Economy

As a First Nations activist I’ll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8. Newcastle’s beautiful harbour is a fitting place to take a stand against coal exports and environmental destruction. People hunger for a different world based on cooperation and treating the land with respect, values at the heart of all First Nations cultures. The violation of these values is illustrated by the failure of Hunter-based coal companies to sign land use agreements with the traditional owners. As a First Nations activist I'll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.
The Bob Brown Foundation launched a new website, SaveBrunyIsland.org, on May 3 with a peaceful demonstration outside Hobart’s Parliament House. Conservationists held placards of the swift parrot, with an image drawn by cartoonist First Dog on the Moon. The new campaign is designed to mobilise members of the community to urge the Prime Minister and Tasmania’s Premier Will Hodgman, to protect all swift parrot habitat in secure reserves. The campaign will also target customers of logging company Ta Ann, asking them to reject timber logged in swift parrot habitat.
Proving that US voters are still energenised to go to the polls to voice their support for "political revolution", self-described socialist Senator Bernie Sanders won the Democrats Indiana primary on May 3 -- besting rival Hillary Clinton and notching a much-needed victory as the corporate media and political class continues to discount his chances and downplay the accomplishments of the campaign. "The political revolution wins in Indiana!" the Sanders campaign tweeted just after 9pm eastern.
It has taken only nine months for the third memorandum between the near-bankrupt Greek state and its creditors — the “Quartet” of the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Stability Mechanism (ESM) — to lurch to the brink of crisis. That deal, which the Syriza-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras felt forced to swallow despite the Greek people rejecting an earlier version by over 60% in a referendum last July, will provide the country with €86 billion. About 90% of this will go to paying off debt.
Martina Anderson, a Sinn Fein Member of the European Parliament, has said that Ireland faced huge implications from a partial disengagement or full scale withdrawal (a “Brexit”) by the British state from the European Union. Anderson said the implications of a Brexit for Ireland included the formal repeal or significant erosion of human rights protections, which would have hugely negative implications for Ireland in the six northern counties still claimed by Britain and in the south.
The divisions in the Republican Party over Donald Trump's candidacy in Republican primaries have been the subject of much commentary — and it remains to be seen how this will play out. We may not know until the Republican convention. But the divisions in the Democratic Party due to the Bernie Sanders' candidacy in Democrat primaries are coming more and more to the fore — including in the capitalist press.
Remember the discussion the Coalition government was going to have with us about tax? You know, the one where “everything was on the table”? Well, the metaphorical table, which started off as an enormous boardroom centrepiece carved from oak is now looking more like a tatty old cardtable with a wonky leg, as more and more items are dropped. Even Treasurer Scott Morrison's near-daily mantra of "We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem" is apparently not resonating with most Australians.
Valeria Silva is a deputy in the Bolivian Plurinational Assembly for the governing Movement for Socialism (MAS) party of President Evo Morales, and a leader within the MAS youth wing.
Brazilian workers were planning May Day rallies ahead of May 1 to defend democracy against what is being cast as an attempted parliamentary coup against President Dilma Rousseff. The move came as representatives from both sides of Brazil’s political divide made their case for or against impeachment on April 28. A special Senate committee has been charged with reviewing the request to see the president removed from office. It will hear presentations from experts invited by both sides of the impeachment debate.
British politics is being dominated by the June 23 referendum on whether Britain leaves the European Union (EU) — the so-called Brexit. This is a question that has, over recent decades, threatened to fatally divide the British right. But left forces also hold contradictory perspectives on the question. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the Green Party of England and Wales and Left Unity are calling for a “yes” vote to remain in the European Union, but are demanding an alternative to the neoliberal EU.
In response to widespread protests against plans to cut hundreds of jobs from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), chief executive Dr Larry Marshall has announced a new CSIRO climate research centre in Hobart. But senior scientists have slammed the plan, saying that Australia is still facing a major reduction in its climate research program. The scientists told ABC News on April 26 that the 40 researchers allocated to the new centre may struggle "to do even the minimum of maintaining an Australian forecasting capability".
Since March 30, members of the Homeless Persons Union Victoria and other activists have been occupying a property on Bendigo St, Collingwood. The Victorian government purchased properties as part of the now-cancelled the East West Link. On April 26, the occupiers of #2 and #12 Bendigo St signed a land lease agreement with the Kulin Nation Embassy, currently situated at #4 Bendigo St. This agreement formally recognises the Kulin Nation as the sovereign owners of the land on which Bendigo Street stands.
The Rana Plaza murders will not be forgotten: this was the message of a small but spirited rally on April 13 in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall. Organised by the Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union (TCFUA) and other labour activists, the rally commemorated the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in which 1134 Bangladeshi sweatshop workers lost their lives and 2500 others were injured. The Rana Plaza murders will not be forgotten: this was the message of a small but spirited rally on April 13 in Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall.
Residents of public housing towers in Waterloo, inner Sydney, rallied on April 23 against the NSW Coalition government's plan to forcibly evict tenants so it can sell off their homes. The community is fighting the government's plan to begin relocating residents from mid-next year, before demolishing the Waterloo apartment towers to build new private high-rise apartments.
In many ways, environment minister Greg Hunt's attendance at the New York signing of the Paris Agreement on April 21 underscored the Coalition government's resistance to in taking real action to curb toxic carbon dioxide emissions.
From May 4 to 16 a global wave of mass community direct action will target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects with a clear message: keep them in the ground and speed up the transition to 100% renewable energy. 350.org is coordinating a blockade of Newcastle Port on May 7 and 8. It says: “We have never had a better chance in history to break free from fossil fuels and build a just transition to clean and renewable energy.

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