democracy

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva trumpeted that he was making an important initiative on May 3 to “solve” the political crisis.

The country has been wracked by protests demanding the government — which was never elected — hold elections. The current government was installed after a military coup, far-right “Yellow Shirt” protests and judicial rulings that gave more power to the military.

On May 3, Abhisit offered to dissolve parliament in September and hold elections on November 14. Previously, he had said he would not dissolve parliament until December.

The following statement was released by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the organisation of the “Red Shirts”, on May 6. It is abridged from wdpress.blog.co.uk.

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UDD leaders have again debunked speculation that the Red Shirt rally at Ratchaprasong will soon be packing up and the protesters returning home.

Six US banks control 60% of GDP

“They are Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. They have assets equivalent to 60 percent of our gross national product.

“And to put this in perspective, in the mid-1990s, these six banks or their predecessors, since there have been a lot of mergers, had less than 20 percent. Their assets were less than 20 percent of the gross national product.”

On May 8, 70 people from local groups joined with Socialist Alliance to march through Brunswick’s Barkly Square shopping centre, demanding management allow community stalls, including those held by the Socialist Alliance, to resume.

Protesters had a replica of the original cage that radical artist and Communist Party of Australia member Noel Counihan spoke from in the 1933 free speech battles in Brunswick. A speak-out was held in the shopping centre, defying police and security guards.

A secret review of Australia’s intelligence services has proposed giving them new powers to spy on Australians, carry weapons and conduct secretive paramilitary operations in other countries.

Powers to carry weapons are proposed for employees of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), which has already received a vast expansion of legal powers since 2001, extra personnel and a new purpose-built Canberra headquarters.

The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM); Working People's Association (PRP) of Indonesia, People’s Democratic Party (PRD) of Indonesia, Turn Left Thailand, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) of the Philippines, Socialist Alliance of Australia, and Solidarity (Australia) issued the following statement on April 10.The Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM); Working People's Association (PRP) of Indonesia, People's Democratic Party (PRD) of Indonesia, Turn Left Thailand, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) of the Philippines, Socialist Alliance of Australia, and Solidarity (Australia) issued the following statement on

Brazil at a crossroad; the campaign for democracy

Brazilians current president Temer is enacting a militarisation of Brazil. Ten human rights activists have been murdered in the last five months, including prominent socialist, lesbian councilor Marielle Franco. 

Alongside this attack on democracy is a vicious privatization campaign aiming to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich. 

Brazilians are responding through mass protests, including hundreds of thousands rising up demanding justice for Marielle Franco. 

Activist Centre, 3/29 Macquarie St, Parramatta
Spiralling poverty, deprivation, price rises and chronic unemployment are behind the latest round of anti-government protests in Iran that began in late December. Speakers: Rupen Savoulian from Socialist Alliance will present some historical context about previous anti-dictatorship struggles; Ronahi Qandil, a Kurdish activist, will speak about the current situation. Ronahi was jailed by the Iranian government when she was 17.

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