Martial Law Or Just Do What You’re Told?

This may be Good Friday, but by any definition it’s not all that flash, given varying states of emergency in Australia and attempts to police COVID-19 restrictions (emergent but not quite martial law). Well may you scoff, as hysteria spreads in the US about the very real prospect of the Commander in Chief ordering the armed forces to take over. Outspoken New York governor Andrew Cuomo has dismissed martial law rumours in his state, although…

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The return of capital punishment

In February, my attention was caught by a bizarre story about the Sri Lankan government advertising for two public executioners of “strong moral character”. I let it go at the time, as the topic seemed too morbid for FOMM readers. But that was before Donald Trump’s government last month re-introduced capital punishment in the US for Federal offences. People in Trump’s government have been lobbying to reintroduce capital punishment, last used in 2003. The main…

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Refugee documentaries – preaching to the converted

As it is Refugee Week, I’ve been reflecting on how my support for refugees and asylum seekers is shamefully passive. I was reminded of this after attending a viewing last Saturday of Julian Burnside’s refugee documentary, Border Politics. Then on Monday I was one of 67 people who devoted the evening to a public viewing in Buderim of the refugee film, Constance on the Edge. ‘Constance on the Edge’ charts the struggles of a mother…

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Refugees settling in despite funding cuts

While refugees and migrants have been welcomed into Australia’s rural communities, successive Budget cuts have made life difficult for refugee support services. Although not attracting too many headlines, a $50 million cut in the 2018-19 Budget, and another $77.9 million over four years in the 2019-20 Budget, means that organisations trying to help refugees with the transition to a new country, a new culture and a new language are left scrambling. The Refugee Council of…

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