Over the last two decades, the legal right to abortion in Australia has overwhelmingly moved in a progressive direction.
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.
David McBride, the former military lawyer who exposed Australian war crimes in Afghanistan, will face trial next year after Commonwealth lawyers intervened to suppress the use of crucial evidence that reportedly would have granted him whistleblower protection.
US prison company Management and Training Corporation (MTC) has signed a deal with the federal Labor government to take over the running of Australia’s refugee prison on Nauru. The company will be awarded $47.3 million to oversee the detention of 111 refugees over a two-month period. At a time when the ALP government is telling us all to tighten our belts, it will be spending $425,000 for each refugee to be detained for two months for the “crime” of seeking safety in another country.
While student radicalism is most often associated with 1960s Paris or Vietnam-era US campuses, there is a similarly rich history of university student rebellion outside of the advanced capitalist countries. One of these rebellions took place in Indonesia in 1998, when students led a movement that ended the 30-year rule of General Suharto. The movement involved hundreds of thousands of ordinary Indonesians in a fight for democracy, encapsulated by the slogan reformasi total (complete reform).
In March 1968, the Observer newspaper described an occupation of the Slavonic House in Prague by thousands of students and intellectuals: “Jammed with excited men and women, suffocation-tight all the way down the stairs and out to the pavement; questions on screws of paper coming down like snow-flakes from the galleries; speakers talking like free men. A woman, long imprisoned, denounced President [Antonin] Novotny for his part in the show trials. A playwright says the public prosecutor has eleven judicial murders on his conscience.