international solidarity

Giles Ji Ungpakorn is a Thai socialist in exile in Britain after being charged with lese majeste (insulting the monarch). He is a member of Left Turn Thailand.

Ji Ungpakorn’s blog, Wdpress.blog.co.uk, covers the struggle for democracy in Thailand, and the brutal repression meted out by the military backed regime. On May 25, the blog listed the names of all the pro-democracy Red Shirt protesters being hunted down by the regime — 66 arrest warrants had been issued and 21 people were already in custody.

On May 25, 70 people protested outside the Thai embassy in Jakarta in solidarity with the pro-democracy Red Shirts in Thailand. The protest was jointly called by the Working Peoples Association (PRP), the People’s Democratic Party (PRD), the Confederation Congress of Indonesia Union Alliance (Konfederasi KASBI); the Indonesian Nasional Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI); the National Student League for Democracy (LMND)

BRISBANE — Fifty people, Iranians and supporters, rallied in Queens Park on May 22 to protest against the execution in early May of five Kurdish nationalists by the Iranian regime.

The protesters held photos of people disappeared and killed during the movement for democratic rights over the past year.

Community representative Fazil Rostam said: "Kurds are 10% of the Iranian population, but make up 50% of the prison population. Fifty percent of executions are of Kurdish people."

MELBOURNE — On May 25, about 50 people attended a forum on Burma's election, which is due to occur this year.

The forum was addressed by Debbie Stothard, coordinator of Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma, who noted the many undemocratic structures set up by the military junta.

She said: “The 2008 constitution will guarantee military control over the election and resulting parliament. Election commissioners are handpicked by the regime, political parties must exclude ‘convicted persons’ such as Aung San Suu Kyi and there is severe censorship and restrictions on campaigning.

Mal Tulloch, assistant NSW secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union, took part in a study tour to Palestine in March, organised by APHEDA, the aid organisation of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The CFMEU has supported APHEDA since it was established in 1987.

As soon as Tulloch arrived in Palestine, he realised it was not going to be a holiday. He shares his impressions below.

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It was like a visit to a war zone, while also a great opportunity to witness what the Palestinian struggle has been about for the past 62 years.

American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein
Directed by David Ridgen & Nicolas Rossier
Baraka Productions

Review by Antony Loewenstein

Jewish critics of Israel are as old as the ideology itself. Zionism was regarded by most Jews in Europe as an idealistic delusion before the Second World War, but the Holocaust literally changed everything.

The national executive of the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union (CFMEU) decided at its May 12 meeting to join the global campaign to isolate apartheid Israel.

The union assessed the approach of trade unions around the world and consulted Izzat Abdulhadi, head of the Palestinian delegation to Australia.

Youth activist and part-time worker Gemma Weedall has been endorsed by the Socialist Alliance to contest the seat of Adelaide in the upcoming federal election.

Weedall recently completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences at the University of Adelaide, where she was a well-known student activist.

She was environment officer on the 2009 Student Representative Council and convened several clubs and collectives. A passionate grassroots climate change activist, Gemma is an active member of the Climate Emergency Action Network (CLEAN)

Read the issue #3 of Green Left Weekly’s Spanish-language supplement here.

For environmentalists, indigenous rights activists, feminists, socialists and all progressive people, Latin America is a source of hope and inspiration today.

The tide of rebellion and revolution now sweeping Latin America is posing a serious challenge to imperialism’s brutal global rule. For anyone who wants an end to war, exploitation and oppression, Latin America’s struggles to create alternatives are crucially important.

MELBOURNE — Protesters added their voices to the international day of solidarity with the democracy movement in Thailand on May 20, gathering outside the offices of Thai Airways. May 20 is the anniversary of the end of Black May in 1992, when the Thai government used the military against thousands of pro-democracy protesters.

The rally demanded the military end its repression, not just for the sake of Thai workers, but because it gave confidence to other governments to use force against workers everywhere.

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