I am sure we all appreciate the federal government's bid to secure Melbourne's borders, but in the aftermath of its farcical Border Force debacle, I have a tactical suggestion. If you really want to catch visa violators, just invite Liverpool FC back to play another match at the MCG, then round up the 90,000 English visa over-stayers who rock up. In fact, once everyone is in, just lock the stadium's gates and you have yourself a brand new ready-made detention centre.
LeBron James. If there was ever a moment that signalled how little Black lives mattered to people in power in the US, it was in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf of Mexico — especially devastating the city of New Orleans — 10 years ago. This fact was called out in real time by New Orleans residents, racial-justice activists around the country, and Kanye West's off-script and utterly true comments that “George Bush doesn't care about Black people”.
The white police officer who shot two unarmed Black youths in May in Thurston County, Washington state, will not face criminal charges, the Thurston County Prosecutor announced on September 2, because the youths’ skateboards were said to be “threatening” the officer. Prosecutor Jon Tunheim said that rather than charging the cop, whose bullets left one of the young men paralysed from the waist down, assault charges would be filed against the two men, Bryson Chaplin, 21, and Andre Thompson, 24.
The community assembly outside the Hutchison terminal at Port Botany is holding firm against a threat by the NSW Port Authority to evict the gathering from the entrance to the facility. There was a similar stand-off at Fishermans Island, Port of Brisbane. The assemblies have been maintained for more than four weeks to protest against the sacking of 97 waterside workers by the giant Hutchison company, part of the biggest multinational stevedoring corporation in the world.
“To change everything, we need everyone.” That is the slogan of the People’s Climate March being held globally on the weekend of November 27-29. The rallies will coincide with the upcoming UN climate talks in Paris and will demand a transition to a safe climate that ensures jobs and social justice. But the rallies are not just about appealing to politicians to make a strong agreement in Paris — there is very little chance of that happening.
Visiting Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein believes she owes PM Tony Abbott “a debt of thanks”. In Sydney to promote her new book
Capitalism versus the Climate: This Changes Everything, Klein said the conflict between what the planet needs and what capitalism needs is exemplified in Australia.
From 1954 to 1972, Australia’s official unemployment rate was under 2% as the economy grew at the most rapid rate in the country’s history. There was one exception, the credit squeeze year of 1961, in which unemployment rose to 2.4%.
Newcastle City Council voted on August 26 to join the global push to divest from fossil fuel. This follows the ACT’s announcement that it would become the first Australian government to divest from fossil fuels and aim to have 100% renewable energy by 2025. With a total investment portfolio of $280 million, Newcastle council has also told Australia’s big four banks they need to divest portfolios of assets that include coal and oil.
Protesters will soon be banned from harassing women outside Victorian abortion clinics in a deal between the Victorian government and Sex Party MP Fiona Patten. The Labor government has agreed to support Patten’s private member’s bill, which would place 150-metre protest exclusion zones outside fertility clinics, with hefty penalties for protesters who breach them.
I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed the August 31 episode of Q&A on the topic “Cheating, Climate, War & Democracy”. It was thanks to three solid lefties from overseas, Naomi Klein, Laurie Penny and Tariq Ali, who were in Australia for the Melbourne Writers Festival and the Festival for Dangerous Ideas in Sydney. The right-winger on the panel, US Studies Centre academic Tom Switzer, had a go at red-baiting Klein. Here is their exchange: