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IndyWatch Victorian News Feed was generated at Melbourne VIC IndyWatch.
New data shows that state and territory governments are imprisoning women at an alarmingly and rapidly increasing rate more than double the rate of men.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released data last week that shows governments across Australia are now forcing more than 3,600 women into prisons. This marks an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year - more than double the rate of mens, which increased by four per cent.
Ruth Barson, a Director of Legal Advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, said the human and social toll of state and territory governments funneling thousands of women into prisons is devastating.
Most women behind bars are mothers and survivors of violence. They are being separated from their families and communities. We need a new approach to justice one that prioritises supporting people, rather than dumping them into the quicksand of the prison system, said Ms Barson.
This is the seventh consecutive year in which the number of people in prison has risen. NSW and Victoria have had the highest overall growth, while the Northern Territory Government continues to have the highest imprisonment rate in the country.
The data shows that around 43,000 individuals in Australia will be held behind bars. Ms Barson said the data paints a picture of governments mindlessly hurtling towards a mass-imprisonment crisis.
Our justice system is failing it is rife with unfairness and inequality. Women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disabilities and people falling on tough times are hit hardest by politicians peddling punitive, lock-em-up laws, said Ms Barson.
Governments should be working towards reducing the number of people forced into prisons. There are straight forward reforms like raising the age of criminal responsibility at which children can be sent to prison, ending mandatory sentencing, and decriminalising minor offences like public drunkenness that governments could implement today that would make a huge difference, said Ms Barson.
The data also shows that one in every three people are in prison on remand being held without conviction while their charges are processed. This is an increase of seven per cent over a 12 month period. In Victoria, the number of people on remand increased by an astonishing 22 percent meaning there were almost an additional 500 people who had their liberty removed without being convicted.
Ms Barson said that fixing over the top bail laws is a key transformation needed to make our justice system fair and equitable.
Thousands of people in prison in Australia are there not because theyve been convicted, but...
Texts new edition of Helen Garners 1977 novel Monkey Grip is an opportunity to revisit the books influence on Melbourne. In addition to being widely considered a classic of Australian fiction, Monkey Grip is frequently referred to as an iconic Melbourne novel. Certainly, it is a novel absolutely grounded in and shaped by place. For Nora, the narrator and protagonist, it is the locus of the social encounter and emotional intensity on which the books narrative depends.
Contributed by Ben Wilson
Victorian Construction Forestry Mining Maritime and Energy Union (CFMMEU) leaders John Setka and Shaun Reardon, are suing major concrete maker Boral.
This is the company behind the charges that the two faced, and which were used in the federal governments vendetta to get at the union and its officials. Government representatives made no secret of this, and claimed that charges showed that the accused were not fit to hold office in a union.
Forgotten was the little fact that the circumstances of the charges were suspect and the two had not appeared before a court and been found guilty yet. The intention was always trial by media and the hope that ther outcome before the court would be assured.
But in May, prosecutors dropped the case, because they could not present the evidence needed to secure a guilty verdict.
For Setka and Reardon, this was an immense relief. It also proved how flimsy the case was all along. In the light of this setback, the federal government has been unusually quiet for a change.
A bonus from the defendants and the unions point of view, is that documents have come to light, which show that false statements were made. The accused also have good reason to want their names cleared.
They were charged with blackmail over a heated exchange with representative of the company at a caf in April 2013. There was a dispute over health and safety with developer Grocon, and Boral had been asked not to supply concrete to the site in question. The threat bit is, that the company representatives held that they were threatened with industrial action if they didnt comply.
To most people this is a normal part of industrial relations negotiation. Both sides suggest something will happen, if the other does not go along with what is being put forward. Even this could not be substantiated. a key company document states in black and white, that the accused did not threaten.or otherwise make any unwarranted demand with menaces. This contradicts public statements made.
Setka and Reardon said in their statement, in initiating and maintaining criminal proceedings, the company representatives acted maliciously.
This case and a number of others of a similar nature have far reaching implications. They mark a turn towards less reliance on industrial law and more on the use of criminal law to impose government anti-union agenda and outlaw normal union activity.
Also revealed, is how far the federal government is prepared to go to manufacture trumped up charges against those it sees as its political enemies.
Successfully suing Boral will make it a bit harder to do this in the future.
Contributed by Joe Montero
Members of the Filipino and Australian communities gathered in Melbournes west on sunday 9 December, to observe Human Rights Day and celebrate the heroic grassroots efforts of many, to turn around the ongoing attacks by government, mining companies and other corporations, which are making life more difficult and sometimes.
The event was held at the Seddon Scout Hall in Footscray.
Guest speaker, former member of parliament for Northcote and First Nations leader, Lydia Thorpe, spoke about the worsening position of her people in Australia, under ever more reactionary government and the failure to progress on a proper reconciliation of past wrongs through a negotiated. Although some progress has been made in Victoria, there is still a battle to ensure that all First Nations are involved and the final result matches their aspirations.
Lydia also stressed the importance of all Australians being in involved, and all parts of Australian society having their concerns addressed in the treaty process and its outcome.
One thing was made clear, the First Nations of this country have not been defeated. They have survived, are here today and will keep on fighting until their rights has been won and future secured.
The Second gust speaker, Sister Patricia Fox, an Australian missionary, who has been in the Philippines for 27 years and has recently been expelled, under orders of President Duterte, for her human rights work.
She has been involved in advocating for the poor and is an elected member of the National Council of Kataparan (an alliance of human rights organisations)
Earlier this year, Sister Pat had taken part in a fact-finding mission to Mindanao, where many cases of serious human rights violations were witnessed. She spoke of the plight of farmers losing their land to mining companies and plantation owners, and the taking away of their right to grow food where they had always done so, about the increasing use of military action, incarceration and murder as means of imposing the political will of the Duterte administration. There is an increasing use of trumped up charges to convict and jail individuals seen as political opponents of serious charges, like attempted murder, kidnapping and terrorism. The Philippines is heading towards a new period of martial law.
Weeks before her detention, she had given public support for for
striking Coca Cola workers fighting terrible wages and
Although the situations are very different in each country, there are nevertheless some worrying similarities. In both, the political elite has moved in the direction of degrading human rights, linked to policies designed to enrich the richest few at the...
The last two days - 11-12 September - I attended the Darebin climate emergency conference in northern Melbourne suburb of Northcote. I was one of 350 people that registered and attended. Some good speeches and presentations, interesting panel discussions and useful one-on-one conversations. This was Darebin Council hosting and facilitating this conference as part of it's climate emergency
Retail turnover increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.3 per cent to $27 billion in October 2018.
POPULAR UNREST IN AN AGE OF FALLING PROSPERITY
Between my French origins and the opinions expressed within this little blog, I have taken more than a passing interest in the events happening in France, especially when its fuelled by passionate and restless wwoofers who come from there too! As you will or should know, I believe the real economy runs on energy, not money, and surplus energy in particular as a result, I have been following Tim Morgans Surplus Energy Economics blog for a while, which I would encourage you all to follow too. This is Tims latest gem, which proves that when you do the math. the truth comes out!
This weekend, the authorities plan to field 89,000 police officers across France in response to anticipated further mass protests by the gilets jaunes. In the capital, the Eiffel Tower will be closed and armoured cars deployed, whilst restaurateurs and shopkeepers are being urged to close their businesses at one of the most important times of their trading year.
Though the government has climbed down on the original cause clbre the rises in fuel taxes planned for next year there seems to be no reduction in the worst protests experienced in the country since the 1960s. Reports suggest that as many as 70% of French citizens support the protestors, and that the movement may be spreading to Belgium and the Netherlands.
For the outside observer, the most striking features of the protests in France have been the anger clearly on display, and the rapid broadening of the campaign from fuel prices to a wider range of issues including wages, the cost of living and taxation.
The disturbances in France should be seen in a larger context. In France itself, Emmanuel Macron was elected president only after voters had repudiated all established political parties. Italians have entrusted their government to an insurgent coalition which is on a clear collision-course with the European Union over budgetary matters. The British have voted to leave the EU, and Americans have elected to the White House a man dismissed by experts as a joke candidate throughout his campaign.
Obviously, something very important is going on why?
Does economics explain popular anger?
There are, essentially, two different ways in which the events in France and beyond can be interpreted, and how you look at them depends a great deal on how you see the economic situation.
If you subscribe to the conventional and consensus interpretation, economic issues would seem to play only a supporting role in the wave of popular unrest sweeping mu...
Action Alert: Human Rights Day Refugee Rally to call for end to offshore crisis Refugee supporters will rally on Human Rights Day, 6.30pm December 10 in the Bourke St Mall, calling to end offshore processing and bring the refugees here. The rally will also call on MPs to back the Phelps refugee bill when federal(...)
He normally goes about his work very quietly, very humbly. And as the founder of the Sydney Peace Prize, hes normally in the background promoting other peoples work. But last week Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees couldnt help but be at the centre of attention after he was awarded the inaugural Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize, at a ceremony at state parliament in Victoria.
The award was in recognition of his Professor Rees persistent and courageous advocacy for the human rights of all Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank, Israel, the refugee camps and the Palestinian diaspora generally.
Professor Rees delivered the first Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize lecture as part of the ceremony, and his award was presented by former Foreign Minister and NSW State Premier the Hon Bob Carr on November 29, to coincide with the United Nations Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Nasser Mashni, chair of Australians for Palestine (AfP) and a Board Member of the Australia-Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), said the choice of Professor Rees would help to highlight strong global support for a just outcome for Palestinians, felt by millions around the world.
For all his inspirational work on Palestine nothing reveals more about Stuart Rees humanity than his belief in a simple anecdote about a Palestinian refugee who wanted to discuss with Israeli students his right to return, only to be told you want to kick us out. No, the Palestinian replied, I simply want to live with you, Mr Mashni said.
Mr Mashni said Professor Rees numerous books, anthologies of poetry, and his willingness to write and speak publicly on social justice issues, have seen him described as one of the most humane voices in Australia today.
Those issues have driven his indomitable quest to find out what it really means to be human and to alert us all to our common humanity, said Mr Mashni.
Professor Rees said he felt very honoured to be recognised from amongst the many long-committed voices for Palestine in Australia.
This award comes at a time when Jerusalem is facing great challenges from influential global powers to its UN-protected international status, UN Security Council resolutions, international law and majority consensus. We cannot allow antagonistic voices to weaken the hopes of so many for a peaceful and sustainable solution, he said.
Jerusalems spiritual, cultural and legal character are under serious threat and only a concerted effort of advocacy and activism by people everywhere, can Palestinians possibly hope to see an end to their displacement, eviction and expulsion.
The Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize will now be awarded annually by Australians for Palestine and the Australia-Palestine Advocac...
My name is Grace, Im 16 years old and last week I organised a flotilla a floating protest against deep sea oil drilling in my home of Apollo Bay, Victoria.
Apollo Bay is a small, beautiful town on the Great Ocean Road, located just by the sea. Ive lived here my whole life. When I was much younger, I was kayaking with a mate in the local harbour when a pod of three dolphins swam up beside us and jumped around for a while, so close I could reach out and touch them. It was the most exhilarating and beautiful experience from the ocean.
For us, the ocean is more than just a beautiful view. Its the lifeblood of our community, with tourism and fishing supporting so many families here in Apollo Bay.
But big oil companies are planning to drill for oil off our coast, risking our pristine environment and our way of life.
One thing I love about my community is that we come together to do incredible things like standing up to those greedy oil companies.
One little community can do big things! It got me thinking about what we could achieve if everyone in Australia said no to deep sea oil drilling.
But we need as many people on board as possible.
As a young person, I care deeply about climate change. My generation will have to deal with the consequences of the decisions being made by big fossil fuel companies trashing the environment. I may not be able to vote yet, but I know that Governments have a responsibility to do the right thing by the people they represent.
If enough people no matter their age are talking about protecting the Bight from oil drilling, our politicians will have to listen.
Apollo Bay has a population of just 1500 but on the day of our flotilla, 350 people were out there on the water and on land to protect the oceans we love from oil drilling despite the wind and rai...
The Gillard proxy MTDA wasted no time in jumping on the Victoria Police Informant 3838 issue: Thank you for that comment - you've prompted me to write a fairly rare response to you. Gillard and Murphy weren't Wilson's defense (sic) lawyer. Gillard and Murphy were lawyers for the AWU. They...
TRUE OPINION: Recent scandals in Victoria have highlighted the need for reforms in the way complaints against police are looked at. True Crime News Weekly's Melbourne correspondent, Gary Johnston, explains why it's finally time for police accountability to go further than officers simply investigating their colleagues. [READ MORE]
Anyone confused about why the far right in Australia feels emboldened should probably tune into our federal parliament some time, writes Joshua Badge.
There have always been those who are made profoundly uneasy by ethnic and cultural diversity in this country, but as White Australia began to recede in the latter half of the 20th century those most intolerant of difference found themselves on the fringes of acceptable society.
The 1960s saw the rise of the Nationalist Socialist Party of Australia, but the explicit link to Nazism proved unpopular and the party dissolved before the end of the decade. Next came the Australian National Front which campaigned for warm relations with Britain and deporting non-white immigrants, but similarly fizzled out.
By the 1980s the militant National Action supplanted these groups. Notably, a splinter group of National Action engaged in a spate of assaults and firebombing which a judge memorably called a months-long terrorist campaign. With striking candour, ASIOs 89-90 annual report concluded that the only discernible threat of politically motivated violence comes from the racist right.
Abandoning White Australia meant deserting such illiberal groups, and the public traditionally shunned far-right activity of this kind. Politicians, for their part, refused to engage with them or appeal to their sensibilities. In recent years, however, this is proving not to be the case.
At the forefront of this movement was Reclaim Australia, a protest group which held nation-wide anti-Islam demonstrations around 2015, and loosely associated with hate groups. Other organisations such as Party for Freedom claimed fame by posing for anti-Islam photo stunts and bearing signs which read multiculturalism is genocide.
Extremist groups swiftly followed, such as the neo-Nazi Antipodean Resistance which hosts radicalisation camps where members pose in front of swastikas and pledge allegiance to Hitler. Another group, the United Patriots Front, claims solidarity with...
There are now almost daily suicide attempts among refugees on Manus Island, and no medical facilities to cope with the crisis. The small Pacific International Hospital (PIH) at the East Lorengau compound has only one room to treat emergency patients, so there is no place to care for in-patients, so they are returned unsupervised(...)
Hakeem Al-Araibi has been recognised as a refugee and granted permanent protection by the Australian government. Last week, while he was in Thailand, he was taken by the Thai authorities to an immigration detention centre and told he will not be sent back to Australia.
The Thai authorities informed him that due to an Interpol red notice, he would be deported to Bahrain instead. Today there are reports in the media that the Interpol red notice has been lifted, yet there is no clear sign of guaranteed safety and protection for Hakeem Al-Araibi by Australian and Thai state authorities or International authorities in the UN or ICRC with a protection mandate.
Im a refugee in Australia, Im scared of the Bahraini government They will kill me. I dont know whats going to happen there. My life will end if I go to Bahrain. Hakeem Al Araibi who has been detained in Thailand.
This is a critical case as it sets a further precedent of abuse and torture across the world, and makes us refugees more insecure about travelling outside Australia. It violates our right to freedom of movement, life, safety and protection. RISE has emailed UNHCR Thailand, UN-CAT, The Asia Pacific refugee rights network and our team has contacted UNHCR in Thailand by phone.
We urgently request our supporters to contact Thai and Australian authorities and International agencies listed below and ask them to intervene and stop the deportation of Hakeem Al-Araibi to danger and provide him with proper support and safeguards for safe travel back to Australia.
1. Contact Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Electorate office: (02) 9687 8755
Foreign Affairs: Foreign.firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Australian Ambassador to Thailand. Paul
Phone : 02 344 6300 (Thailand) or 1300 555 135 (Aus)
*[Also contact your local Australian embassies]
3. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) head
office in Canberra
Switchboard: +61 2 6261 1111
Fax: +61 2 6261 3111
4. UNHCR Australia
Phone: 1300 361 288 (within Australia)
+61 (0)2 9262 5377 (overseas).
5. OHCHR | Convention against Torture
6. UNHCR Thailand
Phone : +66 2288 2180
Email : email@example.com
Facsimile: +66 2280 0555
We should stop refugees from being deported to any country where they are likely to face harm and persecution.
The switch from the Greens to the Victorian Socialists represents an encouraging materialist turn. But there remain reasons to be critical of the new party. In part, my scepticism stems from the same source as Tollers optimism: many people involved with the new political party are people who were convinced of the Greens a few years ago.
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