Civil Liberties

Lose Newspapers and You Lose Your Democracy

Kome 3c

Without independent journalism, Trump and other charlatans will thrive. Eric Alterman The Nation I had a different column when I woke up on deadline day, but I wrote this one, not because any major news had broken—yes, the FBI raided the office of President Trump’s personal lawyer—but because our country and our democracy are in the midst of an ongoing emergency, and our embattled media is unable or unwilling to explain it. What inspired my switch was Politico’s publication of ... Read More »

Memo from a South African: Peter Dutton is entrenching racist white privilege

Xre 3c

My child eyes witnessed racism daily in South Africa. I could escape because I’m white Shelley Davidow The Guardian This year marks the 70th anniversary of the implementation of the racist legislation known as apartheid in South Africa. In 1948, laws were signed into effect that forever changed the lives of South Africans, leaving a devastating legacy, which many of us across the world still live with and struggle against. I am a white former South African living in Australia, ... Read More »

Folau’s free speech under attack

Wara 2b

Israel Folau’s tweet that gays will go to hell “unless they repent of their sins and turn to God” is causing a storm in the Twittersphere with critics accusing the Australian rugby player of being insensitive and homophobic. Brisbane Times Kevin Donnelly Such is the adverse reaction that Rugby Australia has scheduled a meeting with Folau later today in an attempt to limit the adverse fallout. And the latest controversy follows Folau’s statement last year that marriage should only ever ... Read More »

Hungary’s war on democracy is a war on democracy everywhere

Orban 2b

As Hungarians vote on Sunday, Britain is shamefully courting the Orbán regime as it tries to get a favourable Brexit deal Owen Jones The Guardian Is Hungary still a democracy? It was a question I posed to Nóra Köves, an activist with the pro-democracy Eötvös Károly Institute, in the Castro Bistro café in central Budapest. “I wouldn’t say that, no. Not, I think, any more. We are heading to a kind of dictatorship, but we are not there yet. We are ... Read More »

Could America’s Big Tech Industry Create Free Speech Problems?

Fb & Tw 1a

The courts or Congress should clarify that the legislation amends Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act cannot be used to restrict political speech. Mark Epstein The National Interest Last week, the Senate passed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act. The legislation amends Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, which holds that online platforms cannot be responsible for their users’ content, to exclude sex trafficking. Big tech companies warned that the bill could inadvertently ... Read More »

The Risks to Freedom in Hungary

Nek 3c

The country’s independent media has largely been stifled. One of its remaining voices explains what it’s like to try to hold an aspiring strongman to account. The Atlantic Hungary is a NATO ally, a member nation of the European Union, a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights—and also, since 2010, an increasingly authoritarian and illiberal state. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has politicized the country’s court, central bank, and media. On April 8, Orbán and his Fidesz party face the ... Read More »

How the message of Martin Luther King’s ‘dream’ got lost

Gk 4d

Martin Luther King Jnr cast an enormous shadow in my childhood. By Matter of Fact host Stan Grant ABC It was a presence that outlived his death — indeed his assassination added potency to his leadership of a black struggle that mirrored our own. This wasn’t the acceptable Dr King as Santa Claus — as one black scholar remarked this week — our Dr King was a man of righteous anger who spoke with moral urgency to an American nation ... Read More »

Leading academics slam UWA student guild for putting ‘cultural sensitivities’ above free speech

Dalai Lama 3c Lincoln Baker good photograph

A move by the University of WA student guild to acknowledge a visit from the Dalai Lama could offend some students has been criticised by leading academics, who see it as an attempt to put cultural sensitivities ahead of free… Bethany Hiatt | The West Australian Three years after it hosted the Tibetan spiritual leader on campus, the guild last week backed a motion recognising the “negative impact” his presence could have on Chinese… UWA’s Pelican magazine reported the motion ... Read More »

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

Winnie Madikizela Mandela 1a The Guardian etc

A life in pictures Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the anti-apartheid activist and former wife of Nelson Mandela, has died. The Guardian During her husband’s incarceration, she campaigned tirelessly for his release and the rights of black South Africans. She later became a controversial figure in South African politics due to allegations of corruption and involvement in acts of brutality. Matt Fidler Read More »

Beaten, abused, humiliated and filmed by Victoria Police

Desa 1aaa

John’s psychologist was worried about his mental health. She asked the police to check on him. CCTV footage shows they did much more. Nick McKenzie The Age John’s fleshy torso tumbles earthwards as police swarm around him. There are six officers in all, two on his back like wolves on injured prey. The disability pensioner is pinned down. He is in his own front yard and he is helpless. Minutes earlier, the police have arrived at John’s home in Preston ... Read More »

‘Glee, Satisfaction and Weeping’: How America Reacted When Martin Luther King Died

Wet 1a

When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, public perception of him was more mixed than it is today. Readers recount the mood they witnessed 50 years ago. Kelly Virella The New York Times For many years, the United States has lived under a broad consensus that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a national hero, even a national saint. But nearly a half-century ago, when he was assassinated, public perception of him was far more ... Read More »

Gaza Protests Mark Shift in Palestinian National Consciousness

Thral 1a

Protests in Gaza on Friday 30 March, at which Israeli forces killed more than a dozen Palestinians, were the largest of their kind in several years and are likely to grow over the coming weeks. Nathan Thrall ICG In this Q&A, Nathan Thrall, Director of Crisis Group’s Arab-Israeli Project, says the series of planned marches reflect the Palestinians’ determination to take matters into their own hands after losing faith in outside mediation. What happened last Friday? Friday was 30 March, Land Day, the… Gaza Protests Mark… Read More »

Costa Ricans split over gay marriage vote for next president

Karl 1a

An evangelical pastor who has capitalized on opposition to same-sex marriage was in a tight presidential race in Costa Rica on April 1 against a novelist and former cabinet minister. SAN JOSE – The Associated Press Hurriyet Fabricio Alvarado went from also-ran to leading candidate after he came out strongly against a call by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for Costa Rica to allow same-sex marriage. His opponent, Carlos Alvarado of the governing Citizen Action Party, has openly backed ... Read More »

Why Take Student Protests Seriously? Look at Linda Brown.

Samn 1a

As a child, she helped to transform the civil rights movement. Her death last week is a useful reminder that students have often served on the political front lines. Joshua Zeitz Politico ”It was a bright, sunny day and we walked briskly,” Linda Brown later remembered of the morning in September 1950 when she and her father approached a set of “great big steps” leading to the entrance of Sumner Elementary School in… Linda’s father, Oliver, was determined to enroll ... Read More »

No gun, no Molotov: why did a 19-year-old Palestinian protester die?

Lust 4d

Gaza:  The morning after burying 19-year-old Abdul Fattah Abdul Nabi, his family gathered in a tent set up to receive mourners, watching and rewatching a video of the moment they say Israeli soldiers shot him in the back of the head. Brisbane Times Washington Post The video appears to show Abdul Fattah, dressed in black, running away from the border fence carrying a tyre. Just before reaching the crowd, he crumples under gunfire. “He had no gun, no Molotov, a ... Read More »

Opinion: Jews face rampant anti-Semitism in Germany, Europe

Jaz 4d

The murder of an elderly Holocaust survivor in Paris has shocked Europe. Michel Friedman DW However, Michel Friedman writes in this guest commentary, the killing should surprise no one: Anti-Semitism is omnipresent. We’re in the thick of it, and have been for a long time now: European anti-Semitism — hatred of Jews in Europe! Examples are legion: France, where a Holocaust survivor was brutally killed because of her Jewish faith; Britain, where the Labour Party is rocked by anti-Semitic scandals and the leader ... Read More »