democracy

Venezuela: How the oligarchs were defeated ― remembering the coup

The Venezuelan people have marked the 12th anniversary of the right-wing military coup on April 11, 2002, that briefly ousted former President Hugo Chavez.

In an historically unprecedented event, the coup was overturned within 48 hours by a mass uprising of the people and soldiers loyal to the Bolivarian revolution.

This year’s anniversary occurs in the context of one of the most intense right-wing destabilisation campaigns since the dramatic days of 2002.

Builders face government moves to seize homes, cars

For the first time in Australian history, construction workers are facing government moves to seize houses and cars in relation to an industrial dispute.

The 33 workers affected took part in an eight-day strike in north-west WA in 2008. Mick Buchan of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) told the ABC that the dispute between workers and the company was resolved at the time.

“It was some time later that the ABCC [Australian Building Construction Commission] intervened and brought charges against individuals”, he said.

Abbott moves to stifle public service free speech

The Tony Abbott government has moved to crush the right of free speech for federal public servants. In new guidelines issued by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) on social media policy, employees are threatened with harsh discipline if they are "critical or highly critical of the department, the minister or the prime minister" on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Flickr, blogs or elsewhere.

Egypt: International voices condemn mass death sentences

More than 1000 people from 50 countries have signed the statement launched by Egypt Solidarity in response to mass death sentences imposed by Egypt’s military regime on alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

On March 24, a court in Minya province condemned 529 people to death for the murder of a police officer in August last year after a trial which lasted just 45 minutes, where defence lawyers were not allowed to speak.

Venezuela: Global peasants’ movement Via Campesina urges support for revolution, government

Via Campesina is a global organisation of peasants and one of the largest and most significant international social movements. The statement below in solidarity with Venezuela’s revolution and peasants was released by its International Coordinating Commission of Via Campesina International, which met in Managua, Nicaragua on March 29.

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Bosnia-Herzegovina: Tuzla — the unknown workers' capital of Europe

Why does Bosnia-Herzegovina inspire so little interest and curiosity in the media and political class when, on the contrary, Ukraine is front-page news?

Is it because its name evokes the war that, 20 years ago, claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of men and women more than 200,000 dead and 600,000 exiles in the face of virtual indifference in the West as to what was happening one and a half hours by plane from Paris? Or because it often wakes up to the call of the muezzin?

Brazil: Marking 50 years since US-backed coup

April marks the 50th anniversary of the US-backed military coup d’etat in Brazil. The coup kicked off a brutal 20 military dictatorship.

Military coups followed in Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. With the support of the US government and Paraguay, under dictator General Alfredo Stroessner, the region's regimes organised Operation Condor, a political repression and terror campaign to suppress opposition.

Sri Lanka: Weak UN human rights motion excludes Tamils

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a US-sponsored resolution on “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” on March 27.

But the resolution makes no mention of the plight of the Tamil people. The word “Tamil” does not appear once.

The resolution expresses “serious concern at the continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, including sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly”.

Venezuela: 'Colectivos' scare campaign demonises the poor

As they are prone to do, the private media have invented a new thing. In both English and Spanish, they are calling it the colectivos.

They are meant to be irrational, cruel, grotesque armed motorbike riders who “enforce” the revolution in Venezuela and are responsible for most of the violence afflicting the South American nation, which has left more than 30 people dead since February.

The opposition barricaders are presented as the innocent victims of these collectivos, who apparently work with the National Guard and have the support of President Nicolas Maduro's government.

Fremantle takes the fight to the freeway

A decision by the Fremantle City Council at its March 26 meeting to reject a Main Roads WA request to voluntarily hand over land began a dramatic new phase in the campaign against the state government's freeway building agenda.

The state government wants to replace a section of High Street on the eastern approach to Fremantle with a freeway at a cost of more than $100 million. This is intended to be the first link in their plan to build a six lane "freeway standard" route connecting the Kwinana Freeway to the Fremantle container port.

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