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. More than 200,000 people lined the streets of downtown Cairo to celebrate. Egypt has previously been home to harmonious relations between Christians and Muslims. However, sectarian tensions have been increasing – spurred by the burning of two Coptic Christian churches by Salafist groups on May 6. See also:
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. In Brisbane, a tiny group of Christian fundamentalists tried to attack the protest, but demonstrators responded with angry chants of "fuck off haters!" Sydney
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.
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.
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 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.
The historian William Cronon has been in the news recently in the US because of assaults on his civil liberties and academic freedom by the Wisconsin Republican Party. This story is likely to be of interest to Green Left Weekly readers because of the collision between university research and powerful corporate interests. However, Cronon's work as an environmental historian since the 1970s means that he deserves to be read by all those who take an interest in environmental issues and ecosocialist politics.
Live at Babeville Ani DiFranco www.righteousbaberecords.com In recent times, there’s been some conjecture over the quality of US singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco’s music. The much acclaimed, fiercely political folk singer and poet appeared to some to have “mellowed” in topic and tone of her work after having a baby and getting married. The singer’s latest DVD, Live at Babeville, puts those qualms to rest.
Palestinians have upped the stakes in their struggle for freedom and justice on the anniversary of al-Nakba (“The Castrophe”), as Palestinains refer to the ethnic cleansing that accompnied the founding of Israel in 1948). Israel responded with lethal repression.