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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

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

Call for April 15 as Global Day of Solidarity for Public Health Not Private Profit

Spirit of Eureka supports the call of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) for a Global Day of Solidarity for Public Health Not Private Profit. Spirit of Eureka is an affiliate member of ILPS, an international alliance of anti-imperialist organisations, and is a founding member of the ILPS-Australia Chapter.

 

Call for April 15 as Global Day of Solidarity for Public Health Not Private Profit

Office of the Chairperson, April 7, 2020

The crisis of the global capitalist system has deepened since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increasing class divide within nations, the intensifying exploitation and oppression under monopoly finance capital, the rivalry of imperialist powers along with plunder, wars, militarism and fascism have all caused great suffering for the working people and the masses and made them more vulnerable to the present global health crisis and the economic failures of the system.

Close to half a century of the neoliberal regime has failed to save the capitalist system. COVID-19, one of the worst pandemics to hit the world since the Spanish Influenza of 1918 is now exposing the vulnerabilities of privatized national public health care systems and the inadequate response of the capitalist governments. The epicenter of the pandemic has shifted from China to Europe and now to the United States, the heartland of capitalism. There is a frenzied scramble for immediate financial stimulus to revive a dying economy for monopolies who have stolen everything but are now gripped with fear in the face of angry people who have nothing.

The failure of neoliberalism is evident in all continents. The global crisis that continues to linger since the 2008 depression is bound to further explode as global production and global value chains are destroyed, resulting in erratic financial collapses including commodity markets and currency markets.

Read more: Call for April 15 as Global Day of Solidarity for Public Health Not Private Profit

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

Lessons From the Front Line

By Lindy Nolan

Two weeks ago, state schools across the country were full to overflowing. Some had 1800 students in schools built for 1000.

Social distancing? Impossible. Think of traffic jams of kids getting to lessons in rooms a quarter the necessary size.

NSW public school classrooms each had about eight minutes cleaning per day. No extra cleaning materialised in the months since the virus surfaced. Many teachers took up the slack. It’s similar round the country.

Meanwhile, a media frenzy focused on toilet roll shortages, while critical shortages of essential hygiene infrastructure, equipment and staff went almost unremarked.

Read more: Lessons From the Front Line

Parent Category: Spirit Content