Anti-Asian violence surges in U.S. during COVID-19 pandemic

There has been an upsurge in violence against Asians and Asian-Americans across the U.S. in recent weeks. The elderly have especially been targeted by these attacks; among them was Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old from Thailand who died after an unprovoked race-based assault in San Francisco.

Communist guerilla enters 46th day of hunger strike in Greek prison

Dimitris Koufontinas has decided to use the last remaining tactic of struggle available to an imprisoned revolutionary, using his final point of leverage against the state – his life.

Facebook ban hits Australian news in response to a proposed law

On Thursday (18 February) Facebook started preventing Australian news outlets from sharing their posts, while users (both Australian and international) couldn’t view or share any content from the news sites. However, this didn’t affect news sites alone. Australian government pages were affected too. While the ban only meant to affect Australian news publishers, it also affected many pages run by unions, politicians and community pages.

High Court finds Matt Hancock acted unlawfully over COVID contracts

A High Court judge has ruled this week (19 February 2021) that Matt Hancock’s failure to publish details of contracts related to the COVID-19 pandemic response within 30 days was unlawful, breaching the “vital function” of transparency over how billions of taxpayers’ money was spent. The case was brought forward by the Good Law Project, an organisation that is in the process of many legal challenges against the government’s procurement of services during the pandemic, including PPE contracts.

Millions of jobs at risk if furlough not extended

Labour has warned that over a million jobs in the hospitality sector are at risk of being lost if furlough is not extended, with the scheme currently set to end in April. According to the Office for National Statistics, one in ten hospitality businesses believe that they may be making staff redundant over the next three months. Furthermore, the latest survey data has shown that a huge 39% of firms in the sector are at risk of insolvency.

Progressives look on catiously as Ecuador’s election process stalls

Ecuador is close to breaking free from the authoritarian rule of Lenin Moreno and the IMF as polls predict Andres Arauz will win the country’s presidential run-off on April 11th.

Uber drivers are workers says UK Supreme Court

A Supreme Court ruling today has unanimously voted to ensure Uber must classify its drivers as workers rather than self-employed. The decision marks the end of a long-standing legal challenge and will mean tens of thousands of Uber drivers will be entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay. The final details of compensation remain unclear, however, this ruling represents a massive win for workers in the gig economy, many of whom have been hit hard throughout the ongoing pandemic.

Gavin Williamson’s “free speech” idea for universities hurts BAME and LGBT+

Gavin Williamson, the MP for education, has uploaded a 42-page paper on free speech at universities titled, “Higher Education: free speech and academic freedom.”… As a result of this, a “Free Speech Champion in the Office for Students” will be established.

Arrest of Pablo Hasél leads to clashes in Spain

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Spanish cities, demanding the release of Communist and anti-fascist rapper Pablo Hasél. Yesterday (16 February 2021), Hasél was arrested after having locked himself with another activist inside the University of Lleida. There have been multiple demos in cities around Spain, with Barcelona being the largest.

Mass protests continue in Myanmar amid coup

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Burma’s cities in anti-coup demonstrations over the weekend (14 February 2021), after a fearful night that saw residents form patrols and the army roll back laws protecting freedoms. The military rulers have shut down the country’s internet as thousands of people joined the largest protests yet against the coup. A near-total internet blackout is in effect with connectivity falling to 16% of ordinary levels, according to the monitoring group NetBlocks Internet Observatory.