A 50% cut of part of Greece’s debt was decided on by a summit of European leaders on October 26. The deal will entail long-term austerity measures being enforced on the Greek people. Representatives of the “troika” (the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund — IMF) will be permanently placed in all Greek ministries to supervise how things are run. If they manage to impose it on Greece, this new form of occupation will likely spread to other countries. See also
Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) members in the Australian Taxation Office have voted to reject management's latest proposed enterprise agreement. As a result, the CPSU has launched a campaign for a "no" vote in the all-staff ballot to take place over November 9-15. Management is still offering a pay rise of only 9% over three years. The CPSU has produced posters highlighting the discrepancy between this 3% a year offer to workers and the 58% rise that Tax Commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo has sought from the Remuneration Tribunal.
Thousands of palm oil workers in the Puerto Wilches district, Colombia, were on general strike on October 27. The workers were defending collective bargaining and opposing the spread of casualisation and precarious work on palm oil farms. In early August, a major company, Palmas Oleaginosas Bucarelia, refused to enter into meaningful negotiations with the agricultural workers’ union Sintrainagro for the renewal of the collective agreement. Bucarelia instead proposed to cut benefits, restrict union activity on the farm and increase precarious work through more use of outsourced labour.
Renowned political theorist and writer Noam Chomsky spoke to Occupy Boston on October 22. Below is an abridged transcript of his comments. See all of Green Left's extensive Occupy coverage here * * * It’s pretty hard to give a talk for the Howard Zinn memorial lecture at an Occupy meeting. There are mixed feelings that necessarily go along with it. First of all regret that Howard is not here to take part in, and invigorate in his inimitable way, something that would have been the dream of his life.
See all of Green Left's extensive Occupy coverage here The global Occupy movement has inspired huge numbers of Australians who have grown chronically disengaged with the political game-playing of the two big parties and an economic system that puts profit before people and the planet.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on October 26 to discuss allegations of human rights abuses. The meeting took place just hours after a young Tamil refugee killed himself inside Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.
See all of Green Left's extensive Occupy coverage here I joined Resistance just over a month ago and when I heard Sydney would join the Occupy Together movement, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. From my understanding, Australia wasn’t experiencing even comparable economic conditions to the United States and while I certainly believed our system needs fundamental change I was a little sceptical about the effectiveness of these Occupy movements to say the least.
The Party of Wall Street has ruled unchallenged in the United States for far too long. It has totally dominated the policies of presidents over at least four decades (if not longer). It has legally corrupted Congress via the craven dependency of politicians in both parties upon its money and upon access to the mainstream media it controls.
Jess Moore from Stop CSG Illawarra addressed Occupy Sydney at Martin Place on October 22. Moore, who is also a member of the Socialist Alliance, was awared the NSW Nature Conservation Council's Rising Star award for "the most outstanding environmental effort of an individual under 30". Her speech appears below. * * * To increase the wealth of the already astoundingly wealthy, the tiny few, the planet that sustains all life is being destroyed. As the world’s leading climatologist James Hansen said, this is our last chance to save humanity.
Justice for West Papua I write to express my deep distress at the recent brutal attacks and killings by the Indonesian military in West Papua. While the Australian government and people should strive for good relations with Indonesia, this should not at the expense of Australia covering up, excusing, condoning or abetting human rights violations and repression in West Papua. The Indonesian army has a long, sordid history of abuses and other appalling actions in East Timor and elsewhere and is still pursuing these same brutal, oppressive policies in West Papua.