jiselle's blog

Journalists targeted again by Thailand’s military junta

The arrests and intimidation of the last few months against critics of the Thai military dictatorship shows no sign of slowing down. In recent news, at least 20 students and their families have been harassed by the military, detainees who say the military has tortured them were denied legal access, while the Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the leader of the junta, blamed ‘too much democracy’ for why they had to intervene. In a more recent statement, Gen Prayuth threatened to execute any journalist who did not follow the government’s line.
 
 
 
 
No to the military!
Free all political prisoners! 

Japanese postal workers stage strike against cuts

The economic crisis is being felt more and more in Japan with workers facing increasing attacks on their job security and intensification of their work. In the middle of this month, there was a nationwide strike by postal workers to fight against cuts to services, overwork and better pay for all employees. Such strikes represent the attempts by workers to regain some of the power that they had in previous decades. Some sectors are starting to score some wins and regain lost ground.

Palestinians mark another ‘Land Day’ with protests and commemorations

March 30 2015 is the 39th anniversary of a general strike that took place in Galilee in response to the Israeli government's announcement to expropriate over 5,000 acres of Palestinian lands. This theft of land was to counter continued Palestinian resistance. Protests were held throughout Israel, Gaza Strip, West Bank, and refugee camps in Lebanon. These were repressed by the Israeli defence force with 6 Palestinians killed, about 100 injured and many other arrested. The commemorations are part of the ongoing resistance by Palestinians against colonisation and continued land confiscations.

Construction workers in Bangladesh killed by roof collapse

Eight workers were killed and about 100 injured last week when the roof of a newly-constructed building of the Mongla Cement Factory collapsed in the port town of Mongla. Most of the workforce was composed of migrant workers from surrounding areas. This latest disaster is another example of the criminal nature of capitalism where workers lives are sacrificed in the drive for profits.

 

The photo exhibition for the Rana Plaza workers continues in Melbourne.

Australian governments step up attacks on indigenous people

Over the last few weeks, the state government of Western Australia and the Australian Federal Government have mounted brutal attacks on Australia’s indigenous people. In what can only be described as a return to the genocidal policies of the past, these governments have described the Aboriginal spiritual link to the land as a ‘lifestyle’ choice and want to force remote communities to bigger towns. The closure of remote Aboriginal communities would have a devastating impact on these populations. Protests against these initiatives have occurred in cities around Australia as resistance increases.

Four years of civil war has destroyed Syria’s working class

This month marks four years since the start of the popular uprising in Syria. The resultant repression and intervention by reactionary forces have led to the creation of 9 million refugees. It has also pushed 80% of the population into poverty, while life expectancy has dropped by over 20 years. In contrast, much of the Syrian capitalist class has managed to escape the ravages of war and shift its capital to neighbouring countries, waiting for better times. Nevertheless, working class resistance against the counter revolutionaries continues, giving hope for the future.

Nationwide rallies planned in support of asylum seekers in Australia

As previously reported, the situation for asylum seekers and refugees is deteriorating almost daily with the Australian government continually restricting the rights and access to services for prospective refugees. These inhumane policies have generated a big human rights movement in Australia that is seeking to overturn these policies and racist scapegoating. Demonstrations are planned in all major Australian cities on the 29th of March

Workers in the expanding Indian car industry pay a high price

The automotive industry in India has recently underwent a massive boom with many new vehicle manufacturing plants established in India’s industrial hubs. While big industrial actions such as those at the Maruti Suzuki factory near Delhi managed to hit the world’s headlines, the day to day reality for auto workers is very grim. A recent investigative report has detailed the stories and realities that workers face at the assembly line and the high injury toll that these jobs inflict. Health and safety conditions for Indian workers will only improve when strong unions are able to enforce safety guidelines.

Women activists arrested in China a day before IWD

The day before International Women’s Day, ten women activists were arrested in a co-ordinated operation in three Chinese cities. Five of the women activists - Li Maizi, Wei Tingting, Wang Man, Da Tu and Wu Rongrong - are still being held in detention in Bejing. It is unclear whether they have been charged with any crime as yet. While focusing on sexual harassment issues, these activists were also very involved in supporting women workers, and workers in general, to organise and stand up for their rights. For updates on their situation, click here.

Four years after the nuclear disaster, Fukushima is still not safe

The ongoing problems with radiation from the ruined Fukushima reaction that had previously been identified, are still causing major problems in Japan. Over 100,000 people still cannot return to their homes and many are increasingly worried about their long term health due to radiation exposure. In addition, the costs and the scale of the clean up that is needed are so massive that many people are now wondering if the area around Fukushima will ever be safe again for humans.

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