‘Enough is enough’: resisting the criminalisation of poverty

Miranda Wood Debbie Kilroy doesn’t mince words. “Poverty in Western Australia is a crime – and the state government is ensuring that Aboriginal women are being criminalised because they’re poor.” Kilroy is head of prisoner advocacy group Sisters Inside, which last month launched a GoFundMe campaign to...CONTINUE READING

Yindjibarndis vs. Twiggy: ‘We will make you pay dearly’

Miranda Wood The Yindjibarndi people are no strangers to struggle. After a 14-year battle with Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group (FMG), they are one step closer to gaining compensation from a mining company — a first in Australian history. Initiated in 2003, the case is one of the longes...CONTINUE READING

Work for the dole: punitive, dehumanising and racist 

Miranda Wood The federal government’s beleaguered Community Development Plan (CDP) has been labelled a “policy disaster” that exacerbates poverty and continues intergenerational trauma. The program, which has been widely criticised for its punitive system of fines and payment cut-offs since its introdu...CONTINUE READING

Another life lost in WA’s criminal injustice system

Miranda Wood A single Facebook post on 7 May, among a sea of local news articles, was the only acknowledgement of a young Indigenous man’s sudden death days earlier in the West Kimberley Regional Prison, near Derby in north-west Western Australia. The 19-year-old man reportedly collapsed on the floor o...CONTINUE READING

Still waiting for answers on death in custody

Miranda Wood On 4 August last year, the Dhu family received a shattering phone call. They were told that their daughter, Yamatji woman Julieka Dhu, had died in police custody. They later learned that her death – in a prison cell in South Hedland, WA – had been slow and that her last hours were spent in...CONTINUE READING

Prison death highlights overcrowding shame

Miranda Wood A 50-year-old woman died in a Perth prison on 16 June. The woman hanged herself in the shower block of the notorious Bandyup Women’s Prison, in the city’s north-east. Hers is the fourth death in custody in Western Australia in the past 12 months. Marc Newhouse, from the Deaths in Custody W...CONTINUE READING

Anti-racists win in Perth, but fight continues

Miranda Wood Hundreds gathered in Perth’s Stirling Gardens on 6 June for an emergency counter-rally against a mobilisation backed by Reclaim Australia. Reclaim Australia followers had planned to hold a “sex slave auction” performance where women in burqas would be sold off. They were outnumbered by ant...CONTINUE READING

What’s a life worth?

Miranda Wood In one of the more perverse developments in immigration policy, the Productivity Commission has argued for putting a price on the right to immigrate to Australia. The commission’s “Migrant Intake into Australia” issues paper proposes that, instead of migrants being assessed on skills or fa...CONTINUE READING

‘This is a declaration of war’ – campaign against closures continues

Miranda Wood The campaign against the Western Australian government’s plans to close remote Aboriginal communities in the state’s north continues. Aboriginal people and supporters once again rallied in Perth on 23 April to protest the closures. Hundreds gathered in the CBD and marched to Parliament Hou...CONTINUE READING