Since the election of Tony Abbott’s Coalition government, Green Left Weekly has had a rush of new subscribers and many renewals. These people recognise the critical role Green Left Weekly will play in the trying period ahead. One regular subscriber bought a subscription for her daughter. "She needs to know what is going on under this terrible man, Tony Abbott," the subscriber said when I took her call. Her trepidation is shared by many — with good reason.
Australia’s recent federal election should be remembered as the election that forgot about climate change. Serious action to address climate change was a non-issue for the two big parties and the mainstream media, despite the country experiencing its second-warmest August, second-warmest winter and warmest 12-month period on record.
Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy Robert W McChesney Spring 2013 www.thenewpress.com When award-winning author Robert McChesney wrote a much-needed political and economic analysis of the internet, the reaction from his peers was not quite what he expected.
The Socialist Alliance ran seven lower house candidates and a Senate team in NSW in the recent federal elections. Through letterboxing, campaign stalls, public forums and polling day, it engaged people who wanted to be involved in activism and politics in a meaningful way.
The first marriage equality rally in Nowra, south of Wollongong, was held on September 6. About 100 people attended the rally and chalk rainbows were drawn on the footpath. Rally organiser Tobi Harris told the Illawarra Mercury: “The seat of Gilmore has been held by the Liberals for 17 years, and we want to remind them to stand up for the gay community.” Long-time queer rights activist Paola Harvey addressed the crowd. Her speech is reprinted below. ***
The fight to defend public education is shaping up to be a key campaign against the cutback agenda of the Colin Barnett government in Western Australia. Thousands of teachers and education assistants rallied outside state parliament on September 3 in two separate mobilisations and further industrial action is planned. The government claimed it has not cut education funding. However, the central issue is not about overall funding but the cuts to staffing levels. In August, the government announced they were planning to cut 500 education assistants and other support workers.
“The worst genocide of this century” was how Paul Newman, professor of human rights at the University of Bangalore, described what has happened to the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Newman was delivering the Eliezer memorial lecture, in memory of Professor CJ Eliezer, the founder of the Eelam Tamil Association of Victoria, at Monash University on August 25. Newman was speaking on democracy in south Asia. He began by outlining some common features of the south Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, before discussing Sri Lanka in more detail.
Pro-choice activists fear that a new bill, soon to go to NSW parliament, will pose a threat to women’s reproductive rights. “Zoe’s law” will create a new offence that recognises crime or harm against a foetus. The Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2013 No. 2 was introduced by Liberal MP Chris Spence. It is named after the stillborn daughter of Brodie Donegan, who was 32-weeks pregnant when she was hit by a car on Christmas day in 2009 near Ourimbah on the central coast. Donegan suffered severe injuries and an emergency caesarean was too late to save the foetus.
Supporters of the Freedom Flotilla to West Papua, including the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy, gathered outside the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Brisbane on September 2. They were protesting against the arrest of four supporters of the Freedom Flotilla in the West Papuan city of Sorong on August 28 and who are now facing charges of treason for raising the West Papuan Morning Star flag.
Just before the federal election that put Tony Abbott in power, his soon-to-be immigration minister Scott Morrison said the government may stop telling the public when asylum boats arrive in Australia. Instead, reporting details about boat arrivals — including numbers on board, their nationalities and whether any are children — would be an “operational decision” of the defence officers in charge of the Coalition's “Operation Sovereign Borders”.