When Nazis walk among us

Jess Lenehan When a serious call to recreate the racist Cronulla riots goes out, and 200 people answer it, something serious is in the air. When a short-notice call for opposition is answered by three hundred anti-racists, you know there are plenty of people in Melbourne ready to stop these bastards in...CONTINUE READING

Last abortion clinic in Tasmania closes

Jess Lenehan Abortion may be legal in Australia, but accessing it is another matter. The last specialist clinic in Tasmania has shut down, leaving women in Tasmania with curtailed choices. There is now only one place in the state which will perform second trimester abortions – for $2,500, and with only...CONTINUE READING

Think your way out of poverty? Yeah, right

Jess Lenehan EMpath, a self-described “high-performing and innovative organisation” based in the US, offers a “metric-based, mentor-led, incentivised program” that “takes a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to fostering economic mobility”. Poverty, they reckon, is all in your head. In the poor, the...CONTINUE READING

‘Climate of fear’ for renters

Jess Lenehan A fear of rent rises, evictions and blacklisting is stopping tenants asking for repairs or raising complaints, according to a new survey by CHOICE, the National Association of Tenants’ Organisations and National Shelter. The survey revealed that there is a “climate of fear” among renters....CONTINUE READING

Criminalising homelessness in Melbourne

Jess Lenehan Victoria Police and the Herald Sun have demanded changes in city by-laws, which would further reduce the rights of homeless people. On Tuesday night, they got them. Melbourne City councillors voted to allow police to confiscate, sell or destroy unattended property. Camping is already illeg...CONTINUE READING

Private schools throw away millions on fancy buildings

Jess Lenehan Private schools around the country are competing for students by pouring tens of millions of dollars into lavish buildings and upgrades. The audiovisual “imaginarium” at Carey Baptist Grammar and $20 million Artemis Centre under construction at Melbourne Girls Grammar are just two of many...CONTINUE READING

Law and order hype drives increasing prison population

Jess Lenehan The public outcry following the assault and murder of Jill Meagher in Melbourne in 2012 contributed to the Victorian prison population increasing to record levels. A new report, Victoria’s Prison Population: 2005 to 2016 , released this month by the Sentencing Advisory Council, details the...CONTINUE READING

Treatment of refugees is ‘deliberate torture’ – Amnesty

Jess Lenehan The extreme cruelty endured by refugees on Nauru is not the result of a few sadistic guards; it is a deliberate government policy, according to Amnesty International. Islands of despair , the latest report from the organisation, describes conditions in the camp. Jalil* fled religious perse...CONTINUE READING

Casualisation leaves workers without leave

Jess Lenehan Sick leave and time off for public holidays are just two of the rights slipping from the grasp of workers in Australia, as casualisation leaves fewer people with basic leave entitlements or job security, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Analysing the data, the Au...CONTINUE READING