Fighting Fund

In late June, School Strike 4 Climate founder Greta Thunberg shared footage of French police pepper spraying the faces of a group of Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists blocking a road in Paris.

Given the fierce police repression used against the Yellow Vests movement since it erupted in late November, this was hardly a surprise.

The most farcical side of the parliamentary banter between the Coalition and Labor regarding politicians’ ties to Chinese billionaires and government “agents of foreign influence” is not the pot-calling-the-kettle-black nature of their posture. It is that both studiously avoid mentioning the elephant in the room — the deeply entrenched corporate corruption of parliament and the state apparatus, writes Peter Boyle.

Revelations at the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) hearing at the end of August that an Aldi shopping bag filled with $100,000 was delivered to Labor’s Sydney headquarters in March 2015 are further proof that a federal ICAC, with a lot more power than its state counterpart, is urgently needed.

"Australia may be the world's most secretive democracy," the New York Times reported on June 5.

The US newspaper was commenting on the raids by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on a NewsCorp journalist and then the head office of the ABC. They were looking for evidence of information provided by whistleblowers that was used in articles exposing possible crimes by the Australian military and other authorities.

In 2013, then-Prime Minister Tony Abbott launched a “war on red tape and green tape”, which he claimed was “suffocating” Australian businesses. The Coalition government even announced a special cutting of red tape day.

No doubt Abbott was able to point to some idiotic and bureaucratic regulations to win public support for cutting so-called red tape that was actually protecting the public or the environment, to allow the corporate rich to pillage and plunder.

Bahraini refugee Hakeem Al-Araibi has been held in detention in Thailand since last November 27. He faces the terrifying prospect of being deported to the country where he was tortured.

The Big Money Club clearly lives by its own perverse rules.

Small shareholders and industry super funds are in revolt against the remuneration packages for CEOs at giant corporations such as Telstra and Tabcorp, renewing debate over excessive bosses’ pay at a time where workers’ wages remain stagnant.

Green Left Weekly welcomes the historic vote to decriminalise abortion in Queensland and pledges to redouble its efforts to win free, safe and legal abortion across the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made a disingenuous pitch for “unity” and “honesty” in response to Byron Bay Council’s decision on September 20 not to celebrate Australia Day, in deference to the hurt it engenders to Indigenous peoples.

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