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The seismic shift we can no longer ignore

by Joseph Camilleri *

US Vs ChinaThe acute tensions that disrupted the recent APEC summit, the Brexit fiasco in Britain, the rise of populist discourse and movements in much of Europe, the ‘theatre of the grotesque’ in Trump’s America, are just a few of the symptoms of the seismic shift that has been in the making for over three decades. It is a shift which political leaders, not least in Australia, seem scarcely able to comprehend, let alone address.

A power shift, but much more than that

Experts and commentators – some rather belatedly – have rightly focused on China’s rise. Yet, important as it is, China’s renewed capacity to flex economic muscle does not fully explain the profound changes now sweeping across the globe and reshaping the social and political fabric of many countries.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Intellectual Freedom at the University of Sydney, “Offensive to Israel”: Prof. Tim Anderson

Provost Stephen Garton’s Overreach

by Prof Tim Anderson

Dr Tim AndersonBy trying to expel me over anti-war statements, University of Sydney Provost Stephen Garton has widened the free speech debate and deepened on campus fears. Since the main criterion for his attack on me was public comments considered ‘offensive’, more students and staff are likely to hesitate before raising their voices on any controversial topic.

On 4 December Stephen Garton suspended me from my position as a senior lecturer and banned me from entering the university I have worked at for more than 20 years. The complaints were over a series of public statements which he saw as ‘offensive’ to Israel, to university managers and to pro-war journalists.

Read more: Intellectual Freedom at the University of Sydney, “Offensive to Israel”: Prof. Tim Anderson

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Student Strike 4 Climate Action stuns the nation

Student strike 4 climate actionThousands of Australian schoolchildren abandoned their classrooms on November 30, in defiance of Prime Minister Morrison, to protest the federal government's lack of action on climate change. This upsurge in Australia was ignited by a young Swedish student Greta Thunberg, who vowed to protest against her nation's politicians inactivity on the Paris Climate Change Agreements.

This in turn inspired a couple of students from Castlemaine, Victoria to carry out their own protest at the office of Bridget McKenzie, a National Party senator. Which then ignited a nation wide protest by primary and high school students last Friday.

Read more: Student Strike 4 Climate Action stuns the nation

Parent Category: Spirit Content

2018 Eureka Anniversary Celebration in Melbourne


On Thursday November 29, over 150 people, including union officials and members, community activists, and Spirit of Eureka supporters gathered at the Maritime Union of Australia Hall in Melbourne to celebrate the 164th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade.

Proceedings were MC'd by former comedian and now lawyer, Corinne Grant, and guests heard inspiring and thought provoking speeches from Shirley Winton (Spirit of Eureka member), Lidia Thorpe (Gunnai-Gunditjmara woman, First Nations activist), Greg Barns (democratic and civil rights lawyer), and Dave Noonan (National Secretary CFMMEU Construction Division).

Read more: 2018 Eureka Anniversary Celebration in Melbourne

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Irresponsible Australian mining in the Philippines persists

by Reyvi Mariñas


In 2008, I met Manoy Tony, an elder from the island of Rapu-Rapu in Bicol region, and Frances Quimpo, from the Centre for Environmental Concerns in the Philippines (CEC), in a public forum held in Melbourne about large-scale mining activities in the Philippines.

In the forum, they pointed out how huge mining companies like the Lafayette Philippines Inc, a subsidiary of an Australian mining company, have substantially destroyed the environment and community’s livelihood as a result of cyanide spills, pollution and depletion of water resources.

In fact, Lafayette’s two mine spills in Rapu-Rapu that happened in 2005 was amongst “the worst mining disasters in the Philippines”. Recent report shows that rehabilitation work on the mine site and surrounding coastal communities in Albay and Sorsogon has been very slow and the cost of rehabilitation has now ballooned to P310 million (‘Slow progress in Rapu-Rapu mine rehabilitation’, Rappler, 08 May 2018).

Read more: Irresponsible Australian mining in the Philippines persists

Parent Category: Spirit Content