Archive for 'Fighting back'
I have a suggestion for Australian Education Union Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos and Federal Secretary Susan Hopgood.
Organise a general strike to defend public education. Threaten to shut down all the public schools from the first day of term 1 in 2014. You have 2 months to build the campaign and win the support of teachers across Australia to strike if the Abbott government doesn’t back down. Get cracking.
I have a suggestion for teachers. Irrespective of what your leaders do, organise a general strike to defend public education.
For 30 years the left has been incrementally lowering its sights, conceding ideological terrain and hiding what radicalism it retains under a cloak of moderation write the editors of Red Flag. It has gotten us nowhere. If we are going to build a challenge to the status quo, it will be done only by being bold and unapologetic about our critique of the existing system, and the radical transformation that is necessary if humanity is going to have a future worth living.
All in all then the Liberals are going to try to force us to swallow some highly toxic medicine in order to prop up the profits of their big business mates and to undermine our ability to stand up for our rights. We have no choice but to organise and fight them.
An all-out offensive against abortion rights isn’t on the agenda at this point, and the crew at the bigot rally are, for now, an isolated minority writes Jessica Lenehan in Red Flag. But they are a minority with serious financing and political connections. Under an Abbott government they will be seeking to increase their clout. We’ll be ready.
Since 24 September a daily community picket has dogged test drilling sites for the Victorian government’s controversial East-West road tunnel project. If completed, the toll road will link the existing Eastern Freeway to Melbourne’s western suburbs at a cost of some $8 billion.
At a morning picket in the inner north suburb of Collingwood, Red Flag spoke with Tony Murphy about campaigning for public transport, not roads.
The radical historian Howard Zinn once said: “What matters is not who’s sitting in the White House. What matters is who’s sitting in!” If we want progressive change, we should take Zinn’s words to heart. Our side needs to get organised and rebuild a rank and file socialist current in the unions and an activist tradition on the campuses.
It has been our side’s lack of preparedness to use our industrial strength at key points that has been our downfall. That is, it has been the conservatism of the union leadership, and the lack of any significant organised left in the unions to challenge this, that remains our side’s key weakness.
If we want to fight Abbott, we need to build a fight back beyond parliament – on the streets, on campuses and, most centrally, in our workplaces, where in our millions workers have real power. Already there are protests in defence of refugee rights and for same-sex marriage planned in the first few weeks of the Abbott government. We can guarantee there will be strikes. The new round of attacks, while profits are sacrosanct, will see to that.That means we need to build a political alternative, a new socialist movement that doesn’t think it can win change through parliament, but instead looks to the struggles outside of parliament as the basis of a working class mass movement to overturn the whole rotten system. We are a long way from that yet, but we have to and can make a start now.
The spin from Labor is that disunity cost them the election. This is fantasy land stuff. If only they had all united behind rabid neoliberalism then Labor would still be in power. Yeah, right. I have a bridge in Sydney to sell you too.
The disunity theme means that the real reasons – Labor’s massive shift to the right economically and socially over the last 3 decades and the collapse of class struggle over that period – can be and will be ignored by the neoliberals who are the ALP.
There is an alternative. Its name is struggle.
With the notion that Labor is any better than the Liberals on refugees now dispensed with, what else are we left with? A contest between two parties beholden to big business, both equally committed to confronting the end of the mining boom with cutbacks and austerity. Two parties who refuse to take any meaningful action on climate change. Two parties willing to spend whatever it takes on militarism and border protection, but who refuse to provide decent health, education and social welfare