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Government Covid-19 response: keeping business afloat or helping people in time of need?

by JB

Centre LinkEven before the present crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, purchasing power of Australian workers due to wage stagnation and the rising cost of living was declining. In fact, this pandemic has exposed many of the faults of capitalism and highlights the need for permanent change.

Driven by pro-market economic forces, governments around the world have implemented policies designed to shrink the public sector and rely more and more on “free markets” to provide for social needs.

Read more: Government Covid-19 response: keeping business afloat or helping people in time of need?

Parent Category: Spirit Content

What Makes a Working Class Leader?

By Louisa Lawson, 29 April 2020

On Thursday May 1st last year, 20,000 construction workers went on strike. Nearly 10,000 marched through Sydney’s streets, pouring in by train from across the western, southern and northern suburbs. It didn’t come from thin air – there was long lead-up.

“In some places around the world, workers are killed for marching on May 1st. It’s not a family fun day. It’s the day we celebrate our unity and strength as workers.” So argued a construction worker each year at the NSW CFMEU Construction Division Committee of Management and at delegates’ meetings.

Motions for industrial action he moved or seconded had been passed at Unions NSW. Each time support beyond his own union evaporated.

Read more: What Makes a Working Class Leader?

Parent Category: Spirit Content

An Odd Little Commemoration: ANZAC Mythology During Coronavirus

by Dr. Binoy Kampmark

Anzac DayWar commemorations nurse a dirty secret, though it is one displayed with a peacock flourish. The victors bring out the celebratory paraphernalia and talk about noble ideas; the defeated, quite simply, do not. We won, we celebrate and we, somehow, got things right. You, defeated, eat it, beat it. This does not quite work well with the ANZAC tradition, born, as it was in a defeat.

The Australians, along with their often forgotten New Zealanders, lost in their effort to invade and knock out Turkey in 1915 during the Great War. The Australian New Zealand Army Corps was part of a grand gamble hatched by the chief of the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. “I can visualize great movements and combinations,” he reflected, even as the Western front had become a stymied slaughter house of barbed wire and attrition. This entailed defeating an ally of Imperial Germany, Ottoman Turkey, in an effort to seize Constantinople.

Read more: An Odd Little Commemoration: ANZAC Mythology During Coronavirus

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Attempts to silence unions as schools reopen

By Lindy Nolan

Covid SchoolsJournalists like the ABC’s Dr Norman Swan deserve respect. His unparalleled 40-year connections with health workers and scientists have made him a standout in Australia’s strong response to Covid-19.

He warned that Chief Medical Officers were political appointees. He gave urgent voice to experts demanding physical distancing and medical workers facing acute shortages.

Those unstoppable voices informed everyday people. In neighbourhoods, families and workplaces, people were shaken out of old routines.

Read more: Attempts to silence unions as schools reopen

Parent Category: Spirit Content

A People's Call for Healthcare not Warfare

The following is a statement by the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN). IPAN is a broad based national network of more than 60 peace, anti-war, faith and community organisations, unions, and individuals advocating for an independent and peaceful Australian foreign policy. Spirit of Eureka is an affiliate and founding member of IPAN. Some of our members are involved in IPAN's activities including the drafting of this statement. We encourage all supporters of Spirit of Eureka to please sign the statement and circulate it widely.
To sign, go to
https://ipan.org.au/healthcare_not_warfare/

A People's Call for Healthcare not Warfare

We the undersigned, call on the Australian Government to stop funnelling billions of dollars into offensive weapons for unjust U.S. led wars, and invest instead in the health and safety of people and the environment.

On 23 March 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for a global ceasefire. The UN call highlights the disparity between the huge financial and technological resources invested in wars, and the under-funded and under-resourced public health systems desperately trying to control this deadly virus.

We call on the Australian Government to support the UN Secretary General’s call.

COVID-19 has sharply exposed the dangerous and unsustainable priorities of our society. On the other hand, the vast majority of Australians are co-operating to control the virus. World-wide, there are desperate shortages in the supply of most basic safety and life saving equipment – ICU beds, ventilators, virus testing kits and personal protective equipment for front line health workers. 

At the same time there are vast stockpiles of technologically advanced military weaponry worth trillions of dollars, waiting to be used in endless profit-making wars. 

Read more: A People's Call for Healthcare not Warfare

Parent Category: Spirit Content