About 6000 people rallied in Jayapura, the capital of Indonesian-occupied West Papua on May 2 demanding a referendum on independence. The demonstration also commemorated the illegal occupation of West Papua in 1963. West Papua Media Alerts reported on May 2 that West Papua National Committee (KNPB) spokesperson Victor Yeimo said: “We want to show Indonesia and the international community that we are not just a handful of people who want independence. All people of West Papua want to be free.”
Federal elections were held in Canada on May 2 after the conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper lost a motion of no-confidence in parliament. In the elections, Harper's government was returned -- winning enough extra seats to move from being minority government to a majority one.
This article is reposted from http://gazatvnews.com . Protesters fired on by Israeli forces were commemorating al Nakba ("the catastrophe"), as Palestinians refer to the ethnic cleansing that accompanied the founding of Israel. See also Remembering al Nakba VIDEO: Sydney community discusses Marrickville Council's 'boycott Israel' stance Sydney conference discusses BDS, Palestine solidarity
Voting across Britain on May 5 resulted in a rejection of changes to the electoral system, but election results in Scotland may herald the end of Britain as we know it. The referendum on introducing an “Alternative Vote” voting system (much like the preferential voting system in Australia) to replace the current “First Past The Post” system was decisively defeated. With a turnout of only 42%, 67.87% voted against the change.
“Factories making sought-after Apple iPads and iPhones in China are forcing staff to sign pledges not to commit suicide, an investigation has revealed. “At least 14 workers at Foxconn factories in China have killed themselves in the last 16 months as a result of horrendous working conditions. “Many more are believed to have either survived attempts or been stopped before trying at the Apple supplier's plants in Chengdu or Shenzen. “Appalling conditions: An investigation by two NGOs has found new workers at Foxconn factories in China are made to sign a ‘no suicide’ pledge ...
New Zealand’s Unite union has made great progress in recent years in organising previously unorganised sectors of workers ― often young workers in fast food, hospitality and retail. Through organising workers, Unite has forced fast food giants, such as McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut, to eradicate “youth wages”, which pay young workers less for the same work.
Bolivian President Evo Morales proposed enshrining the Rights of Mother Earth in international law to the United Nations General Assembly on April 23. The proposal follows the Law on the Rights of Mother Earth that was enacted in Bolivia in January. The “short” law enacted is a set of principles. A more detailed version is expected later this year. The law commits the government to steadily integrate renewable energy sources in order to achieve national energy independence.
In the first four days after Osama bin Laden’s assassination by US forces, the mass reaction in Pakistan is very mixed. In Punjab there is a general sympathy towards bin Laden, but not many are expressing it openly. In Sindh, the responses differ in different cities. For example, in Karachi there is more active commiseration for bin Laden and condemnation of the US attack. Surprisingly, not much happened in Khaiber Pakhtoonkhawa, where bin Laden was killed. Similarly, Baluchistan responded meekly against the killings.
No sooner had the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) released its dossier The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of Raul Reyes on May 10, that the international media was once again claiming more proof that Venezuelan government links to terrorism had been uncovered. Almost none mention that the entire basis of the document were files that Interpol and US and Colombian officials have admitted are dubious at best.
Thousands of people took to the streets in cities and towns throughout Syria on May 13, despite a week of intensified repression by the Baath Party regime of President Bashar al-Assad. On May 11, tanks shelled the city of Homs, one of the centres of protest, and mass arrests took place throughout the country.
The statement below was released by the Socialist Alliance in Australia on May 14. See also: Venezuela: Dodgy dossier’s terror links claims questioned * * * The Socialist Alliance calls on the Colombian government to immediately release independent media activist Joaquin Perez Becerra, who is now facing charges of “terrorism”.
“I don’t have any blood on my hands,” Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera wrote in February. “I haven’t victimized anyone. And I’ve devoted most of my life serving a just and noble cause and struggling to help make this world a better and more just one.” For 30 years, Lopez Rivera has been imprisoned in the United States for his activities in support of freedom and independence for Puerto Rico, which is still claimed by the US.
A Palestinian solidarity conference held in Sydney over May 14-15 brought together more than 200 people to discuss the campaign in Australia in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom. The conference took place on the anniversary of al Nakba (“the catastrophe”) — as Palestinians call the day that marks their dispossession that accompanied the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. See also: Sydney community discusses the 'boycott Israel' campaign
One hundred activists of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) attended the Pushing the Boundaries climate change conference over April 28-29. The two days of talks, vibrant debate and action-based workshops set a progressive agenda for ongoing union environmental activism and marked the NTEU as the left pole of the global warming debate in the union movement. NTEU national president Jeannie Rea opened the conference by drawing attention to the special place of the NTEU in the debate about global warming.
The refugee deal struck between the Australian and Malaysian governments will put vulnerable, desperate refugees in great danger. Under the agreement, the Gillard Labor government will deport to Malaysia 800 asylum seekers that arrive in Australia by boat. Malaysia has not signed the United Nations Refugee Convention. The deportations will be automatic. Men, women, children — the government has promised it will make no exceptions. They will be deemed unworthy of protection, regardless of their circumstances. See also: