999

With few exceptions, most international media coverage of the recent protests in Venezuela gives little sense of the response from the popular social movements who support the government of President Nicolas Maduro but operate independently from it.

As researchers who have carried out long-term fieldwork in the urban barrios (poor neighbourhoods) of Caracas, we felt compelled to translate and publish the statement of one of these barrio groups.

The governments of the United States, Europe and Canada are working furiously to help consolidate the conservative and rightist government that has come into office in Ukraine after the overthrow of the authoritarian regime of Victor Yanukovych 10 days ago.

The overthrow of the regime came about through a confluence of mass protests against its authoritarian rule and retrograde social and economic policies, and a very active intervention by right-wing and fascist political forces.

Cusco, a city of 400,000 in south-eastern Peru, was totally paralysed on February 25. It was the first day of a 48-hour general strike initiated by trade unions and other civic groups.

The strike was supported by bus, taxi and truck drivers, as well as peasant and indigenous groups in provinces throughout the Cusco region. All vehicular traffic ceased in the downtown area and citizens walked freely through the streets ― an unusual sight in a South American city.

A new report by eight international trade unions and non-government organisations details the brutal government repression Cambodian garment workers were subjected to. It said the workers' demand to raise the minimum wage were reasonable.

Indiscriminate violence against ordinary people, whether they be involved in politics or not, is always appalling and serves no progressive or democratic purpose. The recent killing of children is even worse.

We have no idea who has been committing these latest deadly atrocities in Bangkok or in Trat and it would be foolish to make wild guesses. It could be those who favour a dictatorship and wish to create conditions favourable for a military coup against elected President Yingluck Shinawatra.

Party of the European Left: building unity to build hope

When the 200-plus delegates finally voted on the two main documents presented to the fourth congress of the Party of the European Left (EL), held on December 13-15 in Madrid, there was a faint murmur of surprise at the degree of support received, writes Dick Nichols in an eyewitness account of fourth congress of the group that unites left parties across the continent.

Noam Chomsky's weak spot on political power

Almost a year has passed since the death of Hugo Chávez on March 5, 2013. Arguably this has been the most difficult one for the Bolivarian Revolution. Many people, both on the left and the right expressed doubt that there could be Chavismo without Chávez.

Perhaps a year is still too short of a period to assess the situation after Chávez’s passing. Yet, the dynamic developments over the past twelve months call for some preliminary remarks.

Venezuelan car workers have slammed multinational car manufacturers for cutting back production in the country. The country's largest trade union federation has called for the industry to be nationalised.

Accusing multinational car companies of being “imperialist”, the National Workers' Union (UNT) has called on the government to place car factories under worker control.

The UNT said: “It's clear that building socialism relies on the working class, indeed the workers' control of the factories.”

About 140 people attended Manningham City Council’s forum on February 20 to hear speakers discuss the case for a railway line to Doncaster, Victoria.

Doncaster Rail has been promised since the late 1890s and Manningham City, comprising 10 suburbs and only 12 kilometres from the CBD, is the only Melbourne municipality without a railway line even though it is a rapidly growing area.

At the 2011 Census, Manningham had a population of 111,300.

Members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) on University of Western Sydney campuses took action on February 28 to highlight management's refusal to agree to a fair enterprise agreement. They have been without an agreement for more than a year.

On the Bankstown campus of UWS, a number of unionists and students gathered to hear from union activists.

They said that after 12 months of meetings with management they felt that little progress had been made. In the meantime, they were having to deal with increased workloads and increases in the cost of living.

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