Remember the COVID mental health crisis of 2021? Such was its magnitude that the Business Council of Australia, never before (or since) interested in anyone’s mental health, issued a statement in September about Australia’s “mental health emergency”.
Australian politicians and business leaders have very suddenly become interested in mental health. It’s not the kind of interest we’re accustomed to—hollow weasel words, patronising gestures like RUOK day or bosses badgering workers to “take responsibility” for their wellbeing by doing mindfulness and yoga in personal time they don’t have. Instead, it comes with a clear action plan: “live with covid”.
A riot has broken out in the Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre, much of which, as of early Wednesday morning, was in flames. The rioters are men who want people to know what Peter Dutton and his Australian Border Force are doing to them. They want us to know about the crime being committed against them, and the unbearable torment they and their families are enduring. Their riot is an act of resistance that demands our solidarity.
At what point do the calculated, macabre, executions of innocent human beings perpetrated by the Australian defence force in Afghanistan, provoke the outrage of the liberal media? At what stage in the reporting of the ritualistic slitting of 14-year-old children’s throats, severing of people’s hands, beer guzzling out of the prosthetic legs of the dead, or shooting handcuffed and fleeing civilians in the back for sport, summon some deep reckoning by the Australian liberal press, about the truth of war and what Australia’s military attack on Afghanistan has really been about?
Several overlapping crises confront Iran. A third wave of COVID-19 has begun in what is already the worst-affected country in the Middle East. An economic crisis has deepened and been made worse by crippling US sanctions and the pandemic, thrusting masses of Iranians into poverty. And a macabre offensive of government repression, including executions, has been unleashed by the regime against thousands arrested in November 2019, after the most widespread and radical anti-government protests since the Iranian revolution of 1979.