Comment and Analysis

WA's Anti Protest Bill: The Fight Continues

A broad coalition of forces continues to challenge anti-protest legislation tabled in the Western Australian state parliament.

If passed, the broad powers of the Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill will make it a criminal offence to be in possession of an unnamed “thing” or to disrupt "lawful activities". The bill also threatens two year’s jail and $24,000 fines for impeding lawful activity. Widely criticised by environmental, social justice, and legal campaigners the law smashes free speech and criminalises peaceful protest.

NSW protesters: 'We will break these laws'

"This is a law to protect the rich. We will need to break these laws to protect our democratic rights," Aboriginal activist and lead NSW Senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance team in the federal elections Ken Canning, said on March 15.

Tragic suicide of 10-year-old Aboriginal girl

Earlier this month, a 10-year-old Aboriginal girl took her own life in a small Kimberly community near the town of Derby in Western Australia.

It is believed that her life leading to her suicide was marred by “trauma and tragedy” and she had previously witnessed the suicide of a close family member.

Media's racist post-Moomba rampage

On the evening of March 12, during Melbourne's Moomba festival, there was a disturbance involving crowds of young people around Federation Square.

One passer-by was hospitalised, and discharged later the same evening. Four youths were arrested: two for drunkenness, one for carrying a stun gun, and another for allegedly knocking a police officer's radio or phone into their face. Some tables and chairs outside cafes were overturned, and crockery smashed.

Stop wasting our lives: marriage equality now!

The federal government continues to drag its feet on marriage equality. It is now clear that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will not initiate a marriage equality plebiscite before the end of the year, as promised.

LGBTI community organisations are increasingly losing patience with delays and broken promises. Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome described a plebiscite as “an incredibly costly and harmful opinion poll”, after PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimated it would cost $525 million.

Greg Hunt: 'Emissions peaked 10 years' ago'

Experts have laughed at a prediction by the environment minister Greg Hunt that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions peaked 10 years ago.

Hunt told the ABC’s AM program: “I believe that we have reached what is sometimes known as peak emissions. In my best judgment … we reached peak emissions in 2005-06 ... and the course of history to come for Australia is that we will continue to be below that figure.”

Experts have laughed at a prediction by the environment minister Greg Hunt that Australia's greenhouse gas emissions peaked 10 years ago.

February temperature spike bombshell

NASA dropped a bombshell of a climate report on March 11. February 2016 has soared past all rivals as the warmest seasonally adjusted month in more than a century of global recordkeeping. NASA's analysis showed that February ran 1.35°C above the 1951-1980 global average for the month, as can be seen in the graph of monthly anomalies going back to 1880.

Bernie Sanders' election platform applies to Australia too

During the early days of his campaign to be US president, Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders wondered if the crowds that he saw on the street were headed to a baseball game, only to be told: “Actually they are on the way to hear you”.

This story illustrates how the Sanders message of free education, affordable health care, a $15 minimum wage, taxing the mega-rich and support for renewable energy has taken off.

Young Americans — the millennials — facing unpayable student debts, unaffordable health care, low wages and climate change inaction, are flocking to his campaign.

The secret antennas of US spy base Pine Gap

Under the cover of thick clouds and blinding sun, a drone assignation takes place in the Middle East. Interception of internet messages leads US authorities to a 16-year-old Anonymous group member.

Outrage over NSW anti-protest law

The NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee is keen on new anti-protest laws in NSW. He claims to be concerned about the safety of the workers as well as the protesters “illegally accessing mine sites”.

Mining and Energy Minister Antony Roberts has been a little more blunt: he says the new law is aimed at better enforcing the protection of private property and “lawful business activity”.

Most, however, can see through the spin.

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