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.
Protests against an attempt to stifle student participation in elections for representatives to faculty boards have triggered one of the most important student occupations seen in Central America in recent years. The occupation, which began in August, has shut down Guatemala’s sole public university, the University of San Carlos (USC). It has become a direct challenge to the privatising agenda of successive governments and university administrations.
On September 19, about tens of thousands of protesters from Thailand’s resurgent Red Shirt movement (popular name for the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship), took to the streets of Bangkok to defy the regime. Klaus Crimson, whose photographs of this historic rally can be seen at www.links.org.au, told Green Left Weekly: “It was truly an amazing experience. By 9am it was pretty clear to me that it might grow into something big.
The counting of votes in the September 19 Swedish parliamentary elections sent out shock waves. The far right won its first parliamentary seats, and for the first time in modern Swedish political history, an incumbent non-Social Democrats government has been able to win a national election. As such, the process of dismantling the Swedish welfare state is set to continue unabated. The governing right-wing Alliance emerged as the largest bloc, but failed to keep its majority. With 173 seats, it is two seats short of controlling the assembly on its own.
Ten years after the United Nations general assembly adopted the Millennium Development Goals, “the fulfillment of these goals are under serious threat”, Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations Jorge Valero told the general assembly on September 21. The goals include cutting world hunger and the number of people living in extreme poverty by half Bolivian President Evo Morales said they would not be reached unless “we put an end to the unjust distribution of wealth”. He noted that 40% of the world’s poorest people own 5% of the wealth, while the richest 20% control 75%.
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.
“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.