Category Archives: Human Rights

Communications bill will gnaw at privacy.

A few months ago, the federal government quietly began to clear a direct path between your private digital data and law enforcement agents. For the sake of your privacy, it’s time to wake up and pay attention.

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The strange case of Shaoquett Moselmane and the AFP and ASIO raid.

I was struck by these letters in the S.M.H. regarding Shaoquett Moselmane . Are we seeing a new McCarthyist wave of anti China paranoia?

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Multicultural Australia in danger in resurgent pandemic. Part 2 What we know but need to know more about and why.

The national medical bureaucracy needs to make one change to its data collection about COVID-19 that will be disruptive in the short term but very productive in the medium and longer term. It may save lives, reduce morbidity, protect social … Continue reading

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Multicultural Australia in danger in resurgent pandemic. Part 1: The problem

A dark hole sits at the heart of multicultural Australia – the data by-pass on how the COVID19 virus pandemic is affecting our culturally diverse communities. 

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Searches, Seizures and Sanctions in Australia’s Immigration Detention Camps

A disturbing and distressing new development has occurred in the Commonwealth’s policies with respect to immigration detention. Pursuant to an amendment to the Migration Act (Cth), non-citizens who have committed criminal offences in Australia are now subject, under s.501, to … Continue reading

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Race is not real: It’s time to stop acting as though it is.

For something that doesn’t exist race exerts a pernicious and persistent influence on society. Rational arguments and protests won’t exorcise the racial ghost and the struggle against its worst manifestations will be endless.

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Confronting anti-Asian racism shows Australia’s commitment to democratic values.

The question of whether there has been an increase in anti-Asian racism has become a political football between Australia and China. Claims that China’s warnings are politically motivated and that COVID-19 related racism is on the rise are not mutually … Continue reading

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Chinese Australians’ take on anti-Chinese racism in Australia. Part 3 of a series on racism.

In the age of weaponised racism, Chinese Australians have taken on the moral duty of telling Australia stories well.

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History Hits the Headlines.Our Troubled Past

History haunts many countries at the moment. This is especially true of the United States. But Australia , New Zealand, Britain, France and Belgium are being forced to once again face up to their legacy of colonial brutality and attendant … Continue reading

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Justice impossible with secret trials

Over in the United States, a former national security adviser to Donald Trump, John Bolton, has a book about to hit the newsstands. It is very critical of, and indiscreet about, his former boss. It shows Trump double dealing with … Continue reading

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Black Lives Matter, Gandhi and Makarrta  

The challenge for the Black Lives Matter protesters is to maintain their rage and commitment to their cause as Gandhi did to his, while remaining scrupulously non-violent.

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Faulty reasoning in BBC purge. Dealing with art and prejudice.

How will the BBC, other media organisations and theatre companies deal with plays that are clearly prejudicial, injurious and intolerant towards a particular group of people in the future? 

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We may be stuck in our bigotry. Urgent change on many fronts needed

So much of our political mainstream has been based on bigotry and racist perspectives. We have always had the comfort of the US and UK accepting our attitudes on race. That no longer will be the case.

Posted in Asia, Human Rights | 13 Comments

Remove place names dedicated to racists. *

* This article uses the names of some deceased persons. The removal of the visual reminders of perpetrators of racism is a good move towards helping Indigenous peoples feel as though they belong in their own land.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

Unlearning racism starts with deep listening

The George Floyd case has given witness to social systems in the US that privilege whiteness. However across the world, there is institutional police brutality that is an expression of existing tensions and hierarchies.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN SJ. ‘I can’t breathe.’

Martin Luther King said ‘in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard’. 

Posted in Human Rights, Religion and Faith | 8 Comments

SPENCER ZIFCAK. The New Asio Powers: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, has introduced new, comprehensive powers for ASIO. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020 repeals ASIO’s existing questioning and detention warrant framework and introduces a reformed and extended compulsory questioning scheme. The … Continue reading

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TONY SMITH. Time to abolish the spies?

Planned expansion of the powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) should alarm anyone who believes in democratic values and rule of law.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 4 Comments

STUART REES Character Assassination as Journalism & Politics

The notion common humanity presupposes regard for respect, dignity, tolerance, thoughtfulness, generosity and support for non-violence. Recent attacks against the Assistant President of the NSW Upper House, Moslem Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane, displayed none of those qualities.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 9 Comments

DAVID SOLOMON. Privacy should be protected

If I thought my privacy would genuinely be protected, I would have little hesitation in downloading the coronavirus tracing app being developed for the national cabinet.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 5 Comments

ISABELLE REINECKE & BELINDA LOWE. Strong democratic systems will see us through COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has rapidly hit every aspect of our lives. Governments are making life or death decisions during this emergency period that will reshape the face of our nation for decades to come.  Strong democratic systems that enable transparency, … Continue reading

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STUART REES. Socialism, Language and Values for Post Corona World.

New words and phrases, lockdown, self-isolation, flattening the curve, have been coined to explain ways to cope with Covid-19. Language to promote the traits of a post corona society is also needed.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 5 Comments

GREG BAILEY. Covid-19 and personal liberty.

It has been many years since Australians experienced a crisis like the present one where all paradigms have been turned upside down. The social implications of the need for physical isolation are immense and the economic costs, both personal and … Continue reading

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Singapore Prime Minister’s message to foreign workers

What a contrast to Australia’s treatment of foreign workers.

Posted in Human Rights | 5 Comments

WITNESS J in the Pell case. I am content. Do not be discouraged.

I respect the decision of the High Court. I accept the outcome.

Posted in Human Rights | 13 Comments

ELIZABETH COOMBS and AMY MCCARTHY.-DARE WE QUESTION ‘THE BARD’?

It may be “That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet” (Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene I), but there is a lot in a name, particularly if you are transgender. ‘Deadnaming’ denies and … Continue reading

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MARY KELLY. Gaza must be given the right to fight the Covid-19 pandemic

Australia must call on Israel to lift the crippling blockade so that Gazans can be given a chance to fight Covid-19. 

Posted in Human Rights | 5 Comments

PATRICIA and DON EDGAR. Who is expendable? Ethics in an age of a pandemic

In 1651, the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, writing about the social contract, warned that without a strong central government man reverts to his natural state of self-interest and life is ‘solitary, poore, nasty, brutish and short’. The West has rejected … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. Predictability, Society and the COVID 19 Virus

The economic stimulus must adopt a whole of society approach, focusing on those of lower income, of a kind that it has consistently refused to do. If it does this and, above all, can be seen to be doing it, … Continue reading

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MILES LITTLE. Coronavirus – more than an ethical problem

There are support groups springing up at community level in various places, offering contactless food delivery for self-isolating people and for the elderly left without carers, and regular telephone calls for the isolated.

Posted in Health, Human Rights | 1 Comment