The Labour Party of Pakistan has reported that LPP member Baba Jan and other activists in Gilgit district jail were severely beaten and tortured by dozens of Rangers, Police and Frontier Constabulary in the early morning of April 28. In response, an international campaign is being organised for the release of Baba Jan and other activists jailed last year for campaigning for compensation for flood victims. After devastating floods swept the Atta Abad Lakes region of Pakistan last year, police opened fire on a demonstration of people demanding compensation. Two people were killed.
The Occupy movement in the United States relaunched itself on May 1 when thousands of people rallied in more than 130 cities across the country to mark May Day — the international day to mark working people's struggles. The May Day events were billed as a test of strength for the movement that exploded onto the streets in September last year. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) arose to protest against inequality and undemocratic rule by the super-rich — the “1%”.
More than 8000 people demonstrated in Auckland on April 28 against the privatisation and give away of public assets in Aotearoa (New Zealand). A few days earlier, a Hikoi (walk) began from Cape Reinga in the far north of New Zealand's north island, headed for the capital, Wellington.
S. Arutchelvan, secretary general of the Socialist Party of Malaysia, is a veteran of many demonstrations. But the Bersih 3.0 mobilisation, which he estimates was between 100,000 and 150,000-strong, was the biggest he's been a part of in the country. “It was a huge success” he told Green Left Weekly, “and it terrified the Barisan Nasional [BN] government. “The BN government sees Merdeka Square as its Tahrir Square. They do not want to see – and for the public and the world to see – images of it being occupied by democratic movement. It is their political survival.
Stop CSG Illawarra released the statement below on May 1. * * * Stop CSG Illawarra members will join others from across the state today with a message for the NSW government: protect our land and water from coal seam gas (CSG) and irresponsible mining. The rally — called by the NSW Farmers Association — is supported by the Country Women’s Association, Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders, GetUp, the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association, the Nature Conservation Council and Lock the Gate.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s April 17 speech to the Council of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute was widely reported in the global media as announcing an early withdrawal of Australian troops from Afghanistan. But the April 20 Australian Financial Review said government ministers had reassured Australia’s allies in the US-led multinational occupation of Afghanistan that the speech did no such thing.
Self-employed and informal sector workers in Venezuela are to be included in the nation’s social security system, after an announcement by President Hugo Chavez on April 21. The Law of Social Security will be changed to allow informally employed workers to register with the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS) and make social security payments.
After a hostage crisis in which one of armed group Shining Path's (Sendero Luminoso – SL) factions abducted gas workers employed by a major multinational, a counter-insurgency operation was launched in the Apurimac-Ene River Valley (VRAE). The stand-off was reported by the international media. But what has been largely ignored are the human rights abuses against VRAE civilian communities are being committed by the Peruvian military.
The Medical Association for Prevention of War released the statement below on May 1. * * * The Medical Association for Prevention of War has released a statement (reproduced below) signed by 45 medical doctors calling on uranium mining company Toro Energy to stop promoting the view that low-level radiation is beneficial to human health.