The personal saga of WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange has been used to overshadow the ground-breaking journalism of WikiLeaks in exposing the secrets of governments and corporations around the world.
The Olympics are a sporting and social phenomenon without parallel. The Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics was watched by close to 1 billion people. Viewers for individual events can be remarkable. The website Sporting Intelligence said 184 million people watched a live women’s volleyball match between China and Cuba at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A further 450 million people watched part of it.
It rarely takes very long into an Olympics for the myth that the games are above politics to be shattered. For the London 2012 games, the myth was smashed well before the games begun. A series of incidents involving Australian athletes have shown that politics are at the heart of the games. Despite winning the Olympic trial earlier this year, athlete John Steffensen was not selected to represent Australia in the individual 400 metres sprint, replaced by 19 year old Steve Solomon.
On June 16, 2012, an all-female line-up of artists put on a Sydney gig to raise funds for women prisoners after funding for the charity Sisters Inside was cut by the Liberal state government in Queensland. Green Left TV spoke to event organiser Shannon Hall and Aboriginal rappers Naomi Wenitong, of The Last Kinection, and Sky'high.
A vigorous exchange of views took place at the Socialist Alliance and Resistance-sponsored forum, “Women’s Rights today” at the Perth Activist Centre on May 30. The audience heard from a panel of Bec Copestake, who spoke about the Western Australian government’s prostitution bill, Kamala Emanuel, who spoke about reproductive rights, Zoe Bush, who discussed the rape culture on campus at the University of Western Australia (UWA), and Sanna Andrew, who spoke about the victory of the Australian Service Union’s equal pay campaign and the steps taken to achieve it.
Feminists caused a stir at the University of Western Australia (UWA) when posters and stickers appeared around the campus on May 31. Declaring “rape jokes are hate speech”, the posters and stickers were hard to miss. A sign with the same message appeared on a statue in the Swan River close to the campus. The same day, the main social club on campus was to hold a party to “celebrate and commemorate the contemporary culture of our fair university/city (As seen on PerthNow)”.
The 2012 Resistance conference, in Adelaide July 20-22, will feature international guests including from CLASSE in Quebec (the largest and most radical student organisation leading massive student strikes); the Socialist Party of Malaysia (hugely involved in the Bersih democracy uprising); and from the brave Palestinian People's Party.
The open letter below was developed in consultation with feminist activists and is supported by the Coalition for a Feminist Agenda and Women Everywhere Advocating Violence Elimination. To add your name or organisation to the statement visit http://weaveinc.org.au/ * * * To our political leaders, political and media commentators, journalists and opinion formers in print, visual and audio media.
Thirty people attended a May 15 rally on the steps of South Australia’s Parliament House to protest the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Registration of Still-Births) Amendment Bill, also known as Jayden’s Law, introduced by Family First MP Robert Brokenshire, which was to be voted upon the next day. However, in the face of community concerns regarding the intentions and wording of the amendment and a campaign organised by the South Australian Feminist Collective (SAFC), Brokenshire has delayed the vote for several weeks.
In South Australia, where abortion is still legally considered a crime under the Criminal Act, women do not have the legal right to make their own reproductive choices. What we have now is tenuous and limited access to abortions through an underfunded healthcare system. Now, this access is under attack. Family First MP Robert Brokenshire has introduced into the SA upper house the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Registration of Still-Births) Amendment Bill (also known as Jayden’s Law), which will be put to a vote on May 16.