Liberation For Whom? Queer Anti-War Activism And Military Inclusion

This article was originally published on Waging Nonviolence

An anti-war banner carried during the Twin Cities Pride Parade in the Twin Cities in 2013. (Flickr/Tony Webster)

Is all inclusion good inclusion?

Mainstream LGBTQ groups like the Human Rights Campaign promote any increase in gay representation as good — even representation in some of the world’s most deadly organizations, like the U.S. military and the Central Intelligence Agency.

“It’s either you’re with Trump and against trans military service, or you celebrate trans military service as a wonderful thing for trans people,” said Dean Spade, co-founder of a New York-based trans justice organization called the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. A few weeks after participating in a Queer Anti-Militarism Town Hall held in Seattle’s Public Library on April 2, Spade spoke about how a network of queer anti-war activists is working to undo the mainstream narrative.

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Understanding Gaza: What, Why And How To Respond

From Friday, 30th of March this year, Palestinians in Gaza began holding weekly demonstrations. Though the protests have received some coverage in Australia, and some response from the Left, many have not understood the significant of the events, or how we can productively relate to them.

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Green Agenda | Towards Ecological Democracy

Towards Ecological Democracy – Part 2

This is part two of Tim Hollo’s essay, Towards Ecological Democracy. To read part one, go here.

Be part of the conversation! We’d love to hear your thoughts on Tim’s ideas. We’re looking for comments and responses covering any parts of Tim’s essay. Your response can be long or short, critical or positive. If you’d like to respond, get in contact here. 

“Connecting everything”: implementing ecological democracy

If that’s the conceptualisation of the new politics, what might it mean in practice, and how can we make it happen?

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Green Agenda | Towards Ecological Democracy

Towards Ecological Democracy – Part 1

Be part of the conversation! We’d love to hear your thoughts on Tim’s ideas. We’re looking for comments and responses covering any parts of Tim’s essay. Your response can be long or short, critical or positive. If you’d like to respond, get in contact here. 

Introduction

In 2018, the issues that the Greens have made our focus for a generation –environmental destruction, corrupted politics, overwhelming corporate power, and permanent war – are more urgent than ever. At the same time, the cultural dominance of neoliberal capitalism is collapsing, with the ideas it is based on facing a crisis of legitimacy, and the institutions that hold it in place looking increasingly shaky.

Yet the Greens political project appears stalled, not just in Australia, but around the world. The huge steps of a decade ago have not been lost, but neither has the pace picked up to match the urgency of the crises we face.

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Can Art Really Make A Difference?

Can Art Really Make A Difference?

Can art really make a difference? In this article republished from The Conversation, Associate Professor Joanna Mendelssohn argues that in the creation of art, we can challenge assumed knowledge and power and “awaken the conscience of the world”, acting as witnesses to crimes against people and the environment, and enabling others to view the world differently.
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How Do You Solve A Problem Like Analytica?

The extraordinary revelations from the Observer/Channel 4 investigation into the practices of the digital marketing firm Cambridge Analytica have, like many a great internet controversy, produced great outrage but few answers or ways forward. People are rightly horrified at the prospect of such comprehensive personal information being used to manipulate them by the million, but also daunted by the task of correcting it.

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What Even Is Democracy?

By Nick-D (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In October 2017 Green Agenda hosted two lively debates at the Green Institute Conference: “Everything is Connected”. This is the edited audio and transcript of the first of these discussions, titled “What Even Is Democracy?”.

In this conversation, hosted by Green Agenda co-editor Simon Copland, three speakers — Clare Ozich, Stephen Healy and Joan Staples — answered key questions about the nature of democracy. Panelists discussed what it is that we mean by ‘democracy’, why our democratic institutions are in crisis, and what we can do about it.

Thanks to the Green Institute for hosting such an engaging conference, and to Clare, Joan and Stephen for appearing on this panel.

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Lost In The Numbers: The Missing Politics Of Big Data

Everyone encounters big data: via social media, financial transactions and public transport. Although all of these things are useful and fascinating, they simultaneously arouse feelings of discomfort: how far does the – largely invisible – influence of all of these data collections reach? In this article republished from Green European Journal, they interview Marleen Stikker, an expert who has been following developments in this sphere since the beginning of the digital era.

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Turned Upside Down: Fake News And The Future Of The Media

A revolution is taking place in our communication. Across the world, structures have collapsed because of their dependence on a funding model that no longer works. This has allowed new digital platforms to expand their reach ever further, and to tighten their grip on the information we circulate and are exposed to. Fake news is thriving in this new media environment – presenting a threat to our democratic societies which we underestimate at our peril. In this article republished from the Green European Journal, they sat down with Aidan White from the Ethical Journalism Network to discuss what fake news means for our society.

Green European Journal: How would you describe the media landscape today, and the main changes which have been occurring?

Aidan White: The landscape has been transformed by technology, essentially by the internet, in a way that allows us as individuals to have more choice and access to faster information from a greater range of sources. But this has come at a high price – that of our privacy and protection, and our access to pluralist and reliable information.

The capacity of social networks to provide rapid information has meant that the role of journalism to inform people about news events has become less important. But what has not changed is the need for reliable and accurate information to help us better understand the impact and consequences of events, and that also provides context – not just reporting a series of facts but explaining why things are happening. While social media can provide us with instantaneous coverage of an incident or disaster, we often miss the filter that journalism provides, for instance to provide news while sheltering others, especially vulnerable people such as children, from views or images that can be damaging. There is no moderation because the tech companies have always said they leave the content generation to users without interfering with it. This has left the door open to unscrupulous communication, such as special interest groups who are only interested in pursuing their own narrow agenda, not the public interest.

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Time To Bump Peace Up The Agenda

Australia has been constantly at war for 16 years, by far the longest stretch ever. Being at war has become the normal state of affairs for us. We spend $95 million every day on war and its preparation, even though the 2016 Defence White Paper said that the prospect of another country invading Australia in the foreseeable future is remote.

Our wars receive very little discussion, as if the need for them is self-evident. Our elected representatives are not consulted about proposed deployments of troops, what they are meant to do on our behalf, whether the proposal is even legal, and what the costs (human, environmental, economic, political) might be. There is zero debate in parliament on these things and no vote on them. The lessons from the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq, which Australia joined on the decision of one man, PM John Howard, are stark but unheeded.

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