Phnom Penh – The Cuban embassy in Cambodia marked International Women’s Day with a gathering that also focused on the Cuban Five, the anti-terrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States.
International News & Analysis
Phnom Penh – An important meeting in solidarity with revolutionary Cuba will be held in the Cambodian capital near the end of March. The Sixth Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Solidarity with Cuba will take place here from March 22 to 25.
According to UNESCO, nearly 1 billion people – 26% of the world's adult population – can't read or write.
The December 8-9 European Union summit meeting did little to end the continuing eurozone debt crisis.
Jakarta – A civil servant who posted “God does not exist” on his Facebook page has been arrested and charged under Indonesia’s draconian anti-blasphemy law. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail if found guilty.
Jakarta – This year's International Women's Day in Indonesia marks an increase in attacks on women. The upsurge in violence against women, particularly sexual violence, and recent government plans to raise fuel prices, threatens to burden all women, especially poor women.
Jakarta – A group of music lovers organising a charity concert in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh are the latest victims of the province’s discriminatory and abusive sharia laws. The 64 youths were released on December 23 after undergoing 10 days of “moral rehabilitation” in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.
Jakarta – Commemorating International Women’s Day, activists and workers took to the streets across Indonesia on March 8 to demand equality and an end of sexual violence against women. Sexual harassment in the workplace and discriminatory laws were also a major theme at many rallies.
For a year, the Syrian government of President Bashir Assad has led a bloody crackdown on protests calling for democracy and freedom. Assad and his father Hefaz al-Assad have headed a repressive regime for four decades.The death toll continues to rise as troops loyal to Bashir use heavy weaponry against the opposition.
Tunisian President Ben Ali’s ignominious flight into exile in Saudi Arabia on January 14, 2011, after a month of strikes and street protests throughout Tunisia, set in motion a cascade of popular anti-despotic revolts across the Arab world that culminated in the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011.
It has been more than two months since the Occupy Wall Street actions began in New York. The occupation in Zuccotti Park ended after the New York City government mobilised the police for a middle of the night raid. However, the political activity that it set in motion in the United States has not stopped.
Australian News & Analysis
Two deportations of Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers have been averted at least temporarily, pending a High Court challenge to be heard in the new year. These were to be the first deportations of people who arrived by boat under the current Labor government.
The French multinational Veolia will be “the major target for its boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign work in 2012”, Friends of Palestine WA resolved at its annual general meeting on February 4.
Setting out on Australia Day, the Refugee Rights Action Network (RRAN) travelled to Leonora, a remote town in the Goldfields of Western Australia. The tour, entitled “Boundless Plains to Share”, spent three days in Leonora seeking to expose the conditions of mandatory detention and included protests in solidarity and visits with refugees locked up in the detention centre.
As predicted, the ALP national conference was another low point for the neoliberal pro-capitalist party, which adopted offshore processing as part of its platform. It was a win for Chris Bowen, the immigration minister, who gained support for putting the weight of the party behind the government’s proposed Malaysia solution.
Views, Discussion & Debate
Two important conferences were held in March for waterside workers in Australia and their comrades internationally.
A common argument in the Occupy movement is that it is not about left or right politics, but about addressing inequality and corruption, giving a voice to the majority who are excluded from all the important decisions that affect our lives.
Immediately after the outbreak of the financial-economic crisis in 2008, there was a flurry of speculation in the media (and even in the ALP) that governments (that is, the ruling class) were going to junk neoliberalism and revert to some form of the Keynesian economics that was fairly standard from the end of World War II until the early 1970s.
In a recent issue of Green Left Weekly, Peter Boyle published an article titled “An age of revolution: organise, don’t agonise”.
In Their Own Words
For real conservatives, no first time for anything
“Things like this don’t happen once if they didn’t happen before.” – US Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, on reports that Secret Service agents assigned to protect the US president when he was in Colombia spent their time with sex workers.