democracy


The rebels held out against British forces for a week.

This Easter marks 100 years since Ireland's Easter Rising, when republicans launched an armed insurrection against British rule. Seizing Dublin's General Post Office, the rebels proclaimed an Irish republic based on the principles of freedom and equality.

"This is a law to protect the rich. We will need to break these laws to protect our democratic rights," Aboriginal activist and lead NSW Senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance team in the federal elections Ken Canning, said on March 15.

Freedom of speech in Turkey is deteriorating at a rate of knots. This week, a British academic was deported from the country with no trial and three academics were arrested, all accused of disseminating terrorist material. Earlier this month, Zaman — a widely-read newspaper critical of the regime — was seized and placed under control of a board of trustees by an Istanbul court.

On March 17, after a two-day meeting held in the town of Girkê Legê (Al-Muabbada) in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), a Constituent Assembly established a “Rojava-Northern Syria Democratic Federal System”.

The Constituent Assembly was attended by 31 parties and 200 delegates representing Rojava's Kobanê, Efrîn and Cizîrê cantons and the Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Syriac, Armenian, Turkmen and Chechen peoples of Girê Spî (Tal Abyad), Shaddadi, Aleppo and Shehba regions.

During the early days of his campaign to be US president, Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders wondered if the crowds that he saw on the street were headed to a baseball game, only to be told: “Actually they are on the way to hear you”.

This story illustrates how the Sanders message of free education, affordable health care, a $15 minimum wage, taxing the mega-rich and support for renewable energy has taken off.

Young Americans — the millennials — facing unpayable student debts, unaffordable health care, low wages and climate change inaction, are flocking to his campaign.

The federal government continues to drag its feet on marriage equality. It is now clear that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will not initiate a marriage equality plebiscite before the end of the year, as promised.

LGBTI community organisations are increasingly losing patience with delays and broken promises. Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome described a plebiscite as “an incredibly costly and harmful opinion poll”, after PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimated it would cost $525 million.

The media has trumpeted Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s apparently certain nomination after the March 15 caucuses, but the race is far from over. Tom Cahill writes, in a piece abridged from US Uncut, on why.

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Demonstrators celebrate after Donald Trump cancelled his rally at the University of Illinois in Chicago on March 11.

Bernie Sanders has come out swinging after Donald Trump accused the self-proclaimed socialist contender in the Democrat primaries of paying his supporters to disrupt the leading Republican candidate's events.


Banners unfurled by activists in front of the offices of USAID in Washington to protest the agency's support for a controversial dam project on March 14. Photo: Twitter /@the_intercept

United States President Barack Obama renewed an executive order, first issued a year ago, on March 3 that declares Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”, TeleSUR English said the next day.

The order allows the US government to impose sanctions on Venezuela. In protest, Venezuela has withdrawn its charge d'affaires, Maximilian Arvelaez, from the United States, TeleSUR English said on March 9.

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