democracy

West Papua: Regional betrayal sets back freedom fight

The West Papuan independence movement's hopes of of gaining a foothold in the international community were set back when foreign minsters visiting West Papua pledged non-interference with Indonesia.

Last June, the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Leaders Summit met in Noumea, New Caledonia, and discussed a membership application from the West Papua National Council for Liberation (WPNCL). The summit postponed the decision until a ministerial delegation visited West Papua to determine the legitimacy of the group and to assess the situation in the occupied country.

Left govt’s condemn colonialism, capitalism at historic Havana summit

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called for an “eradication” of “colonialism” in Latin America at the annual summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

During the summit held in Cuba’s capital, Havana, over January 28 and 29, Maduro called for Puerto Rican independence and an end to British administration of the Falklands/Malvinas Islands, to which Argentina claims sovereignty.

Puerto Rico was offered full membership of CELAC under a proposal made to the summit by Venezuela.

March in March Cairns 2014

March in March Cairns 2014. Join the movement for better government with this popular "vote of no confidence" in the Abbott government. Sat Mar 15, assemble 12 for 12.30pm, venue Esplanade area (TBC). See https://www.facebook.com/marchinmarchcairns or ph Jonathan 0437 790 306.

Event date: 
Sat, 15/03/2014 - 1:00pm

Protests across North America target TPP -- 'NAFTA on steroids'

Workers across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico united in an Inter-Continental Day of Action on January 31 to stop a massive new trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership — commonly referred to as “NAFTA on steroids.”

In the U.S., the immediate fight is to block a bill that would grant the president “fast track” authority to sign off on the TPP. Defeating fast track would likely stop the TPP.

Fast track is designed to swiftly pass trade deals, circumventing the standard Congressional procedures of hearings, debates, and resolutions.

Syria: Kurdish people fight for self-determination amid civil war

Salih Muslim is co-president of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syria-based Kurdish party fighting for self-determination. The PYD is a sister party of the left-wing Turkish-based Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The party is the ruling force in the Kurdish areas of Syria and took over three enclaves with Kurdish majorities in 2012.

Thailand: Right-wing thugs unleash fresh violence

The Democrat Party’s mad dogs unleashed violence around Bangkok’s voting stations on January 26.

Voting stations throughout the country were supposed to be open for people to cast their votes before the February 2 general election. Advanced voting is a required service since it is compulsory for people to cast their ballot.

In many areas of Bangkok, angry residents argued with the anti-democratic protesters. They also protested against local election commissioners who closed voting stations whether or not they were surrounded by Sutep Tuaksuban’s Democrat Party thugs.

Victorian 'move on' laws to criminalise protesters

Unions and community groups have strongly criticised a bill that aims to give Victorian police unprecedented power to disband protests and ban individuals from taking part in protest activity.

The Summary Offences and Sentencing Amendment Bill 2013 will increase powers available to police under “move on” laws.

'People's singer' Pete Seeger -- 1919-2014

Banjo-picking American troubadour Pete Seeger died on January 27 at the age of 94. In a career that spanned eight decades, he sang for migrant workers, peace activists and anti-capitalists.

Seeger died peacefully in his sleep around 9.30pm in New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he had been for six days. Family members were with him.

Seeger was an iconic figure in protest music. In his younger days he performed with Woody Guthrie and in his nineties, leaning on two canes, he marched with Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Letter from US: Fresh pressure over NSA spy regime

Division among ruling circles in the United States and internationally about what to do about the revelations of wholesale NSA spying continues to deepen.

A January 17 speech by US President Barack Obama, which was supposed to move the discussion forward, was a flop. Polls indicate it failed to change people’s minds.

He gave his usual “on the one hand, and on the other” type speech trying to appease both sides, but came down in defence of the NSA program.

1000th Issue Fund Appeal: Help us raise $100,000 by March 12

Many people gasped when they read that an Oxfam study found that the richest 85 people in the world own the same wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

It is shocking and unconscionable. It is grossly unfair and unjust. But it is much more than this. This unimaginable concentration of wealth condemns the liveability of the planet and makes permanent war inescapable – for how else but through ruthless violence can this wealth and power of the privileged few be maintained?

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