The Occupy movement in the US may have disappeared from media headlines. But it has not disappeared from the streets of many US cities. However, dropping attendances and ongoing police repression have caused problems for the movement. Inspired by protests in the Arab world and Europe, the wave of occupations began in September last year. Thousands gathered in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street in New York to protest against the system that promotes inequality and undemocratic rule by the super-rich — the “1%”. Similar protest sites sprang up across the US and many other countries.
Seven months after South Sudan declared independence from its northern neighbour, Khartoum continues to undermine the struggling new nation. On January 20, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) government of South Sudan took the drastic measure of shutting down its entire oil production. Sudanese President Omer Al Bashir’s National Congress Party (NCP) regime had been demanding enormous fees for transporting South Sudan’s oil to Port Sudan in the north for export.
Germany’s domestic spy agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), has been exposed for spying on left-wing MPs. German magazine Der Spiegel said on January 23 that the BfV spied on MPs from Germany's biggest left-wing party, the socialist Die Linke ("The Left"). Der Spiegel said the intelligence agency had 27 of Die Linke's members in the Bundestag ― more than one third of its federal MPs ― and a further 11 members of state parliaments, under surveillance, costing 390,000 euros a year.
The article below has been translated by Federico Fuentes. It first appeared in the Latin America-wide magazine America XXI * * * “We support the right of self-determination of the habitants of the Falkland Islands [Malvinas]; what the Argentines having been saying recently is, in my opinion, much more similar to colonialism, because these people want to continue being British and the Argentines what them to do something different.”
Greek unions launched a two-day general strike on February 10 against new extreme austerity measures the “troika” of the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Union is seeking to impose on the southern European nation. The deal will give Greece a new “bail-out” worth 130 billion euros (A$161 billion) in return for fresh spending cuts. Amid ongoing street protests and building occupations, the Greek cabinet approved the deal on February 10. Six cabinet members resigned in protest. Greek parliament was scheduled to vote on the deal on the evening of February 12.
Member countries of Latin America’s alternative integration bloc, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), met for its 11th summit in Caracas on February 4 and 5 to discuss advancing the organisation. ALBA is made up of the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Antigua and Barbuda. Formed in 2004, ALBA seeks to develop trade on the basis of solidarity and cooperation.
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim & Laura Gilbie The self-immolation of five activists in January briefly brought international attention to growing unrest in Morocco, evidenced by the mass demonstrations that began a year ago. It is in the capital, however, where political rallies have become something of a permanent fixture. Three times a week, the well-tended boulevards of the Moroccan capital are overrun with dissatisfied tertiary graduates, demanding jobs. The rallies can last for up to six hours.
Industry groups, building industry spokespeople and opposition politicians have made full use of the Senate inquiry into proposed laws to abolish the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC). They’ve claimed that the Gillard government’s proposed changes will turn the laws against construction workers into a “toothless tiger”.
Palestine prisoner's rights group Addameer released the statement below on February 9 on the condition of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan. At the time of the statement, Adnan was 54 days into a hunger strike and in a critical condition. Adnan is being held in “administrative detention” ― without charge or trial. The statement is abridged from Electronic Intifada.
By now we all know that the rich get richer under capitalism. But many are astounded at the incredible pace this takes place. Last week it was reported that Australian billionaire James Packer celebrated a 560% increase in his casino investment in Macau. Great reward for making totally unproductive, indeed socially and morally destructive, investments.
The Australian government is pushing to deport the first Afghan asylum seeker since it signed a deal with the Afghanistan government in January last year to allow Afghan asylum seekers to be returned against their will. But a February 7 report by Fairfax journalist Rory Callinan revealed that a flagship $8 million resettlement project for deported asylum seekers — funded by Australia in a province outside Kabul — had fallen into chaotic disrepair.
She’s proposed nuclear explosions for open-cut mining, funded tours by climate deniers and called for bringing in cheap migrant labour to work her mines. Now Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, has bought the largest individual stake in Fairfax Media, which runs the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Australian Financial Review, plus various radio stations and regional papers.