civil liberties

Dublin demands abortion rights in huge 'Repeal the 8th' march

Tens of thousands marched through Dublin on September 24calling for abortion rights, Morning Star reported the next day. Marchers carried banners calling on the Irish government to “repeal the 8th,” the amendment to the Irish constitution which gives foetuses a “right to life” deemed equal with that of pregnant women, rendering almost all abortions illegal.

Photos: Rally to support anti-racist activist Jafri

At 5pm on September 23 anti-racism activist Jafri was attacked, pepper sprayed and detained without provocation by Victoria police while holding up his "Stop Racism Now" sign — as he has done for years at Flinders St Station. During the arrest Jafri was not given access to legal or medical support. 

In a show of support, hundreds of protesters gathered at the Flinders St intersection on September 24, demanding accountability from Victoria Police and protesting police violence.

West Papua’s forgotten independence struggle — interview with Papuan leader Benny Wenda

Papua New Guinea marked its independence from Australia — achieved in 1975 — on September 16. But West Papua, a province on the same island, continues its struggle for self-determination in one of the world’s least publicised and longest-running independence struggles.

West Papuans won their independence from Dutch colonialism in 1963, but the country was invaded by Indonesia and officially annexed in 1969 after a controversial referendum in which just over 1000 people voted.

United States: Charlotte erupts in rage

Charlotte, North Carolina, September 22.

Protests and tear gas have filled the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina nightly since the murder on September 20 of Keith Lamont Scott, a 43-year-old African American, at the hands of police in yet one more case of racial profiling.

Welfare ‘reform’: New Zealand’s model for attacking the poor

I was dismayed to discover that Australia’s Minister for Social Services is turning to New Zealand for inspiration in his latest approach to welfare.

On September 20 Christian Porter announced the ‘Australian Priority Investment Approach’. This draws on work New Zealand’s right-wing National government has done since 2011 on using actuarial estimates of fiscal liability to underpin an extensive program of punitive and pauperising reforms.

Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ a well-made tribute to a true modern hero

Snowden
Directed by Oliver Stone
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo
In cinemas now

How often in do people stand up to the behemoth that is the mighty US military-industrial-spy complex and get away with it? Not often enough.

But if you count living in limbo in Russia — unable to fly to asylum in a third country once his passport was cancelled, unable to return home to the US without fear of a rigged, secret trial on espionage charges — as getting away with it, Edward Snowden did just that.

European protests condemn unfair ‘trade’ deals

Thousands of protesters marched through Brussels on September 20 to demand the European Union abandon planned trans-Atlantic free trade deals they say will worsen labour conditions and allow big business to challenge governments.

It came just days after tens of thousands rallied against such deals on September 17 in other European cities, mainly in Germany.

Turkey: Kurdish activists tortured

A video showing Turkish soldiers and state-sponsored Kurdish village guards torturing and abusing Saime Avşin (Avaşin Gabar), a female Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrilla fighter, has surfaced on social media, Kurdish Question said on September 20.

Turkey: Attacking the Kurds, regime destroys democracy

A large minority in Turkey, at about 20% of the population, the Kurdish people have long faced systemic discrimination by the Turkish state. This has included massacres and violent repression of their culture, with even the Kurdish language banned until recently.

Such oppression led to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) launching an armed struggle for national liberation in 1984. In recent years, the PKK — whose leader Abdullah Öcalan remains in solitary confinement in a Turkish jail — has declared its commitment to a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Colombia: Government apologises for mass killings of leftists


Photos of forcibly disappeared supporters of the Patriotic Union. Photo: EFE.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos acknowledged the state’s responsibility in the killing of thousands of members of a leftist political party three decades ago, TeleSUR English said on September 15. Santos pledged to prevent such assassinations again.

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