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The Uncertain Future of the Soviet Past

The Ambiguous Legacy of October 1917 in Eastern Europe

by Don Longo

[This article is an edited version of a presentation given at a seminar on the centenary of Red October 1917 hosted by Adelaide’s Left Unity on 28 October 2017]

INTRODUCTION

Lenin Statue Finland StationI want to talk about history wars. These have recently erupted again in Australia, with the IPA claiming that replacing the historical canon with identity politics is leading to the ruin of Australian, and indeed Western, civilisation These wars are of course an extension of politics by other means and are proxies for the continuing struggle over power and wealth, and who has them and who doesn’t.

But what I want to focus on are a different set of history wars in central and eastern Europe: the responses to the end of the USSR and the centenary of the 1917 Revolution in a few countries my wife and I recently visited: Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Russian Federation. For the resurgent extreme right in these countries, 1917 and the communist legacy is an important part of their ideology.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Karranjal Endorses Driving Disunity Adelaide Book Launch

by Karranjal John Hartley

17 November, 2017.

John and LindyI firstly acknowledge we gather in the occupied sovereign territories and un-ceded homelands of the Kaurna People. I acknowledge the homelands of the Kaurna have been colonially acquired through theft and murder under the doctrine of terra nullius, a doctrine maintained to this day through deceit, denials and the maintenance of a constitutionally endorsed Status quo. I sit in Kaurna country as a respectful guest and with deep regard for the Kaurna People and Elders.

Firstly, I thank Lindy Nolan for penning such a thought provoking book, Driving Disunity is a timely and much needed analysis of the power dynamics between big business, government agencies and First Nation Peoples. I thank also those from the Spirit of Eureka for inviting me to say a few words here today for the launch of Lindy’s book here in Kaurna country.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

2017 Eureka Anniversary celebration in Melbourne

27/11/2017 - Railway Hotel, North Fitzroy, Melbourne

“Continuing the fight for workers’ rights”

2017_SoE_AThe 163rd Eureka Stockade anniversary in Melbourne was celebrated in honour of 59 Longford Esso workers and attended by 90 supporters.  The theme of this year’s anniversary was “Continuing the fight for workers’ rights – celebrating the spirit of Eureka in Australia’s working class struggles”.  The Anniversary celebration was attended by 20 Longford workers and their partners, union officials and members from AMWU, AWU, ETU, MUA , CWU, activists, and supporters of Spirit of Eureka.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

The spirit of Eureka and Australia’s working class struggles

by Dirk Van Dalen

163rd Eureka Anniversary speech, 27/11/2017, Melbourne

DirkBefore I start I’d just like to quickly say 2 things.

First, I’d like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet tonight, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, and pay my respects to their elders past and present. I also acknowledge that sovereignty of this land has never been ceded, and that it always was and always will be Aboriginal land.

Secondly, as the speaker from the Spirit of Eureka for tonight, I’d like to say a few words of thanks.

First to the Railway Hotel for hosting us this evening, and for putting on such a fantastic dinner. It’s no easy task to prepare meals for this many people, so it’s greatly appreciated.

Secondly, I’d like to thank everyone for making the effort and coming along tonight to celebrate the 163rd anniversary of Eureka. I believe it’s very important to celebrate and mark historical anniversaries, especially one like the Eureka Stockade, whose legacy has played such a pivotal role in the struggles of Australia’s working people for a fair, just and democratic society.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Driving Disunity Adelaide Book Launch

Speech given by Lindy Nolan at the Australian Education Union 17th November 2017

Nolan AEU DD LaunchI acknowledge that we meet on Sovereign Kaurna land, and pay respect to Elders, past present and future, and all Aboriginal People present. A huge thank you to Danny and the Aboriginal Education Committee, to John Hartley for his powerful speech and to Spirit of Eureka, especially Mike Willis.

This is an accidental book. It wasn’t one until a draft circulating amongst Aboriginal Peoples, was too big to staple. Noel Pearson and corporate education was my initial investigation, but remains unwritten, by me at least.  What I found instead floored me. I’ve been writing about the Business Council of Australia for years, and here was the BCA with huge, long-term plans being rolled out into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. And I’d known next to nothing about it. But Aboriginal voices, like Gary Foley’s, were saying “Someone ought to look at what corporations are up to!”  Land is what corporations are after, and they’re using people to people contact to rewrite their own story, as the good guys.

Read more: Driving Disunity Adelaide Book Launch

Parent Category: Spirit Content