The children of Santhiyogu Anton, who was abducted, tortured by Sri Lankan security forces. Photo from Tamilnet. Santhiyogu Anton, a 38 year old Tamil man, was abducted and tortured by Sri Lankan military intelligence on June 29. After previous experiences of harassment by military intelligence, Anton had sought the assistance of the Catholic Church. He was allowed to stay at a church near the city of Mannar.
Sri Lanka: A Tamil man was just tortured, but Aus. gov't still pressuring Tamil asylum seekers to return
Bill Gates was set to deliver the July 17 annual Mandela Lecture in Johannesburg, justifying his philosophy of market-oriented, technology-centric philanthropy. Last year, French economist Thomas Piketty’s speech on inequality attracted healthy debate — with even business notables endorsing his concerns — given South Africa’s intense social conflict. To illustrate, South Africa’s Gini Coefficient measuring inequality is the world’s highest (at 0.77 on a scale of 0 to 1, in terms of income inequality from employment). Since 2000, social protests have numbered on average 11 per day.
Fundamentalist mob torches Christian neighbourhood in Lahore. March, 2013. Religious terrorism has become one of the major challenges for most Asian countries, particularly in South and West Asia. It has resulted in seemingly non-stop bombings, suicide attacks and other means of terrorism.
Anti-coup rally in Brazil. Since the start of the 21st century, the left has won elections in most Latin American countries in a powerful wave of popular rejection of the disastrous neoliberal policies of the previous regimes. One must however distinguish between two quite different sorts of left governments:
Jeremy Corbyn addresses supporters in London. “Jeremy Corbyn has touched parts of the electorate Labour hasn’t reached in a long time.” That is the judgement of Laura Kuenssberg, the Tory propagandist who delivers most of the BBC’s political coverage on Labour’s socialist leader.
A highway blockade in support of Mexico's striking teachers was increasingly gaining popular support in the capital of the southern state of Chiapas, La Jornada reported on July 13. The protest in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez was organised as a popular assembly. As of July 12, it had been active for 15 days, involving 3500 demonstrators in support of the radical CNTE teachers union.
A reform that better represents the nation's indigenous peoples has been implemented after a constitutional request by Bolivia's indigenous peoples of Yampara and the Sura people from Oruro department (state). Bolivians can now add any cultural identity they want on the back of their ID cards, as the government of Evo Morales continues its efforts to build an inclusive society that better represents the nation's Indigenous peoples.
The streets in Buenos Aires and other Argentine cities have been filled with protesters in a “Cacerolazo” (pot-banging protest) against President Mauricio Macri’s major hikes in utility prices. The hike includes a 700% rise in electricity prices, more than 2000% rise in gas prices in some places and a 350% rise in water prices. Consumer protection associations and left-wing groups called the march against the hikes, which are “affecting people very seriously,” said Osvaldo Bassano, head of the Association for the Defense of Users and Consumers.
The WA government released its plan for remote Aboriginal communities on July 14. The spin is all about “better living conditions”, “supporting families” and “more opportunities”. However the substance is still entirely about penny pinching and withdrawing resources. Communities will close if it is implemented. When WA premier Colin Barnett first announced that up to 150 communities would be forced to close, people responded with a massive, international protest movement to save the communities.
The media and advocates of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement have repeatedly described opponents of the deal as opposed to trade itself. For instance, after US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pressed his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton to swear off passage of the deal, the New York Times said Trump was embracing “nationalistic anti-trade policies”. The Wall Street Journal said Trump expressed “protectionist views”. US President Barack Obama warned that you cannot withdraw “from trade deals” and focus “solely on your local market”.
“The Party of the European Left declares its solidarity with the friends and families of the more than 80 people killed in the incomprehensible attack on July14 in Nice,” the group of left-wing parties across Europe said in a statement that day. “On its national day, France witnesses another violent attack despite all its anti-terrorist security measures.
Amid chaos in Turkey with an ongoing coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the co-chairs of left-wing Kurdish-led People's Democratic Party (HDP) — itself a target of undemocratic erpression by Erdogan's government — released the brief statement below opposing the coup and insisting on a democratic resolutuion to Turkey's conflicts. ***
Ten-time Grammy Award winner, US musician Pharrell Williams has cancelled his July 21 performance in Tel Aviv amid conflicting explanations. Over the past year, the “Happy” pop star has faced sustained pressure from the Palestine solidarity movement. Last year, amid rumours that he would be scheduling a Tel Aviv performance, campaigners urged him not to go. In an open letter, the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel said that by performing in Tel Aviv, Williams would show himself “indifferent to the suffering of Palestinian children”.
A joint review by Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance members. This year's Students of Sustainability (SOS) conference, organised by the Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN), took place in Musgrave Park, Brisbane on Jagera and Turrbal country July 7-11. SOS started in Canberra in 1991 and is the longest running, annual student conference in Australia.
A July 14 rally in Kolkata against repression in Kashmir. Hundreds of students, trade union activists, women’s rights groups, lawyers and queer groups gathered at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, on July 14, wearing black bands to condemn the violence being unleashed on unarmed civilians in Kashmir.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) joined waterside workers from around the world on July 8 in actions to highlight the issues faced by wharfies internationally. Every port in Australia had an action of some description, with most ports taking to the streets to raise grievances about job security, safety and workers' rights.