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released this statement on May 1. *** As workers around the world take to the streets to celebrate May Day, we are sharply aware that the capitalist system has reached a point of development where it threatens the habitability of the planet on which we all live.
This weekend unionists around Australia will march to celebrate the achievements of working people. While May 1 is the traditional day to remember the struggle of workers to form unions and fight for a better life, in Australia the marches and parades usually occur on the first weekend of May. This year, a range of socialist and activist groups will be marching together in joint contingents across Australia behind banners saying, .
About 10,000 workers rallied in Melbourne on April 30, demanding better safety on Grocon construction sites. The rally marched to the Grocon-owned site in Swanston street where a wall collapsed onto a public footpath in March and killed three people. The march then moved to another Grocon site where a crane operator was killed earlier this year. Protesters demanded industrial manslaughter laws for bosses be introduced.
The 39th anniversary of Portugal’s 1974 “revolution of the carnations” that overthrew a 48-year-long dictatorship, was marked on April 25 by a huge march against austerity in Lisbon. The symbols of that revolution — the carnations and the song “Grandola, Vila Morena” (broadcast in the early hours of April 25, 1974 as the signal to start the revolt )— were massively present. They now stand for the need for another rebellion, this time against the austerity imposed on the country by the “troika” -- the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
A mob led by Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka attacked a clothing shop owned by Muslims in March, setting fire to clothes while police looked on. The attack on the Fashion Bug shop in Pepiliyana, a suburb of Colombo, followed the spreading of a false rumour that a Sinhala Buddhist employee had been raped by a Muslim employee on the premises.
West Papua has been gaining international support recently, especially in its pursuit of inclusion in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), a regional intergovernmental organisation that has supported the independence movements of its members. Controversially, Indonesia, which has occupied West Papua for decades, has had observer status in MSG since 2011.
The Campaign Kings Konekted Class A Records April 19, 2013 www.classarecords.com Kings Konekted have just released some of the choicest cuts in Australian hip-hop - and they were inspired by some of the cuts in Australian politics. The Brisbane new EP The Campaign paints a pretty gritty picture of life under cost-cutting Queensland Premier Campbell Newman.
A selection of this week's politically-relevant celebrity news... Rebel Diaz Arts Collective finds new home http://bit.ly/11ztAet Cuban video game recreates revolutionary history http://gu.com/p/3enpq/tw Pussy Riot member denied early release from prison: http://gu.com/p/3fedq/tf Hear the new Neon Neon concept album about Italian publisher and leftwing activist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. http://gu.com/p/3fak2/tw Rapper Danny Brown Gets Oral Sex On Stage, Continues Rapping http://bit.ly/ZUUbEF
As the packed galleries burst into an impassioned version of “Pokarekare Ana” (a well-known traditional Maori love song) in response to the passing of the Marriage Amendment Bill by 77-44 votes on April 17, a crowd of more than 1000 celebrated outside parliament in Wellington. The vote made New Zealand the 13th nation to legalise same-sex marriage. France has since become the 14th.
After two community meetings on public housing estates and the start of legal action, the Department of Housing has partially backed down from its ban on politics in public housing estates. Just three days after a March 24 rally on the Atherton Gardens public housing estate in Fitzroy, the Department of Human Services released a policy banning political meetings and door-knocking on public housing estates.
The close-knit Texas town of West, population 2800, was shaken to the core, literally and symbolically, on April 17 when the West Fertilizer Co facility exploded with the force of a small earthquake. The blast killed 14 people and injured more than 200. Today, West resembles a war zone. Up to 75 homes and buildings were destroyed, including the local high school and a 50-unit apartment complex that was reduced to a skeleton. A nursing home near the facility was also damaged ― 133 residents had to be evacuated during the explosions and fire that followed.
Construction unions have announced they will make a submission to the Victorian Coalition government that will call for unused government-owned sites in inner-city Melbourne to be used for public housing. Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union state secretary John Setka told the Age on April 22 that the proposal would cut the public housing waiting list and provide jobs for unemployed construction workers.
The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China John Bellamy Foster & Robert W McChesney Monthly Review Press, 2012 There is growing evidence that the global economic crisis will not end any time too soon. Most mainstream economists have proven time and again to be incompetent when it comes to predicting the course of events in an economic crisis, never mind predicting the crisis itself.
In the wake of Margaret Thatcher's departure, I remember her victims. Patrick Warby's daughter, Marie, was one of them. Marie, aged five, suffered from a bowel deformity and needed a special diet. Without it, the pain was excruciating. Her father was a Durham miner and had used all his savings. It was winter 1985, the Great Strike was almost a year old and the family was destitute.
The citizens of the Spanish state awoke on April 14 to shocking news ― acts of “pure Nazism” were spreading across the country. Not only that, but they were being organised in concert with “elements close to ETA” (the armed Basque independence group that has declared a permanent ceasefire). Who was responsible? A Spanish equivalent of the Greek neo-Nazi outfit Golden Dawn? Some surviving cell of the Falange (one-time shock troops of the Franco dictatorship and admirers of Hitler’s New Order in Europe)?
Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis & Volcanoes Bill McGuire Oxford University Press, 2012 303 pages, $35.95 (hb) It is easy to forget, says Professor Bill McGuire of University College London in Waking the Giant, that human civilisation has thrived only in the broadly benign climate of the past few thousand years following the end of the last post-glacial era.

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