Betrayal and resistance at the Block

Diane Fieldes At a big public meeting on 9 March, Aboriginal people, many of them former residents of the Block in Redfern – the heart of Aboriginal Sydney for many decades – accused the Aboriginal Housing Company (AHC) of once again selling out the community. Instead of listening politely, they demanded answers. No wonder the 200 people at the meeting were angry. New plans mean that the scale of development on the Block...CONTINUE READING

UNSW rattled by successful protest against restructure

Jamie Whitford “Come on out and face us! Come on out and face us!”, chanted hundreds of students outside the UNSW Chancellery at a rally on 8 March. Joined by NTEU staff members, the protest aimed to shake up vice-chancellor Ian Jacobs for the announcement made late last year that management was implementing trimesters by 2019. The rally did its job. It was large and angry and elicited a tantrum from management. It is the...CONTINUE READING

A new arms race?

Reeshan Zakiyya The global arms trade has reached the highest level since the end of the Cold War, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. This is a reflection of both current conflicts and rising tensions between nations. Between 2012 and 2016, the United States was responsible for one-third of total global arms exports. The next top four exporters are Russia (23 percent), China (6.2 percent), F...CONTINUE READING

Labor betrays women in Queensland

Tom Bramble Once again, Queensland’s politicians have squibbed the opportunity to decriminalise abortion. For more than 40 years, activists have been campaigning to remove sections 224 to 226 from the Criminal Code. They make women having an abortion, doctors performing one or anyone who assists a women to have one, subject to criminal charges. Jail terms of up to seven years are prescribed. These laws have been on the...CONTINUE READING

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