As another Invasion Day approaches, the gap between public support for Indigenous rights and the endurance of racist oppression is striking. Just take the Don Dale youth detention centre in the Northern Territory. In 2016, the ABC’s Four Corners broadcast an exposé of the brutality inflicted upon the overwhelmingly Aboriginal youth locked up there. The public outrage that followed the program pressured the federal government into establishing a royal commission into youth detention in the NT, which concluded in 2017.
“The Black Power movement shook the world; it certainly shook the roots of this country.”
For 350 years, Dutch colonialism oversaw a system of brutal exploitation and repression in Indonesia. But in 1945, a mass movement defeated the colonial regime, despite the imprisonment, torture and execution of thousands of independence activists.
In January 1788, the eleven ships of the First Fleet made landing at what was later named Sydney Cove in New South Wales. The ships carried 1,373 people from Britain, around half of whom were convicts, to form the basis for the first colony in Australia.
After fourteen years, the Melbourne public transport ticket system, Myki, is being replaced. Most of us won’t miss it. Myki’s successor is unlikely to offer any real improvement to the severe inadequacies of public transport in Victoria. But looking back at the confusing and costly Myki system in its dying days is yet another reminder of just how illogical and wasteful capitalism is.
Video footage from late December shows elderly patients infected with COVID-19 on stretchers receiving oxygen stored in large blue bottles. They are being treated on the road outside the emergency department of Zhongshan Hospital, one of the largest in Shanghai.
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Prisoners inside Western Australia’s only youth detention centre, Banksia Hill, heralded the new year with an act of resistance—burning a building to the ground and climbing to the top of the prison’s perimeter fence. A look into the daily conditions faced by these young people, many of them Indigenous, shows why they would want to fight back against this horrendous institution.
The Queensland Labor government has strengthened the powers of police and the courts. Many of the new laws, announced in late December, target juvenile offenders. They include raising the maximum penalty for stealing a car to ten years imprisonment, building two new youth detention centres and increasing the scope for courts to impose tracking devices on youth detainees.
The election of the Whitlam government on 2 December 1972 was a watershed in Australian political history. Whitlam’s was the most reforming of any Australian Labor government, and the last one to introduce significant reforms that improved working-class life.
One of the prevailing myths about Gough Whitlam is that he was a forthright opponent of the Vietnam War and that it was his Labor government that withdrew Australian troops from Vietnam. The reality is very different.
Fiji’s prime minister, and 2006 coup leader, Frank Bainimarama has been defeated in the country’s 2022 election but has so far refused to concede.
Ferdinand Lassalle (1825-64) is often described as the “founder of German social democracy”. But his influence on the German workers’ movement was mostly disastrous.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has accelerated a series of underlying trends in world politics that are leading us into a dangerous new world order. This new order is not arriving already formed, and there will be interruptions and reverses along the way, but four key features are coming into view:
Hundreds of nurses and midwives walked off the job at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Sydney on Thursday. In response to stalled negotiation, blue-scrub-clad members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association rallied outside the Darlinghurst hospital and the Mater Hospital in North Sydney for a one-hour stoppage at 1pm.
“Permacrisis”, which means “an extended period of instability and insecurity”, was named the Collins Dictionary word of 2022. The Merriam-Webster dictionary’s word of the year was “gaslighting”, which it defines as:
Socialist activists have won leading positions in the National Union of Students for the first time in three years. At its national conference (NatCon), held this month, the union committed to protest against the federal Labor government over issues such as the destruction of the environment, rising cost of living and attacks on the rights of oppressed people. Socialist Alternative members were elected to the positions of education officer and LGBTI+ officer.
In the first days of 2022, Netflix announced that the film Don’t Look Up had smashed the streaming platform’s record for most viewing hours in a week. The film—a black comedy about a group of scientists who discover an asteroid on a collision course with Earth—received mixed reviews from critics.
In the twelve months that we have been forced to “live with” COVID-19, average life expectancy in Australia has fallen for the first time in generations. As of October, 8,832 people were counted as dying from COVID-19, and thousands more died “with” the virus. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that, just like rents, fuel and electricity prices, deaths were up in 2022 by 17 percent—18,671 more than the recent average.