The Congressional, executive and judicial wings of the United State government recently clarified for all — despite Washington's claims to the contrary — that Puerto Rico is a US colony. A law known as PROMESA was passed by Congress with bipartisan support and signed by President Barack Obama on June 30. It creates an unelected seven-person control board that has sweeping powers to take over Puerto Rico's economy.
Representatives from the CNTE attend talks in Mexico City, June 22, 2016. A second hours-long meeting between striking teachers and the government in Mexico City wrapped up in the early hours of June 28 as authorities called on unions to end the blockades in the southern state of Oaxaca, the Mexican news agency Notimex said.
Ten years after the Oaxaca Commune of 2006 — when for nearly six months workers, students, peasants, women, youth, indigenous peoples and urban poor brought the government of the southern Mexican state to a virtual standstill — teachers in the Mexican state are back on the barricades. Once again, the state has responded with brute force.
The vast majority of British Labour MPs — 81% — and their accomplices in the country's liberal media are attempting a coup against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The veteran socialist MP was elected by Labour's members only nine months ago with the largest mandate ever won. He won because he had set himself apart from other Labour politicians throughout his decades in office by his commitment to working class interests — and especially by voting against the Tory's attack on the poor last year while 184 Labour MPs (88%) abstained.
The morning after the July 2 federal elections, Australians awoke to a still undecided election. Whether the incumbent Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull holds on by a slim majority, or is able to form a minority government, or whether Labor under Bill Shorten can form a minority government, or whether there is a hung parliament requiring new elections, remained unclear. Some things, however, were immediately apparent.
Diet of Austerity: Class, Food & Climate Change By Elaine Graham-Leigh Zero Books, 2015 Like the author of this interesting book on food and climate change, I have been struck by the way that the question of diet, and in particular meat eating, has become central to debates on tackling climate change.
The Deaths in Custody Watch Committee (DICWC) has called on all parties contesting the federal election to commit to the establishment of a Custody Notification Service in each state and territory. The NSW Custody Notification Service (CNS) — the only CNS operating in Australia — is a 24-hour legal advice and RU OK phone line for Aboriginal people taken into police custody. Significantly, there have been no Aboriginal deaths in police custody in NSW since the CNS was introduced in 2000.
Former NSW MP and right-wing powerbroker Eddie Obeid may lose his parliamentary pension of about $120,000 a year after he was found guilty of wilful misconduct in public office. Obeid faces up to five years' jail for corruption after he was found to have lobbied the then Maritime Authority's deputy chief executive, Steve Dunn, in 2007 about a long-running dispute over the renewal of leases at Circular Quay. Former parliamentarians convicted of crimes or serious offences warranting at least five years' imprisonment can have their pensions invalidated.
Police victim TJ Hickey could be closer to receiving a much sought after memorial. Brad Hazzard, NSW Minister for Family and Community Services and Social Housing, has told TJ's mother, Aunty Gail Hickey, he is sympathetic to the family's need for healing and would like to see the issue of a permanent memorial resolved.
About 200 people rallied on June 26 demanding people charged under section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 be freed and allowed to stay in Australia. More than 190 people, mostly New Zealanders, have been ripped away from their families and put in prison on Christmas Island, 380 kilometres south of Java and 2650 kilometres north-west of Perth, pending deportation. The numbers are set to increase.
A growing number of local councils and universities are divesting from financial institutions that invest in fossil fuel extraction. This is a great credit to climate change campaigners around the country. It points the way forward towards the even greater shift in investment priorities that we will need to make if we are to stop catastrophic runaway global warming.
On June 26, Hundreds of people rallied against racism in Melbourne on June 26. Far-right groups True Blue Crew and United Patriot Front organised an Australian National Flag Solidarity Walk at Parliament House in Melbourne that attracted about 50 people. In response Campaign Against Racism and Fascism organised a counter-rally also at Parliament House, which was attended by 200 to 300 protesters, easily outnumbering the far right. The counter-rally occupied the space between police lines and prevented the United Patriots and True Blue Crew from rallying outside Parliament.
Members of the Bendigo Street housing protest rallied in Melbourne on June 26 to demand affordable public housing and condemn the privatisation of public housing. Victoria is facing a housing crisis, with more than 25,000 people homeless and 32,000 people on the waiting list for public housing. There are an estimated 80,000 empty homes, including many compulsorily acquired by the government to build the East West Link that now remain empty.
Recently Facebook reminded me of a “memory” of an article I posted three years ago. I had said that I was doing the happy dance because we were making progress and were finally being heard.
Public housing tenants, led by the Waterloo Public Housing Action Group (WPHAG) and with the support of the Redfern-Waterloo Aboriginal community, have set up a tent embassy at Waterloo Green to resist the destruction of their homes and their community. The Embassy is supported by Aboriginal elder Jenny Munro who led the successful embassy at the Block in Redfern.