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.
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.
We were fourteen kilometres out of Wilcannia when the rain pulled us up. A long gash of water had formed across the dirt highway, and we sat on our bikes, on the wrong side, swearing at it. A cop at the servo had told us that if we made the first fifteen, we’d have no worries. You’ll gun the rest of it, he had said.
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.
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.