Mudslides in Freetown, Sierra Leone killed about 1000 people on August 14, mostly inhabitants of the urban slums in the hills above the capital.
Laban ng Masa, a new coalition of trade unionists, community activists, urban poor organisations, feminists and socialists, marked its formation by organising a mass protest in Manila on September 21.
The protest marked the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and to oppose moves towards martial law by President Rodrigo Duterte, who openly admires Marcos. Duterte’s government has already declared martial law in Mindanao and overseen 13,000 extrajudicial killings of poor people in a “war on drugs”.
Sound System: The Political Power of Music
Pluto Press Left Book Club, 2017
210 pp, $38.99
As a teenager, British writer and musician Dave Randall unwittingly attended a music festival in his home town where he heard the Special AKA sing “Free Nelson Mandela”. He experienced an epiphany.
“I had no idea who Nelson Mandela was,” he writes, “but I knew by the end of the first chorus I wanted him to be free.”
Creating Freedom: Power, Control & the Fight for our Future
By Raoul Martinez
Cannongate Publishing, Edinburgh
2016, 496 pages
“Free markets, free trade, free elections, free media, free thought, free speech, free will. The language of freedom pervades our lives, framing the most urgent issues of our time and the deepest questions about who we are and wish to be.”
One Song One Union
In August 2015, 97 wharfies employed by Hutchison Ports in Brisbane and Sydney awoke to emails and text messages informing them they were sacked. Not enough work to go around, the company said.
Within 24 hours, trade unionists had established community picket lines at both ports and the Maritime Union of Australia was in court seeking reinstatement orders. As news spread, supporters began making their way to the picket camps.
Using the Metro Cable car system built under former president Hugo Chavez, our solidarity delegation to the South American nation, organised by Venezuelanalysis.com, travelled high up into the mountain to the neighbourhood of San Agustin.
The Metro Cable system, the first of its kind in Venezuela, was inspired by a visit by Chavez to Austria where he saw dozens of chairlifts going up and down the mountains.
Since the start of the year, 76 women have died while giving birth in Lara state — the highest rate of any state in Venezuela and three times the rate for the rest of the country.
Speaking about the situation to Green Left Weekly, Katrina Kozarek from the Women’s Movement for Life in Barquisimeto, the capital of Lara, explained: “Both the doctors and nurses treat poor, black women really badly. They slap their bottoms, call them filthy names and say ‘stop screaming because you didn’t scream like that when you were having sex’.”
Geelong Council was sacked in April last year by the Victorian state government. It was accused of being dysfunctional, having no long-term strategic plan and failing to respond to a highly-publicised report on bullying in the council.
As serious as some of these allegations were – particularly those regarding bullying – neither of us as Geelong residents felt they warranted the undemocratic sacking of a duly-elected council. Surely the people of Geelong should be the ones that make any such decision?
The decision by the City of Fremantle to drop its annual Australia Day fireworks has inevitably shaped the contours of the looming council elections, even though no candidate has made it the centrepiece of their campaign.
The election is largely pitting a generally socially progressive group of incumbents of different political stripes (Labor, Greens, socialist and independents) against an alliance of conservative challengers headed by mayoral candidate Caroline “Ra” Stewart.
Forty-one Spanish Civil Guard raids on Catalan government-related buildings and private homes on September 20 led to the arrest of 13 high-level Catalan government officials and harvested a lot of “suspect material” for the prosecutors charged with stopping Catalonia’s October 1 independence referendum. However, the raid have provoked a mass revolt in response.
The haul included 10 million ballot papers stored in a printery warehouse in the central Catalan town of Bigues i Riells.
The week of frontline action against the Adani coalmine in Queensland’s Galilee basin, which took place from September 16 to 23, is just the beginning.
More than 100 people, many new to campaigning, came to say: “We will stop Adani”.
Adriana Rivas is a former National Intelligence Directorate (DINA) agent living in Sydney. DINA was Chile’s intelligence bureau during General Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship and is known as Pinochet’s Gestapo due to its cruelty and mass assassinations.
The earthquake that hit on September 19 made my whole apartment move from side to side, like a tiny old ship caught on reckless waves. I live in the old part of central Puebla, just 51 kilometres from the epicentre.
After the quake, I watched as crowds gathered in the middle of the street — normally a busy fish and vegetable market. Children were crying, people were a bit shaken, but they seemed okay. The next morning, I walked around the city, observing the large cracks and broken corners on some of the most historic and beautiful buildings.
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales used his September 19 speech to the United Nations General Assembly to condemn terrorism, abusive market practices and wars in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Libya as well as the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
In his address to the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York, Morales also sent his solidarity to the people of Mexico after the 7.1 earthquake and Caribbean nations devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The flags of the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) and Shengal Women's Units (YJS) were planted in the city centre of Raqqa, which had been the capital city of ISIS, on September 14.
Local residents rallied with activists from around Sydney as part of the "No M4 toll, Stop WestConnex" campaign on September 18 in Penrith. Protesters marched on the local electoral office of New South Wales Minister for WestConnex Stuart Ayres.
The protesters delivered more than 2000 letters of opposition to the re-imposed tolls on the widened M4 motorway, which is part of the controversial $18 billion WestConnex tollway project.