1208

After the successful School Strike 4 Climate Action last November 30, where more than 15,000 students walked out of school, organisers have called another strike for March 15 as part of a Global Day of Action — and they are asking others to join in.

On February 12, the trial of 12 Catalan politicians and social movement leaders involved in the October 1, 2017 independence referendum is set to begin in the Spanish Supreme Court.

The leaders face sanctions as harsh as 25 year’s jail for their alleged offences — rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds.

The campaign to stop the refoulment of refugee Hakeem al-Araibi from Thailand to Bahrain is growing, with many football authorities taking a stand.

A bucket of dead fish was emptied outside NSW minister for regional water Niall Blair’s office on February 7 as part of a protest to demand swift action on the water crisis affecting regional communities. The protest was organised by Fighting In Resistance Equally (FIRE).

In 1996, when I was working in Nicaragua, I attended a conference in El Salvador and met a charismatic former army officer from Venezuela called Hugo Chávez. He explained how he was building an alliance between patriotic military officers and working people and that they were seeking to win the next elections and use the country’s oil wealth to improve the quality of life for the poor.

The Australian Labor Party leadership has failed its first foreign policy test in 2019 by 's support for the Donald Trump administration’s recognition of Juan Guaidó as un-elected “interim President” of Venezuela, in violation of international law.

The inability of the Liberal Party to find candidates for Hunter seats for the March New South Wales state election suggests that even its party faithful recognise that Gladys Berejiklian’s Coalition government is headed for electoral defeat and, probably, a total wipe-out in the Hunter.

On February 14, the family and supporters of TJ Hickey will meet at the park they have named after the young Kamilaroi man, .

In the banking royal commission’s final report, Commissioner Kenneth Hayne made 76 recommendations for reforms to the sector, but stopped short of calling for charges to be laid against bank executives and board members, or any radical shake-up of the industry.

This has led some, such as financial commentator Michael Pascoe writing in the February 5 New Daily, to proclaim: “And the winner is ... the big banks!” His words were promptly reinforced by the fact that bank shares skyrocketed the day after the report was released.

After Commissioner Kenneth Hayne released the banking royal commission’s interim report in September, many of the headlines and takeaway quotes focused on its claim that banks “put profits before people”.

Hundreds have mobilised to attend pickets and mass meetings in defence of Venezuela’s sovereignty and to demand an end to the British and US governments interference during a time of difficulty in Venezuela. Starting with a picket at the Prime Minister’s Office and continuing with two mass meetings of the progressive left, anti-war, student and labour movement, a week of protests ended with a picket of the BBC headquarters and a further action planned against the Bank of England who have illegally seized US$1.2 billion of Venezuela’s gold.

Two competing marches took over the streets of Caracas on February 2 — in support and against elected President Nicolas Maduro. The foreign media focused on the opposition march exclusive, despite that the pro-government march was clearly larger.

Much media fanfare has been made about US President Donald Trump pledge to deliver US$20 millions worth of humanitarian aid, in the form of food and medicine, into Venezuela via its borders with Colombia and Brazil. But in all media coverage, almost nothing has been said of the impact that the devastating and illegal US sanctions have had on the Venezuelan people, or that the latest round, including the impact that the seizure of Venezuela’s oil assets in the US will have.

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