Activism

Government slashes charity Foodbank’s funding by half

A food charity says a federal government funding cut will put in danger its ability to get essential items to needy Australians. AAP – SBS A charity feeding 710,000 Australians every month says the federal government has cut its budget almost in half just weeks before Christmas. Foodbank says funding for its Key Staples program, which makes sure essential supplies like rice, bread and vegetables get to hungry people, will drop from $750,000 to $427,000. “We are dumbfounded,” Foodbank chief ... Read More »

Queenslanders will soon be protected under a Human Rights Act. Here’s what that means for you

After years of lobbying, Queenslanders will soon be protected under a Human Rights Act, to replace a patchwork of legislation under a new framework to ensure freedom of speech, safety, privacy and equality. Josh Bavas ABC Michael Cope from the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties said Australian states were some of the last in the Western world to be covered by such an act. “We know from history that democracies can quickly change from being democracies to something else,” Mr ... Read More »

Religion and refugees are deeply entwined in the US

Robert Bowers lashed out at what he believed to be a Jewish plot to bring more refugees and asylum seekers to the U.S. before allegedly murdering 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Stephanie J. Nawyn The Conversation Bowers’s claim that HIAS, a prominent Jewish humanitarian organization, was bringing migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala northward to commit violence was false. But it is true that many religious communities in the U.S., including American Jews, have long supported refugees and asylum-seeking migrants who ... Read More »

Should Australia be turning its rubbish into electricity?

Harry van Moorst is a veteran community activist. In the 1960s, he protested against the Vietnam War. In the ’70s and early ’80s, he was active in the anti-uranium movement. In the ’90s, he helped lead a… Jewel Topsfield The Sydney Morning Herald Van Moorst is exactly the sort of local warrior whom the proponents of a waste to energy plant feared could be a thorn in their side. But instead he is a cautious supporter of the proposed plant. ... Read More »

Turkey Airstrikes Target Iraqi Christian Villages; Activists Call for War Crimes Investigation

The Turkish military launched airstrikes targeting Iraqi Christian villages in northern Iraq, a rights group warned. Samuel Smith The Christian Post Local sources have told International Christian Concern, a U.S.-based persecution watchdog, that seven predominantly Christian villages were targeted by Turkish airstrikes last month. September saw an increase in Turkish airstrikes in the north of Iraq. “Turkey attempts to justify these airstrikes by claiming that these villages support or have a PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) presence,” an ICC report reads. “Turkey is ... Read More »

Escalating Global Effort for Safe, Legal Abortion

A Day to Highlight Women’s Struggle Margaret Wurth HRW Today is International Safe Abortion Day. Today, and every day, women and girls in countries where access to abortion is heavily restricted, or banned, risk their lives trying to end unwanted pregnancies. But the fight around the world for access to safe and legal abortion is escalating. The day has particular significance this year for the United States, as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the ... Read More »

Why abortion should not be a crime

As a doctor who has worked in the field of reproductive healthcare for many years, I could list so many evidence-based and peer-researched studies and reasons on why abortion should be decriminalised. Philip Goldstone Brisbane Times But the most profound and overriding reason for me is to end the shame and stigma that we heap onto women accessing this health service each and every day. Shame and stigma is something that I am familiar with; I have worked in the ... Read More »

Human rights activists outraged as Egypt court sentences 75 to death

Cairo: An Egyptian court has sentenced 75 people to death, including leaders of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, for their involvement in a 2013 sit-in protest in Cairo that spiralled into violence and resulted in… Mohamed Ezz The Sydney Morning Herald New York Times Cairo Criminal Court was considering the case of 739 people facing charges ranging from killing police officers, incitement to violence and damaging property during the 2013 violence in Rabaa al-Adawiya, a square in… Forty-seven people, including the ... Read More »

‘If I’ve got death threats, I’ve probably said something worthwhile’

Sally Rugg remembers when she first realised “ordinary people” could create change. “When I was six or seven, the state government of WA was trying to build this huge road that would have gone through my primary school,” she recalls. Mary Ward The Canberra Times “So the community sort of banded together to save the school.” Two decades later, the LGBTI activist, best known as an instrumental figure in the Yes campaign during last year’s postal survey for marriage equality, ... Read More »

Argentina retains strict abortion laws by rejecting elective procedures

Argentina’s decision to retain its stringent abortion laws has left Latin America and the Caribbean with some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. ABC Argentine senators this week narrowly rejected a bill to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, overcoming support for a surging abortion rights movement in the homeland of Pope Francis. The Senate’s 38-31 vote against the proposed legislation could echo across Latin America, where anti-abortion forces remains strong even if the ... Read More »

Tennessee carries out execution of Billy Ray Irick with controversial lethal injection drugs

Tennessee has carried out the execution of a man condemned for the 1985 rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl, marking the first time the state has applied the death penalty in nearly a decade. ABC Inmate Billy Ray Irick, 59 — convicted in 1986 in the death of Paula Dyer, a Knoxville girl he was babysitting — was the first to receive a controversial new three-drug lethal cocktail. Irick had been a boarder in the home where the girl ... Read More »

Namibia’s long fight for justice

Over a century later, descendants of the Herero and Nama peoples, victims of Germany’s forgotten genocide, are demanding reparations – and an apology. Gouri Sharma reports New Internationalist ‘Justice now,’ they shouted. ‘Give us an apology’, they said, ‘genocide is genocide,’ they declared. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon in the German port city of Hamburg. Activists, students and journalists from Germany and the African continent had gathered outside St. Michael’s church, the city’s largest, to begin their protest march ... Read More »

Labour Members Move To Suspend Brexiteer MP Frank Field For Backing Tories

Some party members want whip withdrawn as a punishment Paul Waugh HuffPost Veteran MP Frank Field is facing a move by his local Labour activists to have him suspended from the party as a punishment for voting with Theresa May on Brexit. The former minister’s Merseyside constituency party will on Friday discuss an emergency motion to demand the “immediate” withdrawal of the Labour whip in protest at him backing the government last week. Members of Birkenhead constituency Labour party (CLP) ... Read More »

Farmers join gun control advocates in bid to mute ban on silencers for recreational shooters

A proposal to end the ban on recreational shooters using gun silencers is set to go before Victorian Parliament. ABC Rural By Rachel Carbonell, National Regional Reporting Team The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party is introducing a private members’ bill which would make it legal for all licensed shooters to use silencers. Silencers, or suppressors as they are also known, reduce gunshot noise and are strictly controlled throughout Australia. Usually only specialists such as professional hunters and veterinarians are granted ... Read More »

Swedish student prevents deportation of Afghan asylum seeker by refusing to sit down on flight

Live stream of Elin Ersson’s dramatic protest shows how she stands her ground against flight crew and fellow passengers, before her efforts are finally applauded in emotional scenes Adam Withnall Independent A student activist in Sweden single-handedly prevented the deportation of an asylum seeker to Afghanistan, by refusing to sit down on the plane that was due to take him out of the country. Elin Ersson started live-streaming her dramatic protest after flight attendants demanded she sit down for departure and tried to take away ... Read More »

2017 was deadliest year for environmental activism: report

At least 207 activists were killed, with Brazil, the Philippines and Colombia named as the most dangerous countries. Charlotte Mitchell AlJazeera Nearly four land and environmental activists were killed each week in 2017, making it the deadliest year on record, according to a new report by Global Witness. In the report, published on Tuesday, the UK-based watchdog said 207 people lost their lives last year in their fight against companies and governments that seize land and harm the environment. Latin America was once ... Read More »