UPDATE October 1, 12.30 AEST: Troops loyal to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa have freed him from the military hospital where he was previously held hostage by right-wing coup police. He is now addressing a large number of triumphant supporters gathered at the Plaza of Independence in Quito who are chanting: "El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!". See livestreamed coverage by Telesur below.
Mérida, September 30th 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – As a coup attempt takes place in Ecuador, Venezuela and regional organisations of Latin America have come out in solidarity with Ecuador, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called on the people and military of Ecuador to defend President Rafael Correa and their country’s democracy. Ecuador is a close ally of Venezuela, and a fellow member of the progressive Bolivarian Alliance of the People of Our America (ALBA).
A protest by "anti-corporate pirates", organised by the Socialist Alliance, took place outside a global corporate CEO's conference organised by Forbes at the luxury Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney on September 29. Corporate pirates were plundering and destroying the earth and exploiting the world's majority, said Pirate Paul Benedek. "Them scurvy corporate dogs be giving us grassroots pirates a bad name, arrrgh!" Watch Channel Ten News coverage of the protest:
In the parliamentary elections on Sunday 26 September, the PSUV [United Socialist Party of Venezuela] won a volume and distribution of votes that gave it a simple majority of deputies in the National Assembly. The triumph of socialist candidates preserves the political continuity of the democratic process led by President Hugo Chavez, and shows that the bulk of the population prefers the anti-capitalist and socialist path.
Campaigners for women’s reproductive rights are gearing up for a day of protest on October 9. A young woman and her partner from Cairns face charges under Queensland’s 19th century criminal code for procuring an abortion. The trial date is set for October 12. A National Day of Action (NDA) will be marked by protests around the country, demanding that all charges against the couple be dropped. The NDA is the initiative of three organisations: the Pro-Choice Action Collective in Brisbane, the Women’s Abortion Action Campaign in Sydney and Radical Women in Melbourne.
The announcement by the Cuban Trade Union Confederation (CTC) on September 13 about plans to reduce the state sector workforce by half a million was greeted by jeering headlines from journalists outside the island. Cuba is rarely of interest to the corporate press unless they believe there is some crisis to celebrate or that new measures can be interpreted as evidence of a shift from socialism to capitalism.
The heading at the top of the Emily’s List website says: “When women support women, women win.” But not all women will be winners from Emily’s List. If you’re an ALP candidate, the list wants you to win. It offers publicity, financial support, and networking to get you elected. Since it was set up in 1996, the political network dedicated to advancing progressive female candidates has donated $600,000 to election campaigns.
The 2008 election of Barack Obama appeared to herald a new dawn for 12 million undocumented immigrants, many of them laboring in the US’s most exhausting and underpaid workplaces. The president’s own aunt, 58-year-old Zeituni Onyango, was forced to live “without papers” in Boston when a judge rejected her original petition for asylum in 2004. So it seemed Obama would be sympathetic to the plight of immigrants at least. However, mounting evidence indicates life is becoming increasingly miserable for the undocumented population in the US.
The approaching October 12 trial of a young Cairns couple on abortion-related criminal charges shows the need for repeal of the anti-abortion laws. In response, the campaign to decriminalise abortion is gaining strength. A July 9 book launch with author Caroline de Costa attracted 90 people. Jo Wainer, a long-time campaigner for abortion rights, was a special guest speaker at the event.
“I want to make films with a social purpose”, Newcastle-based film maker and activist Simon Cunich told Green Left Weekly. “I think every one has got a responsibility to persuade people and to inspire activism.” Cunich, a member of Socialist Alliance, is completing a certificate in Screen and Media. Newcastle is the largest exporter of coal in the world and Cunich said this “environmental destruction” has led to a hub of activism in opposition.
The statement below was released on September 24 by the International Action Centre, IACentre.org * * * We denounce the Federal Bureau of Investigation harassment of anti-war and solidarity activists in several states across the country. The FBI began turning over six houses in Chicago and Minneapolis this morning, September 24, 2010, at 8am. The FBI handed subpoenas to testify before a federal grand jury to about a dozen activists in Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan.
The year before England won the 1966 World Cup, I interviewed its captain, Bobby Moore. Having not long arrived in England from the antipodes, where “soccer” was a minority sport beloved by Italians and Croats, I did not have a clue about the game. Nevertheless, I had been assigned to write a “human interest” piece on the West Ham star by the same convivial assistant editor who had hired me believing I could play cricket, because I was Australian, and so assist the Daily Mirror team in its grudge match against the Express.
On September 19, tens of thousands of pro-democracy Red Shirts returned to the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok to remember the military coup that took place four years ago, as well as the murder of about 90 unarmed demonstrators in April and May. Then, many of the protesters were gunned down by army snipers near Ratchaprasong. Since the brutal killings by the military-backed Abhisit Vejjajiva junta, there has been a climate of fear. Hundreds of political prisoners have been locked up and there is evidence of extrajudicial killings of Red Shirt activists.
A long running struggle to save a public park in the central Tokyo ward of Shibuya from private development by sporting goods company Nike intensified on September 15. The Shibuya ward authorities sealed off the park and deployed police and private security guards to stop activists and homeless people who live in the park from re-entering. Activists had been occupying the park since March. Situated in the centre of downtown Tokyo, Miyashita Park has long been an oasis of trees amid the high-rise buildings and expensive retail outlets of Shibuya.
The call to put "a price on carbon" has gained wide support in Australia. It has also gained new currency in the context of a minority Labor government formed with support from the Greens and three independents. Support for a price on carbon has come from across the political spectrum — from the Liberal Party's Malcolm Turnbull through to grassroots climate activists. Green Left Weekly’s Simon Butler asked five Australian climate activists if they thought a carbon price was good policy and should be supported by climate action movement.
When I heard about the strike that was planned by Italian Football players in Serie A league on September 25 and 26 (but has been postponed), I wondered what familiar refrains would be used to attack it. The inevitable “millionaires complaining about their conditions” line was put by Yahoo Sports football blogger Brooks Peck in a September 12 piece. Peck’s article mocks the idea that the “rights” of “lavishly paid” players are being violated: “This is Cambodian sweatshop type stuff.”