Economy

MST leader says Brazilians must rise up

Joao Pedro Stedile is a founder and leader of Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement (MST). One of Latin America’s largest social movements, the MST fights for land reform and the rights of poor farmers.

Below, Stedile calls for resistance to the “institutional coup” in Brazil, in which elected Workers’ Party (PT) president Dilma Rousseff was removed by the Senate and Michel Temer installed on August 31.

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Parliament resumed on August 30 and the government's agenda was simple: delay marriage equality; justify the double dissolution; and argue the case for a renewed assault on living standards — I mean: “budget repair”.

The “budget repair” project was contained in a centrepiece “omnibus” bill that combines 24 measures from this year's budget that have not yet passed the Senate. It is an attack on students, welfare recipients, ordinary workers and the environment.


São Paulo, September 7.

Brazil’s unelected president Michel Temer was greeted with shouts of “Temer Out” on his first public appearance in Brazil since being installed in office on August 31.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on September 7 in more than a dozen cities for a national day of action dubbed the “Cry of the Excluded”.

The situation is deteriorating in “the Jungle” — the informal settlement in the northern French port of Calais of refugees trying to reach Britain.

French police demolished the southern half earlier this year, yet the population is steadily rising and has surpassed 10,000. Neglected by governments and NGOs, the volunteers who provide food, clothing and other aid are receiving fewer donations to assist the growing population. Hunger has become prevalent, along with diseases caused by lack of sanitation.

Increased evidence of homelessness in Melbourne’s iconic graffiti laneway, Hosier Lane, has prompted outrage from government and local businesses in recent weeks.

The responsibility of governments to help with the costs of child-rearing has been a part of Australian social policy since the early 1920s, when the first widows’ pension (1926) and child endowment (1927) schemes were introduced.

Australia has recognised this principle since the Harvester judgment of 1907, which raised the issue of how much income was appropriate for a family with child-rearing responsibilities. For most of the 20th century, this was recognised in taxation policy, as well as in income support policies.

Below is the Mandate Trade Union in Dublin’s solidarity message to the Carlton and United Brewery strikers.

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Mandate, the union for retail and bar workers in Ireland, has sent a message of solidarity to the 55 sacked workers of the Carlton United Breweries plant in Abbottsford, Victoria and urges all Irish workers based in Australia to support the workers as they struggle for their rights and their jobs.

The NSW Greens have slammed reported plans by the state government to build a new privatised western Metro train line from the city centre to Parramatta.

Prison teachers at the Cessnock Correctional Centre stopped work for an hour on September 5. A similar action by staff at Long Bay Prison in Sydney took place on September 2.

They were protesting job cuts and the outsourcing of New South Wales prison education to staff without formal teaching degrees.

From February, prisoners in NSW will have most of their education delivered by staff from an external training organisation. Most of the prison teachers will be made redundant in December.

National Threatened Species Day on September 7 is held each year to commemorate the day the last Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in a Hobart zoo in 1936.

Environment groups Goongerah Environment Centre (GECO), Wildlife of the Central Highlands and Fauna and Flora Research Collective decided to commemorate the day this year by presenting an invoice for $2 million to the state government.

The groups called on the state government to better protect species such as the threatened Greater Glider and Victoria’s animal emblem, the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum.

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