“When one farmer kills themselves you can call it suicide. But when a quarter of a million farmers kill themselves, how can the government call it suicide? It is genocide. These farmers are being killed by design.” So opens Cotton For My Shroud, a documentary about embattled Indian farmers and the assault on traditional rural agricultural life waged by Monsanto and the political class in its pockets.
Ian Angus at global launch of ‘Facing the Anthropocene: Fossil Capitalism and the Crisis of the Earth System’. Sydney, May 13.
Thousands of people from a diversity of local campaigns came out to protest Premier Mike Baird and corporate control over democracy in NSW. Some of the issues raised included included stop westconnex, stop the council amalgamations, anti-CSG, save tafe and other services and opposing the the new police powers like the anti-protest laws among others. The rally was organized by March Australia - Sydney. Here are some photos of the rally:
Portuguese politics is in limbo. It has been since elections last October failed to give any party an outright majority. The Socialist Party (PS) was eventually able to form a minority government after forming an agreement with forces to its left: the Left Bloc, the Portuguese Communist Party and the Greens. The good news is that this limbo, the thin ice on which this agreement is skating, also presents an opportunity for the left to engage in clear and clean politics with room for actual negotiation.
The overthrow of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff in an institutional coup by right-wing forces has been justified by allegations of corruption — even though issue Dilma is being impeached on is use of a relatively normal government spending mechanism.
The three remaining presidential candidates — Republican candidate Donald Trump, and Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders — have all come out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in varying degrees. The TPP, a “free trade agreement” involving 16 Pacific Rim nations (including Australia), is an undisguised corporate power grab. However, all candidates in the US presidential election stress a reactionary argument against it.
In Coburg on May 28 about 400-500 people rallied peacefully in opposition to the federal government policies that promote racism towards Aborigines, refugees and Muslims. This was despite the rain. Rally participants included the young and the old, people with children, church groups, interfaith groups, refugees, Muslims and First Nations people.
Ating Guro vigil outside Comelec office. Manila, May 27. Photo: Partido Lakas ng Masa. Supporters of the Ating Guro (Teachers Dignity) partylist held a three-night vigil outside the offices of the Philippines Commission on Election (Comelec) on May 24, to protest apparent irregularities in counting votes after the May 9 general election.
Feminists and their supporters have campaigned for decades to remove abortion from the NSW Crimes Act and treat the procedure as a health issue. For decades, they have been told “now is not the right time”. Finally, NSW MLC Mehreen Faruqi has moved a repeal Bill.
First Nations Socialist Alliance Senate candidate for NSW Ken Canning visited the Bankstown campus of Western Sydney University on May 9 to inform students about why we need a people's movement. The meeting was organised by the Resistance Club. He raised several key issues including the fact that despite former Labor PM Kevin Rudd's “Sorry” speech Indigenous children are still being forcefully removed at a higher rate than ever before.
The Malcolm Turnbull Coalition government's economic spin is that they are managing a “transition” from “strong resource investment-led growth to broader-based drivers of economic activity”. This, it claims in the 2016 budget papers, is a transition to more “labour-intensive sectors, such as services”. Hence the Coalition's mantra: “Growth and jobs”. Sounds nice, but what does this mean for the different classes in Australia?
The Victorian branch of the Country Women's Association (CWA) has voted in support of marriage equality at their latest conference. The CWA's decision contrasts with its conservative image and defies stereotypes of rural communities as being less accepting of LGBTIQ people. The motion was titled "That the CWA of Victoria Inc advocates for equality for all Australians under the Commonwealth Marriage Act".
Sydney's Kurdish community and their supporters took to Martin Place on May 23 in a snap protest against Turkey's increasingly repressive Recep Tayyip Erdogan government after it cancelled the parliamentary immunity of progressive opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MPs. This is part of a bloody war the regime has been waging against the Kurdish people since June last year. Socialist Alliance candidate for the federal seat of Sydney Peter Boyle addressed the rally.
A report released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis on May 19 has said that the $800 million gas pipeline planned for the Northern Territory is economically unviable, to the extent that it is described as the “whitest of white elephants”. The pipeline, known as the North East Gas Interconnector (NEGI), has been the crown of the NT Country Liberal Party’s economic strategy in the lead-up to the August election. The pipeline is designed to transport the vast shale gas reserves in the NT from Tennant Creek to Mt Isa for sale to the rest of the world.