What Do You Mean You’re Blind?

I always get asked “What do you mean you’re blind, you look so normal?”. Most people find it very difficult to comprehend that you can be partially sighted. We are taught there are three types of vision: perfect vision, vision that requires correction with glasses or completely blind with no vision. So I understand the confusion some have when I try to explain my vision. Having a stigmatism which requires me to wear glasses just makes it all the more discombobulating.

Read more here.

Call to action: SEPTEMBER 29TH+ 30TH 2017 Too Many Deaths in Custody, Too Many Kids Tortured in Prison.

Shut Youth Prisons Mparntwe, Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance SA, elders and youth around so called “Australia” are calling for an International 48hrs of Action to SHUT YOUTH PRISONS, END DEATHS IN CUSTODY, and BRING THEM HOME.

At the end of September the final report of the Royal Commission into Youth Detention and Child Protection in the NT will be handed down. It also marks one year since Wayne Fella Morrison died in custody in Adelaide.

We are asking people around the world: stand with us to demand justice for people trapped in a colonial incarceration system designed to oppress, designed to target the marginalized.

We demand: shut youth prisons, end deaths in custody, surveillance footage should be made available at all inquests on demand, and ban the use of spithoods and restraints. Lets work together on alternatives to build a future without prisons.
If you are interested in joining an action near you or creating your own get in touch or facebook:

July 2016, a report aired on ‘Four Corners’ sparked outrage at the systemic abuse towards incarcerated youth that has occurred for decades under the watch of the Australian Commonwealth Government. From this report, a Royal Commission was immediately declared in the NT.

View the Four Corners show here:

Children should not be in prison, let alone tortured inside. In the NT, 94% of children in detention are Aboriginal.

What we have witnessed during the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory happens across Australia, where kids are taken from families, criminalized, locked in jail, abandoned in isolation chambers for days on end, denied access to water, toilets and food. They are psychologically, emotionally and physically abused. They are physically and chemically restrained. We want to see an end to the use of spithoods in youth and adult prisons. We know government will get away with doing as little as they can to change these systems which are currently serving their purpose, to continue dispossession and genocide. We won’t let them get away with it.

There has been about 340 deaths in custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody released its report in 1991 and the government has failed to implement its recommendations. 26th of September marks 1 year since Wayne “Fella” Morrison died in Yalta prison in Adelaide. Since then we have lost Eric Whitaker in NSW.

Join us in the International 48 hours of Action to SHUT YOUTH PRISONS/ STOP DEATHS IN CUSTODY/ BRING KIDS HOME. SEPTEMBER 29TH+ 30TH 2017. SAVE THE DATES!

How academia uses poverty, oppression, and pain for intellectual masturbation

By Clelia O. Rodríguez

The politics of decolonization are not the same as the act of decolonizing. How rapidly phrases like “decolonize the mind/heart” or simply “decolonize” are being consumed in academic spaces is worrisome. My grandfather was a decolonizer. He is dead now, and if he was alive he would probably scratch his head if these academics explained  the concept to him.

I am concerned about how the term is beginning to evoke a practice of getting rid of colonial practices by those operating fully under those practices. Decolonization sounds and means different things to me, a woman of color, than to a white person. And why does this matter? Why does my skin itch when I hear the term in academic white spaces where POC remain tokens? Why does my throat become a prison of words that cannot be digested into complete sentences? Is it because in these “decolonizing” practices we are being colonized once again?

Read more here.

Housing, Welfare and the Return to Family – panel from Queer Provocations

Sydney has some of the most inflated property prices in the world. As rents are ratcheted up to guarantee yields for investors, squats are stamped out as a threats to asset values and public housing budgets are frozen, living space in Sydney and other capital cities is becoming increasingly claustrophobic. The inflation of housing prices has occurred alongside a long-term trend towards the restriction of welfare benefits, especially for the young. Changes to youth allowance introduced under Howard have increased the age of legal independence, making young people legally dependent on parental support until the age of 22, while Newstart barely covers the cost of rent. Together these trends have conspired to push people back toward familial forms of economic support and dependence. Already it appears that young people are leaving home much later than they did in the recent past and many are forced to return home or borrow from parents when they lose a job or income support, or in order to go to uni or tafe. Inheritance is also playing a much greater role in defining class difference as private home ownership is almost exclusively confined to those who get deposits from their parents. Changes to single parents’ payments, new approaches to the surveillance of people who receive income support, the ascendance of workfare, and the current reorganisation of the ‘human services’ market exert pressure to reproduce familial life. None of this has stopped people experimenting with share-housing, squats, care networks and other extra-familial ways of living. But people who are unable or unwilling to rely on family support often experience extreme forms of precariousness, punitive welfare regimes or homelessness.

In this panel we will be discussing the impact of these trends on the material possibilities of a queer, extra-familial life. We start from the premise that these developments are not accidental or inevitable but are the predictable effect of neoliberal economic policies adopted since the 1980s. Beginning with the Keating-Hawke government of the 1980s, both labour and coalition governments have pursued a policy of pushing back increases in wages and welfare while promoting the inflation of property and asset prices. In the meantime the new welfare consensus dictates that family should be the primary source of economic security. As John Howard once said, the family is “the greatest social welfare system the world has ever devised.” This is consistent with the old poor law tradition of family responsibility for welfare.

We explore the ways in which these developments have impacted on the imaginaries and possibilities of queer life and develop a critical perspective on the growing attachment to marriage and family in queer communities.

Listen here.

Living the dream with free money – Universal Basic Income

In this episode of Living the Dream Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) talk with all-round good egg Troy Henderson (@TroyCHenderson) about the idea of a Universal Basic Income.  Troy provides us with an intellectual history and we discuss if it is a techbro attempt to sure up capitalism, a radical social democratic attempt to fix capitalism or if it contains radical elements that point in an anti-capitalist direction? We also talk about why a Jobs Guarantee is horrid and shit.

Listen here.