Pip Hinman

The Prime Minister’s January 29 announcement that Australia is destined to become a bigger arms dealer has provoked widespread dissent from aid organisations and anti-war networks.

The Defence Export Strategy aims to lift Australia to become one of the top 10 defence industry exporting countries within a decade. Save the Children, World Vision, the Australian Council for International Development and the Greens have all condemned the move to export death and profit from bloodshed.

The Prime Minister’s January 29 announcement that Australia is destined to become a bigger arms dealer has provoked widespread dissent from aid organisations and anti-war networks.

The Defence Export Strategy aims to lift Australia to become one of the top 10 defence industry exporting countries within a decade. Save the Children, World Vision, the Australian Council for International Development and the Greens have all condemned the move to export death and profit from bloodshed.

The Australian billionaire Dick Smith has been on the stump again warning of the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots.

“If we're not careful, if you end up with really wealthy people and lots of poor people, in the end the poor people will rebel,” he said late last year.

 “You look at what happened in Russia in 1917 where they ended up with the tsar and the tsar's friends who are all equivalent billionaires.

 “The pitchforks came out and we had revolution.”

Extreme weather across the globe should prompt some serious rethinking on policies to mitigate dangerous global warming.

The major parties’ line that they support the Paris Accord is not good enough. The Paris Agreement, although well supported, is voluntary. More importantly, the goal of limiting global warming to between 1.5° and 2°C is still far from safe.

A snap solidarity action organised by a network of Iranians brought more than 100 people together in Parramatta on January 6 to declare their support for those protesting in Iran.

Mansour Razaghi from the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People (Sydney) told the rally that those protesting were workers, teachers, women, students, nurses and many others who are fed up with high unemployment, extremism and religious tyranny.

Asylum seeker Abdul Aziz Muhammad asked the ABC’s Q&A panel on December 4 in a video question why the 650 men on Manus Island are being used as political pawns in a life or death game.

Aziz, who has been imprisoned on Manus Island for 4.5 years, said he had seen 6 friends die because of violence and medical negligence.

Family and supporters of the Whittaker family gathered outside NSW Parliament on December 6 to demand justice for Eric Whittaker who died in custody in July.

Eric died, shackled to a hospital bed. The horrific nature of his treatment in custody has only come to light because a photo of him lying manacled and unconscious was only recently given to the media.

Diane Whittaker, one of Eric’s aunts, told protesters that there had been a failure in duty of care and that people had to be held responsible for the cruelty shown her nephew.

Don Burke, a television host and “family man”, is the latest celebrity to be outed as a serial sexual harasser. A joint investigation by Fairfax Media and the ABC has uncovered multiple claims of Burke committing indecent assault, sexual harassment and bullying of women in the late 1980s and 1990s. 

As more women come forward with their horrific experiences with this particular monster, we need to ask what more can be done? Do we just expose more perpetrators, or is there something else?

As we go to press, the federal employment minister Michaelia Cash is being hounded — rightly — for yet another gross breach of her parliamentary office.

While Cash continues to deny she has done anything wrong, one of her staffers has resigned for allegedly tipping off the corporate media on October 24 that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) were about to raid the Melbourne and Sydney offices of the Australian Workers Union (AWU).

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) raids on the Melbourne and Sydney offices of the Australian Workers Union (AWU) on October 24 show the state is becoming more authoritarian at a time when more people are disengaging from politics as usual.

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