Karl Hand

Tony Abbott blocks marriage vote

A #WECANDOTHIS sign, washed in rainbow lights, greeted politicians at Canberra Airport as they returned for the new parliamentary sitting this week. But the Liberal Party remains unmoved, and will keep their binding “no” vote for the duration of this electoral cycle.

Why I got arrested for praying in Tony Abbott’s office

Love Makes A Way is a movement of Christians seeking an end to Australia’s inhumane asylum seeker policies through prayer and non-violent action. The group organised a sit-in protest in Tony Abbott’s office on May 19, leading to seven arrests. Below, Karl Hand explains why he took part in the protest.

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Time to break corporate power over governments

"Money speaks” is the message we should be taking from the last few weeks of state politics in NSW.

Inappropriate and undeclared financial dealings and interests are being found at every level of Australian politics. The parliamentary parties are riddled with factions, controlled by powerbrokers who promote the careers of their own base of loyal supporters. This undemocratic concentration of power leaves the parties unable to resist corruption.

As one corrupt politician is dispatched there are always plenty more to take their place.

O'Farrell's resignation: time to break corporate power over governments

"Money speaks” is the message we should be taking from the resignation of NSW premier Barry O'Farrell, after the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) revealed he accepted a vintage bottle of wine valued at almost $3000 from the head of Australian Water Holdings (AWH), Nick Di Girolamo, who was lobbying for a lucrative state government contract.

AWH is accused of inappropriately billing Sydney Water and using the money for political donations while lobbying for an public/private partnership with state-owned Sydney water to roll out Sydney’s water infrastructure.

Noah story not for conservatives

Noah
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Starring Russell Crowe & Jennifer Connolly
In cinemas now

The self-avowed atheist Darren Aronofsky, who directed the recently released Hollywood epic Noah, called it the “least biblical biblical film ever”.

Christian critics, such as National Religious Broadcaster president Jerry Johnson, were quick to agree. Johnson accused the film of having an “extreme environmentalist agenda” and supporting the theory of evolution.

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Christians sit-in for refugees in Morrison’s office

“We hope Christians will reflect on what it means to follow and worship a refugee God, and to stand in the tradition of a people who were sojourners and strangers in a foreign land,” said Matt Anslow, a Uniting Church member who participated in a prayer vigil protesting the detention of asylum seekers, in the electorate office of Scott Morrison.

On March 21, this group of believers from Uniting, Anglican, Catholic, Hillsong and Anabaptist traditions walked into the office and invited the staff to join them praying for an end to mandatory detention.

Queer community must fight for refugees

It’s impossible to ignore any longer just how cruel and irrational the government’s war on refugees has become after violent attacks in the Manus Island detention centre left one dead and scores injured.

The threat of expulsion to Manus Island is particularly terrifying for some asylum seekers given the criminalisation of homosexuality in Papua New Guinea. Amnesty International said last year that staff would be forced to report suspected same-sex activity in the detention centre.

PNG can prosecute same-sex people with a penalty of 14 years jail.

We can stop Abbott's attacks on equal marriage

This speech was given at a rally for marriage equality held in Sydney on October 12.

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Today we are out in force to stand up to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and to speak out against the Liberals' mad attack on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI).

And yes, it is a full scale attack. Liberal Party governments all over this country are doing everything in their power to destroy 50 years of progress towards equality for LGBTI people.

Police brutality at Mardi Gras ignites outrage

About 1500 people rallied in Sydney on March 8 in protest against the alleged police violence at this year’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Bryn Hutchinson, a former co-convener of Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH), alleges that five police officers slammed him to the ground, kicked him, shackled him and beat him when he tried to cross Oxford St after the parade had finished.

Hutchinson was then taken to Surry Hills police station and charged with “assaulting a police officer”. Hutchinson says he was handcuffed during the alleged attack by the officers.

Generations of protest at Mardi Gras

Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) activists are marching in Mardi Gras on March 2 under the banner “Generations of Protest”, and are inviting interested people to join their float.

Mardi Gras is going to be a lot of fun this year, and already has more floats and more people marching than ever.

The event stands in the tradition of the gay liberation protest in 1978 that immediately preceded the state-by-state decriminalisation of sodomy throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s.

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