Fascists frolic on the foreshore

Ben Hillier Nothing says Australia Day like army trucks towing cannon down St Kilda Road and a few haggard RAAF Roulettes manoeuvring over the CBD. After all, colonisation began with a small military garrison asserting itself in Port Jackson. It’s always a curious event, in part because confusion surrounds the celebration’s meaning. Independence Day in the US is clear: the 4 July declaration of 1776. Here, Australia Da...CONTINUE READING

Vic Labor sees ‘dollars, not people’ in public housing sell-off plan

Steph Price The Victorian Labor government continues to face resistance to its plan to sell large plots of public land across Melbourne. The land has been used for many decades for public housing and, in at least one case, was given to the state specifically for that purpose. Under the plan, public housing on 11 inner city estates will be demolished and the land cleared to make way for private developments. The governm...CONTINUE READING

Prison population continues to grow

Incarceration rates are soaring across the country, despite official crime rates falling. Over the last five years, the number of people in custody has jumped 40 percent, from 29,000 to 41,000. The law and order campaigning and moral panics in recent years have been felt on two fronts. First, tighter restrictions on bail have led to an almost doubling of the unsentenced prisoner population, from fewer than...CONTINUE READING

Sudanese youth: over-represented or over-policed?

Viktoria Ivanova Countless articles, with “African gangs” or similar in their headlines, state that Victoria’s Sudanese population is over-represented in crime statistics. According to the latest data by Victoria’s Crime Statistics Agency (CSA), Sudanese-born migrants make up 0.1 percent of the general population but account for 1.4 percent of alleged offenders. We should be cautious about these numbers. The CSA relies sole...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 part time availability. This appalling state of affairs is the responsibility of health minister Michael Ferguson – a m...CONTINUE READING

One of the best protests in years as hundreds blockade Liberal fundraiser

Josh Lees In (actual) Armani suits and pearls they came. Struggling with the unfamiliar surrounds of Redfern, and many making the mistake of having their chauffeurs drop them off before they knew what awaited them; they looked shocked and a little lost. Cashed-up Liberals, doing their bit to boost the coffers of a certain member for Warringah, Tony Abbott, were not welcomed with the red carpet they are accustomed to....CONTINUE READING

Diary from a war zone

Behrouz Boochani, Manus Island The situation in Manus is getting worse. Last night the refugees were in a dark place. People were lying down on the floor and were struggling with serious hunger, having not eaten since Tuesday. At the same time they were struggling with tropical mosquitoes. Until recently the mosquitoes have been controlled with fumigation, but that has been stopped too. Now, malaria is a new worry to add to the many othe...CONTINUE READING

Rallies across country as Yes campaign enters final stretch

Louise O’Shea With the marriage equality postal survey deadline approaching, thousands have rallied around the country in support of a Yes vote. In Sydney, 15,000 people marched, while rallies in Canberra and Adelaide attracted 1,000 and 2,000 respectively. In Melbourne, thousands marched to a festival of bands and entertainment despite inclement weather. In Brisbane 1,000 defied the rain to rally. The Sydney event drama...CONTINUE READING

Refugee activist fined for attempting to stop deportation

Nicki Toupin A refugee rights activist has been ordered to pay $600 following a March demonstration outside the Melbourne Immigration Detention Accommodation in Broadmeadows. James Crafti had participated in a Refugee Action Collective (RAC) picket of the detention centre, in an attempt to halt the impending deportation of an Iraqi refugee. Saeed* (not his real name) came to Australia with his brother. Despite their cir...CONTINUE READING