Plutocrat Defeated By 21st Century Lenin In Ecuadorian Elections

Photo: Former President Rafael Correa celebrates with his successor, Lenín Moreno

Ecuador’s so-called Citizens’ Revolution is set to continue for another four years after the socialist-leaning government’s candidate for president, Lenín Moreno, won Sunday’s election with 51.16% of the vote. Moreno defeated Guillermo Lasso, managing director of Ecuador’s third-largest bank and unsuccessful candidate in the 2013 elections.

The government was always favored to hold onto the presidency and maintains a majority in parliament. However, the shrinking of the economy by some 3% between January 2015 and April 2016 due to the collapse in the price of oil fueled calls for political change.

Continue reading

Leftist Lenín Moreno Achieves Inconclusive Win In First Round Of Ecuador’s Presidential Election

Ecuador’s presidential elections will proceed to a one-on-one final round on 2 April after Lenín Moreno, leftist successor candidate to President Rafael Correa, fell agonizingly short of victory in the first-round on 19 February. From a field of eight candidates, Moreno won 39.33% of the vote, just below the 40 percent required for outright victory.

Continue reading

Why I’m Not Thrilled The TPP Has Been Trumped

New US President Trump signed an executive order demanding the US formally withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Anti-TPPA campaigner Edward Miller tells us why his dreams haven’t quite come true…

On January 23, 2017, US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the TPP.

That kills the agreement, which requires countries making up 85% of the total economic area (in effect the US and Japan) to ratify the agreement before it comes into force. As a trade union organizer working across the Asia-Pacific region, who has been very actively involved in the campaign to stop the TPP (to which I credit a small yet alarming exposed patch on the top of my head), I should be thrilled, right?

While I’m grateful to have a bit of time for my comrades and I to regroup and think about how we meaningfully oppose these deals, I’m concerned that what will follow will be even worse.

Continue reading

Rallying For Refugee Rights In Dallas

On January 29, 2017, I went to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport to photograph the #RallyForRefugees, which was held to call for the release of people detained by airport officials due to one of President Donald Trump’s most recent executive orders. Below are a number of photos taken at the protest:

A demonstrator holds a sign in support of lawyers and refugees.

Continue reading

International Takes On A Trump Presidency

[Artwork by Iraqi cartoonist Ahmad Falah shows Trump with a red paintbrush; behind him, the White House has been painted blood red to reflect the violence of Trump’s statements, via Niqash.org]

Three weeks have passed since 62 million people voted for Donald J Trump. His 290 electoral votes guarantees he will be my president, barring a miracle.

Hate crimes have spiked during this period with many expecting “the situation to get worse in the future.”

My colleague here at IC, Andy Tenido, experienced the violent and racist atmosphere at a Trump primary event in Albequerque, where he was assaulted by Trump supporters and security while filming undocumented-rights protesters.

Continue reading

The Now. Or never…

As if we didn’t have enough to be depressed about, #Brexit, the rise of far right movements pretty well everywhere, passing 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, facing the reality of a Hillary Clinton presidency as the only sensible choice, the lesser evil that we can probably deal with  –  well here, now, riding this wave of our collective despair we have the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.

Continue reading

Faced With Trump, Has Africa Learned From Obama?

At dawn on November 9, 2016, Africans woke up to news of a United States president-elect, and it was not Hillary Clinton. Many expected Clinton, largely because in preceding weeks and months they got their share of around-the-clock propaganda from a host of pundits who had kept the media under siege with axiomatic pronouncements abridged as: Trump can’t win. Also, there were, in Africa, prophecies by egotistical preachers who feigned hearing from God about a Clinton win when in reality, the god they had heard from was a TV set mainstreaming oracles from elites to the populace. In the end none other than Donald Trump was left to emerge as the victor in what is yet to remain a bewildering stunner administered to millions of Americans, feminism sympathizers, and world leaders who misguidedly fancied contemplations of Clinton’s coronation.

Continue reading

How Will The Latin American Left React To A Trump Presidency?

Judging by past statements, South America’s socialist presidents look set to receive Donald Trump’s election with equanimity, arguing that power and politics in the United States is much deeper and more consolidated than any one government.

Evo Morales, the first indigenous president of Bolivia, said that since Obama’s presidency, he had been disappointed in his hopes for a more respectful US foreign policy.

Continue reading

Vote Clinton, You Fucks.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own. ImportantCool does not endorse any candidate for president of the United States, though it’s safe to say we all deeply detest Trump on a personal level.

It gives me no pleasure to defend Hillary Clinton.

Like many of us, over years, nay, decades, of excessive exposure, I have become allergic to her.

I hate her voice. I hate her smug face. I hate her weasel words and lies. I hate her ever shifting kaleidoscope of public positions. To repurpose a line from the fictional Tracy Jordan of 30 Rock, she’s “like a chameleon, always a lizard”.

Continue reading

Smartarse With A Smartphone: Making Media In Melbourne Campaigns

I used to be addicted to the challenge of political stand up comedy but I walked away to focus on activism. I suspect jokes are a good way to water down ideas until you’re just wasting time. Why stand on a stage sharing your thoughts with punters who will do nothing with those ideas when you can instead do real things with actual people? Its heartbreaking festival shows in the bullshit world of entertainment or its winning campaigns on an Earth where real people live: no choice at all when you think about it. I am part of Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance (WACA), and we have gone a long way by doing exactly what we want to do. Meanwhile, political stand-up in Australia is essentially a pointless conversation the political class is having with itself and I found myself answering to people who considered me an idiot, what with my obvious desire to change things without asking middle-class people nicely first.

Continue reading