democracy

Thousands of people mobilised across Honduras on September 7 as part of the “civic strike” called by the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) to “demand that the neoliberal offensive against the poor be halted”.

The FNRP said rallies were held in the capital, Tegucigalpa and 10 other cities and towns.

The deputy president of Swaziland’s People’s United Democratic Movement (Pudemo) Sikhumbuzo Phakathi was arrested on September 6 at the Phongola border post.

The arrest came as Swazi police and soldiers were deporting a delegation of South African activists from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC).

Pudemo president Mario Masuku was detained before the start of a protest march on September 7 to mark the global day for democracy in Swaziland. He was “escorted home” by police to prevent his participation.

US-NATO command and their puppets in Kabul are pushing ahead with lower house elections in Afghanistan on September 18. This is despite civilian casualties rising by 31% this year, a surge of occupying troop numbers and new evidence of widespread corruption emerging.

A scandal surrounding the country’s largest commercial bank, Kabul Bank, has implicated one of Afghan President Hamid Kazai’s brothers. Mahmoud Karzai, when head of Kabul Bank, is said to have made millions from risky investments in the collapsing Dubai property market.

September 11, 2010 -- Ten years ago, thousands of Australian activists joined forces to blockade a meeting of the powerful World Economic Forum in Melbourne for three days, beginning September 11, 2000. Despite a massive show of police force and violence, the unity of the protesters prevailed.

At a September 7 Green Left Weekly forum, Andrew Bartlett and Ewan Saunders spoke about the possibilities that have opened for the progressive movements since the election. Bartlett was Greens candidate for the seat of Brisbane in the recent federal elections. E Saunders contested the same seat for Socialist Alliance.

Bartlett gained 21% of the primary vote, a swing of 10%. He gave an assessment of the voting results.

The Socialist Alliance national council meeting on September 5, involving 72 members from around the country, grappled with the new and intriguing political situation opened up by the August 21 federal election result.

At the time, it was unknown who would form a minority government.

But it was already clear that the result presented a challenge and opportunity for the progressive social movements to mobilise to demand a just, equitable and sustainable response to the big problems facing society.

Barangaroo is one of the last waterfront development sites in the City of Sydney. Its controversial redevelopment is starting a brushfire of protests because of the way it is being handled.

Once the heart of the docklands, was the birthplace of the bubonic plague in the early 20th century Barangaroo, which led to the takeover of much of the area and its wharves by the government-appointed Sydney Harbour Trust.

Independent Andrew Wilkie won the Tasmanian seat of Denison at the recent federal elections. Previously, the seat had been held by Duncan Kerr for 23 years and was considered a safe Labor seat.

Wilkie came to prominence in 2003 when he resigned from his job at the Office of National Assessments in public protest against the then Liberal/National Coalition government's decision to invade Iraq. The invasion was based on the claim Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, a claim that later proved false.

With the symptoms of social and environmental crisis all around us — runaway climate change, Third World poverty, seemingly endless wars — it is sometimes easy to feel discouraged about our ability to change “the way things are”. We can forget that millions of ordinary people have many times over said “enough is enough” and come together to take action to change history.

The Socialist Alliance national office has produced its analysis of the August 21 federal election. It traces the precise mix by electorate of the increased Green, Coalition, independent and informal vote, produced as voters deserted Labor.

The differences among the seat-by-seat contests in an Australian federal election have never been so great. The general disillusionment with the two major parties expressed itself in quite different ways in different electorates and areas.

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