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1968 was one of those extraordinary years when millions of people were involved in trying to change the world for the better. Hall Greenland writes that the year's most compelling events took place in May and June on the streets of France.

The world was shaken by an unprecedented wave of protests and rebellions against imperialism, racism, social injustice and the lack of real democracy. 1968 has been compared to 1848 because of the sheer number of countries shaken to their foundations.

Large-scale teacher-led rebellions against cuts and for workers’ rights have broken out in US states such as West Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma and Colorado. Although it has received less publicity, teachers are also rebelling in the US’s Caribbean colony of Puerto Rico.

Fighting to keep the island’s public schools open in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria last year, teachers are boycotting standardised tests and even teaming up with parents to occupy their schools.

The Victorian Labor government’s final budget before the November state election is strong on spending — for health, education and public transport, but unfortunately also for toll roads and law and order.

Labor Opposition leader Bill Shorten delivered his budget reply speech on May 10, promising to deliver a “bigger, better and fairer tax cut for 10 million working Australians”.

“I’ve been listening, and I’ve been impressed. But the winners today are the teachers in the state of Arizona.”

These are the words of Arizona’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey at an April 12 press conference in the state Capitol building in Phoenix. He had just announced a funding plan that he claims will raise Arizona teachers’ pay by 20% by 2020 and raise education funding by US$371 million by 2023.

Strikes, protests and occupations are breaking out everywhere. Sam Wainwright writes that resistance to French president Emmanuel Macron’s austerity plans is gathering pace and its development will determine the future of the country.

Macron and his big business patrons complain that France has failed to “modernise” like Britain did during Margaret Thatcher’s reign. A key turning point that explains why the French working class has been able to slow this process was the huge social movement and strike wave of 1995, in which millions of people took to the streets. 

Ever since his unexpected rise to British Labour Party leader, veteran socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn has faced sustained attacks and smears from the media, Tories and the right-wing of his own party. But over the past month, the attacks have become an unprecedented avalanche.

Oklahoma teachers proudly marked themselves absent from school since April 1, Michelle Chen writes at In These Times on April 5, and they had an excellent excuse: They made themselves present in politics instead, with a historic march on the Capitol in hopes of finally capturing the legislature’s undivided attention

The Victorian Socialists released this statement on the Batman byelection on March 18.

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The Labor Party has managed to retain the seat of Batman, by offering a progressive and competent candidate in Ged Kearney, after years of imposing the right-wing powerbroker David Feeney on the electorate, as part of factional deals.

 

Anna Hush is a former Women’s Officer at Sydney University. She has worked with End Rape on Campus Australia, and with journalist and advocate Nina Funnell she co-authored The Red Zone Report, which was released last month. This is an abridged version of a talk she gave at Sydney University at the Women’s Legal Service Feminist Legal Perspectives Seminar on March 7.

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