Refugee Justice in the Global Crisis: Where to from Here?

Pessoptimism, noun, the inextricably intertwined feelings of hope and despair, of desire and knowledge, under the current untenable political conditions

Stephen Wright describes aptly the state of refugee justice in Australia today as a symptom of much broader malaise:

‘The existence of the detention centre on Nauru is a critical marker of the failure of our ability to maintain a commons, and of the failure of the Left’s imagination. The self-immolations of Hodar Yasin and Omid Masoumali are not just the suffering of offshore detention made visible. They are our commons burning.’1 Continue reading →


  1. Stephen Wright, ‘On Setting Yourself on Fire’, Overland, Summer 2016, winner of the Overland/NUW Fair Australia Prize. 

Legacy of the Russian Revolution: An interview with Bea Campbell

In a wide-ranging interview, UK writer and political commentator, Bea Campbell, spoke to Green Agenda editor, Clare Ozich, about the legacy of the Russian Revolution and communism; feminism and the end of equality; Green politics; and the current state of UK politics.

 

 

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Public debates on rights: necessary and positive

Green Agenda co-editor, Simon Copland, responds to Hayley Conway and Mary Tomsic 

In Voting on the Rights of Others Hayley Conway argued against public votes on the rights of others as “a vote affirming the rights of a minority doesn’t lead to systemic change.” She continued:

“Systemic change is needed to end discrimination. Winning the ‘yes’ vote in the postal survey will not end homophobia and the campaign itself has given great licence for public homophobia, abuse, and misinformation.”

I think Conway has created a straw man with this argument, refuting something that no one has ever claimed about the postal survey on marriage equality, or the use of the public votes on rights in general.

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Democracy In Colour: An Interview With Tim Lo Surdo

Green Agenda editor Clare Ozich spoke with Tim Lo Surdo, Founder and National Director of Democracy in Colour, Australia’s first national racial justice advocacy organisation led by people of colour. Tim and Clare disucssed Democracy in Colour’s purpose and mission, the nature of racism in Australia and the connections between different forms of oppression.

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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 →

Queer Liberation: an interview with Dennis Altman

Green Agenda editor Clare Ozich and member of the editorial panel Simon Copland sat down with the academic and gay rights activist Dennis Altman in September 2015. Altman is best known for his pioneering book Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation, released in 1971. He recently released a retrospective of his work,The End of the Homosexual?, in 2013. In this conversation Clare, Simon and Dennis discuss all things queer, with a mix of Australian politics in there as well. Continue reading →

Response by Ken Blackman to “No One is Illegal”

A Response: Stagnation and Closed Minds – Australian Refugee Activism Now                  

“No One is Illegal” is a very interesting attempt to move action in support of asylum-seeking forward in Australia. I especially agree with Brankovich’s conclusions about the impasse currently facing the ‘refugee movement’ here. However, her prescription for a divestment movement aimed at corporations benefitting from government refugee / asylum-seeker policy and practice faces real problems. Continue reading →

No One is Illegal

Negotiating Free Markets, Closed Borders, and Refugee Activism in the Neoliberal Era

Rethinking borders, the state, and human rights

There is a paradox at the heart of the state’s play with, and negotiation of, the meaning ascribed to human rights, border-control and the inflated importance of protection against ‘terrorism’, in the context of a globalised neoliberal world economy. There is a weakening of state authority over controls that enable a free and unencumbered transition of capital across nation-states and continents, across maritime borders, and across artificial custom, ‘border protection’ and quarantine lines. And yet, the borders which people traverse, whilst escaping persecution, torture, or murder have never been stronger, and have never been so intensely policed, surveilled, or encumbered as they are now. Continue reading →

Response by Melanie Lowe to “The oldest game in town”

In his essay ‘The Oldest Game in Town’ Senator Scott Ludlam eloquently describes cities as complex systems that are dependent on the natural environment. He argues for the need for systemic change to our cities, re-orienting them towards more environmentally sustainable forms of infrastructure and economic activity. Senator Ludlam points towards the benefits this could have for the liveability of urban environments and the lifestyles of residents. Continue reading →

The Oldest Game In Town

Scott Ludlam explores the current nature of our cities and provides a hopeful outlook for their future in “The oldest game in town”. This essay is the second of a series, the first of which, “Checkmate”, grapples with the implications of a never-ending growth economy. A short introduction from the Editors to “the oldest game in town” can be found here.

Take a short walk from our main railway station and you’ll pass into the Perth Cultural Centre, a space that for a fair while existed as an angular brick quadrangle linking the state library, museum and contemporary arts institute with the cheerful jumble of the Northbridge entertainment district. A few years ago the City commissioned an unusual transformation off to one side of this place: the sharp geometry of a bleak modernist pond was broken up and planted in with native reeds and paperbarks growing out between worn granite boulders. On a warm night after the rain, you’ll see members of the local frog community checking each other out on the margins of this re-imagined wetland. Even as the bustle of evening commuters flows past in a blur of conversation and studied attention to mobile devices, this place has a meditative quality to it. Pause here, briefly, and the city’s forgotten geography of seasonal lakes can be brought back into memory, even if you can’t recall their ancient names just yet. Continue reading →