On October 11, the general secretary and national organiser of General Workers’ Union (GWU), as well as 17 workers, were arrested by police while preparing for a peaceful protest in the office of East Timor's justice ministry. The protest was being staged to support the demands of 19 workers sacked unfairly by the ministry. The arrested workers preparing to protest were dismissed from the Turismo Hotel because of the unfair decision of the justice ministry towards their management in closing the business.
Walking around downtown Cairo on October 10, everything felt relatively normal ― if, perhaps, a little more tense than usual for post-January 25 Cairo. That is, until I came across the wrecks of burnt out cars on the Corniche el Nil in Maspero, just north of Tahrir Square, being pulled apart by enterprising young men.
At a Madrid media conference called by the 15-M movement to announce Spanish actions for the October 15 global day of occupations, the media showed little interest in the international solidarity plans of the world’s founding indignado movement. The journos wanted to talk about one thing: what would be 15-M’s attitude to the November 20 Spanish general elections? Abstention? Spoiling the ballot? A vote against the parties of “the political class”? A vote for parties closest to 15-M’s positions? And, if so, which parties?
The University of Sydney Political Economy Students Society released the statement below to explain its Save Political Economy campaign. * * * The Department of Political Economy is under threat of amalgamation into a school of Politics and International Relations. The School of Social and Political Sciences is undergoing a review. In the draft proposals for School restructuring, two of the four proposals result in Political Economy being amalgamated into a School or Department of Politics and International Relations, and losing academic and administrative independence.
The Polynesian island nation of Tuvalu, in the Pacific Ocean, is facing a severe shortage of fresh water. Australia Network News said on October 10 that a state of emergency had been declared and Tuvalu's disaster co-ordinator Sumeo Silu said there was only about three days of water left. Tuvalu is in the midst of a crippling drought and had no rain for months. ANN said Australia and New Zealand would deploy a large desalination plant to the island, home to about 10,000 people.
Venezuela’s socialist president Hugo Chavez has likened the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States to Venezuela’s February 1989 Caracazo riots against neoliberal policies that are widely seen as the start of Venezuela's revolutionary process. Chavez made the comments by phone on the television program Dando y Dando on October 5.
“Since his death, Tupac has become an international martyr, a symbol on the level of Bob Marley or Che Guevara, whose life has inspired Tupacistas on the streets of Brazil, memorial murals in the Bronx and Spain, and bandanna-wearing youth gangs in South Africa.” These words, penned five years ago by culture writer Eric K Arnold, are just as true today, a decade and a half after the African American rapper was shot dead on September 13, 1996 ― perhaps even more so.
“I’ve come to believe that if we burn all reserves of oil, gas and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.”
The occupy movement is spreading, and in more ways than one. It’s spreading across the globe — by October 11 occupytogether.org could boast of 1273 occupy events planned worldwide. But the movement, united under its slogan “We are the 99%”, is also reaching out to, and involving, other established social movements. Environmentalists and climate campaigners have linked up with Occupy Wall Street protests in New York. Hundreds of climate activists joined a 5000-strong march there on October 5. Their message was well received by other protesters.
The determination of the WA government and transport minister Troy Buswell to close more than 720 kilometres of so-called Tier 3 railway lines in the state’s Wheatbelt has put it on a collision course with grain farming communities. It threatens to unleash a vast increase in heavy truck traffic and all the problems that go with it.
On October 15, protests and occupations as part of a "United for Global Change" day of action initiated by the Spanish Indignant movement took place in more than 1000 cities in dozens of nations around the world.
The Venezuelan government returned more than 15,800 hectares of ancestral lands to the indigenous Yukpa people on October 12, as Venezuela celebrated “Indigenous Resistance Day” with public events and marches across the country. Originally designated by then-US president Franklin Roosevelt as “Columbus Day” in 1937, October 12 is the date that Christopher Columbus first “discovered” the Americas. The anniversary was re-named “Day of Indigenous Resistance” by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002 to commemorate indigenous struggle against European invasion and colonisation.
More than 13 million people are facing extreme food insecurity in the Horn of Africa in Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. Almost 30,000 children have already died in Somalia in 90 days. Famines in the region have become common enough for the Western media response to be cliched. Out-of-context images and sound-bites depict hopeless Africans needing Western charity yet again, and references to conflict making the situation worse depict conflict as local failing that Western intervention may be able to remedy.
What stance should the European left take towards the euro and its galloping crisis? This issue, which began as a theoretical discussion among radical economists in late 2009, has increasingly acquired practical political urgency: left parties are being challenged to define their position in the face of rising popular resentment at governments forking out billions in taxpayer euros to bail-out banks and indebted “Club Med” countries.
Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary-general, has slammed the Northern Territory intervention, saying that it is making the problems facing Aboriginal Australians worse, AAP reported on October 7. He said the government’s “top-down externally driven” efforts to close the gap on Aboriginal socio-economic disadvantage were instead having the opposite effect”. Amnesty was appalled that current policies had in effect caused “forced evictions from their traditional homelands”.
This statement was released by the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee. * * * We are part of the world’s 99% yearning for freedom, justice and equal rights! If a people one day wills to live. Fate must answer its call. And the night must fade. And the chain must break ― Abou-Al-kacem El-Chebbi (Tunisia)