Shirley Killen
The police serve the system
Shirley Killen

We’re taught in school that the police perform a just and noble service—brave officers put their bodies on the line to prevent crime, protect us from violence and uphold our rights. But the real story of modern policing is different.

Climate activist jailing outrage
Shirley Killen

Last week, a 22 year old climate activist was sentenced to 12 months’ jail time for participating in the disruption of Australia’s busiest coal export chain. The harsh sentence illustrates the stark difference between the justice system’s treatment of activists putting their bodies on the line to avert climate catastrophe, and of the rich and powerful people whose environmental crimes are rapidly destroying our planet.

The front line of Victoria’s risky school reopening
Victoria's risky school reopening
Shirley Killen

Victoria is on a rapid path to full reopening, even as rising case numbers continue to break records. While this is new for many, the state’s students and teachers have been on the front lines of this reckless push for weeks now. And if the situation in schools is anything to go by, we could be in for a dangerous summer.

How Berliners won a vote to expropriate big landlords
Berlin landlord expropriation
Shirley Killen

Last Sunday’s German election was a big one. Angela Merkel’s sixteen-year chancellorship has come to an end, and Germans across the country went to the polls to decide which uninspiring member of an establishment party would replace her. But for Berliners, another important vote was cast that day: a referendum on whether to expropriate the property of the city’s biggest landlords and turn it into public housing. A stunning 56.4 percent—1,034,709 people—voted in favour.

Australia's richest pandemic profit
Shirley Killen

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian media and politicians have told us over and over that “we’re all in this together”. The virus, they explain, is a great equaliser, a crisis that has brought together the nation in a shared experience of hardship. But recent data reveals what we could all see from the beginning—that while the pandemic has been a difficult time for workers and the poor, the capitalist class have had a very different experience.

The Menzies institute
Shirley Killen

The University of Melbourne is negotiating with the Menzies Research Centre, a Liberal Party-affiliated think tank, to open a museum and library dedicated to former Prime Minister Robert Menzies in the campus’s historic Old Quad. The Robert Menzies Institute, which would honour a PM notorious for Nazi sympathies and anti-communism, is set to open in September.

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