It feels like the sewers have burst, spilling a stinking mess of racism, homophobia and misogyny all over the public debate in Australia. Aboriginal football stars and a female prime minister have been among the noted victims of hateful abuse and insult. It has shocked some people. Where did this come from? What does this say about 21st century Australia?
A new website has published the biggest set of immigration detention records in Australia to date. It will provide unprecedented verification of the endemic self-harm and psychiatric crises that refugee rights campaigners have independently reported for years.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and Brisbane-based consultant Katestone have come under fire for releasing a report, on coal train dust in the Hunter Valley, that appeared to have been doctored. The ARTC is a federal-owned corporation and leases rail track from the NSW government. It is in charge of most rail track other than dedicated inner city passenger rail corridors, including rail tracks that deal mainly in freight and commodity haulage.
Socialist Alliance candidate for Fremantle, Sam Wainwright introduces the Socialist Alliance campaign to a packed out candidates forum organised by GetUp. The forum was held in the state library theatre on 14 June 2013.
Information revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden about the PRISM spy program — which used data from giant internet companies, such as Google and Facebook, to carry out mass surveillance of people outside the US — has provided new evidence about the warrantless spying on civilians by the US government. Although a government spying on civilians is hardly new and will not come as a surprise to many people, what is concerning about this case is the size and number of companies involved and the apparent ease with which this data was obtained.
The following resolution was adopted by the Socialist Alliance national council meeting on June 10. *** • If socialism is not just to be a good idea, it has to become a movement of the working class and other oppressed groups. It flows from this that to build the socialist movement we have to have a permanent focus on linking up with the activists and leaders of the working class and oppressed groups who are fighting capitalist oppression.
During this year alone, an estimated 128 people have drowned or vanished trying to seek asylum in Australia. By June 14, up to seven asylum boats trying to reach Christmas Island had foundered, sunk or been stranded. This includes the boat that sank in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait in April, when Australian authorities failed to give accurate coordinates of the foundering vessel to Indonesian search and rescue. Up to 58 people drowned, 53 of whom were never retrieved.
The exposure of the huge surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA) of all phone calls in the United States, as well as the vast data mining of all electronic communications through computer servers and search engines worldwide, is one of the most important whistle-blowing events of our times. Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the surveillence Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, says these exposures by Edward Snowden, who worked for a private contractor used by the NSA, said Snowden’s exposures were even more important than the Vietnam War revelations.
Julia Gillard was greeted by a vibrant protest by students, unionists and Aboriginal activists when she spoke in Fremantle on June 12. As Labor party faithful -- who paid up to $250 per head -- waited to hear her talk, protesters took aim at some of the worst policies of the Gillard government.
During the early days of the Gezi protests, researchers from the University of Istanbul surveyed 3000 activists in the heart of the struggle around Taksim Square. Seventy-one percent of respondents described themselves as “pro-freedom” with no affiliation to any organisation, most of them first-time activists. Only 7.1 % said they were a member or supporter of any group. Barricades on the streets are nothing new to Turkish people. Barricades have been put up against the authorities many times.