After six weeks of frantic horse-trading, and with hours to go before a constitutional deadline, the Likud Party of Benjamin Netanyahu has cobbled together a new coalition in Israel. It means that Netanyahu will cling to power with a bare majority of 61 seats in a Knesset of 120 members. The coalition includes all the disparate parties of the right, including the extreme right wing Jewish Home Party, representing the West Bank settlers’ movement. This party will have the ministry of justice and deputy defence minister, among other positions, all of which will be manipulated to enhance and promote Jewish rights and freedoms at the expense of Arabs.
The situation has developed dramatically in Burundi. Weeks of struggle by the masses against President Nkurunziza’s plan to stand for yet another term in office have led to deep splits in the state apparatus. The entire regime has been shaken to its core. But in the absence of a party capable to lead the masses, the vacuum has been filled by sections of the army.
For a layer of radicalised, working class youth, the disasterous result of the general election has shattered illusions in bourgeois, parliamentary democracy and intensified their fury against the whole rotten system. Many cannot understand how - after five years of Con Dem cuts and attacks - we have ended up with another five years of Tory rule, and for some people this has manifested itself in demoralisation and (incorrectly) blaming voters for re-electing the Conservatives.
Today, big business and the fat cats of the City of London are celebrating the victory of their friends in the Tory Party. Champagne bottles are popping and share prices soaring. The party of the rich is back in the saddle, and with an unexpected majority in the House of Commons. This will be a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. The super-rich non-doms will be expressing a sigh of relief. Their loot will now be safe under a Tory government.
The 2015 provincial election in Alberta was truly historic. Not only have the people of Alberta elected the first NDP government in the history of the province, but also the 44-year reign of the provincial Progressive Conservatives has - finally - come to an end. This represents a historic and seismic shift in the history of the province, and marks a new stage in the class struggle both provincially and nationally.
With the heinous murder of Freddie Gray, the #BlackLivesMatter movement came roaring back to life. Tens of thousands of people again flooded streets across the country to protest against racism and police brutality. These once-routine and largely unrecognized murders are now churning up powerful forces long dormant in the womb of society.
The fragile Great Lakes region of central Africa has been thrown into turmoil over the the past few days. Police unleashed violence against protesters in Burundi after the current president, Pierre Nkurunziza announced on Saturday, 25 April, that he intends to run for a third term as president. This unconstitutional move is undermining the Arusha Peace Agreement, which ended the 13 year civil war. It risks pushing the entire Great Lakes region into chaos and instability, and a possible return to another war.
Last week several thousand gold miners marched in Athens against the government (the media claimed there were 6,000 protesters, although this is visibly an exaggeration). They were demonstrating against the government’s plans to close the Skouries gold mine in Chalkidiki, owned by the Canadian mining company El Dorado and also partly by Greek investors.
The death of more than 800 people who drowned when a small fishing boat capsized 60 miles south of the Italian island of Lampedusa late on Saturday brings the death toll to of people among people attempting to reach Europe by boat in 2015 alone to 1,600. This tragic event highlights the dramatic situation that has developed in Africa and the Middle East after years of imperialist meddling.