Between 80 and 100 people gathered for an open-air Occupy Perth general assembly in Perth on October 22. It began at 11am and finished around 5pm. The main purpose of the assembly was to make plans for establishing a Perth occupation at the end of the Chogm Protest (taking next Friday, October 28) that would last at least throughout the CHOGM summit. There was quite a constructive discussion and a lot of enthusiasm to begin an occupation next weekend. Eleven working groups were established.
On October 15, about 4000-5000 of protesters in London descended on London's financial sector as part of the “United for Global Change” actions that took place in more than 1000 cities and towns worldwide. Occupy London Stock Exchange is occupying an area in front of St Paul's Cathedral and holding people's assemblies to discuss the goals, demands and direction of the movement.
The overwhelming success of the October 15 “United for Global Change” demonstrations (which took place in more than 1000 cities and towns in about 90 countries) is having powerful positive feedback on the indignados (15-M) movement in Spain.
Greek trade unions warned on October 21 of further strikes in the next week after parliament approved new harsh cutbacks amid mass protests that left one man dead and about 200 injured. Civil servants' union Adedy secretary-general Ilias Iliopoulos said the new law "will not be implemented" and accused the government of ignoring popular dissent. Greece's main private-sector union, GSEE, was also planning new strikes. GSEE board member Stathis Anestis said: "We plan long-running opposition to ensure that the crippling cutbacks imposed by our loan shark predators are not enforced."
United States President Barack Obama announced on October 14 that he was sending US special forces troops to Uganda to join the civil war there. In the next few months, US combat troops will be sent to South Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic. They will only "engage" for "self-defence", says Obama, satirically. With Libya secured, a US invasion of the African continent is under way. Obama's decision is described in the press as "highly unusual" and "surprising", even "weird". It is none of these things. It is the logic of US foreign policy since 1945.
The latest wave of the bloodshed that has taken place in Yemen since September 18 shows the country’s hated President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has no intention of leaving power peacefully. At least 35 people were killed and many more were wounded in government attempts to crack down on protesters between October 15 and 18, The Guardian said on October 18. Government forces also battled tribal fighters and defected soldiers loyal to anti-Saleh political forces.
Indonesian army forces brutally attacked the Papuan national conference in Abepura on October 19. The conference was attended by up to 20,000 people discussing West Papua's struggle for independence from Indonesia. WestPapuaMedia.info said on October 21 that local sources confirmed six people were killed. New Matilda.com reported on October 20 an account from a priest who saw a truck full of arrested people who were “covered with blood” and had been “beaten and shot”.
After being delayed by three months, the official campaign for Tunisia's constituent assembly began on October 1, paving the way for the October 23 elections. More than 80 different parties, many formed or legalised since the overthrow of dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, and about 1500 different lists vyed for a place in the 218-member assembly.
A confusing feeling passed through me after hearing about the exchange of 1027 Palestinian detainees for the only Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was held captive by the Palestinian resistance fighters. I don’t know whether to feel happy or sad. Gazing at the faces of the prisoners’ families in the solidarity tent in Gaza City on October 18, I see a look that I have never seen before: eyes glittering with hope. Thinking about those women whose relatives are most likely to be released and seeing their big smiles makes me happy.
The sense of joy was palpable in the streets of Gaza on October 18 as hundreds of Palestinian prisoners jailed by Israel returned home. It was a remarkable day in the life of the territory’s 1.6 million Palestinians. During the past five years Israel has levied a heavy price on Gaza's civilian population for the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Palestinian resistance fighters. It has been extracted with Israel’s warplanes, tanks, bulldozers and relentless siege.