2001 was a watershed in Australian politics—the year that the Liberal federal government, led by John Howard, enacted the “Pacific solution” of offshore imprisonment of refugees and asylum seekers, thumbed its nose at the Aboriginal stolen generations, joined the US-led “war on terror” and participated in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, which became Australia’s longest war. It was a year that was decisive in shifting Australian political culture to the right and creating a meaner, nastier society and a more violent and repressive state.
Sydney’s outbreak developed through the inaction of a government that staked its reputation on hostility to lockdown measures. Non-essential retailers like Bunnings, the Reject Shop and Gucci remained open weeks into the outbreak; Bunnings was told to reduce operations to click-and-collect only eight weeks into lockdown. But workers’ lives are being risked by more than the extremely broad interpretation of what is “essential”.
Wollongong activists and unionists were shocked to hear of the sudden passing of Anthony Ashbolt, a lifelong fighter against injustice, at the age of 67.
During the Great Depression, the coal mining town of Wollongong imposed harsh restrictions on free speech and the right to protest. It was an attempt to clamp down on a growing radical workers' movement. Communists led the resistance.
The US military establishment will breathe a sigh of relief at Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election. Nearly 800 former high-ranking military and security officials penned an open letter in support of the Democratic candidate during the campaign.
In the face of climate crisis megafires and an air quality health crisis, 40,000 people rallied and marched in Sydney to demand action on Wednesday night. The city is choking, and New South Wales is on fire. In Randwick on Tuesday, the air pollution was 11 times higher than “hazardous”. Such is the density of the smoke that fire alarms inside buildings are being triggered across the city. There’s a run on P2 air filtering face masks at Bunnings Warehouse; people were desperately messaging the Uni Students for Climate Justice page asking if there will be some for sale at the rally.