The path for Maori liberation, debates on left perspectives and the 30th anniversary since the 1981 Springbok tour were some of the discussions at “Workers Power”, the national conference of the Workers Party held in Hamilton over June 3 to 5.
The recent formation of the Mana Party was a focus of the discussions.
Prominent Maori leader and MP Hone Harawira initiated Mana after leaving the Maori Party, frustrated over its deals while in coalition with the right-wing National Party.
Harawira resigned his seat to force a by-election and stand again as a Mana candidate.
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who performs solo under the name The Nightwatchman, was inspired by the huge struggle in Wisconsin against a savage anti-union law to release a benefit EP of songs dedicated to workers' struggles. The Nightwatchman's Union Town EP has been released by New West Records and can be bought at iTunes. All proceeds go to the America Votes Labor Unity Fund.
“The troubled sky reveals/The grief it feels.”
Those two lines were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem “Snow-Flakes”, published in a volume in 1863 alongside his epic and better-known “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”.
Much of the news chatter this week has been about Sarah Palin’s flubbing of the history of Revere’s famous ride in April 1775. Revere was on a late-night, clandestine mission to alert American revolutionaries of an impending British attack.
The June 5 national elections in Portugal produced a sharp lurch to the right.
The two main conservative parties, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Democratic and Social Centre-People's Party (CDS-PP) won 50.4% of votes and 57.1% of seats in the single-chamber parliament. (The results for the four seats determined by overseas Portuguese voters will be announced on June 15.)
Compared to the 2009 poll, the PSD vote rose from 29.1% to 38.6%, and CDS-PP from 10.5% to 11.7%.
US warplanes and drones have been bombing anti-government forces in Yemen amid the uprising against long-time US ally President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, two US officials said on June 9 that US forces launched an air strike on June 3 against Islamist militants in the south of the country to keep al-Qaida's Yemeni offshoot from taking advantage of the uprising in the Gulf state.
The attack followed a May 5 drone strike on alleged militants, they said.
Pity the stressful life of police ministers in Spain and its autonomous communities (states).
For weeks, the central plazas of big cities and towns across Spain have been the site of the camps of the “outraged” (los indiganados) of the M-15 movement — so-called after the large May 15 national protests that sparked the movement.
The movement, which opposes the savage austerity imposed on ordinary people to pay for the crisis and the undemocratic nature of the political system, is now spreading into the suburbs of the larger cities and out into smaller regional towns.
The revolutionary struggle for democratic and economic freedoms continues to grow in Tunisia and Egypt in the aftermath of the ousting of dictators Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak.
Western powers are working to block these struggles — just as they supported the fallen dictators until the very end.
Vast sums of money have been pledged by the United States, European Union and the Group of Eight (G8 — the US, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Russia and Japan) to aid what British Prime Minister David Cameron termed “democracy, freedom and prosperity” in the Middle East.
Hundreds of Palestinian and Syrian refugees marched on June 5 from Syrian-controlled territory to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Refugees in Palestine and elsewhere marked the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Egyptian Sinai and Syrian Golan Heights.
On the frontier with the occupied Golan Heights, hundreds were injured and more than 20 killed when Israeli soldiers opened fire with live ammunition on unarmed demonstrators.
Delegates from Community, a trade union representing workers in iron and steel, clothing, textiles, footwear and betting industries, delivered a crushing blow on June 7. They opposed the union executive's attempt to force through a resolution aimed at undermining the Trade Union Congress's policy of boycotting Israeli goods produced in illegal settlements.
At the union's biennial conference in Southport, members accused the leaders of seeking a “retrospective mandate” to support Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (Tulip), which they labelled “an apologist” for Israeli war crimes.