Protests in Turkey and Brazil, the UK banks, and land rights in South Africa

Protests in Turkey and Brazil, the UK’s banks, and land rights in South Africa.

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Protests in Turkey are ongoing and the international trade union movement has called for days of action against the Turkish government on Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd of June. Protest outside your nearest Turkish embassy.

There are continuing protests in Brazil, as people express their anger at the difference between the lavish preparations for the World Cup, and their increasingly challenging circumstances. There have been both worrying and encouraging signs from the authorities: there has been growing police repression in a number of cities, but some mayors have pledged to cancel the proposed fare increase that sparked the protest, and Prime Minister Dima Rousseff has said she is “proud” of the protests because they are part of the democratic tradition.

The UK has announced another commission on the finance sector, and promised to jail bankers for reckless behaviour. However, since this only covers banks that took state bailout money and does nothing concrete to reign in irresponsible behaviour, it amounts to another headline-grabbing whitewash that will change nothing substantial.

Today is the one hundredth anniversary of the passing of the Native Land Act in South Africa, the law that reserved just 7% of arable land for Black people, and began the structural and geographic dislocations of apartheid. The legacy of this law is still very prevalent today.

This week also sees the twentieth anniversary of the founding of La Via Campesina, the international peasants’ movement that campaigns for food sovereignty.

The G8 met this week, and among other things addressed food security with a “new plan” to work with “corporate partners” to eradicate poverty. However this is nothing but another corporate land grab in Africa that will do nothing to eradicate hunger, and will further entrench corporate power and inequality.

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