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Open today and documentary night tonight

Hello friends. We have been a bit quiet on here while we’ve been setting up our new space, but we are back in action now.

The library is open today, 11am-5pm. We are still sorting out our new lending system, so we can’t loan out books for the next month. But it is coming! Feel free to drop by and read or check out what is happening at the space 🙂

Also, TONIGHT: The second night of documentaries on LGTB, Indigenous, and popular struggles and resistances in Latin America – all welcome.

Supporting a great cause…entry by donations…none turned away. Food and drinks available in a great environment of friendship and solidarity.

5.00pm: Wallmapu Libre, 42 Minutes – Mapuche (Indigenous people in Chile-Argentina)

6:00Pm: Muerte es Vida (Death if Life) – Mexico, 70 minutes – by Aly Alvarez.

7.30pm: A Fantastic Woman, 100 minutes – by Sebastian Lelio

9:30pm: Galeano Vive!, 14 minutes – by School of Chiapas

All @ IRL Infoshop 28D Ashley Street, West Footscray

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Updates and latest news – police accountability project

An avalanche of news stories from people who have experienced police abuse provide a shocking glimpse into the failings of Victoria’s police complaints system.

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Clients of Robinson Gill Lawyers, the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, Fitzroy Legal Service and Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre have revealed the failings of a system where police investigate police, after disturbing incidents including:

  • One person left too terrified to complain after being beaten, abused, pepper-sprayed and filmed by six police who attended a mental health call-out
  • A young education employee, Jessie Scarlett-Rhodes, who was handcuffed and hurled headfirst into a divvy van, causing head injuries and a fractured nose. She was then charged by police after she made a complaint, and had her complaint dismissed following a police internal investigation.
  • One person being repeatedly punched, hit with a baton and stomped on by police after his arrest. His excessive force complaint was dismissed following a police investigation.

Jeremy King, lawyer for Robinson Gill who successfully represented Jessie Scarlett-Rhodes in her civil claim against Victoria Police, said:

“It is not uncommon for police accused of misconduct to concoct criminal charges to justify police conduct or to pressure a complainant. There are huge objectivity issues with police self-investigating. Internal police investigators often don’t seek out all witnesses and don’t search for CCTV. Sometimes police are investigating officers in the same station or that they know.”

Lauren Caulfield, from Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre’s Police Accountability Project, said: 

“This is not a case of one or two bad apples, or the occasional error in an investigation. It is the story of a broken police complaints system in Victoria – where police investigate themselves, victims are locked out of the process, dismissed or punished for complaining, and police investigators overwhelmingly find in favour of police.”

“The officer who was present during the incident where Ms Scarlet-Rhodes was injured by police also played a key role in the investigation that dismissed her complaint. This same officer was the subject of repeated complaints of police brutality and racism against young people from the Carlton housing estate by our centre back in 2012. How can the community have any faith in this system?”

Meghan Fitzgerald, lawyer with the Fitzroy Legal Service, who represent a client who was assaulted by police during his arrest, with the incident captured on CCTV, said,

“These individual cases are examples of a much wider problem. It is extremely challenging for an individual to tell their stories and go against institutional power, particularly where there has been significant violence and structural disadvantage.  As lawyers we cannot offer protection outside the court room.  Working as a community lawyer over the past 10 years I am yet to see a complaint substantiated, even in those cases where people have successfully defended charges laid after they complained, or civil proceedings have been successful.”

“Many cases present lost opportunities for the police force to address misconduct and to reflect on the way in which policing activities may be impacting marginalized communities.

Hugh de Kretser, Executive Director at the Human Rights Law Centre, said:

“Investigations into serious police misconduct must be independent and effective. It’s in the public interest, the interests of victims and the interests of police officers who do the right thing. It is also required by international human rights law.”

“If the Andrews’ Government is serious about transparency and accountability, it must reform Victoria’s failing police complaints system. It must ensure that an independent body investigates all serious complaints of police misconduct.”

Since 2006, clients of the Flemington Kensington Community Legal Centre have made 109 complaints to the Office of Police Integrity, IBAC or Victoria Police about their experiences.  103 of the 106 complaints were referred to Victoria Police for self-investigation. In all but 3 of these 103 complaints Victoria Police investigators found in favour of the police. From available IBAC data, less than 4% of all assault complaints about police are substantiated.

This statement was released on Wednesday 4 April. 2018 by:

Jeremy King, Robinson Gill Lawyers
Meghan Fitzgerald, Fitzroy Legal Service
Lauren Caulfield, Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre
Michelle Bennett, Human Rights Law Centre
Wayne Muir, CEO Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

More here: http://www.policeaccountability.org.au/updateslatestnews/

Transformative Justice Network Facilitated Discussion

Hi everyone,

Facilitated discussion

Are you involved in transformative justice informed community responses to sexual assault/family violence/intimate partner violence and want to talk more?

In this discussion we will look at how we centre survivors and their needs. How do we better support survivors, especially when the intervention/accountability process doesn’t work out as intended? What are the responsibilities of people in the community/scene/friendship group?

RSVP transformativejusticecamp@gmail.com

Friday 11th May, 6.30-9.30pm
@RMIT Building 80, Level 3, Room 10
445 Swanston St, Melbourne
This building is wheelchair accessible.

Hope to see you there.

Latin American School for Social Change

The Latin American Solidarity Network (LASNET) is organising special courses/subjects for this year 2018, with Indigenous activists, trade unionists, committed academics and organisers and participants of social movements in Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, Venezuela and from the whole Latin America.

The Latin American School for Social Change will be a series of short courses,subjects, forums, classes and other workshops for activists, trade unionists, committed teachers and people living in so-called Australia.

For people interested in learning more about the social movements (popular and Indigenous peoples) of Latin America of grassroots community organisations that carry out their daily work of organisation and actions, from below and from the side of the heart.

The participants will be informed and will know:

– Of the history of social and political movements and popular social struggles and original peoples.

– How they are organized and developed.

– There will be spaces for questions, answers and spaces for conversation and discussion.

– Interactive activities.

Concepts, Topics:

History or colonisation and decolonisation in South America, Indigenous land defence and recuperation, Of Good Living (Sumak Kawsay), citizen revolutions, meanings of the community revolution, Latin American political theorists, Bolivar, Tupac Amaru, Leftaru, many more, the validity of Guevara’s project, the anarchist movements of Latin America, LGTBIQ struggles, economic and ecological alternatives, Eco socialism, ecofeminism, popular culture, Neoliberalism others…

Among the Exponents / academics / teachers / activists will include:

-Academics, teachers and activists committed with Latin America in Australia

– Activists from Indigenous peoples of Latin America (Mapuche, Wayuu, Lenca, others).

– Zapatista activists, from Chiapas, Mexico.

– Leaders of the Landless Movement, MST, of Brazil.

– Trade union leaders, Colombia.

– Social, political and human rights leaders from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and others.

– Social and political leaders of Central America and the Caribbean (Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, and others)

– Academics / committed teachers from Latin America

Others will be announced later…

Any questions email lasnet.solidarity@gmail.com or call 0425 539 149

‘The Hermit and the Empire: China after the Collapse of the Developmental Regime’ – excerpt from the new issue of Chuǎng journal

The article below is an excerpt from the second issue of Chuǎng, “Red Dust,” scheduled to be released later in 2018. This is a slightly edited version of the introduction to the second part of our three-part economic history of China, the first of which explored the rise of the socialist developmental regime. Also included in the issue will be other original articles, interviews, translations, and intake pieces on China’s border territory and the greater region

http://chuangcn.org/2018/02/hermit/