The founders of the Black Lives Matter movement have urged Australian governments to be “courageous” in ending injustice suffered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Speaking at the National Press Club yesterday, United States BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors and Canada BLM co-founder Rodney Diverlus said they “want to throw it to you all, the people of Australia, what will you do beyond this week. What will you do in your spheres to address anti-blackness.” Writing for Guardian Australia, Cullors called for “a reinvestment in black and Indigenous communities” and a move away from authorities and policies that “cause harm and violence to our communities”. Cullors, Diverlus and fellow co-founder Alicia Garza visited Indigenous communities around Australia before accepting the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize last night.
Iranian-Kurdish journalist and Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani has been honoured at the Amnesty International Australia media awards for his reporting from the Manus detention centre. Boochani’s “Voice of Manus” series, published by Guardian Australia and The Saturday Paper, was part of Boochani’s ongoing coverage of the deteriorating conditions on the island. For the last several days, Boochani has been publishing daily reports from the closed detention centre detailing how detainees are digging wells to find water and dealing with heat, broken toilets and the prospect of attack by locals after water, food and electricity was cut to the centre. Begsy Karaki, the commanding officer of Papua New Guinean forces at Lombrum naval base, said his officers would not take action against detainees unless ordered.
Environment minister Josh Frydenberg has become the latest politician to be caught up in the ongoing citizenship crisis, with The Australian reporting ($) Frydenberg sought legal advice yesterday to determine whether he holds dual Australian-Hungarian citizenship by descent from his mother. Frydenberg has called the prospect “absolutely absurd”, given his Jewish mother was rendered stateless after being forced to flee occupied Hungary as a refugee during the Holocaust. The questions over Frydenberg’s status came as communications minister Mitch Fifield revealed former Senate president Stephen Parry did not reveal doubts about his own citizenship status for several weeks. The ongoing citizenship crisis, which has continued to overshadow parliament despite the resolution of the “citizenship seven” case last week, has strengthened the case for a citizenship audit of all parliamentarians. Federal Labor has indicated it may support such an audit, while Coalition backbenchers Kevin Andrews, Eric Abetz, Craig Kelly and Llew O’Brien have also called for the measure.
And in Europe, eight members of the Catalan regional government deposed by Spain have been jailed pending charges of sedition and rebellion. Spanish prosecutors have also called for the repatriation of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and several members of his cabinet, who fled Spain for Brussels earlier this week. The Spanish government has tightened its grip on Catalonia, dissolving the regional parliament after it declared independence and seeking to seize Catalan TV and radio broadcasters. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who called a regional election for December 21, has enjoyed increased popularity among non-Catalans since the crisis began.