Then they fight you… Barnett’s new anti-protest laws

The WA Liberal Party’s vague new anti-protest laws are a legal over-reach which reverse the ‘onus of proof’ and damage the credibility of the entire legal system.

Having lost several pet projects to public opposition, Barnett has moved from ignoring and ridiculing activist to trying outlaw us.

The Criminal Code Amendment (Prevention of Lawful Activity) Bill means any person suspected of preparing to use a ‘thing’ to obstruct a ‘legal activity’, could be locked up for 24 months and face huge fines.

Additionally, people charged under these laws will be forced to pay costs associated with their arrest; violent criminals aren’t even forced to pay that.

But these laws will not stop activists from putting our bodies on the line in defence of what we believe in. We know this means we are having an impact, our strategy and tactics are working. We will continue.

It begs a few questions though: Continue reading Then they fight you… Barnett’s new anti-protest laws

LNP’s $500m decision – 1 drone or 1million solar homes? #100daysofblogging #day14

Australia spends big on militaryToday’s posts title pretty much sums it up. At last years election the LNP were promising a to contribute $500 toward installing solar at 1,000,000 Australian homes.

Why has this $500,000,000 renewable energy policy been dumped?

I don’t remember seeing them campaign on ‘building more drones’.  But there is at least $3,500,000,000 in the budget to buy 7 of them. That’s $500,000,000 per drone.

We do not need drones. We are not in the middle of a global war. We should never EVER ‘expect’ to be involved in such a war again.

If such a situation arose, conventional arms would matter little as intercontinental ballistic missiles loaded with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads would rapidly annihilate us all. This ‘mutual destruction’ guarantee has been in place for more than 50 years now. Continue reading LNP’s $500m decision – 1 drone or 1million solar homes? #100daysofblogging #day14

Australian Elections and the Insufficiency of Voting

Electoral politics can be a dirty business, especially in Australia.

The major parties, Labor (ALP) and the Liberal-National Party Coalition (LNP) play an intense, 5-week game of ‘catch-all’ policy making, and try to discredit each other.

This happens between candidates for the House of Representatives, the Senate (at this point Greens & Independents are contenders too), and at a national level between candidates for the Prime Ministership. It all plays out very publicly, streamed around the clock via television networks, media outlets and increasingly through social media and online communities.

Two overly crafted personalities are created and forced down our throats until we are so sick of them, we can’t WAIT to see that voting booth, if only to know all the excessive marketing will be over soon. Then it is over.

We have a new government and either you did or didn’t get what you ‘voted for’. Right?

For me, more often than not I DON’T get what I voted for, though the hung parliament of 2010 is the closest we have come so far. Never so far in Canning, the lower-house electorate I live in.

The truth is the majority of voters never get what they ‘voted for’. Continue reading Australian Elections and the Insufficiency of Voting

May the lesser evil win

I haven’t said much about this election to date; in fact I haven’t said much lately at all. Today is election day here in Australia, the one opportunity that arrives every three years (aside from the very occasional referendum) where we as Australians have a chance to take part in our quasi-democratic process.

There are two major contenders for Government and Prime Minister respectively; John Howard and the Coalition (Liberal Party + National Party); or Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party. Personally I’m voting Greens, whose preferences in turn will go to the Labor Party of Kevin Rudd. The reason I’m voting Greens is because they are the only party with a clear moral compass.

The greens really want to tackle climate change. They want a fair foreign policy which would promote global harmony and would work towards decreasing tensions internationally as opposed to the inflammatory policies of the past. They want better rights for indigenous Australians and refugees. They support sustainable development.

They may not appear to be “economic conservatives” as is the catch-phrase of today, but what does it matter? They don’t have to be economically conservative because they realise they are not going to get in power because the vast majority of Australians are only concerned with what they can see is effecting their own worlds right now. Typically we believe ourselves a “lucky country” immune to all of the struggles which face other nations around the globe such as poverty, starvation, disease, malnutrition and war.

Perhaps we are a lucky country. Perhaps we have not experienced real war in Australia (aside from the British invasion) and it seems a far off issue meant only for backwards nations in far-off lands. Perhaps we do have a strong economy due to the Mining & Resources industry which comes from the rich earth beneath our feat.

But how does all of this give us the right to ignorance and exploitation of our lands and Indigenous people? How does this give us the right to exploit other lands and their people? How does this justify supporting the US political scheme for world dominion? How does this justify our rigid support for the oppression of the Palestinian people who are stuck under the thumb of Israeli extremists ?

What has happened to you Australia? What has happened to the country with world-leading dedication to humanitarian issues and whose pride was in it’s open attitude towards refugees and asylum seekers? Why must you guard your borders like a war-zone and send refugees back to almost certain suffering? Why must you help occupy a country like Iraq and yet refuse to take your share of the large number of refugees created by that conflict? Why must you buy into the politics of fear and worry more about “national security” than about the suffering it causes to others?

The greens have got my vote because they care about these issues; and if you gave two shits’ about them you’d vote greens too. The only problem with that is there’s not enough of us who give a shit to actually elect the greens to power.