With no end in sight and the world losing interest, the Hong Kong protesters need a new script

This article by Amanda Tattersall first appeared in The Conversation on 1 October 2019. Today is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and protesters in Hong Kong intend to upstage Beijing’s celebrations. They will build on the global solidarity protests from the past weekend, staged in 60 cities across the world, …

Australia’s leaders are sitting on the sidelines. It’s up to the people to take a stand.

Citizen-led movements around the world are voicing their frustration over political impotence. It’s time it happened here too. By Marc Stears. First published in The Guardian Australia on Monday 30 September. Australian politics has never felt as far out of step with the rest of the democratic world. While other major democracies openly confront existential …

Like ‘shooting water’: why the Hong Kong government must accept that compromise is the only way forward

This piece by Amanda Tattersall first appeared in The Conversation on 27 August 2019. The Hong Kong protest movement is not deescalating – nor will it. Having battled for 12 weeks, this multi-million-person movement has lasted much longer than the unsuccessful 79-day Umbrella protests in 2014. This is because protesters believe this is their last chance …

The Hong Kong protesters have turned militant and more strategic – and this unnerves Beijing

This article by Amanda Tattersall first appeared in The Conversation on 2 August 2019. The past few weeks has seen a drastic escalation in violence on the streets of Hong Kong. On Tuesday night, a police officer aimed a shotgun at protesters who had gathered outside a police station, while a car launched fireworks into the crowd. …

What Happened In Australia’s Election, And Why It Matters

People’s distrust of politicians is at an all time high. Australia is just the most recent clarion call for us all to build a more connected political life. This article by Amanda Tattersall was first published in The Huffington Post on 20 May 2019.  Two days before the Australia’s federal election, former prime minister Bob …

New minister for public spaces is welcome – now here are ten priorities for action

This article by Kurt Iveson was first published in The Conversation on April 15, 2019. With the re-election of the Berejiklian government, New South Wales now has a minister for public spaces, Rob Stokes. This portfolio was first mooted in February, when the premier announced one of the new minister’s tasks would be to identify and …

Why the creeping sell-off of public space for private ads is so wrong

By Kurt Iveson, first published in the Sydney Morning Herald on October 9 2018. Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s intervention to insist the Sydney Opera House allow blatant Racing NSW advertising on its sails is objectionable for many reasons. Most worryingly, it signals a new intensification of the ongoing privatisation of our public spaces through advertising. The …

In the ‘fearless city’, Barcelona residents take charge

This article by Amanda Tattersall was first published on The Conversation on 7 November 2017. It is part of the Democracy Futures project, a joint global initiative between The Conversation and Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the 21st century. Almost every global city has a similar dynamic – …

Community organising aims to win back civil society’s rightful place

This article by Amanda Tattersall was first published in The Conversation on August 25, 2014. In the wake of the Second World War, Karl Polanyi wrote that the public arena is made up of three interconnected sectors: the market, government and civil society. He argued that democracy thrives when these three are in balance. If only that …