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50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Moratorium: Lessons learnt from this powerful mobilisation of popular opposition to imperialist war

Adelaide VMC 18 September 1970This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of some of the biggest demonstrations and mass rallies ever seen in this country. On Friday 8 May 1970, an estimated 200,000 people gathered in various cities and regional centres across Australia in opposition to Australian involvement in the Vietnam War. The demonstrations, organised by many organisations, unions, community groups and political parties, under the banner of the Moratorium movement was followed by two other mass gatherings, which took place on 18 September 1970 and 30 June 1971. The Moratorium movement was not a spontaneous outburst of popular discontent; no, the coming together of so many people took years of organising.

The Vietnam War Moratorium mass movement was a united front of Australian people from many different walks of life, opposing military conscription and Australia’s involvement in US aggression against the people of Vietnam fighting for national liberation and self-determination.

It was an anti-imperialist movement.

Read more: 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Moratorium: Lessons learnt from this powerful mobilisation of...

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Green Bans in Australia

 
 

The history of Green Bans in Australia and beyond started 1970 in Melbourne by Victorian building workers.

The Green Bans movement was one of the most inspiring and powerful moments in working-class history in this country.

Today, as our planet’s very survival is threatened by the destructive nature of capitalism, we must remember the lessons of the Green Bans movement: that working people do have the power to preserve and build the future they want.

Artwork by Trades Hall artist in residence Sam Wallman, animation by Bailey Sharp, sound design by our much-missed Suzi Taylor and narration by union legend, Dave Kerin.

Parent Category: Spirit Content

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

A Pandemic in the Era of Great Power Rivalry and Neoliberalism

by Oliver Villar

Covid US & ChinaThis article was first published at Open Forum

The Trump administration has blamed China, and now the World Health Organisation (WHO), for the pandemic, seeking to distract blame from the neoliberal model of capitalism adopted in much of the Western world since the 1980s. This is also a convenient excuse for the US to attack a rising power that is starting to encroach on its influence and control.

Ultimately, the Trump administration is using the Coronavirus to drive a wedge between the US’s allies and China. Australia is a good example of this, uncomfortably caught between its largest trading partner (China) and its security partner and long-term ally (the US). For the moment, Australia appears to be towing the US’s line. In other words, the Coronavirus crisis has not led to international co-operation, but has rather been used as a pretext to intensify existing rivalries and policies of territorial division.

Read more: A Pandemic in the Era of Great Power Rivalry and Neoliberalism

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