democracy

Who represents Bolivia's highland indigenous peoples?

Bolivian indigenous group the National Council of Ayllus and Markas of Qullasuyu (CONAMAQ) made headlines this year with its threats to blockade the Dakar rally when it passed through Bolivia's highlands region.

This was not the first time that the group caught the attention of the world’s media. Leaders of CONAMAQ have been regularly quoted in the media due to their outspoken criticism of the government of president Evo Morales ― Bolivia's first indigenous head of state.

The articles frequently describe CONAMAQ as “the main indigenous organisation in Bolivia's highlands”.

India: Modi's real agenda is anti-people

Kavita Krishnan has become a well-known international spokesperson for the movement against sexual violence in India that grew after a horrific, internationally-publicised, gang rape of a student in Delhi in 2012.

Thailand: Smells like a coup, tastes like a coup, looks like a coup

Thai army general Prayut Chanocha declared martial law on May 20 without consulting the caretaker government or any other elected representatives. Soldiers took over all radio and TV stations and are positioned along major road intersections in Bangkok.

Despite the fact that Prayut claimed that “this is not a coup”, his actions smell, taste and look like a coup. This is from a man who has blood on his hands.

United States: Protests as Occupy activist sentenced to jail over ‘assault’ (PHOTO STORY)

Despite an ongoing outcry by a large group of her supporters, Judge Ronald Zweibel sentenced Occupy Wall Street activist Cecily McMillan to 90 days in jail on May 19.

McMillan had been found guilty of assaulting a police officer during the operation to close down an Occupy protest at Zuccotti Park in March 2012. McMillan says she elbowed police officer Grantley Bovell after he grabbed her breast, leaving it bruised.

Bentley blockade: a win for people power

“A huge win for people power” is how campaigners describe the victory against gas company Metgasco, which had its exploration licence at Bentley suspended by the New South Wales government on May 15.

But it took several years of systematic campaigning to get to this decision.

I spent time at the Bentley blockade over May 17 to 19 and spoke to protectors, organisers and participants who were still shocked at the NSW government’s decision.

Asian left on Thailand: 'Oppose the coup regime!'

The statement below was released by several Asian socialist groups on May 23 in opposition to the military coup in Thailand. To add the name of your group, email int.psm@gmail.com, cc international@socialist-alliance.org. You can see the updated list of signatories at here.

* * *

We, the undersigned organisations, strongly condemn the latest coup d’etat staged by the Thai military under the leadership of Prayuth Chan-ocha.

Monsanto threatens people and planet

An international March Against Monsanto is scheduled for May 24. Hundreds of events around the world have already been scheduled to protest against the world's biggest agricultural biotechnology company.

Like all capitalist monopolies, Monsanto got to where it is today by being ruthless. There are other big biotech companies with shocking records of disregarding people and planet in pursuit of profit — such as DuPont, Bayer and Dow Chemical — but Monsanto's record is so notorious, it warrants its own special international protest day.

Thousands protest 'budget horror'

Thousands of people marched against the federal budget and took part in March in May rallies on May 18.

About 15,000 people rallied in Melbourne against the proposed budget cuts. Viv Malo from First Nations Liberation told the rally that while $50 million was devoted to police in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory and Queensland, $500 million will be cut from Indigenous services. She said: "You are killing us. This is not a lucky country. You won't have your freedom without ours."

'Systematic murder' -- New Yorkers protest for Turkish mine workers (PHOTO STORY)

The day after the horrific May 14 mine tragedy in Soma in Turkey, people gathered in Union Square in New York to show support to the miners and condemn the conditions the workers faced.

Thailand: Amid coup, Red Shirt leaders not up to job of democracy struggle

A military coup is developing on May 20 in Thailand. The military has stepped in to declare martial law to “restore peace and order while denying it is a coup.

The country’s Constitutional Court had already dismissed the elected government of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra on May 7. It came after months of violent right-wing protests including sabotage of elections aimed to resolve the country’s political crisis.

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