Today in Melbourne activists from the group Whistleblowers Activist Citizens Alliance (WACA) interrupted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a major economic address. The protest targeted the horrific conditions which refugees are facing in Australia’s offshore detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island. The group, who had infiltrated the audience, interrupted the speech by chanting: “Malcolm Turnbull, shame on you, shut down Manus and Nauru”. One protester managed to get up on stage within just a few metres of the PM holding a sign “FFS Close the Bloody Camps”.
Protesters recently gathered at Marble Arch in London, three years after the “worst single-day killing of protesters in modern history”. On August 14, 2013, security forces opened fire on a pro-democracy sit-in that lasted for six weeks, following a military coup that ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. According to a report published by Human Rights Watch: “At first light on August 14, security forces using armored personnel carriers and snipers fired on the crowd with live ammunition shortly after playing a recorded announcement to clear the square through loudspeakers. Police provided no safe exit and fired on many who tried to escape”. Amnesty international described it as “Egypt’s darkest day”. Following the massacre, use of the Rabaa symbol, denoted by holding up four fingers, became widespread by pro-democracy supporters around the world as a symbol of defiance. Continue reading →
If you’ve seen coverage of Friday night’s coup attempt in Turkey, you’ll know that a faction of the country’s armed forces attempted to overthrow Turkey’s democratically elected government and that the coup plotters were defeated by popular will. But what happened in between? The press corps won’t show you much, because anything too dramatic will be censored out by editors so you don’t get offended.
Coups may be televised, but I promise you they’re not PG-rated.
“The more silent he became, because of his affliction, the more they loved him. The quieter he was the louder their affection for him could become.” – Dr Ricky L. Jones.
Season 6 sees Game of Thrones move well and truly beyond the narrative set down in George R.R. Martin’s books. There is one exception: the arrival of Euron Greyjoy, who first appeared in “A Feast for Crows”. Having had to deal with Martin’s quagmires for a great portion of season 5, there was a lot of curiosity about how showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would progress the story beyond A Dance with Dragons.
After seven episodes, they appear to have nailed it. Season 6 is one of the strongest seasons yet. It certainly leaves season 5 in the shade, with its quagmires and silly story lines involving Stannis Baratheon and the Sand Snakes.
It’s easy for TV news to blame youth of color. But the fault lies squarely at the feet of a white-supremacist billionaire.
For photos of the peaceful protest that preceded Trump’s Albuquerque rally and the riot that followed it, check out this story’s attached Artefact.
For all the local and national media coverage of last week’s violence following a Trump rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico—we even made the BBC—there’s been very little discussion of a critical point (perhaps the critical point): why did this happen?
Albuquerque department store’s “loss prevention officers” enforce death penalty without trial for alleged shoplifter; store demands arrest of protesting priest
New Mexico is a state that, on paper, doesn’t have the death penalty. In practice, though, security guards can kill alleged shoplifters with impunity. No charges, no trial: on May 3, 2016, a department store’s “loss prevention officers” acted as judge, jury, and executioner.
K-Mart, a large chain of Wal-Mart-style stores that isn’t doing so good lately, has apparently claimed the right to murder anyone it chooses to, as long as they’re on its property. This month, the branch located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, about three hours north of the U.S./Mexico border, authorized its employees to murder a young man in cold blood.
This is the second post in my series on the policies of the allegedly “radical” candidates for leadership of their respective countries, Bernie Sanders of the United States and Jeremy Corbyn of the United Kingdom. In this post, we discuss progressive tax reform. Progressive tax reform – a term I’m using to refer to the reform of taxes which tend to target the wealthy – has been targeted by both Sanders and Corbyn. Corbyn, being quite some time out from an election, has been thus far somewhat vague on the issue of taxes as such, but has indicated that a more progressive tax system is needed in the UK, and has targeted corporate taxes and tax avoidance as being of particular importance.[i] Sanders, being in the midst of a campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, has given a more detailed view of his tax reform.[ii] This includes, among other measures, raising the top income tax rate, raising the corporate tax rate, reforms to capital gains tax, and the imposition of a tax on financial transactions. These kinds of measures have the potential benefit not only of reducing the exorbitant inequality which has emerged over the past four decades in particular, but of making the government more able to do its work in a sustainable manner without crimping anyone’s lifestyle too much.
For years, the major parties on the left in the anglophone world have adopted a policy of “neoliberal lite” in the economic arena. Serious challenges to the neoliberal paradigm of deregulation, privatization, tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, and (alleged) “free” trade have been less than forthcoming. That is, until recently. The presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders in the United States, on the one hand, and the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the UK Labour party, on the other, represent a serious challenge to this prevalent neoliberal orthodoxy in those countries, with economic policies which would move their countries substantially toward the left.
Free Anna Day, her colleagues, and all political prisoners of the Bahraini regime!
Update 17/02/2016: Anna and her colleagues have been freed and returned to the United States. Anna’s family wishes to thank everyone who supported her and called for her freedom.
King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa had a Valentine’s Day present for American journalist Anna Day and three of her colleagues: jail.
Anna and her so-far unnamed colleagues were arrested yesterday and are currently being held by the dictatorial regime, famous for the brutal repression of 2011 Arab Spring protesters. They were reportedly in the country to cover the anniversary of the protests. According to al-Jazeera, the regime once again made use of its long-standing, police-state tactics to violently quell the protest and part of that repression was the arrest of four foreign journalists present at the demonstration.
Anna is no stranger to, or friend of, the Bahraini government. She’s traveled there several times, interviewing the regime’s torture victims and once even got into a public spat with Condoleezza Rice about US support for the murderous, psychotic king and his crooked team of fascist police. The king and the country’s various and widespread human rights abuses are well documented, and Reporters Without Borders ranks the country a God-awful 163 out of 173 for press freedoms. Continue reading →