civil rights

A Pill testing saves lives rally in Sydney on November 23.

The state government and police have ruled out implementing recommendations made by a coronial inquest into drug-related deaths at music festivals. The inquest recommended introducing pill testing at festivals and an end to sniffer dogs and strip searches.

Police arrest a protester at Blockade IMARC in Melbourne on October 30.

That two police officers have been condemned for inappropriate conduct indicates that public backlash over the police violence has had an effect. But for the government and police, it is a good way to deflect attention from the role the police play in society.

Murdoch University is facing widespread criticism for its decision to seek potentially millions in compensation by suing one of its employees, associate professor Gerd Schroeder-Turk. Murdoch has also attempted to remove him from his elected position on the university’s senate.

On October 7, three Bulgarian judges from the Supreme Court of Cassation decided they would need up to two months to review the Sofia Court of Appeal’s decision to grant Australian citizen Jock Palfreeman parole on September 19.

The federal Coalition government’s reforms to private health insurance confirm its blind allegiance to a system most people do not support.

Most people prefer a universal public healthcare system, but ever since Medicare was introduced in 1984, successive governments have sought to divert public funds to the private health insurance sector.

The government spends about $6 billion annually on private health insurance rebates. Singles earning up to $140,000 and families earning up to $180,000 receive rebates of between 8.4% and 33.4%, depending on age and income.

September 20, the date of the school student-initiated Climate Strike, also marks the 47th anniversary of Australia's first national secondary student strike, when 80,000 students took to the streets. Greg Adamson, a convenor of the 1972 strike, reflects on the lessons of almost half a century of student activism for today’s young climate rebels.

The science has long been in on the climate emergency, yet despite this governments have signed off on Adani’s coalmine in Central Queensland, with five or six more set to follow if it goes ahead.

This immediate threat has led Queensland to become a flashpoint for climate activism in recent months. 

“We are winning the struggle with Indonesia,” said Benny Wenda, chair of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in a statement released on September 10.“Politically, legally, morally, our arguments have prevailed.” 

A rally against the proposed religious exemptions bill was held in Melbourne on August 31.

The bill would enshrine the right of religious institutions to discriminate against LGBTI people, among other attacks on civil and political rights.

Six hundred people braved the cold, wet weather to gather on the steps of Western Australia’s parliament on September 3 and call for choice and compassion at the end of life.

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