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Keywords: Prisoners

  • RELIGION

    Pope Francis among other disruptive leaders

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 September 2016
    17 Comments

    Is Francis' style of political engagement effective? It has certainly gained him a favourable hearing within church and society. His message and his personality suit the times. Whether it will be lastingly effective will depend on whether he changes attitudes, particularly those of people who will be responsible for governance in church and state. But at the very least he has stressed the ethical and religious urgency of treating refugees, the environment, and the economy with respect.

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  • RELIGION

    Rogue bishop's rebellious example lives on

    • Ann Deslandes
    • 02 September 2016
    19 Comments

    Many Brazilians remember the 'Red Bishop' as much more than a defender of human rights. For these people, Helder Camara is included reverently in the litany of rogues who drew the ire of church and state authorities by demanding both do a better job of embodying a message of social justice. It was a powerful idea to grow up with: that this imposing and defining institution I had been born and baptised into contained a rebellious truth that often demanded we go against the institution's own grain.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's 'alien' relations then and now

    • June Factor
    • 03 August 2016
    13 Comments

    In 1940, Prime Minister Robert Menzies received a letter from a woman in Western Australia: 'I have heard on the wireless the news that Australia would be willing to receive internees from England. I beg to protest; we have enough of the scum here already, too many in fact ... I sincerely trust that a U-boat gets every one of them.' The 'scum' she rejected so emphatically were the German and Austrian refugees, predominantly Jewish, soon to travel to Australia as 'enemy alien' prisoners.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Prisoners of their own stories

    • Brian Matthews
    • 25 July 2016
    10 Comments

    Holocaust survivor Primo Levi wrote If This is a Man to carry out what he saw as the critical task of bearing witness, and he became one of the greatest writers of the 20th century as he continued to bear witness one way and another in later books. Some day, one of Australia's asylum seekers will, like Levi and with the same sense of dread and horror, tell his or her story to ensure that someone bears witness; and to confirm that all of us are implicated.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pugilist-poet Ali's race legacy still packs a punch

    • Fatima Measham
    • 08 June 2016
    7 Comments

    The contest over Ali began even as news spread of his passing. His legend straddles the violence of his sport and the violence in which he refused to participate. Boxing is brutal but it has rules and finite duration. In war, there are no rules and no one wins. Ali recognised a larger violence, chose his enemies, and reimagined bravery. Attempts to sublimate this legacy - such as comments about him 'transcending' race - resemble the appropriation of Martin Luther King Jr by conservatives.

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  • RELIGION

    The past, present and future of the Easter Rising 1916

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 May 2016
    2 Comments

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Cheque book solution on asylum is unconstitutional

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 April 2016
    33 Comments

    A bench of five justices of the Supreme Court of Justice, the highest court in Papua New Guinea, has unanimously ruled that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is unconstitutional. Yet again, Australia has been complicit in its Pacific neighbours (PNG and Nauru) prostituting their Constitutions and undermining the rule of law in exchange for a fistful of dollars, with hapless asylum seekers, most of whom are ultimately proved to be refugees, being left to languish.

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  • RELIGION

    Anzac Day and just war scepticism go together

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 April 2016
    26 Comments

    The classical arguments originated at a time when casualties were suffered mostly by soldiers. In modern warfare, civilians overwhelmingly suffer. Just war theory is used as spin to give specious justification to military campaigns in whose devising ethical considerations played no part. Wars that governments wage are just; those waged by their enemies are unjust. By joining in such debate churches are co-opted into playing an intellectual game designed to make legitimate killing and destruction.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Jailing fine defaulters punishes poverty

    • Kate Galloway
    • 30 March 2016
    6 Comments

    Around half of Indigenous prisoners in Roebourne Regional Prison are there on driving offences. Many Indigenous Australians do not have birth certificates and therefore cannot get a drivers licence. Yet those who live in remote areas often have no means of transport other than by car. When they are caught driving unlicensed, they receive a fine, and since many are unable to pay, they are consequently are jailed. And as we all know, jail is a particularly risky place for Indigenous Australians.

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  • RELIGION

    Elusive Easter's challenge to wider society

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 24 March 2016
    24 Comments

    To many the challenge to endurance comes from a public world in which small gains are overtaken by huge losses. Why bother about people who seek protection from persecution or about our natural environment when the small initiatives we take are overrun by a flood tide of brutality and cynicism? What hope of building harmony in society when the Paris bombings are followed by those of Brussels? This challenge is universal, so the Christian celebration of Easter is of wider interest.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Humanity found in ritual amid death camp horror

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 03 March 2016

    In the history of the Second World War and the deathly screed of the Final Solution, the Sonderkommando cuts a pitiable figure. These Jewish prisoners at Auschwitz and other death camps who were forced to perform the logistics surrounding mass murder - the carting and disposal of dead flesh - though patently victims, were viewed by some as collaborators. Son of Saul provides an immersive and impressionistic extrapolation of this ethical and actual horror.

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  • RELIGION

    Liberation theology in modern Australia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 February 2016
    23 Comments

    Liberation theology was once caricatured as Marxism with a Christian tinge, or the Bible plus Kalashnikov. In fact, thinkers identified with the movement were involved in a serious theological exploration. In public conversation in Australia the theological questions ut it raised are of marginal significance. But secular variants abound in which society is analysed in terms of the discrimination suffered by various minority groups at the hands of the majority or of those with power.

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