Nauru detention centre started on March 20 and have now continued for more than 60 days in the face of hostility from guards and attempts to stop messages from getting out to the world.
Heavily armed “anti-terrorist” police raided homes in Melbourne and arrested a teenager in Sydney on May 17. This foiled two unrelated terror plots, according to saturation media coverage based on information from police and security agencies that is too secret to be heard in court. In Sydney, 18-year-old Tamim Khaja was arrested in Parramatta and charged with planning a terrorist attack and preparing for “foreign incursions”.
The federal Coalition government is planning to hold a referendum in 2017 on Constitutional Recognition of Australia’s original inhabitants. So far the campaign consists of establishing the Recognise campaign, in a bid to educate Australians about the importance of the recognition referendum. The government has already funded the Recognise campaign to the tune of $15 million, and promised another $15 million in this year’s budget. At the same time, it has cut funding to Aboriginal medical centres, Aboriginal legal services and other Indigenous programs and services.
One good thing about being out of the country for a while is not having to listen to the lies of the Coalition and Labor. We know that on every occasion they lie to get into power. They take no responsibility for the carnage they cause in their quest to see who can be the biggest slaves to corporate Australia. The Socialist Alliance is running myself, Susan Price, Sharlene Leroy-Dyer and Howard Byrnes in the NSW Senate. Peter Boyle is running for Tanya Plibersek's seat of Sydney. As Brother Kev Carmody's song goes: “From little things big things grow”.
On May 10, the MP for Cairns Rob Pyne did what many politicians in Queensland have claimed for the past 30 years could not be done: he presented a private member's bill to decriminalise abortion. While some members of parliament over the years have claimed to have had a private members bill in their top drawer ready to go, when it came to the crunch these bills never saw the light of day. But it was not due to a lack of evidence from medical, legal and public health experts, who supported removal of abortion from the Crimes Act.
A group of over 800 international academics and intellectuals from around the world, calling themselves "Humanity Against the Coup in Brazil" released a statement on May 16 condemning the ouster of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff by right-wing elements. The statement says that Rousseff's ouster on May 11 was an "imposed coup d'etat by a questionable and corrupt Congress."
Anti-coup protesters

As protests continue in Brazil over the Legislature’s vote to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and put her on trial, Noam Chomsky told Democracy Now!: "We have the one leading politician who hasn’t stolen to enrich herself, who’s being impeached by a gang of thieves, who have done so. That does count as a kind of soft coup."

Venezuela's socialist president Nicolas Maduro told a crowd of supporters on May 15 that to increase productivity and help alleviate scarcity of basic products facing the South American nation, all businesses and factories closed down by their owners would be seized and handed over to their workers so production could be restarted. “A stopped factory [is] a factory turned over to the people,” Maduro said. “The moment to do it has come, I'm ready to do it to radicalise the Revolution.”

Puerto Rican flag

Last year, Puerto Rico's governor announced it simply did not have the money to repay its US$72 billion debt — on bonds owed mainly to US financiers. On May 2, the US's Caribbean colony defaulted on $400 million that was due on that day. A further $2 billion is due on June 1.