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The 2006 Jana Andolan (“People’s Movement”), which shut down Nepal and overthrew the 240-year-old Shah monarchy, was widely hailed as the birth of a new era of democracy.

For the first time, the people of Nepal were able to elect a constituent assembly in 2008, giving the mass of Nepalis an unprecedented say in the future of their country.

In a qualitative escalation, the government of President Barack Obama has for the first time used the “war on terror” against socialists in the United States. On September 24, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated early-morning raids at homes and offices in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina.

The political police seized computers, passports, books, documents, cell phones, photos, financial records, diaries, maps and other materials. In one case, children’s artwork was confiscated.

The following is abridged from a September 29 statement issued by a delegation of north Queensland Indigenous traditional owners in Canberra. They went to meet Opposition leader Tony Abbott to ask him to drop his move to overturn Queensland’s Wild Rivers legislation.

After the delegation's visit, the federal government referred the issue a parliamentary committee to report back no later than next March.

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The Mountain City Murders
By John Tognolini
Ginninderra Press, Port Adelaide, 2010

The Mountain City Murders is a tale of crime, corruption and politics. Set in 2008 in the fictional New South Wales town of Mountain City (about 120km west of Sydney), the novel tells a story critical of criminal and capitalist greed.

More than 10 million workers staged a general strike in Spain on September 29 in response to vicious government attacks on their rights and pensions.

The huge mobilisation, organised by the Confederacion Sindical de Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) and Sindicato Union General de Trabajadores (UGT) labour unions, produced a 75% turnout of members, sending a strong message of opposition to the austerity measures.

UGT secretary for organisation and communication Jose Javier Cubillo said that in some sectors of the economy, such as steel and energy, support for the strike was close to 100%.

Palestinian activists in the occupied West Bank have called for the boycott of the popular Rami Levy Israeli supermarket chain. The chain has several stores inside Israel’s illegal settlements.

Activists say they will call on fellow Palestinians to “avoid supporting the occupation and settlements’ economy by boycotting Israeli goods and settlement stores”.

A vigil was held on September 23 outside the Rami Levy store inside the Sha’ar Binyamin settlement south of Bethlehem.

On September 24, Australia took another step backwards.

Hadi Ahmadi, 35, was sentenced in a Perth court to a maximum of seven and a half years for assisting 562 asylum seekers to reach Australia on two boats in 2001. He was originally charged with “smuggling” 900 people on four boats, but this number was reduced during the course of the trial.

Ahmadi had been recognised as a refugee by the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). After twice failing to reach Australia by boat, he turned to helping others attempt the journey.

On September 30, Ecuador descended into chaos as a protest by sections of the police force and army turned into a potentially bloody coup against left-wing President Rafael Correa.

At about 8am, sections of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces and the national police went on strike, occupying police stations and barracks in the capital Quito, in Guayaquil and in at least four other cities. They set up road blocks with burning tyres, cutting off access to the capital.

On October 10, the international day of climate action, climate activists will converge on Hazelwood, Australia’s dirtiest power station.

Each year, Hazelwood burns 17 million tonnes of brown coal and consumes 27 million litres of water (the equivalent of using one month’s worth of Melbourne’s water supply every day). It accounts for 15% of Victoria’s emissions and 3% of Australia’s emissions.

On September 5, the Basque armed group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Basque Homeland and Freedom, ETA), which has fought an armed struggle for Basque freedom for decades, released a video declaring that several months ago it had decided to stop armed actions, and announced a ceasefire.

In its statement, ETA said: “In recent times, the Basque country has been at an important crossroads. The political struggle has opened up new conditions...

“The time has come to build a democratic framework for the Basque country respecting the wishes of the majority of the Basque people...

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