poverty

Social democracy's past and present dissected in new book

A Short History Of Social Democracy: From Socialist Origins To Neoliberal Theocracy
By John Rainford
Resistance Books
$20, 184pp.

The rise and then fall of social democracy as a movement for fundamental social change is a modern tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. It is one of the epic stories of the 19th and 20th centuries.

What's new at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

'People are capable of governing themselves'

Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton spoke to Dave Holmes about her work as a local councillor in Moreland, a municipality in Melbourne, Australia. Bolton was elected in 2012 on a campaign slogan of “community need not developer greed”, which she says “struck a chord with residents”.

Marta Harnecker: From Allende to Chavez

Ecuador: New workers’ rights law passed, extends social security to homemakers

The revolutionary “The Law for Labour Justice and Recognition of Work from Home,” was passed by Ecuador's National Assembly on April 14, TeleSUR English reported on April 15.

The law, which was first proposed by President Rafael Correa on November 15 to about 100,000 workers, passed by 91 votes to 29. The law will extend the benefits of the social security system to all Ecuadoreans wishing to be affiliated.

Largest protests ever by US low-wage workers over minimum wage

Workers in more than US 200 cities across the US went on strike and joined marches on April 15 “during what organisers claimed was the largest protest by low-wage workers in US history”, the Guardian said the next day.

Bolivia: Voters reaffirm ‘process of change’, but warn Morales' party

Up to 90% of the electorate voted in Bolivia’s “local” elections on March 29 for governors, mayors and departmental assembly and municipal council members throughout the country.

The governing Movement for Socialism (MAS) of left-wing President Evo Morales once again emerged as the only party with national representation. It is by far the major political force in Bolivia, and far ahead of the opposition parties, none of which has a significant presence in all nine departments.

New Zealand: McDonald's workers strike for job security


Photo: Unite.org.nz.

Striking McDonald’s workers took part in marches and pickets in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin on April 15, with many speaking to the crowds and media about the hardship of living with insecure work and income.

Greece: SYRIZA clashes with creditors — 'Let them try to over throw us'

“A high-ranking official close to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the Greek government is not planning to give in to its creditors’ pressures and go against the program they had promised to the Greek people who brought them to power,” GreekReporter.com said on April 16.

The comment came amid rising tensions between Greece's SYRIZA-led anti-austerity government and its creditors — the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Ecuador: Poverty slashed by social spending

Ecuador has lifted 1.3 million people out of poverty in the past eight years, a new survey revealed on April 13, TeleSUR English said that day.

The results of the first “Survey of Living Conditions in Ecuador” showed that poverty has fallen by one third. It also revealed that 900,000 individuals have been lifted out of extreme poverty, whilst the Gini coefficient, which measures wealth gaps, has dropped 4.8 points since 2006.

Australians demand US end attacks on Venezuela

A group of Australian academics, unionists, politicians, and others have urged the US to “stop interfering in Venezuela’s domestic affairs”. More than 70 prominent Australian progressives issued an open letter to US President Barack Obama condemning US sanctions against Venezuela on April 9.

The letter, initiated by the Venezuelan Solidarity Campaign in Melbourne, is printed below. The letter was handed to US consulates in Sydney and Melbourne on April 10.

* * *

No more coups! No more interventions! Repeal the Executive Order!

Dear Mr President,

Greece: Health fee abolished, medical care strengthened

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on April 2 that his government would strengthen the country's public health system by the hiring of 4500 extra staff and abolishing a compulsory €5 fee for treatment at public hospitals, TeleSUR English said that day.

The measure forms part of a broad package of reforms aimed at overhauling the country’s broken medical system by providing universal access to quality healthcare.

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