Civil Rights & Democracy

Issue 40 - November-December 2012

By Andrew Martin

One of the main barriers for refugees seeking asylum and residency in Australia is ASIO’s security assessments. These are conducted on an arbitrary basis, with very little recourse for refugees to challenge decisions against them.Typically, the assessments take many months or even years, and refugees have no access to their findings.

Against racism and Islamophobia and for the right to protest

The Revolutionary Socialist Party unreservedly condemns the New South Wales Police force for its September 14 assault on protesters who were peacefully demonstrating against a racist video attacking Islam.

The NSW government has passed “consorting” laws as part of a suite of “anti-bikie” laws in the Crimes Amendment (Consorting and Organised Crime) Bill. These laws have such a wide scope that they can be used to criminalise anyone.The former offence of consorting in the Crimes Act was repealed and a new offence inserted.

By James Balowski

Jakarta – Reneging on a pledge to apologise and make reparations for the victims of the 1965 anti-communist purge, when Suharto and the military seized power, the government of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is now parroting the New Order regime’s myth that the killings were justified to save the country from communism.

Issue 38 - February-April 2012

By James Balowski

Jakarta – A civil servant who posted “God does not exist” on his Facebook page has been arrested and charged under Indonesia’s draconian anti-blasphemy law. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail if found guilty.

By James Balowski

Jakarta – A group of music lovers organising a charity concert in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh are the latest victims of the province’s discriminatory and abusive sharia laws. The 64 youths were released on December 23 after undergoing 10 days of “moral rehabilitation” in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.

By Doug Lorimer

Tunisian President Ben Ali’s ignominious flight into exile in Saudi Arabia on January 14, 2011, after a month of strikes and street protests throughout Tunisia, set in motion a cascade of popular anti-despotic revolts across the Arab world that culminated in the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on February 11, 2011.

Issue 37 - December-January 2012

By Kim Bullimore

More than 100,000 Egyptians packed Tahrir (Liberation) Square on Friday, November 27 for the ninth consecutive day since new protests began on November 18, calling for democracy, social justice and an end to the military’s control of the country.

Issue 35 - September 2011

By Owain Jones

A 100 strong anti-racist rally was held in Brisbane on August 6. The rally was called in response to a protest organised by the far-right racist group, Australian Patriots Defence Movement (APDM). The APDM takes its inspiration from the racist English Defence League – the same group that inspired the gunman who slaughtered nearly 100 people last month in Norway.

Issue 34 - August 2011

By Sam King

In just five months, Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has used up the good will it generated in January and February when the army high command did not attempt to crush the protest movement that forced Hosni Mubarak from power.

By Zely Ariane

It was not just for the sake of democracy that the Indonesian people overthrew Suharto’s New Order dictatorship in May 1998, but also for justice and prosperity.

By Andrew Martin

An Indonesian youth, Hadi Kurniawan, imprisoned on charges of people-smuggling, has drawn attention to the Australian government and legal system’s brazen disregard for human rights. Kurniawan’s case came to light almost by accident. Two refugee rights activists, Gerry Georgatos and Victoria Martin-Iverson, met Kurniawan at the Perth Immigration Detention Centre in January.

By Max Lane

On July 29, six leaders of the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) were released from prison, 34 days after their arrest on June 25. Their release was a result of the tremendous sustained and energetic campaign that received broad support, especially in Malaysia.

Issue 33 - June-July 2011

By John Percy

An awakening is occurring across the Arab world – a mass uprising in political activity and consciousness, already resulting in revolutionary mobilisations overthrowing dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt and threatening others.

By Kirat Kaur

May 7 was a turning point in Singapore’s political history. Singaporeans went to the polls that day in the country’s 16th parliamentary elections, and by the next morning it had become clear that the political mood has shifted in this island nation.

By Sam King

The international capitalist media have largely ignored the tumultuous developments in Egypt unfolding under the pressure of a massive movement for change. Most coverage since the resignation of former president Hosni Mubarak on February 11 has been uncritical reportage of “sectarian” violence.

Issue 32 - May 2011

By Sam King

More than a million people filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square on April 8 in the biggest show of strength from the Egyptian mass movement since February 18, when a similar number celebrated the fall of dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Issue 29 - February 2011

By Nick Everett

Following the hasty departure of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, Tunisia’s uprising has continued to mobilise across the country against the fake “national unity” government imposed upon it by the dictator’s cronies, desperate to cling to power.

Issue 26 - September 2010

By Myo Nyunt and Win Padauk Wah Han

Burma’s military dictatorship is preparing so-called elections on November 7, based on the sham 2008 constitution, which was crafted to further strengthen and legitimise permanent military power. Under that constitution, the military is guaranteed at least 25% of the seats.

By Sam King

On June 20, 2009, in Melbourne, Sam King was riding home on his bicycle. When trying to pass the Retro Cafe in Fitzroy, he was pulled off his bike, bashed, handcuffed and jailed. Two of the 25 witnesses to the assault were themselves bashed for questioning the police perpetrators. One was also jailed. The other, an 18-year-old woman, was hospitalised with face wounds.

Issue 25 - August 2010

By Barry Sheppard

San Francisco – The firing of African American Shirley Sherrod from her job with the Department of Agriculture, where she worked to help the rural poor for decades, has again brought to the fore the oppression of black people.

By Kim Bullimore

Haneen Zoabi, a member of the Israeli Knesset, was stripped of her parliamentary privileges on July 13 following her participation in the Gaza flotilla, which was attacked by Israeli commandos who murdered nine human rights activists.

By Ambrose Andrews

US military authorities announced the laying of charges against Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old military intelligence analyst, on July 6. Manning was accused of leaking classified US military information through the whistle-blower web site Wikileaks.

Issue 19 - February 2010

By Max Lane

Abdurrahman Wahid, the president of Indonesia between 1999 and 2001, died on December 30, aged 69. His death was met by a wave of commentary and discussion praising his contribution to Indonesian society, especially from the humanitarian and liberal democratic sectors: intellectuals, NGOS and human rights advocates.

Issue 15 - September 2009

By Marcus Pabian

Members of the Venezuelan parliament passed the Organic Education Law on August 14.