Friday, November 02, 2018

Google workers walk off the job

Thousands of Google employees across the world have staged a stop-work action in protest at the internet giant’s response to sexual harassment, gender and racial discrimination. Workers in New York, Tokyo, London, Dublin, Singapore, Zurich, Berlin and Haifa took part in the Walkout for Real Change, calling for “a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity”, a “publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report”, and the appointment of “an employee representative to the board”. The walkout is likely the largest industrial action in the history of the tech industry, a sector with widespread exploitation and discrimination. Workers at Google and other global tech firms such as Microsoft have become increasingly vocal over the actions of their companies in recent years, opposing their firms’ work with the Chinese government and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Actor Mark Winter has told a Sydney defamation hearing he saw Geoffrey Rush cup Eryn Jean Norvill’s breast onstage during a production of King Lear. “I can say unequivocally that his hand touched her breast,” Winter told the Federal Court in Sydney on Thursday, adding that the action “was long enough for me to have a series of thoughts that took me outside the action of the play”. On Tuesday, Rush’s lawyer, Bruce McClintock SC, accused Norvill of telling “a whole pack of disgusting lies” to “blacken and smear” Rush’s name.

The Western Australian National Party has publicly offered support to the woman who accused former federal Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce of sexual misconduct. Former WA Woman of the Year, Catherine Marriott, and WA Nationals leader Mia Davies spoke at #UsToo, an event discussing the #MeToo movement in an Australian context. Reading from a diary entry she made before making the allegations about Joyce to the WA Nationals, Marriott said “the weight of this awful secret is too heavy on my shoulders, I need to escape it but I don’t know how. Every time I see his face on the news, it is like another reminder of how weak I am”. WA Young Nationals president Heather York said she would “not be happy” if Joyce returned to the federal leadership, saying “as women we are all connected”.

And Indonesia’s search and rescue agency has retrieved a flight recorder from a plane that crashed in the sea off Jakarta earlier this week. Search teams used sonar and deep-sea divers to locate the box, which will be critical in determining why the nearly-new Boeing jet crashed in clear weather. Lion Air flight JT610 was carrying 189 people when it crashed shortly after takeoff on Monday. An ensuing search has found no survivors or complete bodies.



“In Indonesia, detention was initially seen as a deterrent, a punitive measure intended to shut down the route through to Australia. Until 2014, most asylum seekers ended up in detention after being intercepted trying to cross to Australia by boat. But in recent years, very few boats have been leaving Indonesia. With nowhere else to go, asylum seekers have been voluntarily surrendering themselves to detention in growing numbers.”


Bohemian Rhapsody plays like a well-oiled, two-hour montage designed to embalm the legend and move units on iTunes. It opens moments before Queen’s legendary 1985 Live Aid performance, and frontman Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek, complete with exaggerated teeth) issuing a single, dramatic cough – that all-purpose biopic convention to herald incoming bad news.”


“The work critically examines how we encounter First Nations art in a museum context and how Rhall himself is asked to perform his identity as a Taungurung man. At times the work is purposefully camouflaged, vague, receding into the background – opening up a space for the viewer to consider what they expect and want from Aboriginal art and the legacy of museums as an imperial project.”


“Momentum is building on a campaign to get children out of immigration detention on Nauru, where Australia has sent thousands of people who attempted to arrive in the country by boat. Senate Estimates heard last week that there are still 107 families on Nauru (including couples without children), and 52 children, but in the past few weeks the government has quietly transferred a number of children and their families to Australia for medical treatment.”


“You cannot bring any fresh food, only sealed packaged items. Food such as fruit or vegetables are not allowed, no home cooked meals to share, to bring a cake for a birthday you need to obtain written permission. You may not bring any sporting equipment, you must obtain permission to bring a photograph of your friends or family. To even visit you must fill out pages and pages of forms and provide identification to await processing, just like you would with a prison.”


“Like many stealth games, confrontation often descends into farce. Perhaps the primary difference is in the focus not on power fantasy, but on the sheer, physical slapstick of seeing a beleaguered gardener run around a farmyard chasing a honking goose who has stolen his keys and won’t let go.”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.