“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:
Tasmanian Police have discontinued their prosecution of former Greens leader Bob Brown, who was arrested earlier this year under controversial anti-protest laws which he went on to challenge in the High Court. Brown was arrested in January for standing in the way of bulldozers primed to clear forest at Lapoinya, in north west Tasmania. He was one of the first to be charged under the Workplaces (Protection from Protestors) Act 2014. The law is part of a controversial series of legislation, which aims at deterring protests that interrupt businesses' activities.
Benny Wenda addressing public forum in Sydney. May 24. West Papuan independence leader Benny Wenda has been touring Australia, spreading awareness of the West Papuan struggle for freedom from Indonesian rule.
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.
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.
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.