Democratic rights under attack in Australia

Australian government mounts attack on Human Rights Commission

By Peter Symonds, 14 November 2016

The campaign is a cynical attempt to divert attention from the crisis within the government by launching a “freedom of speech” crusade against the Racial Discrimination Act.

Doctors demonstrate against Australian government’s refugee policies

By Zac Hambides, 10 November 2016

Protest organisers made futile appeals to the Turnbull government and Labor, the very agencies responsible for the escalating persecution of the asylum seekers.

Australia: Unions back cuts in working conditions at state broadcaster

By our reporters, 9 November 2016

Union support for the new Australian Broadcasting Corporation enterprise agreement opens the way for even deeper attacks on jobs and conditions.

Australia: Police break up Sydney College of the Arts occupation

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 November 2016

The growing use of police against campus protests is bound up with the transformation of universities into for-profit entities reliant on corporate funds and with close ties to the state.

Queensland university case shows divisive agenda behind Australian “racial discrimination” law

By Mike Head, 28 October 2016

As universities have suffered punishing cuts, there has been a growth of facilities reserved for particular groups of students, defined in terms of race, gender or sexual preference.

UN committee condemns Australia’s Nauru refugee camp

By Max Newman, 19 October 2016

The Committee on the Rights of the Child described the treatment of children in the Australian-controlled detention centre as “inhumane and degrading.”

Amnesty report: Australian government running torture detention on Nauru

By Nick Beams, 18 October 2016

Efforts by Australian politicians to sell their detention model have helped create the conditions where governments around the world are regularly in breach of international law.

Australian government seeks to gag top legal official

By Mike Head, 15 October 2016

By silencing the solicitor-general, the government is seeking to free itself of any constitutional or legal constraint.

Australia: Arrest of two boys used to ramp up terrorism scare campaign

By Mike Head, 14 October 2016

Broadcasting vague and unsubstantiated police accusations has been taken to new depths with prejudicial allegations against two 16-year-olds.

New Australian “anti-terror” laws overturn basic legal rights

By Mike Head, 23 September 2016

The political establishment is moving, as a matter of high priority, to bolster the repressive police-intelligence apparatus.

Australian political establishment embraces Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

By Mike Head, 16 September 2016

Hanson’s first Senate speech, which was given wall-to-wall media coverage, focused on vilifying Muslims, China and welfare recipients.

Australian government exploits attack by mentally-ill man to whip up terrorism scare

By Mike Head, 12 September 2016

Prime Minister Turnbull equated the stabbing incident to the 9/11 mass terrorist attacks in the US, which were used to proclaim an endless “war on terror.”

Turnbull government expands Australian military powers at home and abroad

By our correspondent, 12 September 2016

The twin measures underscore the close connection between escalating militarism and domestic police-military repression.

Latest Australian “terrorism” arrests set dangerous precedents

By Mike Head, 16 August 2016

Amid rising social and class tensions, the “anti-terrorism” powers are being prepared for use against the working class.

Australia: Top police claim no operational role in Sydney siege

By Richard Phillips, 9 August 2016

This self-serving assertion is part of ongoing efforts at the coroner’s inquest to prevent any exposure of the official lies about the “ISIS terror attack.”

Systemic abuses in Australia’s juvenile prisons: The class issues

By Mike Head, 4 August 2016

Concerted efforts are being made to divert the outrage over the Northern Territory abuses behind claims that the violence can be attributed solely to racism.

Australian government appoints indigenous bureaucrat to juvenile detention inquiry

By Mike Head, 2 August 2016

The revamp is a bid to head off the widespread hostility to the royal commission by putting an Aboriginal face on the inquiry, whose assigned task is to whitewash the abuses.

Protests denounce violent abuses in Australian juvenile jails

By our reporters, 1 August 2016

Rally organisers, from Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, channeled the deeply-felt anger and disgust into divisive black nationalism.

Australian youth and workers speak out against torture of juvenile prisoners

By our correspondents, 1 August 2016

Rally participants interviewed by the WSWS voiced disgust at the abuse revelations and hostility to the proposed royal commission, saying it was another official coverup.

Bipartisan backing in Australia for indefinite detention of “terrorist” prisoners

By Mike Head, 28 July 2016

Turnbull’s unstable government has quickly seized on recent terrorist attacks in Europe, the Middle East and the US as a pretext for further police-state measures.

Children systematically abused in Australian juvenile prison

By Terry Cook, 27 July 2016

There is widespread outrage over the revelations, which include footage similar to the images of hooding and torture that emerged from the US-run Abu Ghraib facility in Iraq

Australian corporate chief suggests a “dictator” to resolve political crisis

By Patrick Kelly, 5 July 2016

Gerry Harvey’s remarks express widespread hostility within ruling circles towards democratic forms of rule.

The lies surrounding the Sydney siege unravel

By Peter Symonds, 15 June 2016

The huge police mobilisation in response to a lone gunman is a sharp warning of the methods that will be used in the future to suppress opposition to war and austerity.

Australia: Labor unveils “tough, unpopular” budget cuts

By Mike Head, 11 June 2016

Labor underscored its commitment to satisfying the demands of the corporate elite for sweeping cuts to social spending.

Defend the rights of New Zealanders in Australia! Support the Socialist Equality Party!

By the Socialist Equality Group (New Zealand), 11 June 2016

The SEP is the only party in the Australian election that intransigently opposes all forms of nationalism and defends the basic rights of refugees and immigrants.

Australia: Right-wing witch-hunt against La Trobe University academic

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 June 2016

The attack on La Trobe academic, Roz Ward, underscores the erosion of basic democratic and academic rights at universities.

Sydney University’s US Studies Centre: A bastion of pro-war strategy and propaganda

By Oscar Grenfell—SEP candidate for Grayndler, 2 June 2016

The centre’s significance is underscored by the decision of Sydney University authorities to ban an anti-war meeting of the SEP on the Anzac Day weekend last year.

Terrorist arrests injected into Australian election

By Mike Head, 28 May 2016

Many questions are raised about the timing of each arrest, suggesting definite political calculations.

Why is there “no money” for basic social needs?

By Mike Head—SEP candidate for the Senate in Queensland, 27 May 2016

All around the world, governments are seeking to dismantle welfare entitlements, minimum wages, retirement pensions, and access to education and healthcare.

Australian Federal Police raid Labor Party frontbencher

By Nick Beams, 20 May 2016

Raids conducted by the police have been denounced as “extraordinary and unprecedented” in an election campaign.

Young Australian girl forced to go to Supreme Court to seek abortion

By Mary Beadnell, 16 May 2016

A teenager’s plight shows that the right to abortion is still denied for many working-class girls and women in Australia’s public hospitals.

Australian state government imposes draconian “public safety” laws

By Mike Head, 12 May 2016

The two latest bills allow police officers to issue sweeping “crime prevention” and “public safety” orders—including forms of house arrest for up to five years—without a charge, trial or conviction.

Australian “Anzac Day plot” boy entrapped by police

By Cheryl Crisp, 12 May 2016

According to new evidence, the alleged plot consisted of taped conversations between the 16-year-old and an undercover police agent.

Committee minutes reveal anti-democratic discrimination against IYSSE at University of Melbourne

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 9 May 2016

Given the constitutional issues and potential legal implications involved, it is noteworthy that the University of Melbourne Student Council, to whom the C&SC is accountable, has taken no action.

Australian government boasts of helping US kill its own citizens in Middle East

By Mike Head, 7 May 2016

Remarks by Prime Minister Turnbull amount to sanctioning extra-judicial killings as a matter of government policy.

PNG court declares Australian refugee detention camp illegal

By Mike Head, 28 April 2016

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruling exposes the unlawful character of the Australian policy of incarcerating asylum seekers on remote islands.

Australia: Another dubious “Anzac Day terror plot”

By Mike Head, 27 April 2016

Unsubstantiated claims of ISIS-inspired plots are being utilised to justify attacks on democratic rights and drum up pro-war jingoism.

Police attack student protests in Sydney and Melbourne

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 April 2016

The violent actions of the police against a handful of student protesters are a warning of the preparations for a broader crackdown on any opposition to austerity cuts and war.

Oppose the political ban on the IYSSE at University of Melbourne!

For democratic and political rights on campus!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 12 April 2016

The IYSSE calls on students, staff, academics and all workers and youth opposed to the assault on democratic rights to support our campaign against political censorship at the University of Melbourne.

Australian youth and workers denounce media and government racist hysteria

By our reporters, 21 March 2016

The continuing campaign against African youth by the media and political establishment has prompted a reaction amongst young people in working-class areas of Melbourne.

Anti-protest laws attack democratic rights in Australia

By Mike Head, 18 March 2016

New laws in three states impose draconian punishments for allegedly disrupting or hindering business operations.

Australian Greens join government in ramming through Senate voting changes

By Mike Head, 17 March 2016

In the machinations over the electoral laws, the Greens have stepped forward, not just to assist the government, but to try to shore up the parliamentary system itself.

Australian media whips up fear campaign against African youth

By Richard Phillips, 16 March 2016

The state Labor government has seized on police clashes with youth in Melbourne on Saturday to demand greater police powers to “smash gang violence.”

UN panel condemns detention of WikiLeaks founder

Stop the persecution of Julian Assange!

By Bill Van Auken, 5 February 2016

Despite a ruling that Assange has been subjected to “arbitrary detention,” both the UK and Sweden vow to continue his persecution.

Australian High Court sanctions indefinite offshore detention of refugees

By Mike Head, 4 February 2016

The decision sets a new global benchmark for the incarceration of men, women and children in conditions that amount to torture.

Doctor challenges Australian government over refugee conditions on Nauru

By Max Newman, 2 February 2016

A paediatrics professor who worked in Nauru has condemned the indefinite detention of asylum seekers as torture, defying the police-state secrecy provisions of the Border Force Act.

Australian teenager arrested for documents “connected” to terrorism

By Mike Head, 1 February 2016

The vague charges underscore the increasingly repressive sweep of Australia’s “anti-terrorism” laws.

Australia: One year after the Sydney siege, the cover-up continues

By Richard Phillips and Peter Symonds, 28 December 2015

The investigations into the Lindt café tragedy over the past year are above all aimed at obscuring the role of the state apparatus, especially the intelligence agencies.

Australian PM unveils plan for indefinite detention of “terrorists”

By Mike Head, 12 December 2015

Turnbull’s announcement came amid an intensive campaign by his ousted predecessor, Tony Abbott, to demonise Muslims and call for ground troops to be deployed to Syria and Iraq.

As court bans racist rally, Australian media promotes far-right

By Richard Phillips, 12 December 2015

The media has provided blanket coverage of plans for an anti-Islamic rally in Cronulla, where racist mobs attacked Middle Eastern youth in 2005.

Australian union officials arrested on blackmail charges for imposing bans

By Mike Head, 8 December 2015

The use of the criminal law to punish industrial action is a bid to wind the clock back to the nineteenth century.

Australian government pushes through bill to revoke citizenships

By Mike Head, 4 December 2015

The new powers, which can be exercised without any trial or judicial process, go far beyond targeting alleged terrorist suspects.

Australian PM ramps up “war on terror”

By Peter Symonds, 25 November 2015

While his style was slicker than his predecessor’s, Turnbull’s reactionary message was the same: a continued commitment to war abroad and anti-democratic measures at home.

Anti-Muslim rallies in Australia: A byproduct of the “war on terror”

By James Cogan, 25 November 2015

Sunday’s protests had the character of a well-rehearsed political pantomime, staged for the benefit of the media and the police agencies.

Australian state-funded networks provide platform for extreme-right

By Richard Phillips, 24 November 2015

Extensive media coverage of anti-Islamic organisations is in line with the government’s preparations for war and deeper attacks on democratic rights.

Australian Labor Party backs revamped bill to revoke citizenships

By Mike Head, 13 November 2015

With Labor’s assistance, the Turnbull government’s bill establishes a wider precedent for overturning the fundamental democratic right to citizenship.

Australian government deporting life-long residents over minor offences

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 November 2015

Hundreds of long-term residents are being stripped of their visas, and face indefinite detention and deportation.

Forty years since the Canberra Coup

By James Cogan, 11 November 2015

The concern in ruling circles in Australia and the US was that the Whitlam Labor government had failed to stem the powerful movement of the working class that had brought it to power in 1972.

New research highlights social inequality in Australian schools

By Frank Gaglioti, 9 November 2015

A recent report verifies that ever-widening social inequality in Australia continues to have the most detrimental consequences for the working class.

Brisbane residents startled by low altitude military flight

By Mike Head, 7 November 2015

The unannounced fly-over by a large Globemaster aircraft displayed utter contempt for the residents and alarmed many people, both physically and politically.

Australian government trials new “welfare card”

By Susan Allan, 4 November 2015

Once more, Aboriginal people are being used as guinea pigs for measures designed to dismantle welfare entitlements throughout the working class.

Two more refugees commit suicide in Australia

By Max Newman, 2 November 2015

The Australian government’s responsibility for the suicides is underscored by the treatment of Khodayar Amini, who set himself alight last month.

Australian PM refuses to halt deportations of New Zealanders

By Tom Peters, 26 October 2015

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull bluntly rejected a request to end the removal of New Zealand-born Australian residents who have received prison sentences.

Australia: Human rights abuses in Northern Territory juvenile detention centres

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 October 2015

Reports indicate that solitary confinement and other abuses are regularly meted out to incarcerated children, mostly Aboriginal.

Australian government seeks to block High Court case on offshore detention centres

By Max Newman, 19 October 2015

The Turnbull government claims that Nauru’s new “open centre” model means asylum seekers are no longer “detained.”

Two young Australian Muslims arrested as “extremism” summit prepares surveillance of youth

By Mike Head, 16 October 2015

The Turnbull government foreshadowed further draconian “terrorism” laws and called for pervasive monitoring of young people.

New Australian “terrorism” laws to target 14-year-olds

By Mike Head, 14 October 2015

The Turnbull government is exploiting yet another terrorism scare campaign to justify handing further powers to the police and intelligence apparatuses.

Workers and young people speak out against the demonization of Muslim youth in Australia

By our reporters, 12 October 2015

Young people in Sydney’s western suburbs denounced the claims that the recent shooting at New South Wales police headquarters in Parramatta was an act of “Islamic terrorism.”

Papua New Guinea trial obscures Australian responsibility for refugee’s death

By Max Newman, 10 October 2015

Two Manus Island locals accused of murdering Iranian Kurdish asylum seeker Reza Barati have won an order re-opening their trial.

Sydney teenager detained for 100 hours questioning over alleged “terrorist” killing

By Mike Head, 9 October 2015

Such prolonged detention without charge is another serious attack on basic legal and democratic rights.

Police target Muslim youth after alleged “terror” shooting in Sydney

By Linda Levin, 7 October 2015

More than 200 police launched a series of coordinated “counter-terrorism” raids this morning across four western Sydney suburbs resulting in five arrests.

Death in custody highlights Australia’s brutal deportation of New Zealand citizens

By Tom Peters, 6 October 2015

Junior Togatuki, who was found dead in his prison cell, was one of hundreds of long-term Australian residents being deported to New Zealand under a draconian new policy.

Australian police kill 15-year-old in purported “terror” incident

By James Cogan, 5 October 2015

As in previous cases, such as the Sydney siege last December, the deaths are being used to justify the “war on terror.”

Agonising suicide in Australian refugee detention centre

By Max Newman, 28 September 2015

All the circumstances surrounding Ali Jaffari’s death point to the impact of the harsh measures being taken by Australian governments to repel asylum seekers.

A reply to the University of Melbourne’s Clubs and Societies Committee

Overturn the ban on the IYSSE!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (University of Melbourne), 17 September 2015

Seeking to justify its ban on the IYSSE club, the University of Melbourne’s Clubs and Societies Committee has sent a letter containing a series of unsubstantiated allegations.

Another palace coup in Australia

By Peter Symonds, 16 September 2015

For the third time in five years, the Australian population awoke yesterday to find the government changed, behind their backs, as a result of an inner-party putsch.

Australian police fatally shoot 51-year-old postal worker

By Terry Cook, 16 September 2015

The deadly shooting follows a pattern of increasing police repression and violence in Australia.

IYSSE in Sri Lanka, India condemn ban at University of Melbourne

14 September 2015

IYSSE clubs and supporters in Sri Lanka and India have protested to the University of Melbourne Clubs & Societies Committee.

IYSSE in Germany protests against University of Melbourne ban

11 September 2015

The IYSSE in Germany has written a letter of protest to the University of Melbourne Clubs & Societies Committee over its refusal to affiliate the IYSSE as a club.

IYSSE in Sri Lanka, US, condemn University of Melbourne ban

10 September 2015

The IYSSE in Sri Lanka and at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan have written to the University of Melbourne Clubs & Societies Committee.

Letters oppose refusal to affiliate IYSSE at University of Melbourne

8 September 2015

Supporters of the IYSSE have protested to the University of Melbourne Clubs and Societies Committee over its refusal to affiliate the Trotskyist youth movement.

Australian government refuses to lift refugee intake

By Mike Head, 7 September 2015

As Abbott feigned compassion for the asylum seekers in Europe, he was preparing to extend Australia’s current bombing campaign from Iraq into Syria.

IYSSE campaigns against University of Melbourne affiliation ban

By our correspondents, 7 September 2015

A meeting will be held Tuesday to discuss the anti-democratic decision by the Clubs and Societies Committee to refuse to affiliate the IYSSE.

International letters protest IYSSE censorship at University of Melbourne

5 September 2015

A British student’s letter says the IYSSE ban is “part of a systematic attempt to block students from articulating their independent political interests, across Australia and internationally.”

Australian IYSSE members protest ban at University of Melbourne

4 September 2015

A University of Melbourne student wrote that “my voice and the voices of those around me have been silenced by the rejection of affiliation for IYSSE.”

IYSSE supporters protest ban on IYSSE at University of Melbourne

3 September 2015

The IYSSE is urging WSWS readers to protest against the University of Melbourne’s Clubs and Societies Committee attack on the fundamental democratic rights of students.

University of Melbourne student union imposes third ban on IYSSE club

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 1 September 2015

The Clubs & Societies Committee at the University of Melbourne has made clear that any students who publicly challenge its decisions will be prevented from forming a club.

Public outcry halts Australian Border Force blitz in Melbourne

By Mike Head, 31 August 2015

“Operation Fortitude” highlighted the creation of police-state conditions by the Abbott government, with the Labor Party’s bipartisan backing.

Australian “Anzac Day terror plot” charge dropped

By Mike Head, 28 August 2015

The collapse of the case exposes the lurid allegations of an “ISIS-inspired” conspiracy by Melbourne teenagers to conduct mass shootings at official World War I centenary celebrations.

Sweden drops some allegations against Julian Assange but US-backed persecution continues

By James Cogan, 14 August 2015

The passing of five years has not dampened Washington’s vindictive pursuit of the WikiLeaks editor.

Oppose the political censorship of the IYSSE at Australian universities!

Oppose war and austerity! Defend democratic rights!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Australia), 12 August 2015

The IYSSE has been subjected to unprecedented acts of political censorship at a number of universities around Australia.

Australian Federal Police aid Sri Lankan unit implicated in torture

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 August 2015

The AFP has provided equipment and training to Sri Lanka’s CID, long accused of kidnappings and human rights abuses.

Australia: Two highly-politicised arrests of “foreign fighters”

By Mike Head, 31 July 2015

Both arrests serve definite political purposes bound up with the fraudulent “war on terrorism.”

Large police mobilisation at right-wing Reclaim Australia rallies

By James Cogan, 20 July 2015

Reclaim Australia has been emboldened by the climate of anti-terrorism hysteria whipped up by the political establishment and the media.

Australian police, spy agencies flocked to Italian hacking company

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2015

The revelation that numbers of Australian police and spy agencies sought out the Italian Hacking Team is of a piece with a broader assault on democratic rights.

WikiLeaks email release reveals hacking by governments worldwide

By Mike Head, 13 July 2015

At least 46 countries are identified as seeking Hacking Team software to secretly access and monitor computers and smart phones.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation censures “Q&A” producer

By Oliver Campbell, 6 July 2015

The ABC board is attempting to appease the Abbott government and the Murdoch media by attacking the democratic rights of its staff.

World medical body denounces Australia’s refugee detention censorship law

By Will Morrow, 4 July 2015

The new law makes it a crime, punishable with two years in jail, to publicly reveal information about the conditions in Australia’s refugee detention camps.

The hypocrisy of the attack on the ABC

Murdoch’s Australian media put Zaky Mallah “up in lights”

By James Cogan, 3 July 2015

In 2012, today’s “terrorist” was a propagandist for Syrian “freedom fighters.”

Detention centre staff defy Australian government’s refugee censorship laws

By Will Morrow, 2 July 2015

Medical professionals and former staff in Australia’s refugee detention network have challenged the new “Border Force Act.”