Karen Fletcher

More than 600 local residents and traders rallied at the Preston Market in Melbourne’s north east on May 6 to tell Minister for Planning Richard Wynne to “call in” a development application for multi-storey apartments and a generic shopping centre that risks destroying their much-loved community hub.

The unexpectedly large turnout spilled out onto the road, prompting police to tell organiser Lori-anne Sharp, of the Save Preston Market group, to “pick a bigger site next time you call a protest”.

Viewers of the ABC TV documentary Hitting Home, screened to coincide with the International Day against Violence Against Women on November 25, could be forgiven for thinking Australia’s “domestic violence crisis” is finally being taken seriously.

Produced by ABC TV's Sarah Ferguson in cooperation with NSW Police and the NSW Department of Justice, Episode 1 of the two-part series took viewers inside DV refuges, specialist police units and courtrooms and featured interviews with incredibly courageous survivors. Their message to victims, and Ferguson’s, was clear: “Get out. Now”.

In an article in the Guardian on October 28, Antony Loewenstein says that he does not write about feminism because he fears being “attacked by women for questioning a consensus position on feminist issues”.

“Writing about feminism when male is like gate crashing a party,” he said, “and I’m concerned I’ll be slammed for daring to arrive without an invitation.”

Criminal lawyer Rob Stary has represented many people accused under Australian “counter-terror” laws. Green Left Weekly’s Karen Fletcher spoke to him about the police raids in Sydney and Brisbane on September 18.

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Last week you commented that the raids gave you a sense of “deja-vu”. What is repeating here?

After four venues cancelled bookings under pressure from protesters, the World Congress of Families announced a fifth venue for its conference in Victoria — the headquarters of notorious anti-Muslim hate group Catch the Fire Ministries.

A coalition of groups opposing the WCF called a media conference on August 28 to explain why they were determined to stop the right-wing fundamentalist Christian conference from going ahead in Melbourne on August 30.

The federal government’s budget is a huge economic, social and ideological attack on women. At its heart are government spending cuts aimed directly at depriving working-class women of the means for economic independence.

A report released last week by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) said low-income households headed by women will bear the heaviest burden under the changes proposed in the budget.

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