On October 19, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken flew to Ecuador to express US backing for the country’s troubled President Guillermo Lasso, just one day after he declared a state of emergency, suspending constitutionally protected rights and deploying heavily armed troops in the country’s streets. In a joint press conference with Ecuador’s foreign minister, Mauricio Montalvo, Blinken remarked: “In extraordinary times, democracies require extraordinary measures.”
Workers across France went on strike on Tuesday, October 5, at the request of major trade unions such as the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), Workers Force (LO), Unitary Trade Union Federation (FSU), Solidaires, UNEF, and UNL, among others. Mobilizations were held at nearly 200 different places across the country. The unions called for a nationwide strike and protest mobilizations in order to obtain better salaries, unemployment insurance, and pensions. Activists from different political parties, including the French Communist Party (PCF), the Young Communist Movement of France (MJCF), and the Union of Communist Students (UEC), took part in the mobilizations around the country. Thousands of people are said to have joined the march in Paris, which began in the Place de la République. Protesters also criticized the current increase in energy costs and asked that modifications to jobless benefits be rescinded.
On Monday, the Murdoch media’s Australian published a startling headline: “Newspoll: More voters turning to the fringes.” According to the report, the newspaper’s most recent Newspoll indicated that the proportion of electors planning to vote for what it called “fringe parties” and independents had reached 13%—”its highest level in at least four years.” This outcome explains why the Liberal-National Coalition government and the Labor Party opposition pushed new election legislation through Australia’s parliament aimed to de-register most parties not already represented in the parliament.