civil liberties

In Venezuela's hard times, the grassroots are getting stronger


Members of the Merida communal council distributing food. Photo by Tamara Pearson.

It's been three years now of food shortages, inflation, and queues in Venezuela, and the millions of people involved in community and movement organizing have been the most affected. But they've also defied right-wing and general expectations, and even perhaps the expectations of the Maduro government, and have become stronger and better organized as a result of the hardships.

Struggle reawakens in Zimbabwe


A march for jobs in Zimbabwe.

A national shutdown or 'stay away' in Zimbabwe this month paralysed the country. For the first time in years the country's ruling party, ZANU-PF, and the tenure of 92 year old president Robert Mugabe, were seriously rattled. Young people, workers and traders – who survive by hawking food, cheap imported goods in cities and towns – engaged in pitch battles with the police and army, in many cases outnumbering the security forces.

France: 'Jungle' population breaks 7000 despite evictions

The number of refugees in France’s Calais Jungle camp has topped 7000 for the first time, despite eviction attempts by the French authorities, solidarity groups said on July 21.

Morning Star Online reported that a census carried out by Help Refugees and L’Auberge des Migrants showed there were now 7307 people living in terrible conditions there.

Britain: Brexit hardliners take control

The new administration of Prime Minister Theresa May marks a sharp shift in Britain's Conservative Party government towards the xenophobic right.

May has had a remarkable clearout of ministers who served under ex-PM David Cameron — who resigned after leading the failed campaign to stay in the European Union — in order to shape the government in her image.

Nice attacks and the 'invisible enemy'

And that was how the horror came to my doorstep. To tell you the truth, like many people who live in the provinces – a somewhat disparaging term used to refer to the rest of France that exists outside of Paris and its surrounds – I thought terrorist attacks were mainly a concern for those in the capital.

On July 14, this certainty was blown apart by the sad and harsh reality: 84 people of various nationality and beliefs, among them dozens of children, died due to the actions of a lunatic on the Promenade des Anglais, the “Malecon” of the city of Nice, in the south-east of France.

France: More than a third of Nice victims were Muslim


A memorial to victims of the Nice killings.

Out of the 84 victims who died in the Nice attacks on France's Bastille Day, at least 30 were Muslims, figures based on the types of funerals required by relatives released by local Nice authorities said on July 19.

FULL AUDIO: Brisbane pro-choice forum

Young Queenslanders for the Right to Choose organised a public forum attended by up to 150 people in the Queensland Parliament House on July 12. A similar forum took place in Cairns the next night. Full audio of the forum can be found above.

International students: a cash cow for universities and targets for racism

The Australian government released its National Strategy on International Students 2025 in April.

At its heart lies a strategy for exploiting international students and increasing the commercialisation of the education sector. It aims to swindle hundreds of thousands of international students and normalise the neoliberal idea that students are consumers and that education and learning are commodities.

Sam Watson: 'Confront and challenge Hanson wherever she goes'

Murri leader Sam Watson does not have a high opinion of Pauline Hanson's intellect or her lack of substantial policies. However he told Green Left Weekly that “she can't be ignored”.

“I was very pleased to see in the last few days when she went to appear on Q&A that there were comrades on the street to challenge her,” he said.

He was also pleased when First Nations activist Murrandoo Yanner ordered her out of the building at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.

“She is evil and we need to confront that evil and challenge that evil.”

Racism and the empire

In the discussion about Pauline Hanson's election to the Senate and her recent appearance on ABC's Q&A there have been appeals by some commentators to go easy on her because: "She is just saying what a lot of people are thinking".

Well, dopey racist ideas need to be condemned for what they are, regardless of how many people share them.

This defence of Hanson is like the completely false idea that the degrading treatment of asylum seekers by Labor and Coalition governments is just responding to what the voters want. This of course puts the cart before the horse.

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