Town hall turmoil as Republicans targeted

Julia Jones Republican congressional representatives are under siege at town hall meetings across the US. Hundreds and in some cases thousands of protesters have descended on what usually are low-key affairs between lawmakers and their constituents. At a 9 February meeting in the Republican and Mormon heartland of Utah, nearly 3,000 locals voiced their discontent with their representative Jason Chaffetz. People lined u...CONTINUE READING

Why we are fighting for free education

April Holcombe Higher education in Australia has never been in worse shape. Government funding is low by OECD standards, class sizes have ballooned and Centrelink payments are 50 percent below the poverty line. International students pay upfront fees of tens of thousands of dollars and often work for less than the minimum wage, showing the ruthless profit making logic of education policy. Higher education is Australia’s t...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. Tenants are right to be nervous. According to the survey, one in ten copped a rent increase immediately after asking for...CONTINUE READING

Save Eaten Fish

Dean Maloney, Liz Walsh Hundreds of people rallied in Melbourne on 18 February to support refugee rights and to denounce the immigration policies of the Trump administration and the Turnbull government. Addressing the protest, federal Greens MP Adam Bandt said of the fight against racism: “It’s going to be up to every one of us who knows that no matter where you come from, we’re all equal”. Placards calling for “No walls, no bans,...CONTINUE READING

Abortion should not be a crime

Reeshan Zakiyya A pro-choice crowd of 400 rallied in the afternoon shade outside the Queensland parliament on 16 February. Hand-drawn placards declared, “It’s not 1899” and “If abortion is a crime, then jail me now!” Abortion remains a serious offence under Queensland criminal law. Women can face up to seven years’ jail for obtaining the procedure. Abortions still occur, but can be difficult to access, particularly outside...CONTINUE READING

Beeliar Wetlands defenders protest to stop tollway

Nick Everett In 1984, a group fewer than 100 in number linked arms and fought a pitched battle against developers and the Melville and Cockburn councils to stop a road being carved through one of Perth’s last remaining wetlands. Beeliar Wetlands, nestled between Kwinana Freeway and North Lake Road, has a special significance for Noongar people where, for hundreds of generations, Aboriginal women birthed their babies. It...CONTINUE READING

War criminals should not be welcome in Australia

Damian Ridgwell The Australian government is rolling out the red carpet for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned visit this month. Julie Bishop, who visited Israel late last year, said she wanted to “reaffirm our absolute enduring commitment to the state of Israel and our friendship”. This is the latest in an appalling history of Australian government support for the brutal policies of Netanyahu and the Isra...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 illegal in the city, but its definition has been broadened to encompass any rough sleeper. The message is clear – homeless pe...CONTINUE READING

NSW premier appoints ‘pro-lifer’ to women’s portfolio

Chloe Rafferty With Donald Trump ’s attack on abortion rights sweeping the US – including the withdrawal of international aid money from organisations that discuss abortion access and looming executive orders that are rumoured to allow companies in the US to discriminate against women who have an abortion – 1950s-style open misogyny is back on the agenda for the ruling class. In NSW, new premier Gladys Berejiklian has app...CONTINUE READING