civil liberties

The Victorian Sentencing Manual, which acts as a guide to sentencing in all Victorian jurisdictions, now says a sex worker’s profession should have no impact on the sentencing of sex offenders who target them. The manual previously suggested that sex workers were less vulnerable in cases of sexual assault than other victims due to the nature of their work.

Charges of offensive language against three protesters at a Community Action Against Homophobia protest against NSW Christian Democrat politician Fred Nile in September last year have been dismissed after a year-long court battle.

On October 25, all charges and fines against Cat Rose, Patrick Wright and April Holcombe were dismissed after a judge ruled that chanting “fuck Fred Nile” and “fuck off bigots” through a loudspeaker does not constitute offensive behaviour.

The statement below was released by Pakistani socialist group, the Awami Workers Party (AWP) in response to an October 24 terrorist attack that killed dozens of people in Quetta, the capital of the Balochistan province. Balochistan has long been the victim of violent attacks from both state and terrorist forces.

Dirty Secrets: Our ASIO Files
Edited by Meredith Burgmann
Newsouth, 2014
464 pages, $32.99 (pb)

The only thing worse, notes Meredith Burgmann in Dirty Secrets, than discovering that your personal file held by Australia’s domestic political police, ASIO, is disappointingly thin is to find out that your official subversion rating hasn’t warranted a file at all.

Students at universities across South Africa have been demonstrating for the complete removal of university fees for poor students.

They are pushing for the realisation of the demands raised by the #FeesMustFall campaign last year. This was the largest wave of protests since the fall of Apartheid and drew tens of thousands of students into the streets.

The struggles of Ethiopians protesting repression and government-sponsored development programs have gone virtually unreported over the past year — and so has the murder of hundreds of people by the state for taking part in the resistance.

The struggles are centred among the Oromo people — the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, but who have suffered marginalisation and oppression.

As Facebook gives the Israeli government more access to posts deemed as “incitement”, Israeli forces have been raiding the homes of Palestinians children and detaining them for months over posts on the social media site, a report by the Defence for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) said on October 17.

The group spoke with several Palestinian minors who were arrested for their Facebook posts, interrogated for hours and held in jail for months without charges under the Israeli policy of “administrative detention”.

Pakistan's south-western province of Balochistan is the site of an intense struggle for self-determination against the federal government.

Despite the province being rich in natural resources, the Baloch majority ethnic group remains economically marginalised and receives little benefit from development in region.

In its efforts to counter the Baloch struggle, the Pakistani state has resorted over the years to violent repression and indiscriminate warfare.

The Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) and Registered Organisations bills passed in the House of Representatives on October 18. These bills, first introduced by the Tony Abbott government in 2013, were twice rejected by the Senate, triggering the double dissolution election earlier this year. 

This is the latest attempt to extend the John Howard era’s union busting agenda. The ABCC was first established by the Howard government in 2005, targeting the militant unions that covered workers in the construction industry. It was opposed by the union movement.

This is what things have come to.

The Greatest Democracy In the World™ is subjecting its people, and the world, to an election campaign to determine who gets to order new crimes against humanity, in which one candidate is a far-right, racist, woman-hating, tax-avoiding failed property mogul, reality TV star and serial sex offender, and the other is, by all available evidence, a robot built by Goldman Sachs.


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