Democratic rights under attack in Australia

NSW universities increasingly integrated into Australian military build-up

By Hugh Peters, 21 February 2019

The Defence Innovation Network is aimed at subordinating university research ever more directly to the ruling elite’s preparations for war.

Alleged hacking of Australian parliament feeds anti-China frenzy

By Peter Symonds, 20 February 2019

The hacking claims are bound up with Australia’s alignment with the escalating US confrontation with China over trade and economic issues, and the military build-up in the Indo-Pacific for war.

Australian youth defend WikiLeaks and support demonstrations to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 20 February 2019

“I’m going to come to the rally to defend freedom of speech and freedom of the press”—Adam, University of NSW.

Chinese community in Australia voices concern over xenophobic “foreign interference” campaign

By James Cogan, 19 February 2019

People fear that the banishment of Huang Xiangmo is the prelude to a campaign of persecution directed against all those of Chinese background.

Support for Assange and SEP Australia demonstrations evokes strong international response

By James Cogan, 19 February 2019

In less than 48 hours, Roger Waters’ statement has been retweeted from his Twitter account 2,700 times and “liked” over 5,800 times.

Australian university sacks academic critical of Israeli and US wars

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 February 2019

The University of Sydney has carried out a serious attack on academic freedom, aimed at intimidating growing opposition to militarism and war.

Award-winning journalist Chris Hedges endorses Free Assange demonstrations in Australia

16 February 2019

“It is imperative that we pressure the Australian government to make sure its citizen, Julian Assange, is protected from the lawlessness of the American empire.”

Australian students endorse rallies to free Julian Assange

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

“I’m going, because I believe Assange should be set free and he should be defended. All people should go to the rallies if they believe in democratic rights.”

Australian government loses vote on refugee medical evacuation legislation

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 February 2019

The bill entrenches the power of the minister to prevent detained refugees from travelling to Australia and receiving desperately needed medical care.

Australian government claims credit for release of detained Bahraini footballer, but refuses to assist Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 February 2019

Politicians who have abrogated the right to seek asylum and joined the persecution of Julian Assange have postured as champions of persecuted refugees.

Acclaimed musician Roger Waters calls on people to demonstrate in Australia to defend Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 11 February 2019

Roger Waters, the iconic voice of Pink Floyd and renowned solo artist, has called for action to free Julian Assange.

“Lawyer X” cover-up starts to unravel

Australian police used multiple lawyers as informants

By Mike Head, 9 February 2019

Two revelations this week point to the systemic police use of defence lawyers as informers to secure the conviction of their own clients.

Chinese billionaire stripped of Australian residency as “foreign interference” campaign ramps up

By James Cogan, 7 February 2019

Huang’s banishment may well be the prelude to the first criminal charges laid against Australian citizens under the “foreign interference” laws.

Australian actor Craig McLachlan’s defamation case postponed following police charges

By Richard Phillips, 7 February 2019

Gold Logie-winning actor Craig McLachlan’s career has been “effectively destroyed” by the #MeToo allegations.

Stone indictment presents no evidence of links between WikiLeaks and Trump campaign

By James Cogan, 30 January 2019

WikiLeaks is a media organization that exercised the legally-protected rights of the press to published leaked information.

Lawsuits against Australian government reveal horror in refugee camp

By Max Newman, 24 January 2019

Former Manus Island detention centre security staff members have filed cases alleging physical and psychological harm.

The Australian newspaper targets Chinese university students

By John Harris, 21 January 2019

The article implied that the victory of a Chinese-born student in a university election expressed the dangers of “Chinese interference” at Australian campuses.

Australia: Widespread opposition to violent arrest of elderly Sydney protester

By our reporters, 16 January 2019

Footage of 74-year-old Danny Lim being set upon by three police officers provoked anger on social media.

Ecuador unveils “special examination” of Julian Assange’s asylum

By Mike Head, 5 January 2019

The Moreno government’s investigation into the granting of the WikiLeaks founder’s asylum and Ecuadorian citizenship is clearly designed to repudiate both.

Australian stripped of citizenship despite being made stateless

By Mike Head, 5 January 2019

Prakash’s case has set a far-reaching precedent because the government has proceeded even though Fijian authorities rejected Canberra’s declaration that he is a citizen of that country.

Silence follows Trump attorney’s statement that Julian Assange did nothing “wrong”

By James Cogan, 4 January 2019

Not a word about Rudy Giuliani’s Fox News interview has been said by the political and media establishment in the US, Europe or Australia.

ICAC raids Labor Party office in major escalation of anti-China campaign in Australia

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 December 2018

The raid is the latest chapter in an ongoing attempt by the political and media establishment to whip-up a wartime atmosphere and xenophobia against China.

Actor Geoffrey Rush denies new #MeToo-inspired claims of “inappropriate” behaviour

By James Cogan, 19 December 2018

Rush, as he waits for a ruling on legal action he took in late 2017 to defend himself, now faces a new attack on his character.

Australian Labor Party to boost police-military operations to block refugees

By Mike Head, 18 December 2018

Shorten unequivocally restated Labor’s intent to keep using the navy to push back refugee boats and to retain the “offshore processing” regime of detaining asylum seekers on remote Pacific islands.

SEP (Australia) meeting announces rallies in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 18 December 2018

The protests in Sydney and Melbourne will demand that the government take immediate action to secure Assange’s return to Australia, with a guarantee against extradition to the US.

MSF reveals “mental health suffering” in Australia’s Nauru refugee detention camp

By Max Newman, 17 December 2018

Médecins Sans Frontières said the mental health problems were among the worst it had ever seen anywhere in the world.

Australian workers and youth speak out in defence of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 December 2018

“The Australian government’s role in the attacks on Assange has been pathetic, gutless, disgraceful. They just do what the US deep state tells them to do.”

The Australian Labor Party and the persecution of Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 13 December 2018

Far from protecting the “safety” of an Australian overseas, Labor has lined up completely with Washington and placed itself at the forefront of the attack on the WikiLeaks publisher.

Witch hunt in Australia against Chinese-born parliamentarian

By Peter Symonds, 12 December 2018

The smears and innuendo against Pierre Yang are part of a campaign aimed at silencing any criticism or opposition to the escalating US war drive against China.

Australian university moves to sack academic critical of Israeli and US wars

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 December 2018

The University of Sydney’s suspension of Tim Anderson is aimed at intimidating students and academics opposed to escalating militarism and war.

The Guardian attack on Assange exposed as politically-motivated fabrication

By James Cogan, 6 December 2018

The lack of any case against WikiLeaks explains the scurrilous allegations by the Guardian newspaper last week.

Australian government to impose encryption-cracking bill with Labor’s support

By Mike Head, 6 December 2018

The anti-democratic legislation hands extraordinary powers to the spy and police forces, setting a global precedent for accessing computers and encrypted private data.

Australian government censors university research funding

By Mike Head, 5 December 2018

As well as vetoing peer-reviewed research grants, the government has imposed a more stringent “national interest” test.

Australian Labor Party helps disintegrating government impose repressive laws

By Mike Head, 1 December 2018

Labor is working hand-in-glove with the Liberal-National Coalition to push through a series of draconian laws.

Australian parliamentary inquiry discusses intensifying internet censorship

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 November 2018

The hearing pointed to the political establishment seeking to suppress mounting opposition to war, austerity and authoritarianism.

Australian government accelerates anti-democratic “foreign influence” register

By Mike Head, 26 November 2018

The legislation is aimed at criminalising opposition to Australia’s central role in the US-led preparations for war with China.

Australia: Riot police tear-gas youth at Don Dale juvenile prison

By Martin Scott, 23 November 2018

The Northern Territory facility, repeatedly deemed unfit for children, has been the scene of years of state-sanctioned abuse and violence.

Bipartisan push to ramp up police powers after Australia’s latest “terror” attack

By Mike Head, 21 November 2018

Amid another anti-Muslim scare campaign, the Labor Party defended its “fine record of bipartisanship on national security.”

Australian establishment collaborates in US vendetta against Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 20 November 2018

The sealed US charges underscore the danger facing Assange and the perfidy of those who support his persecution.

Defend Julian Assange against US charges!

By James Cogan, 17 November 2018

The relentless persecution of Assange is intended to intimidate and silence all critical and independent journalists and media organisations, as well as would-be whistleblowers.

Geoffrey Rush’s lawyer slams “gutter journalism” in Sydney defamation trial

By Linda Tenenbaum and Richard Phillips, 15 November 2018

Bruce McClintock SC likened the methods of the Daily Telegraph to those of newspapers published by Lords Rothermere and Beaverbrook, as described by British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin in 1931.

Australian prime minister dismisses renewed calls to defend Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 8 November 2018

Morrison’s remarks are the first direct statement by the government of its support for the drive by the US government to get its hands on the WikiLeaks publisher.

Judge rejects push by Daily Telegraph to amend its defence in Geoffrey Rush defamation suit

By Linda Tenenbaum, 6 November 2018

Justice Wigney sharply warned that the presence of a previously unheard of witness would “egregiously prejudice Mr Rush.”

Ecuador’s government cuts off all access to Julian Assange

By Mike Head, 2 November 2018

The ban is another warning of the Moreno government’s preparations to terminate the WikiLeaks publisher’s asylum.

Australia declares China a threat to military-related university research and infrastructure

By Mike Head, 1 November 2018

A report by the government-funded Australian Strategic Policy Institute alleges that Chinese military-linked researchers are working “undercover” in US and allied universities.

Spy and police chiefs demand passage of Australian encryption access law

By Mike Head, 29 October 2018

The heads of the “security” apparatus spoke on behalf of the US-led “Five Eyes” intelligence network, which conducts mass monitoring of the world’s population.

Geoffrey Rush defamation trial against Murdoch media begins in Sydney

By Linda Tenenbaum, 27 October 2018

Over the past nearly 50 years, Rush has won numerous awards, including the “Triple Crown;” helped establish the Australian Academy of Cinema, Theatre and Acting Arts; and in 2014 received an Order of Australia for Service to the Arts.

Ecuador to partially restore Julian Assange’s access to communications and visitors

By James Cogan, 15 October 2018

Ecuador’s decision does not end the danger Assange faces or his effective imprisonment inside the small embassy building in London.

Australian encryption bill becomes a global test case for surveillance

By Mike Head, 10 October 2018

Internet service providers would be compelled to facilitate the cracking of encryption codes.

Australia: “Terror case” against university employee falls apart

By Erika Zimmer, 2 October 2018

Nizamdeen, a 25 year-old business analyst, was released on bail after the prosecution admitted it could not link him to their main piece of “evidence.”

Julian Assange appoints new WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief

By Patrick O’Connor, 1 October 2018

Kristinn Hrafnsson’s appointment is testament to WikiLeaks’ invaluable contribution to genuine journalism.

Senior management implodes after exposure of government interference at Australia’s state-funded media

By Richard Phillips, 1 October 2018

Australian Broadcasting Corporation chairman Justin Milne demanded senior journalists be sacked in order to curry favour with the federal government.

Australia: Commemoration rally held for youth killed in racist attack

By our reporters, 27 September 2018

Liep Gony’s mother is clearly alarmed at the renewed government-media campaign scapegoating of youth of African origin.

Western Australia: Indigenous boys drown trying to escape police

By Richard Phillips, 19 September 2018

The two teenagers were so terrified of being taken into police custody that they tried to escape by swimming across a dangerous river.

Australian government and Labor Party back prosecution of whistleblower who revealed Timor bugging

By Mike Head, 15 September 2018

There is a bipartisan attempt to cover up and protect the operations of the Australian intelligence agencies.

Workers and youth oppose Australian government ban on Chelsea Manning

By our reporters, 13 September 2018

“The government wants to shut all dialogue down and uses the ogre of terrorism as a shield to do that.”

Australian parliament resumes for first time after leadership coup

By James Cogan, 11 September 2018

The Morrison government has flagged its loyalty to the US alliance and a common anti-China agenda.

Hundreds of Australian Aborigines killed in state custody

By Richard Phillips, 10 September 2018

Figures published last week by the Guardian reveal that over 400 Aborigines have died whilst in the custody of Australian police and prison officers since 1991.

US whistleblower Chelsea Manning defies ban to speak in Australia

By Linda Tenenbaum, 5 September 2018

“Once you’re immersed in a war zone, you realise that it isn’t statistics anymore. These were human lives and flaws and all of the vulnerabilities that people have.”

“Five Eyes” summit in Australia ramps up internet censorship

By Mike Head, 5 September 2018

Ministers from the US-led global surveillance network revealed stepped-up measures against Chinese and Russian “foreign interference” and greater control over social media.

Australian government rushes to deport Vietnamese refugees

By Max Newman, 3 September 2018

After a manhunt in a Queensland rainforest, 17 Vietnamese men were rounded up for deportation “at the first available opportunity.”

Widespread opposition to Australian government ban on Chelsea Manning

By Oscar Grenfell and James Cogan, 31 August 2018

The attempt to prevent Manning visiting Australia followed a high-level meeting of the Five Eyes spying network, which called for a campaign against those who “sow discord.”

Oppose the ban on Chelsea Manning speaking in Australia!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 30 August 2018

The SEP demands that Manning be granted her visa and restates its demand for the unconditional freedom of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

Australia: Footage reveals brutal prison murder of young Aboriginal man

By John Harris, 23 August 2018

The killing is the latest in a series of violent attacks perpetrated by prison officers.

Australian police killed mentally ill young woman seconds after arriving at scene

By Martin Scott, 18 August 2018

The Coroner’s Court was told that 42 percent of those shot by police in Australia between 1989 and 2011 were suffering from a mental illness.

Australian Daily Telegraph lawyers plead “truth defence” in Geoffrey Rush defamation case

By Richard Phillips, 16 August 2018

The Murdoch media empire is prepared to spend vast sums to defeat Rush’s defamation suit.

Right-wing senator calls for a “White Australia” immigration policy

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 August 2018

Fraser Anning’s diatribe is the logical outcome of the nationalist policies supported by the entire political establishment.

Australia: Youth protest racist “African gangs” campaign

By our reporters, 4 August 2018

African-Australian youth rally to denounce divisive hysteria whipped up by the political and media establishment.

SEP (Australia) holds public meetings opposing “foreign interference” laws

By our reporters, 4 August 2018

The meetings were the only events to warn of the anti-democratic implications of the legislation, and place it in the context of the preparations for war with China.

Julian Assange’s lawyer: Australian government has a “duty” to protect him

By Mike Head, 2 August 2018

Jennifer Robinson said the WikiLeaks editor wants to exercise his right to return to Australia, provided he is protected from extradition to the US.

Australian governments illegally sailed refugee boats to distant reef

By Max Newman, 1 August 2018

Successive governments flouted the law to declare asylum seekers “offshore arrivals.”

Geoffrey Rush’s lawyers argue newspaper’s allegations “motivated to harm” the actor

By Richard Phillips, 1 August 2018

Rush’s amended submission documents ongoing detrimental reportage by Murdoch publications.

Australian government pursues prosecution of East Timor espionage whistleblower and lawyer

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 July 2018

The prosecution of Collaery and Witness K is bound up with the wider drive toward a US-led military confrontation of China, which the Australian ruling elite is committed to supporting.

Australian Defence Department seeks expanded powers over research

By Mike Head, 24 July 2018

Universities would be placed under wartime-style scrutiny, prohibited from undertaking research with countries regarded as US enemies, especially China.

IYSSE blocked from leafleting at Australia’s Macquarie University

By Hugh Peters, 24 July 2018

The attack on democratic rights points to administration fears that years of cuts have produced seething discontent among students and staff.

Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks editor: “I’ve not been able to speak to my son for four months”

By Richard Phillips, 24 July 2018

“I say defend Julian, not just because I’m his mother, but as a citizen and someone who believes in democracy and freedom.”

Australia: Tamil refugee deported, separated from his wife and baby daughter

By Max Newman, 23 July 2018

The treatment of Gnaneswaran and his family is akin to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy by which children have been ripped away from their parents.

Whistleblowers Australia denounces new “foreign interference” laws

By Richard Phillips, 21 July 2018

“Society is literally screaming out for more openness and accountability in all sectors.”

Australia’s “foreign influence” register will attack basic democratic rights

By Mike Head, 20 July 2018

The FITS Act will require registration by all individuals and organisations deemed to collaborate with overseas entities in any political activity.

Australia’s new espionage laws target whistleblowers and political opponents

By Mike Head, 19 July 2018

The “anti-interference” legislation goes far beyond spying by foreign agents.

Australian PM promotes racist campaign over “African gangs”

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 July 2018

Malcolm Turnbull’s remarks are part of a broader attempt to whip up nationalism and anti-immigrant xenophobia.

Australian government prepares “foreign interference” prosecutions

By Mike Head, 17 July 2018

Australia’s political establishment, under mounting pressure from Washington to take a more aggressive stand against China, is already selecting targets to test the new laws.

SEP (Australia) holds Sydney meeting against new “foreign interference” laws

By our reporters, 17 July 2018

The Sydney meeting was the first public event held by an Australian political party against the anti-democratic legislation since it was rushed through parliament late last month.

British and Ecuadorian authorities in talks to evict Julian Assange from London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 July 2018

Media reports point to the ongoing conspiracy, involving the British, US and Ecuadorian governments, to terminate Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law.

In the name of combating foreign interference

Australia’s new secrecy laws block exposure of government crimes

By Mike Head, 14 July 2018

The government is seeking to prevent access to critical information that the public has the right to know.

Australian lawyers association warns foreign interference laws violate rights to free speech

By Richard Phillips, 13 July 2018

“This type of regulation of civil society is a prominent feature of repressive regimes. It is not a feature of open democracies.”

Australia’s new “foreign interference” laws: A threat to anti-war dissent

By Mike Head, 12 July 2018

The unprecedented laws were demanded by Washington as a model for legislation to demonise and suppress opposition to war, particularly against China.

Ultra-nationalist US demagogue Stephen Bannon hails Australia’s new foreign interference laws

By James Cogan, 11 July 2018

The legislation is particularly admired by America’s far right, the Trump administration and the US military-intelligence establishment.

Amnesty International denounces Australia’s “foreign interference” laws

By Richard Phillips, 10 July 2018

“The core message from Amnesty International on these laws is that we will not be changing the way we operate.”

Australia’s foreign interference laws threaten whistleblowers and media freedom

By James Cogan, 9 July 2018

In 2010, Assange and WikiLeaks had committed no crime for informing millions about US war crimes. Today, under the new legislation, such courageous actions could attract a penalty of decades in jail.

Following passage of “foreign interference” laws

Australia pushes Pacific Pact to combat China

By Mike Head, 7 July 2018

The two regional imperialist powers are seeking to shore up their dominance in the southwest Pacific, in partnership with the US.

Australian business heads warned not to criticise “foreign interference” laws

By Mike Head, 6 July 2018

In a sign of the government’s rush to enforce the new laws, they were given royal assent on June 29, just a day after being passed.

Persecution of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange continues

By James Cogan, 5 July 2018

The US, British and Australian governments are utilising the Ecuadorian government to try and break Assange by denying him any external communication or visitors.

Australian teenager sentenced to 12 years in prison on trumped-up terror charges

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 July 2018

The case is the latest in a series of high-profile “terror” prosecutions which have not revealed any specific terror attack or plan.

SEP to hold Brisbane meeting on new “foreign interference” laws: A move towards dictatorship and war

3 July 2018

The new legislation has been imposed amidst xenophobic hysteria in the parliament and the media over “Chinese influence” and “interference.”

Australia: Biloela residents continue protests against deportation of Tamil refugee family

By Max Newman, 2 July 2018

A campaign by the people of a small rural Queensland town has brought to light the horrors of Australia’s anti-refugee regime.

Ex-spy and lawyer face jail for exposing Australian bugging operation in East Timor

By Mike Head, 30 June 2018

The ruling establishment regards the exposure of the illegal surveillance as a threat to the US-led “Five Eyes” global spy network.

Anti-China “foreign interference” bills rammed through Australian parliament

By Mike Head, 29 June 2018

Totalling some 150 pages, the two bills constitute a far-reaching assault on fundamental legal and democratic rights.

US Democratic senators demand eviction of Julian Assange from Ecuador’s London embassy

By James Cogan, 28 June 2018

Leading Democratic senators, including Diane Feinstein and Mark Warner, have declared they are “extremely concerned about Ecuador providing asylum for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.”

Another suicide in Australian immigration prison camp

By Max Newman, 27 June 2018

A tragic death shows how desperate and vulnerable people are being deliberately subjected to inhuman conditions to deter others from seeking asylum in Australia.