How should we respond to the rise of the far-right?

The rise of the far right in countries around the world is opening up important questions about how the left should respond. While anti-fascist groups have become active, their tactics have been criticised and debated.

Following our interview with Jason Wilson on the threat of the far-right, Green Agenda presents two differing perspectives on how the left should respond to the rise of the far-right. In the first piece Jasmina Brankovich presents a defence of the antifa as a way to organise against right wing groups. Then, in a piece first published in Waging Non-Violence, Kazu Haga argues that tactical non-violent direct action is the best response.

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The Threat Of The Far Right: Why Take It Seriously?

The recent white supremicist rally and murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia have brought attention to the rise of far right groups in the United States. The Australian journalist Jason Wilson, who now lives in Portland, has been reporting on the rise of these groups since the election of Donald Trump. Prior to attending a far-right rally hosted by the organisation ‘Patriot Prayer’ in Portland, Green Agenda editor Simon Copland sat down with Wilson to talk about Donald Trump, the rise of far-right in the U.S., and how the left should respond.

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Community As The Antidote: Social Justice And Populism

Green Agenda editor Clare Ozich participated in a discussion on social justice and populism at a Conversation Salon organised and moderated by Muslim feminist and social justice advocate and entrepreneur Hana Assafiri.

Below is an edited transcript of Clare’s remarks and Hana’s response. The conversation was an excellent example of plurality and building on ideas to establish a contemporary and relevant inclusive discourse. Continue reading →

The Trouble With Consensus Is … We Don’t Do It Enough

Co-founder of the Victorian Greens Facilitators Network, Jim Buckell, responds to Sarah Maddison

In her interview with Clare Ozich in Green Agenda, Sarah Maddison puts consensus decision making under the spotlight. In doing so, she perpetuates some common myths: it’s too slow; makes for bad decisions; marginalises dissent. Then she advances a new one (to me anyway): it can apparently be impossibly difficult to review or overturn an old consensus decision.

I’m certain these pitfalls are not systemic. They don’t arise because consensus is a flawed concept. These myths take hold because so few of us see consensus practised well, including Sarah Maddison I suspect. Groups take all manner of shortcuts or press to a vote because of time constraints. Continue reading →

Forests Not Woodlots

This article was written in response to Rosemary Beaumont’s article: It is Everyone’s Forest

Rosemary Beaumont’s article is timely. The Great Southern Forest is part of a larger picture which will see the fate of over 6 million hectares of Australia’s most loved native forests decided between now and 2021. Either they will be handed to the logging industry for another 20 years, effectively to become woodlots, or the federal government will resume environmental oversight and give the forests a chance. Continue reading →

International climate agreements: useful or useless?

Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has put the status of the international processes on climate change in doubt. In this discussion Green Agenda editor Simon Copland and researcher Felicity Gray debate whether Trump’s withdrawal should mean the end of the international climate process.

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Is Social Democracy Ever Coming Back?

As labour parties and their political projects appear to recede deeper into irrelevance in every election around Europe, we might wonder whether the death knell ring has rung for social democracy. But what remains to be seen is whether this trajectory will continue, whether the political landscape is in the process of shifting irreversibly – and if so how Greens can assert their place in it, and their vision for a new social democratic pact?

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Towards a four-day work week

We started the company, two of us in a room, working five eight-hour days, and late if we had to: the same hours we were used to at the advertising agency we’d just left, scrounging for work, taking what we could get.

Little by little we got better at what we did, and after two or three years we’d improved our skills and our processes, grown to five people, and we were in a position to do something with that productivity. So we started taking Fridays off. Continue reading →