The open letter that is abridged below was first published at literary magazine Overland, where the full letter and its hundreds of signatories can be read. Artists and arts organisations can add their names to this list of signatories by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would to like to sign the general petition, you can do so at the Australians for Artistic Freedom page. ***
A Friday night march through Sydney city streets marked the 67th anniversary of Al Nakba, “the catastrophe”, the beginning of the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people.
It took a long time for politicians to accept that human actions were warming the planet. Climate scientists began warning that human actions in burning fossil fuels were changing the climate in the late 1980s. The difficulty was how to put the scientific data into a simple form that the public and politicians could understand. Their first effort was to describe Earth as if it were covered by something that kept the heat in: the greenhouse effect.
Who the hell cares how old Rebel Wilson is? In recent days, online media began running strange stories — the exact relevance of which was unclear to anything but these site's Google analytics — claiming that Australian comic and actor Rebel Wilson was really in her mid-30s, not 29 as officially claimed.
Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton spoke to Dave Holmes about her work as a local councillor in Moreland, a municipality in Melbourne. This is the third of a series of interviews with Sue Bolton. You can find the whole interview at Links: Online Journal of Socialist Renewal. * * * Is there a tension between getting involved in the here-and-now and local issues, and balancing that off with our engagement with national and global issues and vision for a new society?
A 23 year-old Iranian asylum seeker has been savagely attacked on Nauru. The young woman had been on day-release from the detention centre on May 16, visiting refugees in the community. She was expected back at 5pm so at 4.30pm she left the house she was visiting to catch the bus back to the detention centre. She never arrived. At about 8pm Nauruan police were seen wrapping the woman in a blanket and trying to place her in a police car. She had been found naked, distressed and disoriented.
This is how Tony Abbott explained the new work-for-the-dole measures in the latest federal budget to the Queensland Chamber of Commerce: “That person can do up to four weeks of work experience with your business, with a private sector business, without losing unemployment benefits so it gives you a chance to have a kind of try-before-you-buy look at unemployed people.”
In January this year, the Prime Minister Tony Abbott drew attention to the “unfolding tragedy” of violence against women and vowed to put the issue of what he misleadingly calls “domestic violence” on the national agenda.
More than 8000 Rohingyan asylum seekers are stranded in the Malacca Straits. About 200 people have already died and more are at risk from dehydration and starvation. The stateless Rohingyans are victims of ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. Australia must immediately lift its ban on accepting UNHCR refugees from Indonesia and offer Rohingyan refugees safe passage to Australia. The lives of the Rohingyan asylum seekers rest in the hands of regional governments of Australia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Every hour that passes without assistance puts more lives in danger.
Refugee Council of Australia president Phil Glendenning spoke at a public forum in Melbourne on May 13 about the fate of refugees deported from Australia. Glendenning is also the director of the Edmund Rice Centre, which has investigated the fate of asylum seekers deported to their homeland, or pressured to return "voluntarily".