Ash Pemberton

The Occupy movement in the United States relaunched itself on May 1 when thousands of people rallied in more than 130 cities across the country to mark May Day — the international day to mark working people's struggles.

The May Day events were billed as a test of strength for the movement that exploded onto the streets in September last year. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) arose to protest against inequality and undemocratic rule by the super-rich — the “1%”.

The Australian government has come under pressure over its role in funding Indonesian counter-terrorism unit Detachment 88, after ABC’s 7.30 highlighted the unit’s role in repressing independence activists in occupied West Papua.

Detachment 88 has been implicated in several killings and the torture of Papuan activists. A prominent recent case was its alleged involvement in the assassination of West Papuan National Committee (KNPB) leader Mako Tabuni in June.

The presence of police and mobile brigade soldiers at construction sites for the PNG LNG (liquefied natural gas) project in Papua New Guinea ― majority owned by Exxon Mobil ― is an indication of the community discontent surrounding the project.

Fears have been raised that conflict over the project could provoke violence like that of Bougainville in the 1990s.

Quebec’s student movement has claimed a victory with the toppling of the right-wing Liberal government in the September 4 election.

The opposition Parti Quebecois (PQ) looks set to form government, winning the most seats ahead of the right-wing Liberal Party who had governed for the past nine years. Quebec's largest pro-independence party, the PQ has, in government, also implemented neoliberal policies.

The controversial Ramu nickel mine near Madang in Papua New Guinea has come under fire for new claims of environmental damage.

The mine has been the subject of a long-running battle with locals over plans to pump 100 million tonnes of mine waste into Basamuk Bay over 20 years. The dumping threatens the pristine ecosystem of the area as well as the livelihoods of local people.

The governments of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have gone to great lengths to control information about the ongoing uprisings in their countries. This is part of their efforts to crush the democracy movements that have sought to overthrow the ruling monarchies.

The protests are part of the Arab Spring uprisings that began in Tunisia in late 2010 and spread across the Middle East and north Africa.

Independent journalist and author Antony Loewenstein visited Papua New Guinea in January and February as part of his research for an upcoming book and documentary about disaster capitalism and privatisation.

He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Ash Pemberton about the influence of the resource industry in PNG, its links with government and private security forces, the rising influence of China and PNG's domestic politics in light of upcoming elections.

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The Occupy movement held rallies across the United States on September 17 to mark the first anniversary of the protests that attacked the corrupt and abusive rule by the richest 1%.

With the protest camps having been broken up by police months ago, the movement has sought to find new ways to fight the gross social injustice that pervades US society. listed actions in 28 US cities and in at least 10 other places around the world on September 17.

More than 100,000 people rallied in Santiago on May 16 in protest against Chile's wealth-based education system.

The protest ― which included students, parents, teachers and unionists ― was part of an ongoing campaign that began in May last year. The movement has challenged Chile's education system, under which the quality of a person's education is determined by their ability to pay high fees.

The Australian government's support for Indonesia's occupation of West Papua reached absurd levels on September 12. Labor and Coalition senators voted down a Senate condolence motion for late refugee advocate and Papuan solidarity activist Vikki Riley on the basis that it contained the words “West Papua”.

The Don't Say These Words? blog said on September 13 that Country Liberal Senator Nigel Scullion told the mover of the motion, John Madigan of the Democratic Labor Party, that he would support the motion if the words “West Papua” were removed.


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