Comment and Analysis

Black lives matter: broken windows versus institutionalised racism

Racism is responsible for the murder of a young boy near Kalgoorlie on August 29.

It is one of several recent examples that demonstrate that the sentiment behind the US #BlackLivesMatter movement is just as relevant in this country.

National attention has focused on the case in large part because hundreds of people protested outside the Kalgoorlie courthouse on August 30. Windows were broken and police cars were damaged — small biscuits compared to the loss of a young boy's life.

Restoring a safe climate: Impossible dream or dangerous distraction?

Should the climate movement call for the restoration of a safe climate, rather than just zero emissions?

According to a recent paper, Striking Targets, by climate writer Philip Sutton, greenhouse gas concentrations are already too high to avoid dangerous global warming, so the zero emissions goal is inadequate.

CUB deserted by contractor, victory in sight

In a big development in industrial dispute involving Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) and the 55 maintenance workers it has sacked in Melbourne, the contractor at the centre of the dispute, Programmed Skilled, has broken its contract with the brewery.

The 55 workers were sacked in June — then offered their jobs back with a 65% pay cut. The company brought in unskilled scab labour, with the sacked workers, backed by the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), picketing the Abbotsford factory.

Support for refugees is on the rise

Photos by Chelsea Dennison

The good turnout to national rallies on August 27 and 28 shows the refugee rights' movement is starting to gain political ground. A number of pro-asylum seeker groups are forming to force an end to the cruel policy of locking up refugees in offshore detention.

Sue Bolton: 'We cannot trust politicians. We have to do it ourselves'

Well-respected socialist activist Sue Bolton is recontesting her position as councillor for the North East Ward in Melbourne's City of Moreland Council election.

Bolton, a member of Socialist Alliance, was elected in 2012 on a platform of “Community need, not developer greed”.
An experienced working-class activist, Bolton was born in western Queensland, and worked (among other things) as a bus driver and public servant, and has been an active trade unionist over many years.

Fireworks versus truth, reconciliation and justice

The Fremantle Council voted 10-1 to drop its annual Australia Day fireworks on August 24 in recognition of how sensitive this date is for many First Nations peoples.

It is worth restating the obvious: modern Australia, like Canada, the US, New Zealand and South Africa, began as a colonial-settler state founded on the violent dispossession of its Indigenous peoples. But Australia is the only one to hold its national day on the very date that marks the beginning of that dispossession.

Queensland pro-choice bill faces set-back


Pro-choice protest outside Queensland parliament, May 10.

Pro-choice activists in Queensland have expressed disappointment at the release of a parliamentary report on August 26 that failed to support the bill before Queensland parliament to decriminalise abortion.

NSW Premier Mike 'Bad' Baird on the skids


6000-strong march against Baird in Sydney on May 29..

“Beyond the amiable, good-bloke persona, [NSW Premier] Mike Baird is an aggressively neoliberal politician, who has quietly privatised dozens of state entities.

The Territory turns against the Country Liberal Party

Northern Territory voters kicked out the ruling Country Liberal Party (CLP) government on August 27 in what has been described as an “election bloodbath”. Voters rejected the CLP for many reasons, which opens up the possibility of a more progressive politics in the NT.

An Orwellian attempt to silence free expression and dissent

French philosopher Guy Debord's The society of the spectacle plays out on newer, modern terms at a Moreland Says No To Racism rally in May.

Protesters march from trains with banners, flags and masks straight into a containment web of fences, barriers, police lines and the steam of horses breathing out wet air. The tactical police wave us into lines.

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