Democratic rights under attack in Australia

Australian asylum seekers stripped of minimal welfare payments

By Max Newman, 11 April 2018

As of this month, over 12,000 refugees are at risk of being left destitute and forced to return to the countries they fled.

Australia proposes visas for white South Africans

By Max Newman and Mike Head, 6 April 2018

Home Affairs Minister Dutton insists white farmers deserve “special attention” for humanitarian visas.

Australia: Victorian police assault disability pensioner

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 April 2018

Captured on CCTV footage, the incident graphically exposes the impunity with which police officers brutalise working class people, especially the poor and the vulnerable.

Geoffrey Rush lawsuit strikes blow against anti-democratic #MeToo campaign

By Richard Phillips and James Cogan, 22 March 2018

A judge ruled that the Murdoch media could not substantiate the allegations of sexual misconduct it made against acclaimed Australian actor Geoffrey Rush.

Australian government to push through anti-democratic “foreign interference” bills

By Mike Head, 17 March 2018

Submissions to a parliamentary committee provided chilling examples of how the legislation will eviscerate freedom of political expression and organisation.

Australia: SEP meeting discusses government-media campaign over “African gangs”

By our reporters, 17 March 2018

The SEP has led a fight within the working class against the provocative hysteria against young people of African origin.

Australia: Bileola residents protest at pre-dawn removal of Tamil refugee family

By Max Newman, 15 March 2018

People in a Queensland rural town are outraged at the pre-dawn Australian Border Force raid to seize and imprison a local family.

Australian pseudo-left promotes Labor Party, Greens at “African gangs” rally

By our reporters, 13 February 2018

The speakers pushed an amalgam of identity politics and Australian nationalism, and encouraged illusions in the parliamentary establishment and police.

Australian government used ASIO to stop refugees obtaining visas

By Max Newman, 12 February 2018

A recently-published secret cabinet submission proves that the Coalition government formally asked the spy agency to stall security clearances for officially-recognised refugees.

Anti-China dossier highlights target of Australian “foreign interference” bills

By Mike Head, 10 February 2018

A parliamentary submission depicts Chinese Australians as participants in a subversive Chinese Communist Party network.

Australia: Why the RTBU is muzzling railworkers

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 February 2018

Having used the ruling of the Fair Work Commission to suppress a strike, for which rail workers voted, the Rail, Tram and Bus Union is trying to silence them and censor any expressions of opposition.

Australian Labor Party parliamentarian resigns over dual citizenship furore

By Patrick O’Connor, 5 February 2018

David Feeney’s case underscores the reactionary character of the ongoing witch hunt.

Australian government defies criticism of sweeping “foreign interference” bills

By Mike Head, 3 February 2018

The attorney-general suggested that the critics are playing into the hands of enemies seeking to damage Australia’s “national interests.”

Australian cabinet files affair used to ramp-up “security” and US intelligence ties

By Mike Head, 2 February 2018

The ABC’s supposedly “alarming” discovery of the documents is being exploited to support sweeping new “foreign interference” bills.

Australian government unveils sweeping anti-democratic “foreign interference” bills

Part 3: Far-reaching measures against political dissent

By Mike Head, 2 February 2018

Old “treasonous” offences are being “modernised” for a new period of war and political convulsions.

Australian government unveils sweeping anti-democratic “foreign interference” bills

Part 2: Criminalising overseas links and donations

By Mike Head, 1 February 2018

These measures have serious implications for freedom of political expression and organisation.

Australian government unveils draconian “foreign interference” bills

Part 1: Preparing for war against China

By Mike Head, 31 January 2018

The legislation, targeting alleged “improper influence” by China and other “foreign states,” will have far-reaching consequences for free speech and political dissent.

Another rapid rise in Australia’s prison population

By John Harris, 30 January 2018

The 40 percent increase over the past five years points to the escalating impact of “law and order” campaigns, anti-democratic bail laws and punitive sentencing requirements.

New evidence of mistreatment in Western Australian juvenile prison

By Eric Ludlow, 27 January 2018

Amnesty International documents ongoing abuses amounting to torture in a youth detention centre.

Australian government continues deportations of New Zealanders

By Tom Peters, 17 January 2018

New Zealanders who have spent most of their lives in Australia are being detained and expelled for minor offences or on “character” grounds.

Australian media promotes fascists amid growing racist hysteria over “African gangs”

By Patrick Kelly, 16 January 2018

Channel 7 news aired an “exclusive” report on a meeting of fascistic organisations, promoting their vigilantism as “a kind of neighbourhood watch.”

Australian workers, youth speak out against witch-hunt over “African gangs”

By our reporters, 13 January 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters conducted interviews about the xenophobic “anti-gang” campaign being fuelled by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his government, in tandem with the Murdoch media.

Australian government spent $4 billion last year repelling or detaining refugees

By Max Newman, 12 January 2018

Budget estimates reveal the massive cost of Australia’s anti-asylum measures.

Australian government promotes racist diversion over so-called “African gangs”

By Patrick Kelly, 5 January 2018

Turnbull has sent a clear message that his government’s agenda for 2018 will consist of draconian new “law and order” measures, along with nationalist and racist hysteria.

Australian police handed more military weaponry

By John Roberts, 30 December 2017

The provision of assault rifles to the New South Wales riot squad is part of an international process of police militarisation to deal with growing social tensions.

Australian dramatic arts workers defend Geoffrey Rush, denounce #MeToo witch-hunt

By our reporters, 29 December 2017

“There’s nothing progressive about the #MeToo campaign. Its methods attack long established legal rights.”

First “foreign fighter” arrest in Australia

By Mike Head, 23 December 2017

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton seized upon Betka’s arrest to justify the creation of the government’s “security” super-ministry.

Australian university overturns student union election result

By Will Morrow, 22 December 2017

The University of Wollongong administration’s intervention is part of a broader crackdown on students’ democratic rights across the country.

Australian government returns refugees to Sri Lanka

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 December 2017

Successive Labor and Liberal-National governments have forcibly deported asylum-seekers to Colombo, where they face imprisonment and torture.

Beijing warns against Australia’s anti-China campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 December 2017

The Chinese regime is fearful that the Australian government’s draconian “foreign interference” legislation could be used as a precedent by the US and its allies.

Australian Labor senator resigns amid anti-China witch-hunt

By Oscar Grenfell, 13 December 2017

Dastyari was denounced as a “double agent” for his dealings with Chinese businessmen in a McCarthyite campaign spearheaded by the establishment media and intelligence agencies.

Anti-China witch-hunt in Australia escalates

By Peter Symonds, 11 December 2017

The campaign is being driven by the Australian intelligence agencies—backed to the hilt by Washington—amid the growing danger of a US war against North Korea and China.

Australian workers, actors, filmmakers oppose the “trial by media” of Geoffrey Rush

By our reporters, 11 December 2017

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this kind of thing only happens to celebrities.”

Australian actor Geoffrey Rush fights back, suing Daily Telegraph for defamation

By Richard Phillips and Linda Tenenbaum, 9 December 2017

Many in the industry are deeply opposed to this new McCarthyism and they are starting to speak out.

Stephen Sewell denounces media witch-hunt against Geoffrey Rush

By Richard Phillips, 9 December 2017

The Australian screen writer, playwright and novelist draws out the dangerous political implications of the trial by media persecution of Geoffrey Rush.

China condemns Australian “anti-China hysteria and paranoia”

By Peter Symonds, 7 December 2017

The Chinese embassy statement followed the announcement of new legislation expanding treason and espionage laws and outlawing “foreign interference” in Australian politics.

Underpayment of international students and backpackers commonplace in Australia

By George Morley, 7 December 2017

Thousands of young people temporarily working in Australia are paid less than the official minimum wage and a small but significant minority work under slave-like conditions.

Australian government foreshadows draconian anti-foreign interference laws

By Peter Symonds, 6 December 2017

The new laws are aimed at criminalising anti-war opposition as Australia integrates into the US military build-up in Asia and its drive to war against North Korea and China.

Anti-China witch-hunt against Australian senator reveals extensive US-backed surveillance

By Mike Head, 5 December 2017

Extensive intelligence leaks are feeding a far-reaching media and political campaign, under pressure from Washington, to suppress alleged Chinese influence in Australia.

Acclaimed Australian actor Geoffrey Rush becomes the latest witch-hunt victim

By James Cogan, 2 December 2017

The Murdoch media is circulating unsubstantiated allegations, made by an unidentified individual, in an attempt to destroy Rush’s career.

Intelligence agency involved in latest Australian “terror” scare

By Richard Phillips, 2 December 2017

ASIO’s involvement raises questions about the long record of the police and intelligence agencies seeking to recruit and manipulate vulnerable young men.

Australian Greens use dual citizenship witch-hunt to cement right-wing credentials

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 November 2017

The Greens have been the chief proponents of a nationalist campaign in recent months demanding that parliamentarians hold “undivided allegiance” to the Australian state.

The global processes behind the parliamentary crisis in Australia

By James Cogan, 17 November 2017

The witch-hunt against “dual citizens” in parliament is part of a calculated attempt to create a war-time political atmosphere.

MP disqualification crisis engulfs Australian government

By Mike Head, 10 November 2017

A full-scale McCarthyite witch-hunt is underway, with every MP being required to prove their citizenship “purity.”

Australia: Thousands protest persecution of refugees on Manus Island

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 November 2017

Rally organisers sought to divert widespread anger over the dire plight of 600 refugees behind impotent appeals to the Coalition government, and support for Labor’s re-election.

Australian government starves refugees on Manus Island

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 November 2017

Contractors hired by the Liberal-National government emptied water tanks before leaving the facility Tuesday, while the Papua New Guinea navy is blocking emergency food deliveries.

More MPs face disqualification after Australian Senate president quits

By Mike Head, 2 November 2017

Parry’s resignation demonstrates that what has become, in effect, a nationalist purge of parliament, is far from over.

Refugees on Manus Island face catastrophe at hands of Australian detention regime

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 November 2017

Asylum seekers have been left without food, water and electricity, and face the prospect of an armed assault by Papua New Guinea police and military personnel.

Australian government orders police raids on union offices

By Mike Head, 26 October 2017

Australia increasingly resembles a police state, with well-publicized raids carried out in pursuit of unstated political aims.

Australian spy agency promotes anti-China witch-hunt

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 October 2017

ASIO’s allegation that “foreign powers” are seeking to influence “public opinion” will be used to crackdown on opposition to US plans for war with China.

The Australian marriage equality survey: An exercise in political division and diversion

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 19 October 2017

The aim of both the Coalition government and the Labor Party opposition is to institutionalise the treatment of same sex couples as second-class citizens.

Australian governments unveil sweeping new police powers

By Mike Head, 6 October 2017

The latest measures clearly extend far beyond combatting purported terrorist threats, and severely erode the civil liberties of the entire population.

Few refugees leave Australian detention camps under US “swap” deal

By Max Newman, 29 September 2017

About 50 heavily-vetted detainees out of more than 2,000 are being transferred to unknown US locations.

Australian government plans anti-democratic laws on pretext of Chinese “sub-espionage”

By Oscar Grenfell, 26 September 2017

The proposed legislation is aimed at criminalising opposition to the US-Australian plans for war against China.

Australian media targets universities in new anti-China campaign

By Oscar Grenfell, 23 September 2017

The corporate press is reviving hysterical accusations of “Chinese influence” in Australia, this time targeting university research projects and international students.

Australian government’s “media reform” boosts conglomerates

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 September 2017

The new legislation removes any, even nominal, impediment to the further concentration of media ownership within a handful of powerful corporations.

Australia: Turnbull government expands “cashless welfare card”

By Richard Phillips, 12 September 2017

The punitive social welfare system is part of an escalating bi-partisan assault on the most vulnerable sections of society.

Australian High Court sanctions deportations of Sri Lankan refugees

By Mike Head, 11 September 2017

The ruling is an indictment of the last Greens-backed Australian Labor government.

Australian High Court permits bogus postal vote on marriage equality

By Mike Head, 8 September 2017

The judges averted an immediate political crisis and gave the go-ahead for an unprecedented plebiscite on an elementary legal and democratic right.

Australian government strips asylum seekers of all housing and welfare payments

By Max Newman, 4 September 2017

The government’s actions have provoked widespread outrage, with thousands of people offering sanctuary to the refugees.

Turnbull government defends reported killing of Australian children in Syria

By Mike Head, 25 August 2017

If proven, it would be the first known case of the government facilitating the targeted assassination of Australian citizens since the “war on terrorism” was launched.

Australian High Court sanctions illegal detention of refugees in Papua New Guinea

By Max Newman and Mike Head, 24 August 2017

The judges rejected a challenge to incarceration on Manus Island despite the PNG Supreme Court last year ruling it was an unconstitutional deprivation of liberty.

Right-wing Australian senator stages anti-Muslim “stunt” in federal parliament

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 August 2017

Labor and Liberal-National MPs, who incessantly promote xenophobic nationalism, feigned moral outrage over Pauline Hanson entering parliament wearing a burka.

Another Australian cabinet minister faces disqualification

By Mike Head, 18 August 2017

A furore over dual citizenship of members of parliament is now throwing into doubt the survival of the Liberal-National Coalition government.

Australian deputy prime minister facing disqualification as dual citizen

By Mike Head, 15 August 2017

The loss of the deputy prime minister’s vote would leave the Liberal-National government without a majority in the House of Representatives.

An anti-democratic witch-hunt in Australia over dual citizenship

By Mike Head, 10 August 2017

Question marks are being placed over the basic democratic rights of millions of people who were born overseas or had a parent born overseas.

Charges against Australian “terror” suspects only raise new questions

By Mike Head, 5 August 2017

The laying of charges came as the government was increasingly under pressure to justify the police anti-terror raids and the subsequent turmoil created in Australian airports.

Contradictions mount in latest Australian terrorism scare

By Mike Head, 3 August 2017

The release of one of the detained men without charge raises further questions about lurid claims of a supposed “aeroplane plot.”

Government, media stoke fear following latest terrorist allegations in Australia

By Mike Head, 1 August 2017

If the men being held for interrogation are ultimately charged with conspiracy or other terrorist-related offences, it will be virtually impossible for them to receive a fair trial.

Terrorist plot allegedly prevented in Australia

By James Cogan, 31 July 2017

It is necessary for people to keep a grip on their critical faculties and their adherence to the fundamental democratic principle: innocent until proven guilty.

Australian government implements far-reaching restructure of intelligence agencies

By Mike Head, 31 July 2017

The state apparatus is being prepared to repress political disaffection over deepening social inequality, austerity and the drive to war.

Australian police kill mentally-ill man at Sydney’s main train station

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 July 2017

Police shot a suicidal individual four times in the head and chest, even though he was holding only a pair of scissors.

Murdoch media widens citizenship witch-hunt in Australian parliament

By Mike Head, 28 July 2017

The “MP fiasco” is intensifying the political instability produced by the growing collapse of popular support for the major parties.

Disqualification threats hang over Australian MPs

By Mike Head, 22 July 2017

A witch hunt has been launched to identify every member of parliament who was born overseas or might have dual citizenship.

Australian government to establish a “security” super-ministry

By Mike Head, 20 July 2017

Prime Minister Turnbull’s announcement represents another major step toward creating a police-state apparatus.

Australia: Unanswered questions over police killing of Melbourne teenager

By Will Morrow, 12 July 2017

Australia’s intelligence agency ASIO appears to have been in communication with Numan Haider before police shot him.

Australian government summarily deports more Sri Lankan refugees

By Max Newman, 11 July 2017

Six asylum seekers were captured by the Australian Navy and forcibly deported to face possible torture and imprisonment.

Australian government ministers make last-minute apology in terrorism contempt case

By Mike Head, 1 July 2017

If the ministers had not retracted their comments, they could have been prosecuted for contempt of court, endangering the Turnbull government’s survival.

Australian intelligence agency demands sweeping powers to suppress Chinese “interference”

By James Cogan, 22 June 2017

ASIO asserts that political opposition to Australian and US policy toward China could be the result of “foreign influence.”

Australian prime minister ridicules Trump as a buffoon and Russian stooge

By James Cogan, 16 June 2017

Malcolm Turnbull wanted his resentment of, and contempt for, the American president made public.

Australian government demands “patriotic” citizenship tests

By Mike Head, 15 June 2017

The government has seized upon the latest alleged terrorist attacks to justify measures to deny citizenship on a range of discriminatory grounds.

Australian state Labor government steps up punitive measures against youth

By Margaret Rees and Will Morrow, 12 June 2017

The Victorian government is attacking the rights of young people as part of a broader “law and order” campaign.

Police “terror” raids in Australia mask unanswered questions about hostage incident

By Mike Head, 10 June 2017

As with nearly every terrorist-linked attack internationally, including in Manchester and London, the perpetrator was well known to the police and intelligence agencies.

Australian authorities label Melbourne hostage incident a “terrorist” attack

By Will Morrow, 6 June 2017

Before any of the facts were known, newspapers featured front-page stories depicting the incident as an Islamic State assault.

Australian media renews campaign against Chinese “power and influence”

By James Cogan, 6 June 2017

As tensions rise between China on the one hand, and the US and its allies on the other, the Australian establishment is launching, once again, an anti-Chinese campaign.

Melbourne airport incident raises questions about Australian “terrorism” scare campaigns

By Mike Head, 2 June 2017

The police transformed an episode involving a mentally-ill young man into another major terrorist operation.

After Australian journalists’ strike

The political issues facing Fairfax workers

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 11 May 2017

The end of the week-long strike and the commitment of the media union to resume back-room negotiations for the destruction of jobs, poses major political issues before Fairfax workers.

Socialist Alternative joins pro-war witch-hunt of Australian academic

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 May 2017

The pseudo-left organisation endorsed the media attacks on Tim Anderson for rejecting the claims about chemical weapons used to justify Washington’s bombing of Syria.

US bombings in Syria and Afghanistan

A new stage in the repudiation of international law

By Mike Head, 29 April 2017

The ever-greater assertion of US militarism has brought humanity to the point where the rules of war are being nakedly flouted.

Australian academics witch-hunted for challenging US lies on Syria attack

By Mike Head, 14 April 2017

The media campaign, designed to silence public discussion about the latest US aggression, is a flagrant attack on the basic democratic right of free speech.

Australian government revokes Palestinian activist’s visa

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2017

The anti-democratic move is part of a broader campaign to suppress opposition to the escalating US-led war in the Middle East.

Australia: Education Department head calls for police in schools amid anti-Muslim witch-hunt

By our reporters, 21 March 2017

The media and government authorities are continuing to use unsubstantiated allegations of “Islamic extremism” in schools to whip-up an atmosphere of right-wing hysteria.

Australian media directs anti-Muslim witch-hunt at primary school children

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 March 2017

The hysterical campaign, alleging that 10-year-olds are dangerous Islamic “radicals,” is based entirely on the dubious claims of an anonymous woman whose comments are shot through with racism.

Australian media witch-hunts school principal removed for opposing anti-radicalisation program

By our reporters, 14 March 2017

There is growing opposition among teachers, students and parents to the anti-democratic dismissal of the school principal, and the police spying programs that he allegedly opposed.

Australian school principal removed for allegedly resisting “anti-radicalisation” program

By Mike Head, 9 March 2017

Under the government plan, teachers are required to become informants on their students.

Australian state Labor government strengthens draconian anti-association laws

By Erin Cooke, 21 February 2017

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is revamping notorious laws that provide sweeping powers to the police and courts under the guise of combatting “bikie gangs.”

Australian stripped of citizenship, setting dangerous precedent

By Mike Head, 18 February 2017

By targeting Khaled Sharrouf, the government is continuing a pattern of using individuals demonised by the media to set legal precedents that threaten basic democratic rights.

Australian state Labor government threatens violence against detained youth

By Eric Ludlow and Patrick Kelly, 31 January 2017

Adult prison guards will be deployed to two youth detention centres as part of a crackdown on alleged child rioters.

Australian state Labor government announces unprecedented police buildup

By Kurt Brown and Patrick Kelly, 4 January 2017

An additional 3,100 police officers will be recruited, expanding the size of the force by 20 percent.

Australia’s “border protection” regime claims another victim

By Max Newman, 3 January 2017

Faysal Ishak Ahmed, a 27-year-old asylum seeker from Sudan, died after suffering a seizure and collapsing in an Australian-controlled detention centre.