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United States - a repressive police state and Australia mimics its master

Murder of George FloydMillions of people around the world have come out in protest to support the Black Lives Matter cause after witnessing the enormous protests in the United States against the sinister murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by the city's police. These protests have now swelled into uprisings in at least 70 cities throughout the US after their violent suppression by the police.

Australia is no different. Whist the numbers may be smaller here, black deaths by militarised and racialised police are all too common occurrence in both countries. Since the 1990s Australia has seen 434 black deaths in custody and that is merely the ones that have been counted.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

A concrete floor a cell door and John Pat

by Lindy Nolan

10 March 2019

Leetona DungayWhat sorry choices parliamentary elections offer. NSW has one on the boil and another to follow federally.

Parliament isn’t a democracy. Whatever the aspirations of a few well-meaning politicians, parliament manages capitalism for corporations.  ‘Governments’ come and go, but the system remains.

This doesn’t mean politicians can’t do any good, but that parliament is part of the deceptive apparatus of capitalism, just like Murdoch’s media empire. It’s a shadow democracy, which puts the demands of foreign-controlled corporations and their Australian collaborators, like Gina and Twiggy, above all else.

Always has been, even when the forces of the people were strong enough for Gough Whitlam, the superhero of corporate-aligned Aboriginal activist Noel Pearson, to ride into office on giant waves of struggle.

Read more: A concrete floor a cell door and John Pat

Parent Category: Spirit Content

JACK MUNDEY TRIBUTE: It’s still right to rebel .... Only struggle availeth.

by Humphrey McQueen

Canberra, 14 May 2010.

Well known Green Ban activist Jack Mundey died recently. Humphrey McQueen pays his tribute.

Jack Mundey‘What’s the good news from Canberra?’ Jack Mundey always wanted to know when we visited him and Judy in their two-up and two-down brick unit in Croyden Park. We welcomed Jack’s unintended reprimand is a reminder to look further than the headlines, to see through the parliamentary circus. We could report how retired unionists combined in Vintage Reds to picket worksites and courthouses; and how the AEU’s latest EBA required school principals negotiate teaching loads with the Union sub-branches. Jack did not need us to be reminded of the crimes he had spent his life opposing.

Read more: JACK MUNDEY TRIBUTE: It’s still right to rebel .... Only struggle availeth.

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Budget Blunders In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

by Binoy Kampmark

TreasuryHell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets.  The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets.  Even in their self-celebrated expertise, blunders will happen. 

Few errors are as magisterial as that of the Australian government’s on JobKeeper.  In funding its job preservation scheme to cushion the shock of losses occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, a miscalculation on the number of employees who should have been covered was revealed.  The initial coverage was ambitious: 6.5 million employees.  Treasury and the Australian Tax Office have now revised the figure, effectively halving it.  The “reporting error” occurred with respect to 1,000 business applications, a drop-in-the-ocean of 910,000 businesses who had put their names to the scheme.  A mind boggling $130 billion has been shaved and will now cost $70 billion.  Any comparisons on generosity – for instance, with the United Kingdom’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – were invalidated.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

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.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content