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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Gold Coast police officer accused of leaking video footage showing his colleagues brutally bashing a young man in a police station basement is facing criminal charges. Noa Begic was repeatedly punched to the ground in the station’s basement with his hands cuffed behind his back in January 2012. While the two officers responsible for the attack were given a slap on the wrist, Rick Flori, the station’s sergeant, who allegedly leaked video footage to The Courier Mail is now facing charges of misconduct, abuse of public office and fraud.
Australia desperately needs high-speed rail, if for no other reason than short-haul aviation is a major source of rising greenhouse emissions. This does not mean, however, that the Consolidated Lands & Rail Australia's (CLARA) proposal to build a high-speed line from Sydney to Melbourne, along with eight new “smart cities” along the route should be welcomed. Any proposal for a privately built, privately operated railway should be suspect. CLARA's proposal is particularly so.
Limelight Magazine reported on July 7 that a major restructure at ABC Classic FM could see the loss of several programs and many popular presenters. Quoting senior sources within the ABC, the magazine said the shakeup will see a large number of redundancies, including some of the broadcaster's most high-profile figures, as well the loss of most of its live-to-air presented programming.
Socialist councillor Sue Bolton convinced Moreland Council on July 13 to reinstate the after-hours Aged and Disability Home Support Services for existing clients as well as new ones. Bolton said she was enormously grateful to the parents of children with disabilities who spoke up on behalf of all the parents who were unable to come to the meeting or who didn’t think it was possible to fight the cut. “Those parents put a human face on the implications of a very bureaucratic cut: their stories had an impact on the other councillors”, Bolton told Green Left Weekly.
Professional athletes provide a flicker of hope during these agonising days by speaking out against police violence. “Shut up and play” clearly doesn't fly when black bodies are falling at the hands of those whose job is to serve and protect. In fact, it's almost surprising now when football and basketball players — the two sports most dependent on black labour — do not speak out.
With Serena Williams' record-tying Grand Slam victory July 9, her claim to the best athlete of her generation — male or female — seems irrefutable. But with the celebrity tennis player's Compton-to-Wimbledon narrative, and emergence as an outspoken and defiant champion of the African American community in the US, is the superstar athlete the most iconic since the late Muhammad Ali?
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.