there's our catastrophe

Jul 16

people who always talk about “femmes” and never talk about “women”

"More than 150 Tamil asylum seekers on board an Australian border protection vessel are being detained in windowless locked rooms with men kept apart from their families against their will, newly released high court documents have revealed."
via.

"More than 150 Tamil asylum seekers on board an Australian border protection vessel are being detained in windowless locked rooms with men kept apart from their families against their will, newly released high court documents have revealed."

via.

Academic boycott of Israel now "fireproof" as Australian court challenge fails -

[tw link for abuse]

black-australia:

transluminescence:

v0lus:

hey everyone. an australian aboriginal woman has been sentenced to life in prison because of her disability, even though she hasn’t been convicted of any crime. she has been in there for 18 months already, and although the government has the facilities to care for people with disabilities, they are ignoring requests to have her transferred to a dedicated care facility rather than a prison. here is the petition to free her - it still needs ~14,000 signatures. please sign.

SIGNAL BOOST THE FUCK OUT OF THIS

[UPDATE]

Rosie Anne Fulton (woman’s name) was recently released to a secure, 24-hour care facility. The petition linked above reached around 120,000 signatures which captured the full scale of the public outcry to have her freed from the WA jail. But after breaking her bail conditions and just a fortnight after being freed, Ms. Fulton was arrested in Alice Springs and charged with three counts of assaulting police officers.

Full story coverage by ABC News online 

[tw for the following article for ableist terms relating to peoples with disabilities] 

Disabled Aboriginal woman Rosie Fulton arrested again days after being freed from WA jail

Updated Tue 8 Jul 2014, 4:33pm AEST

A mentally impaired Aboriginal woman, who was recently released from a Western Australian prison after a public campaign, has been arrested and charged with assaulting three police officers in Alice Springs.

Rosie Anne Fulton spent 21 months in a Kalgoorlie jail without trial or conviction after she was deemed unfit to plead over driving charges.

Ms Fulton was arrested in 2012 after crashing a stolen car in Western Australia but a magistrate ruled she was not fit to plead because she is intellectually impaired - a victim of foetal alcohol syndrome - and has the mental capacity of a young child.

The 24-year-old returned to Alice Springs last week, after a care plan was arranged by the Territory Government. She was provided with 24-hour care by two health workers in the town.

But at the weekend she left the property, and at some point became involved in a confrontation with police. She was charged with three counts of assaulting officers over the incident.

About 120,000 Australians signed a petition to have Ms Fulton freed from jail in WA after her story was broadcast on the ABC’s Lateline program in March.

After the magistrate’s ruling, Ms Fulton was sent to prison in Kalgoorlie because there were no facilities to meet her needs.

Her family wanted her transferred to Alice Springs so she could receive ongoing treatment.

After the public outcry, the WA and Northern Territory governments reached a deal to see Ms Fulton cared for in her home town of Alice Springs.

Following Ms Fulton’s release, an investigation by Lateline found dozens of intellectually disabled Aboriginal people are being kept in prison indefinitely because of a lack of proper healthcare facilities

Indigenous peoples living with intellectual impairments are so incredibly neglected within the criminal justice system, particularly in WA and the NT and so much more needs to be done for them. What’s being done now just isn’t good enough.

More also needs to be done for the 30 or so other Indigenous peoples living with intellectual impairments who are kept in prison-based supervision due to the appalling lack of proper healthcare services…

Ms. Fulton will spend around a month in jail until her next court appearance in late August (as reported on the ABC) where the supreme court is likely to examine whether or not she has the capacity to stand trial. 

To understand more about Australia’s horrible history of Indigenous peoples being overrepresented in the criminal justice system, have a look here.

Rosie’s story, and other stories like it that have yet to be told simply cannot go unnoticed.

Share and comment. This is Black incarceration in Australia. This is how Indigenous peoples are currently being treated by the criminal justice system. 

(Source: v0lus)

one of my jobs just sent me the occupational health and safety newsletter

the first item is “have you considered not sitting in the same position all day?  try to walk around instead!”

it’s a fucking call centre

“Emma would, on the contrary, have preferred to have a midnight wedding with torches, but old Rouault could not understand such an idea. So there was a wedding at which forty-three persons were present, at which they remained sixteen hours at table, began again the next day, and to some extent on the days following.” — why did nobody tell me how fucking sassy Flaubert is


 A gamekeeper, cured by the doctor of inflammation of the lungs, had given madame a little Italian greyhound; she took her out walking, for she went out sometimes in order to be alone for a moment, and not to see before her eyes the eternal garden and the dusty road. She went as far as the beeches of Banneville, near the deserted pavilion which forms an angle of the wall on the side of the country. Amidst the vegetation of the ditch there are long reeds with leaves that cut you. 
 She began by looking round her to see if nothing had changed since last she had been there. She found again in the same places the foxgloves and wallflowers, the beds of nettles growing round the big stones, and the patches of lichen along the three windows, whose shutters, always closed, were rotting away on their rusty iron bars. Her thoughts, aimless at first, wandered at random, like her greyhound, who ran round and round in the fields, yelping after the yellow butterflies, chasing the shrew-mice, or nibbling the poppies on the edge of a cornfield. 
 Then gradually her ideas took definite shape, and, sitting on the grass that she dug up with little prods of her sunshade, Emma repeated to herself, “Good heavens! Why did I marry?”

— Madame Bovary

A gamekeeper, cured by the doctor of inflammation of the lungs, had given madame a little Italian greyhound; she took her out walking, for she went out sometimes in order to be alone for a moment, and not to see before her eyes the eternal garden and the dusty road. She went as far as the beeches of Banneville, near the deserted pavilion which forms an angle of the wall on the side of the country. Amidst the vegetation of the ditch there are long reeds with leaves that cut you.

She began by looking round her to see if nothing had changed since last she had been there. She found again in the same places the foxgloves and wallflowers, the beds of nettles growing round the big stones, and the patches of lichen along the three windows, whose shutters, always closed, were rotting away on their rusty iron bars. Her thoughts, aimless at first, wandered at random, like her greyhound, who ran round and round in the fields, yelping after the yellow butterflies, chasing the shrew-mice, or nibbling the poppies on the edge of a cornfield.

Then gradually her ideas took definite shape, and, sitting on the grass that she dug up with little prods of her sunshade, Emma repeated to herself, “Good heavens! Why did I marry?”

— Madame Bovary

Hate to say I told you so about Jack Halberstam but didn’t I tell you, didn’t i tell you the queer art of failure was fucking lazy and reductive and trying to spin it as a radical new method

This year I started tutoring at a university (TAing for North Americans) and it’s been interesting/disturbing to get an inside perspective on academia.  I wasn’t a particularly good student as an undergraduate, partly because of intellectual arrogance but mostly because my mental health was bad.  But it wasn’t helpful to me to speculate about how sympathetic to me and my disability accommodations academics were privately, so I tried not to think about it.  Now I have to. 

I think the core issue is that most academics, even the nice ones, think that academia is a meritocracy, and that students who don’t do well probably don’t deserve to. They have to think that because it means their own academic successes are meaningful, and their goals are meaningful. It prevents them being crushed by the reality of the incredibly arbitrary academic job market, it maintains their belief that if they’re worthy, they’ll get through. 

I would say that by far the most openly stigmatised students among academics in Australian universities are international students from non-English-speaking, majority-non-white countries. They’re often seen as entitled blow-ins who think they can just pay their way to a degree without putting in the hard yards. Their struggles with English are seen as proof that they lack the most basic level of competence, that they are too arrogant to learn. The reality is that the average international student is impoverished, socially marginalised, and vulnerable to violence and exploitation at work, in the street, and in their own homes. 

A large number of international students are, in fact, primarily here for the visa, not the degree. You think an Indian international student is going to learn more in your shitty info tech program than something in Bangalore or Hyderabad?  India is one of the info tech capitals of the world. But the Australian course is recognised in Australia, so it’s a pathway to residency. In many ways it’s no different to any other student who’s after a degree as a pathway to a better life.  But when you add migration into the mix, the prospective student is seen as sneaky, disingenuous, a threat.  Liz Thompson and Ben Rosenzweig wrote an excellent article about this a few years ago.  They note:

"The Department of Immigration and Citizen­ship regularly undertakes quasi-actuarial assessments of the likelihood that student visa applicants will prove ‘genuine students’, assessments substantially based upon the proportions of previous students deemed in breach of visa conditions. As a result, while students from the US are only required to say they have the financial resources to support their study, students from countries profiled as problematic are granted visas only if they can prove that they have access to up to AU$50,000. The invocation of the ‘genuine student’ and of ‘immigration risk’ is code for something else: the risk minimised is not of the immigrant but of the unprofitable immigrant – the refugee, for example."


It’s still a lot easier to get a student visa than a refugee visa. Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers is an international scandal. A high number of people seeking asylum in Australia are fleeing conflicts unrecognised by the Australian Government like the ongoing slaughter of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Under such circumstances, you’d be well advised to try almost any other path to residency before formally seeking asylum. But if you suggest to an academic that they should grade a student slightly easier because they’re at risk of deportation, all of a sudden the most liberal, pro-refugee academic is deeply insulted by the suggestion that they’re in any way compromised by acting as an extra arm of Australian border policing, or that the integrity of the grading curve be compromised merely because someone could be literally murdered. This coming from people who’ll adjust course content without a murmur because a high number of fails might look bad.

Pretty good disability accommodations are available if you can get your condition formally recognised. But this means having the resources to navigate bureaucracy, which comes down to language, class, culture, other demands on your time, etc. If a student is successful in getting recognised as having a disability, I can do a fair bit for them. If they’re not, my options are limited. Ongoing life circumstances that don’t fit a medical model aren’t recognised. You can’t get long-term accommodations for having a native language other than English, for being a recent arrival, for having no family support, working overnight shifts for low pay, for living with abuse, for poverty, for experiencing racism in the academy, for grief, for trauma from genocide, unless you can prove that the distress this causes fits into a medical model. 

This is similar to a lot of things people already know about gatekeeping and whose disabilities are considered “genuine” and who has access to healthcare.  But here, a medical framework isn’t necessarily what’s actually going on, it’s just the only available way to present difficulties in such a way that they’ll be seen as objectively present. Then again, I’d argue that the majority of disability accessibility issues are political, not technical, in nature — they’re about access to space and resources.

I guess where I’m going with this is that the logic of academic ableism (that if you can’t complete a task, you don’t deserve to) also operates to marginalise other vulnerable people who aren’t best described as disabled.  It would be cool and useful to look at the ways we can talk about and combat this underlying logic. 

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