Some thoughts from the campaign

democracy I had a great day campaigning for the Democrats on Saturday. This was my first campaign, and I'm still a bit hoarse from talking all day. I was really impressed with the support that members of all parties had for the Democrats and Andrew Bartlett – I received positive comments and well wishes from[…]

UnCivil speakout

human rights More photos are available (CC BY-SA. Yesterday I attended a rally organised by the QUT Queer Collective. Two members of the QUT Queer Collective had their relationship recognised under British law to protest the ongoing refusal of queer rights in Australia. I'm disappointed that we still have to have these events. The recent[…]

Are tasers used for convenience rather than to stop immiment harm?

human rights Photo by jasonesbain CC-BY 2.0. There's been some interesting comments on the last taser post I made. I understand that police have a difficult time arresting resisting subjects, but it's seems really difficult not to conclude that tasers are being used more for convenience than to actually prevent harm to police officers. In[…]

Why vote Australian Democrats in the Senate?

politics There's one week to go before the election. I just want to make two points: We need an independent Senate. It is pure arrogance for a government, any government, to believe it has all the answers and everything right the first time. We need a Senate which is able to review legislation and come[…]

Taser video – Royal Canadian Mounted Police kill Polish immigrant

human rights A Polish man, Robert Dziekanski, unable to find his mother for several hours, and unable to communicate with anyone in Vancouver International Airport, becomes distressed. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrive to investigate the disturbance, and approach the man. Everyone is calm, the man throws his arms up in a gesture for surrender,[…]

Today Tonight v Chaser – Copyright in video taken in trespass?

copyright, property (Photo from Daily Telegraph, extracted from Seven's own broadcast.) Channel 7 obtained a preliminary injunction to prevent the Chaser from broadcasting video it recorded whilst allegedly trespassing on Channel 7's premises. Paragraph 14 of the judgment notes that Channel 7 had planned to show its own version of events on Today Tonight, which[…]

Why I’m voting for the Australian Democrats and Andrew Bartlett in the Senate

democracy Brett Solomon from GetUp! and Andrew Bartlett at the BlogOZ conference we hosted last month. Photo by Felix42 under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Since obtaining a majority in the Senate, the Howard Government has consistently and irresponsibly acted to turn the Senate from a house of debate into a rubber stamp. Sitting days are lower[…]

Linden settles Bragg suit

Image: FredoAlvarez (CC BY-ND) Linden labs has settled the Bragg lawsuit, on undisclosed terms. This is very much to be expected. The only surprising thing here is that it didn't happen much sooner. You simply can't encourage people to invest and 'own' virtual land, run around telling them that they can make lots of money,[…]

Detention centres and TPVs are bad for your health

human rights Image: stephentrepreneur (CC BY-SA) In Australia we grant Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) to refugees – upon proving a well founded fear of persecution, they are granted three-year temporary visas, and are then faced with the difficulty of applying for further proetction. New research from UNSW ”confirms that TPVs cause immense psychological distress to[…]

Give us your poor… as long as they’re educated and from nice places

human rights Image: crizk Kevin Andrews has said that Austrlaia would cut its intake of African refugees. Why? Apparently, because they're poor, uneducated, and come from war-torn backgrounds: “They tend to have more problems and challenges associated with them. Their level of education, for example, is a lot lower than for any other group of[…]