World

Occupying the Plaça d’Espanya and surrounding streets on September 11, 600,000 people came out in Barcelona to celebrate Catalan National Day (the Diada).

The vast crowd demanded the acquittal of jailed Catalan social movement and political leaders, presently awaiting a Spanish Supreme Court verdict on charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement.

Following weeks of negotiations, Italy’s 5 Star Movement (M5S) and the Democratic Party (PD) have agreed to form a new coalition government, which will put Matteo Salvini’s far-right Lega (League) into a corner — at least for now, writes Daniele Fulvi.

“At the moment we’re looking at a people lacking the control that allows them to function as a society — water, the freedom to travel, the basic right to safety,” said Martin Sundram, delegate for the Artists’ Union of England (AUE) at the annual congress of the British trade union movement.

The news that a solid gold toilet has been stolen from Winston Churchill's former home of Blenheim Palace seems symptomatic of the present British condition. The British ruling class are not merely having their bathroom fittings taken but they seem assailed by chaos on every side, writes Derek Wall.

The decades-long struggle of the West Papuan people for self-determination has intensified in recent months — and Australia’s role in aiding and abetting the Indonesian occupation is once again being brought under international scrutiny.

A global day of action on September 14 drew attention to the Turkish government’s controversial Ilisu dam project on the Tigris River in Turkish Kurdistan. The dam is already being filled and if completed would flood the 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf, 199 villages and 136km of the Tigris River valley.

Union leader Esmail Bakhshi, student and civil rights activist, Sepideh Gholian, and four activist journalists were sentenced to long prison sentences by the Iranian regime on September 7.

“We are winning the struggle with Indonesia,” said Benny Wenda, chair of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in a statement released on September 10.“Politically, legally, morally, our arguments have prevailed.” 

Sri Lanka has a long history of discrimination against Tamils.  In 1948 Tamil plantation workers were deprived of citizenship.  In 1956 Sinhalese was made the sole official language, denying the Tamil language equal status, writes Chris Slee.

A new phase of armed conflict in Colombia has emerged with the declaration by some former leaders of the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — People’s Army) that they are reorganising and rearming as an insurgent force, writes James Jordan.

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