human rights

Indigenous affairs minister Jenny Macklin has dismissed the findings of a Menzies School of Health Research report that found “income management” has failed to improve the health and wellbeing of the people it targets.

Income management was implemented by the then Coalition government in August 2007 on 73 targeted remote Aboriginal communities as part of the Northern Territory intervention.

Under the scheme, 50% of welfare recipients’ income is replaced with a Basics Card, which can be used to only buy food, clothing and medical supplies, and only in certain stores.

It’s another election year and we’re witnessing another round of racist fear-mongering. Along with refugees, Muslims are in the crosshairs once again and the Liberal/National Coalition opposition is trying to grab votes by playing on people's worst instincts.

On May 6, Liberal Senator and parliamentary secretary Cory Bernardi called for a ban on the wearing of the burqa, after a case of armed robbery was committed by someone allegedly using the burqa as a disguise.

Brian Walters, former Liberty Victoria president, former Free Speech Victoria vice-president and Greens candidate for the state seat of Melbourne, has long been a advocate of free speech. He is the author of Slapping on the Writs: Defamation, Developers and Community Activism.

On May 8, he addressed a rally in Brunswick, Melbourne, which called on the local Barkly Square shopping centre to end its ban on community stalls.

Since March 14, Bangkok has been paralysed by mass pro-democracy protests. The protesters known as “Red Shirts”, have demanded the resignation of unelected Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and new elections. Abhisit came to power in December through the overthrow of a democratically elected government by right-wing “Yellow Shirt” gangs, assisted by the military and elements of the royal family.

It had to happen eventually. Kevin Rudd's popularity has gone into decline, and the Labor party now trail the Liberals in the latest polls.

According to a May 3 Essential Research poll, Rudd's approval rating has fallen to 46%, down from 71% a year ago. The Liberals lead Labor by 51% to 49% on a “two party preferred” basis according to polling by Newspoll published in the May 4 Australian.

The conspicuous presence of barbed wire in Australian immigration detention centres, such as Rudd’s newly re-opened Curtin detention centre, is a reminder of the inhuman pedigree of these grim despair factories.

It is no accident that barbed wire — or the “devil’s rope” as the First Nations people of North America called it — has accompanied and facilitated many of the worst crimes against humanity of the modern era.

Activist Centre, 3/29 Macquarie St, Parramatta
Spiralling poverty, deprivation, price rises and chronic unemployment are behind the latest round of anti-government protests in Iran that began in late December. Speakers: Rupen Savoulian from Socialist Alliance will present some historical context about previous anti-dictatorship struggles; Ronahi Qandil, a Kurdish activist, will speak about the current situation. Ronahi was jailed by the Iranian government when she was 17.

Brazil at a crossroad; the campaign for democracy

Brazilians current president Temer is enacting a militarisation of Brazil. Ten human rights activists have been murdered in the last five months, including prominent socialist, lesbian councilor Marielle Franco. 

Alongside this attack on democracy is a vicious privatization campaign aiming to transfer wealth from the poor to the rich. 

Brazilians are responding through mass protests, including hundreds of thousands rising up demanding justice for Marielle Franco. 

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