Brid Smith, a member of the Socialist Workers Party of Ireland, spoke to Socialist Worker from Mountjoy women's prison in Dublin The movement against the bin tax is pitting working class communities against a corrupt political establishment and its big business cronies. It is the biggest upsurge in Ireland since the campaign against increased taxes on workers' wages over two decades ago.
BOLIVIA WAS plunged into a political crisis at the start of this week as workers and the poor resisted a government plan to hand the country's natural gas reserves to corporations.
THE THREE major trade union federations in Italy have organised a four-hour general strike for Friday 24 October.
TWO OF Britain's biggest multinational corporations are at the centre of protests gripping Bolivia.
MILLIONS OF workers in Nigeria were due to begin a general strike on Thursday this week.
A SOCIALIST member of Ireland's parliament and a local councillor were both jailed last week for standing alongside the working class people they represent. Until now the essential public service of collecting rubbish has been provided free in Ireland, and funded by general taxation. The right wing government wants to impose local charges for rubbish collection-a bin tax.
MINERS BLOCKADED main roads and railway lines in Silesia in Poland last week in a battle against unemployment. They were joined by railway workers who themselves are facing privatisation and mass sackings. Unfortunately the blockades lasted only three hours and involved only 3,000 protesters.
HUNDREDS OF thousands of workers in Bolivia, from miners to bus drivers, struck on Monday demanding the resignation of the country's president. Union leaders called the protests amid rising anger and protest, fuelled by the deep and worsening poverty in the poorest country in South America. Over two thirds of the 8.3 million people live below the poverty line of $2 a day.
PROTESTERS celebrated the collapse of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Cancun, Mexico, on Sunday as a defeat for the global corporations and the world's most powerful governments. Commentators in Britain, from the Guardian to former New Labour minister Clare Short (masquerading in Cancun as a BBC reporter), argued that the Cancun collapse was a "blow to the world economy" and a "setback for the world's poor".
"A DEVASTATING defeat for the political and economic elite." That's how a TV commentator referred to the result of the referendum on joining the euro single currency in Sweden on Sunday. The vote was tipped to be close, following the murder of the foreign minister Anna Lindh last week. Lindh was pro-euro and commentators expected sympathy for her would shift votes to the yes camp. But the no side won a clear victory, with 56.1 percent against 41.8 percent. This is the first time that people have voted against the ruling elite here.
MILLIONS OF people across the US last week glimpsed a small part of what their government and military have inflicted on people in Baghdad. From New York to Detroit and Cleveland, and across the border to Toronto and Ottawa in Canada, the lights went out and the power died.
CHILE SAW its biggest national strike last week since protests against the military dictatorship in the 1980s. The one-day strike came only weeks before the 11 September 30th anniversary of the coup which saw General Pinochet topple the elected government.
AFTER 111 days in detention, ten of them on hunger strike, Egyptian anti-war activist Ashraf Ibrahim was finally charged on 7 August. Alongside four other activists-Nasser Farouq, Yehia Fakry, Mustafa El Basiony and Remoan Edward Gendi-he stands accused of forming an illegal left wing organisation.
TENS OF thousands of public sector workers marched through Brasilia, the Brazilian capital, last week in the sharpest clash yet between workers and the country's president, Lula.
AN ASTONISHING crowd converged on the Larzac plateau in southern France last weekend. It was the biggest anti-capitalist event we have ever seen in this country, far bigger than anyone had expected.
STUDENT PROTESTS in Iran have brought fear of radical change for the country's rulers and nauseating hypocrisy from George Bush. Thousands of students took to the streets in five nights of protests that began last week. They started in the main university area in the capital Tehran. By the weekend protests were taking place in several other cities - Isfahan, Shiraz, Ahvaz and Mashhad (a major religious centre).
FRENCH TRADE union leaders may have allowed their Tory government to survive the mass protests over its attack on workers' pension rights. There were two more days of strikes and demonstrations involving hundreds of thousands of workers last week, and more protests were planned this week. But they were not on the scale of the earlier strikes that repeatedly paralysed the country in recent weeks.
ZIMBABWE IS in ferment after a big strike closed down much of the country's economy last week. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the main parliamentary opposition to President Mugabe, called the action as an intended "final push" to bring down the government.
MASS STRIKES and protests rocked the South American country of Peru as anger exploded against the government's International Monetary Fund (IMF) backed policies. Hundreds of thousands of teachers have been on strike for four weeks demanding higher wages. They have been joined on strike and in demonstrations by students, small-scale farmers, health workers and others.
THE STAKES are mounting in the battle over workers' pension rights in France. Sunday saw a new round of massive demonstrations against the Tory government's plan to force workers to work more years, and pay more, for poorer pensions. Around 600,000 people marched in Paris, with tens of thousands more marching in cities across the country.