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After a big win in the Supreme Court on May 13, biotech firm Monsanto Company has more or less solidified its control of the United States' food supply. Monsanto’s patented genetically modified (GM) seeds comprise about 90% of the US seed market, driving conventional seeds to near extinction. Now, the company has set its sights on the rest of the world.
Martin Corey is a 63-year-old man jailed in the six counties of Ireland's north still claimed by Britain. He has been held for three years without trial. On April 16, 2010, Corey’s house in Lurgan was visited by members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Corey was arrested. When he asked what the charges were, Corey was told that the police officers “did not know”. All they were told was to arrest Corey.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams accused the British government on May 24 of breaching commitments given during peace talks over a decade ago. Adams' comments came after the arrest of leading Donegal Sinn Fein member John Downey. The 61-year-old was brought before Westminster Magistrates Court to face charges over a 1982 IRA attack in London’s Hyde Park in which four soldiers were killed. Adams said an agreement forged with the British government at the 2001 Weston Park talks about republicans still pursued over outstanding prosecutions had been breached.
This statement was released by the West Papua Freedom Flotilla on June 1. *** A historical ceremony was held outside the Victorian Trades Hall on June 1 for the issuing of “Original Nations” passports and West Papuan visas in conjunction with the Freedom Flotilla from Lake Eyre to West Papua. In solidarity with the passport ceremony in Melbourne, a peaceful rally was also held in Manokwari, West Papua.
When the humble “Occupy Gezi” (Occupy Promenade Park) protest in Istanbul’s Taksim Square was brutally attacked by police on May 31, protests spread like wildfire throughout other cities and the Turkish left was in the thick of it. In the early days of the protest, Sirri Sureyya Onder -- national MP for the umbrella organistion of the Turkish-Kurdish left, the Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK) -- lay his body, with others, in front of bulldozers to stop them destroying the park’s 70 year old trees.
Hundreds of members of the Turkish community rallied in central Sydney on June 1 to protest the Turkish government's crackdown on peaceful protesters in Istanbul over recent days. Demonstrators in Turkey are determined to save a park in Taksim Square, Istanbul's equivalent of Cairo's Tahrir Square, which has been marked for demolition in order to build a new a shopping mall complex. See also: Turkey: Huge protest wave marks turning point in struggle
Perth activist Kamala Emanuel won a resounding victory on May 28 in an important court case addressing the right to protest. Emanuel was charged with failing to comply with a police move-on notice that was issued during a protest rally against fracking in April last year. Emanuel did not dispute that she refused to comply with the move-on order but argued in court that the move-on notice was invalid.
The deal between Labor and the Liberal-Nationals to add another $2 million to their election campaign funds — at the people's expense — before the September election was an extension of a “deeply undemocratic major party scam to further entrench their parliamentary domination”, said Peter Boyle, Socialist Alliance candidate for Sydney. “This comes on top of the $45 million in electoral funding these three parties received, between them, for the 2010 election,” said Boyle.
Thousands of people rallied in cities across Australia on May 25 to protest genetically modified organisms (GMO) developed by Monsanto and being used in food products worldwide. This was part of the March Again Monsanto global day of action that saw demonstrations take place in more than 40 countries around the world. In Australia, these rallies were significantly larger than previous rallies on the issue of GMO. More than 1000 people rallied in Melbourne and a crowd of 500 rallied in Sydney’s Hyde Park.

This is an edited version of the Socialist Alliance’s agriculture policy adopted in May. The full version can be read at socialist-alliance.org. *** There are approximately 134,000 farm businesses in Australia, 99% of which are family owned and operated, and as of 2010-11 they employ only 307,000 people to manage 417.3 million hectares of land, including the 46.3% of Australia that is marginal land. Any sustainable and justice-oriented agricultural practice needs to place Aboriginal self-determination, empowerment and participation as its framework.

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