democracy

GREEN LEFT REPORT #9: Feminism's resurgence, Venezuelan eyewitness + more

This episode focuses on feminism's resurgence and Venezuela's unfolding revolution. It includes activist news on Stop CSG protests, Global Noise protests, plus Carlo Sands on the European Union's Nobel Peace prize win, and a performance by 1000 eyes at Occupy.

Scotland challenges Britain's two-party rule

Britain's May 7 general election is set to be the closest in living memory.

In the polls, the two leading parties, Labour and the Conservatives (Tories), are within points of each other. The polls have not shifted despite the best efforts of Tory Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband to secure a breakthrough.

Why are the polls so close?

Thai junta pushes new backward, undemocractic constitutional

Thailand's military junta’s new draft constitution is a pathetic, backward, anti-democratic and infantile document.

Just like the rantings of generalissimo Prayut Chan-ocha, the regime's prime minister, it is full of tub-thumping and shouting about the “duties” and “responsibilities” of Thai people to grovel to “Nation, Religion and King”.

It is infantile because it is written by conservatives who think that by bullying the population into conforming to elite beliefs, they can actually change peoples’ attitudes.

France ignores key renewables report

The French government has joined the Australian government in ignoring its own reports that say a transition to 100% renewable energy is feasible and involves little extra cost.

Mediapart obtained a report from the French government’s environment and energy agency body ADEME that showed shifting to 100% renewable energy by 2050 is materially and technologically feasible. The report found it would cost relatively little more than the existing electricity supply, which is 75% nuclear.

West Papua: Global actions demand Indonesia grant media, activists free access

A global day of action on April 29 involved protests in several cities to call on the Indonesian government to allow free and open access into occupied West Papua for international journalists, humanitarian agencies and human rights groups.

Melbourne rally co-organiser said Matt Gale said: “West Papua is one of the world’s most isolated conflict spots. For decades, indigenous activists campaigning for their rights have been arrested, disappeared, tortured and killed.

Greece: Referendum on cards if EU deal not reached

In a three-hour appearance on private TV channel Star TV on April 27, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke extensively about the challenges confronting the anti-austerity government led by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).

The program began with a grilling of Tsipras by interviewer Niko Katsinikolao and ended with questions from a 50-strong audience.

A lot of questions reflected growing concern that talks with the country’s creditors — mainly the “Troika” of the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) — were stalled.

Letter from the US: Hillary’s real record far from progressive

Democrat Hillary Clinton has finally announced she is running for United States president in next year's elections.

In the goof-ball electoral farce that US elections have evolved into, the electoral campaign actually began shortly after the 2012 election.

So it is not odd that the campaigns of both the Republicans and Democrats are now in earnest, nineteen months before the actual election — something not seen in any other “advanced” country.

Venezuela: Thousands mark May Day, Maduro says 'workers must take over economic policies'

Thousands of Venezuelans took part in May Day rallies on May 1 to mark the international workers' day and commemorate the achievements of the country's pro-poor Bolivarian revolution.

Speaking to May Day celebrations in Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: “Now is time for workers to lead the economic policy of the country.”

El Salvador: Right blocks reform to make water and food human rights

During the final session of El Salvador's outgoing parliament on April 29, right-wing parties blocked a vote to ratify a constitutional reform that would have enshrined water and food as human rights.

In doing so, the bloc of Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), National Conciliation (PCN), and Christian Democrat (PDC) parties demonstrated their support for elite business interests over the health and wellbeing of the Salvadoran people.

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