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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.
More than half a million soldiers and civilian militia members took to the streets of Venezuela over May 20 and 21 to defend their national sovereignty amid rumours of international intervention and a potential coup, Venezuela Analysis said on May 23. The drills featured troops, military boats and planes deployed to seven coastal states in Venezuela. They came after President Nicolas Maduro called on the military to rally around the defence of the country’s constitution in the face of foreign aggression.
Veteran British director Ken Loach has won his second Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival for I, Daniel Blake. The film is a warm and realistic drama about a middle-aged widower who, after a heart attack, can neither work nor get benefits. It follows his frustrations as he winds his way through an archaic system that seems designed to bring him down. Accepting the festival's top prize, Loach said: "We must give a message of hope, we must say another world is possible.
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.
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 Socialist Alliance has selected a Victorian Senate team of Lalitha Chelliah and Tim Gooden, and candidates Zane Alcorn for the seat of Wills and Sue Bull for the seat of Corio.
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.

Here's this month's radical record round-up, from Pakistani pop to prisoners' punk. It actually features far more than 10 albums (count them). What album, or albums, would you suggest? Comment on Twitter or Facebook. Videos not playing? Try a bigger screen. 

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.

The land between the Clarence and Nambucca Rivers on New South Wales’ mid-north coast is Gumbaynggirr country. The Blood Rock massacre took place there in the 1880s, when police surrounded local Aboriginal people and shot them in the waters around Red Rock. A plaque reads: “Gumbaynggirr descendants, especially women, still avoid this headland. The significance of this place, and the rebirthing of our culture, will never been forgotten”.

Eight short months ago, much of the population celebrated Malcolm Turnbull's ascension to power. Small-l liberals were drunk with joy and rumour has it that even some self-styled socialists joined the love-in. Turnbull was the Great White Knight who had slain the Abbott Dragon. He would turn the political rudder to the left, so we were told, and we would all live happily ever after. Many writers, no doubt, were also sucked in by this master of spin and his chorus of sycophants. Eight months on, the illusions of those spring days pile up like dead leaves.
At the start of the election campaign federal environment minister Greg Hunt came here to announce $50 million in new projects to boost water quality, including efforts to keep sediment, fertilisers and pesticides off the Great Barrier Reef. This announcement was partly to allay concerns over research showing 93% of the Reef had been bleached and dire predictions that the Reef will be dead in 25 years.