Why we spy

Type
Article
Category
Politics

Over the past four weeks, both of the organisations that operate the vast majority of New Zealand’s newspapers published reports by Nicky Hager and Ryan Gallagher on the nation’s role within the Five Eyes network. These reports are based largely – though in Hager’s case not exclusively – on the analysis of documents obtained by Edward Snowden in mid-2013 and subsequently leaked to selected investigative journalists.

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Godfrey
Type
Article
Category
Economics
Politics

Wage rage and penalty rates

In truth, this was yet another example of the trading away of workplace rights and conditions in return for pay (whether that’s increasing real pay, maintaining pay or attempting to slow its decline). It’s called concession bargaining and every union has engaged in it.

Parkhill2
Type
Column
Category
Activism
Politics

Helplessness blues

Not long after Melbourne teenager Masa Vukotic was stabbed to death, my Facebook feed was roiling with emotion. Vukotic was not the first woman to be murdered in Australia this year, and, shamefully, will not be the last, but something about the attack – perhaps the fact that Vukotic was killed in broad daylight while exercising in a public space – triggered the kind of fierce public reaction not seen since the murder of Jill Meagher in 2012.

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Type
Reflection
Category
Culture
Politics

‘Black’: your label, not mine

I am African Australian. I am literally ‘black’ by name (my surname ‘Lemoh’ means ‘black’ in the Mende language of Sierra Leone). I am brown of face, but unlike some, I do not choose to identify primarily as Black in this country. To me, ‘Black’ in Australia has meant ‘Aboriginal’ – not in the racial sense, but in the political sense.

noose16x9
Type
Polemic
Category
Culture
Debate

When poetry is racist

Michael Brown was killed on 9 August 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. He was eighteen. He had just graduated high school. He was black. He was shot at least six times by a white police officer. On Friday 13 March 2015, conceptual poet Kenneth Goldsmith gave a reading at Brown University.

self-image
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Syriza

Teaching from the south

Syriza’s stunning victory in Greece’s election has been a win for the left in Europe. Naturally, there has been plenty written on this but I would like to contribute some lessons Syriza can learn from recent history that are worth thinking about in their attempts to overcome the neo-liberal model.

Landscape
Type
Reflection
Category
Culture
Identity

Catch them unawares!

Currently, Nguyen is the seventh most popular Australian surname. In the White Pages, an outdated directory book, the surname was printed over twenty pages. I know because I once counted it myself. Within ten years, Nguyen will overtake Smith, especially in the denser cities like Melbourne and Sydney.

vandervelden-image
Type
Article
Category
Climate politics
Science

Earth hour approaches

Now, more than ever, technological and ecological impacts of ‘human activity’ cannot be explained ‘outside’ the mode of private ownership and control of money capital, means of production and accumulation priorities of capitalist economy. While most Anthropocene advocates structurally connect the post-Holocene transition with the Industrial Revolution we ignore the political economy driving this accelerated transformation at our collective peril.

Caplice article
Type
Reflection
Category
Culture
Science

Our bodies, our lives

I have stage IV colorectal cancer. In the coverage and discussions, our voices are unheard, our lived experience silenced from a discussion that impacts our lives in a way that journalists and think-piece writers and even doctors cannot understand. I struggle sometimes when I hear stories of people with cancer that most likely would be cured if only they followed the treatment regime suggested by their doctors who make the decision to follow a CAM remedy.