Coptic Christians protest against attacks.

The streets of Cairo have been the frontier for a range of demonstrations over the past two weeks. A Day of National Unity between Christians and Muslims was held on May 13.

Eritreans around the world will mark the country’s national day on May 24. After an epic three-decades-long liberation struggle, in 1991 the liberation forces wrested control of their capital, Asmara, from the occupying Ethiopian army. Two years later, a new, independent Eritrea was formally established. But the following years have proved a bitter disappointment for the people of this small (population five million) former Italian colony on the Red Sea.

About 500 people marched in Sydney on May 21 to demand equal marriage rights for all couples regardless of sexuality or gender. About 300 marched in Melbourne the same day, and hundreds also took the streets in Brisbane.

Thirty people marched from the Stirling Gardens to parliament house on May 17 to protest the state governments plans to remove homeless people from the city centre for three days during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). Protesters were angry about the fact that $9 million dollars had been earmarked for the refurbishment of Frasers Restaurant in Kings Park for a CHOGM leaders social function. In addition, tens of millions of dollars have been allocated to refurbish ministerial offices. Meanwhile, 55,000 people are on the Homeswest waiting list for public housing.
The incumbent Conservative Party sailed to victory in Canada’s federal election on May 2 with the first majority government in the federal Parliament since the 2000 election. There was celebration in the boardrooms across the country. The victory caps a decades-long drive by much of Canada’s business elite to fashion a strong national government around a hard-right agenda.

#SpanishRevolution: Solidarity actions in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.

May 17 at Plaza del Sol in Madrid. People talk about freedom, democracy and the fight on the streets of Spain. Mostly Spanish-language.

The United States' gross domestic product (GDP) has returned to its pre-financial crisis levels of about US$14.3 trillion. However, this figure obscures a grim social reality. Fareed Zakaria reported in a May 19 Time.com article that while the economy is “producing the same amount of goods and services as in 2007”, it is doing so “with 7 million fewer workers”. Zakaria said: “Usually, productivity gains translate into higher economic output, higher incomes and thus rising employment. That was the experience in the 1990s.
Locked Out Directed by Joan Sekler www.lockedout2010.org Locked Out, a film by Joan Sekler, documents the struggle of workers at the Borax mine in Boron, California, against the mine's multinational owner, Rio Tinto. The mine is integral to the towns economy, employing 570 workers ― about a quarter of the population of Boron. In September 2009, Rio Tinto revealed it intended on scrapping the workers' contract. The pay, benefits, and conditions set out in the contract had been negotiated for with workers over the past 40 years.
Colombian daily El Espectador reported on May 18 that the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice ruled the infamous “FARC files” as inadmissible evidence in court, as they were obtained illegally. The ruling refers to supposed documents acquired from the laptops of Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) leader Raul Reyes who was killed in the March 2008 Colombian military bombing raid of a guerrilla camp in Ecuador.
“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began," Michelle Alexander told a packed meeting at the Pasadena Main Library in California on April 13. Alexander, a law professor at Ohio State, was discussing her bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.
The following statement was released by the Socialist Alliance in Australia. For more information, visit www.socialist-alliance.org . * * *