The statement below was released by the Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM), a Filipino socialist group, on July 1. * * * The PLM condemns any moves to pave the way for the return of US military base facilities in the Philippines. This includes giving the US access to Philippine military bases and facilities at Clark and Subic, as Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has admitted has occured.
Project Republic: Plans & Arguments for a New Australia Edited by Benjamin T Jones & Mark Mckenna Black Inc, 2013 251 pages, $29.99 (pb) If the Australian Republican Movement (ARM) represents those who wish to make Australia a republic, yet the ARM sends congratulations to the Queen last year on her 60th year of rule from London, what hope is there for Australia becoming a royal-free zone? Not much, must be the conclusion, after reading the ARM’s call-to-republican-arms book, Project Republic.
In 2005, Israel withdrew its settlers from Gaza. The next year, democratic elections were won by Hamas. Since voting the “wrong way”, the Palestinian people in Gaza have been subjected to a siege by Israel. Gaza is blockaded by land, sea and air by the Israeli Defence Force. The International Red Cross and the United Nations have found the Israeli government's siege of Gaza to be illegal under international law.
Every Parent's Nightmare By Belinda Hawkins Allen & Unwin, 2013 www.everyparentsnightmare.com Jock Palfreeman, an Australian man sentenced to 20 years in jail in Bulgaria for murder in a deeply flawed trial, had his request to be transferred to an Australian jail turned down on July 10. Belinda Hawkins' book, Every Parent's Nightmare, brings to life the tragic story of Palfreeman, whose fearless commitment to human rights led to a 20-year sentence in Bulgaria.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has offered asylum to Edward Snowden, the courageous whistle-blower who has exposed the vast NSA spying on every US citizen who uses a phone or the Internet, as well as people throughout the world. Bolivian president Evo Morales and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega followed suit. These three countries broke the diplomatic iron ring Washington sought to place around Snowden, who has been protected but in a sort of limbo in the transit area of Moscow’s international airport. Attack on Morales
The Socialism 2013 conference took place in Chicago from over 27-30, organised by the International Socialist Organization (ISO). The conference has been going for more than two decades, bringing together activists to exchange and debate ideas. A highlight was the session with investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been publishing the leaks of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The feature talk was the first detailed speech Greenwald had given on his Earth-shaking work with Snowden ― who remains on the run from US authorities.
One has to hark back to 1968 in Mexico City, when thousands of students and workers marched against the Olympics, to find a sports-related demonstration that compares to the size and militancy of the mass anti-World Cup/Olympic protests taking place in Brazil. As in Mexico City, thousands of people in Brazil took to the streets — and outside of stadiums hosting Confederations Cup matches — raising slogans that connect the spending and austerity that surround these mega-events to a much deeper rot in the nation’s democratic institutions.
A new poll released on July 10 showed that US people hold a positive view of the actions of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, despite government and media demonisation, Glenn Greenwald said in The Guardian that day. A Quinnipiac poll found: “Fifty-five percent (55%) said Snowden was a whistle-blower in leaking details about top-secret US programs that collect telephone and Internet data ... thirty-four percent said he's a traitor.”
A Socialist Worker editorial, July 14. * * * George Zimmerman, the self-declared head of a neighbourhood watch in a gated Florida community who stalked, confronted and then killed African American teenager Trayvon Martin, walked out of a Sanford, Florida, courtroom on July 13 a free man. Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in Martin's death in February last year -- both the initial indictment for second-degree murder and the prosecutors' "compromise" charge of manslaughter. See also:
Let it be noted that on this day, Saturday 13 July 2013, it was still deemed legal in the US to chase and then shoot dead an unarmed young black man on his way home from the store because you didn't like the look of him.
In a speech to the 19th International Symposium on Electronic Art held in Sydney in June, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange discussed the impact of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's revelations, the meaning of the wholesale US spying program Snowden revealed, and the policies of the WikiLeaks party. Below is an extract of the talk, a video and full transcript of Assange's speech can be found at Thing2Thing.com. * * *
The Egyptian army massacred 53 protesters who were calling for the release from detention and reinstatement of overthrown president Mohamed Morsi on July 8. The fall of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood-led government on July 3 was triggered by between 10 and 30 million Egyptians taking to the streets on June 30. This was the culmination of a protest movement that began in April in the face of repression from security forces and government supporters. See also:
In Green Left Weekly #972, Tony Iltis wrote on the huge protests against the Morsi government, the military intervention that removed it and the immediate aftermath. These events, hailed by many on the Egyptian left as a “second revolution”, have sparked widespread debate around the world. Below, Tim Dobson, presents a different view of the events ― one that argues it was an outright reactionary coup. You can also read Iltis's most recent piece.
More than 200 pensioners rallied on the steps of Victoria’s parliament house on July 10. The rally was called by the Fair Go for Pensioners Coalition, which has a list of demands on the state and federal governments. Their demands on the federal government include a pension rise from 27.7% of average weekly earnings to 35%; improved healthcare measures, including medical, dental, optical, hearing, pharmaceutical and culturally appropriate services; and more funding for aged care services.
The Socialist Alliance released this statement on July 12. *** The Socialist Alliance recognises and welcomes the June 30-July 3, 2013, popular mobilisations of the Egyptian people, led by youth, for democracy, human rights and social and economic justice that brought down the regime of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Victorian government's Fire Services Levy was introduced on July 1. It replaces the original levy, which was deducted from insurance premiums, and now collects funds from all property holders along with council rates. The original levy was introduced in 2009 to pay for implementing the recommendations of the 2009 Bushfires Royal Commission.