Mark Twain's maxim that "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme" is echoing in the streets of Istanbul. The echo is heard in everything that makes Turkey resemble a sequel to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution that toppled assumed President-for-Life Hosni Mubarak. Turkey and Egypt are of course two very different countries with different leaders, different political systems and different histories. But the revolt of the highly intense, usually apolitical "ultra" football-fan clubs must be noted.
To listen to its advocates, there is little shale gas won’t do: bring down energy prices, cut carbon emissions, support renewables and bring us out of recession. The “climate-sceptic” Global Warming Policy Foundation even claimed that “because of shale gas, wealth and health will be distributed more equitably over the planet”. Add to this newspaper stories with misunderstood numbers saying that there is enough shale gas to heat British homes for 1500 years and you can see why some people are getting excited.
Green Left TV's coverage of the Sydney World Refugee Day rally, held on Sunday June 16.
When the Turkish Prime Minister ayyip Erdogan called the protesters in the streets of Istanbul plunderers (çapulcu) on June 2, he contributed a new verb to the English language. A video clip of the resistance — entitled “Everyday I'm Chapuling” — hit the internet on June 4 with new lyrics written on the pop song “Everyday I'm Shufflin”. And the new English verb was born: to chapul. Soon after, the word moved to the French language and found a place among such words as liberte, egalite and fraternite: chapulite.
The Harmony Centre, a coalition of left-wing parties, won 59% of popular vote in the municipal elections held in this Eastern European country on June 1. The coalition is made up of the social-democratic party Harmony and the Socialist Party of Latvia (heir of the Communist Party, which was declared illegal in 1994).
During this year alone, an estimated 128 people have drowned or vanished trying to seek asylum in Australia. By June 14, up to seven asylum boats trying to reach Christmas Island had foundered, sunk or been stranded. This includes the boat that sank in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait in April, when Australian authorities failed to give accurate coordinates of the foundering vessel to Indonesian search and rescue. Up to 58 people drowned, 53 of whom were never retrieved.
The Refugee Action Coalition held a public forum on June 3 titled: “Bridging Visas, Community Detention: what rights do asylum seekers in the community have?” About 12,000 asylum seekers who have arrived since August 13 last year are living in the community on “bridging visas”. August 13 was when the government introduced the “no advantage” policy and ceased processing refugee applications. Refugees on bridging visas receive less than the paltry Newstart allowance with little support. They could be sent to detention on Nauru or Manus Island at any time.
The Victorian government continued its attack on civil rights last week with the announcement that new prison cells would be built at train stations for use by protective services officers (PSOs).
The statement below was released by the Socialist Alliance on June 5. *** Liah Lazarou has been pre-selected by the Socialist Alliance to run for the seat of Adelaide in the federal election in September. Lazarou is a communications student and a committed grassroots activist. She has been involved in organising workers, students and young people as a member of the Socialist Alliance since 2006.