democracy

Thousands took part in the latest round of yellow vest protests in France on January 12 as President Emmanuel Macron announced a national debate in a bid to quell the growing unrest.

More than 84,000 demonstrators took to the streets across the country, a rise on the previous week according to official figures as the movement shows no sign of abating, Morning Star Online reported.

Concessions offered by Macron, including a pause in the fuel tax which triggered the protests and a rise in the minimum wage, have been rejected as protests continued for the ninth week.

In the first 13 days of 2019, there were five major killings in Honduras in what local media are calling massacres, TeleSUR English said. All up, 18 people were killed by gunmen.

The Honduran Attorney General’s office and the national police say they are investigating the rash of murders but no suspects have been apprehended yet.

Brazil’s far-right government of President Jair Bolsonaro will seek to classify “invasions” of farmland by landless workers as akin to terrorism, with harsher penalties for the activists, an Agriculture Ministry official said on January 14.

Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), one of Latin America’s largest social movements, seeks to take over unproductive lands in the name of social and economic justice to more equally distribute rural wealth.

Brazil is going through a profound political crisis, probably more serious than the military coup in 1964 that ushered in 25 years of authoritarian rule, writes Sue Bradford.

After his election as president in October, the neo-fascist Jair Bolsonaro began selecting his ministers. His most important decision — and one that will probably change the destiny of Brazil for many decades — was to choose Paulo Guedes, an advocate of extreme free-market economics, as a super-minister, responsible for a hugely-expanded finance ministry.

US president Donald Trump announced by tweet on December 19 his intention to withdraw US troops from Syria. This followed a phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had often stated his intention to invade north-eastern Syria. 

Trump’s announcement was widely seen as giving a green light for the planned Turkish invasion. Trump’s decision caused dissension within the US government. Defence secretary James Mattis resigned, as did some other prominent officials.

A long-running debate over strategy and tactics inside The Greens NSW has resulted in one state MP resigning and three others publicly supporting his campaign as an independent for a seat in the next NSW Legislative Council. The truce inside the party seems precarious, at best, writes Pip Hinman.

It takes some Orwellian chutzpah to label the Greens NSW anti-democratic. That hasn’t stopped anti-socialist Greens MPs Jeremy Buckingham, Cate Faehrmann and Justin Field from doing just that.

 In an exclusive broadcast, US-based independent news outlet Democracy Now! broke the media blockade and visited the occupied Western Sahara in the northwest of Africa to document the decades-long Sahrawi struggle for freedom and occupying power Morocco’s violent crackdown.

Edited by John McDonnell
Verso, 2018

This book is a valuable collection of 16 short essays on the crisis facing modern Britain, coming up with progressive solutions which a Jeremy Corbyn-led government could usher in.

It is edited by and has an introduction by Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell, a long-time socialist and close collaborator of Corbyn’s. He says: “We are seeking nothing less than to build a society that is radically fairer, more democratic and more sustainable, in which the wealth of society is shared by all.”

In 2008, the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations published a report titled US-Latin America Relations: A New Direction for a New Reality. Timed to influence the foreign policy agenda of the next US administration, the report asserted: “the era of the US as the dominant influence in Latin America is over.”

Then, at the Summit of the Americas the next year, then-president Barack Obama promised Latin American leaders a “new era” of “equal partnership” and “mutual respect”.

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