The global political crisis ― a natural outcome of the continuing economic crisis ― finally made it to Russia last month before getting derailed by the country's traditional hibernation in early January.
A year ago, uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt began the wave of popular mobilisations across the Arab world that has become known in the West as the “Arab Spring”. A desperate individual protest in a provincial Tunisian town ― the self-immolation of fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi to protest police harassment and lack of economic opportunity ― triggered a region-wide revolt against economic and political injustice.
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) ,was acquitted on January 9 by the country’s High Court of the second round of politically motivated “sodomy” charges. He was jailed for six years under the former Barisan Nasional (BN) government of Mohamed Mahathir on similar charges. Police dispersed jubilant opposition supporters outside the court using the excuse that three small bombs had exploded nearby.
The following statement was issued by the family of Mere Samisoni, arrested by the Fijian military regime, and later released on bail on January 3. For more information, please contact email@example.com . * * * The family of award-winning Fijian businesswoman and former MP Dr Mere Samisoni has been warned by her lawyers she might be charged with conspiracy by the country’s military rulers when the courts reopen on Tuesday.
United States: Panetta admits Iran not developing nukes “U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip on Sunday the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons,” RawStory.com reported on January 9. The article said: “Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Panetta admitted that despite all the rhetoric, Iran is not pursuing the ability to split atoms with weapons, saying it is instead pursuing 'a nuclear capability.'
Green Left Weekly’s Chris Peterson spoke to Melanie Sluyter, an environmental activist from the United States who took part in Occupy Wall Street and is visiting Melbourne. * * * How did you get involved in the Occupy movement?
Occupy Sydney held a protest in Pitt St Mall on January 14 to call for the repeal of the US National Defense Authorisation Act. Recently signed into law, the act gives the US government the legal power to detain its citizens indefinitely without trial. The protesters also called for the closure of the US prison in Guantanamo Bay and the release of alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning.
Rohingya refugee Harun had been in Australian detention for more than two years when he was told by letter that he would never be a free man in Australia. Despite being a recognised refugee under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Australian immigration system, Australia’s secret security organisation had decided he was a “threat” and should not be given a protection visa.
It wasn't long into 2012 before fresh evidence emerged of a democratic, free West's civilising mission, providing a sterling example to backward barbarians as the march towards global liberation continues apace.
Veteran queer rights activist Steve Warren gave the speech below at the “1Love: equality, marriage, freedom” conference in Sydney on December 4. * * * I am speaking from the perspective of the 1970’s, which influenced our views. 78ers fought for equality for all in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex (GLBTQI) community, and we supported our Indigenous, multicultural, disabled and heterosexual friends who stood beside us in our struggles in unity as one voice for equality. Equality was foremost in our minds.
ANZ Bank, one of Australia’s biggest banks, plans to axe up to 1000 jobs over six months “to protect profit margins from rising costs” and the euro debt crisis, The Australian said on January 13. The Sydney Morning Herald said the Finance Sector Union (FSU) expects up to 700 jobs to be cut in coming weeks. Following job losses in October last year, one ANZ executive told the SMH: “This will be bigger than the job cuts that followed the GFC.
Landowners in the Kerry Valley, near Beaudesert in south-east Queensland, have launched a peaceful blockade against Arrow Energy’s attempt to begin exploratory drilling for coal seam gas (CSG) in the Scenic Rim region. The protest was organised by the community group Keep the Scenic Rim Scenic. The blockade follows the success of similar blockades against CSG drilling that took place in the Liverpool Plains and Gloucester last year.