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COVID-19: Profit system has failed the people

Spirit of Eureka Statement, August 24, 2020

COVID-19: Profit system has failed the people

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the economic and social system built on exploitation, privatisation, casualisation, insecure work and class injustices in our society. It has laid bare the deadly consequences of a system that exploits and profits from the caring of our elderly, while providing inadequate funding for our public health system and decent public housing. It is a class system that depends on these economic and social inequalities which enable the 1% super rich to live in luxury while the majority of people of the world struggle to survive. 

Precarious employment, casualisation and low paid workers

Millions of casual, low paid workers in essential industries, the abattoirs, meatworks, warehouses, aged care facilities and security services, without sick leave entitlements, job security and health and safety protection are carrying the brunt of the spread of Covid-19 and its consequences.  Front line health workers risk their health and lives.

And still the corporate class of big business demands more casualisation and outsourcing, more workplace “flexibility” for employers to exploit workers for profit, suppress wages and conditions, want more cuts to corporate tax and to environmental safeguards, and make working people pay for the economic and health crises.

Casualised and precariously employed workers have already been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, often with little choice but to work if they are unwell to pay the rent, buy food and necessities for families. Many are also unable to work from home. Yet there are designs to further entrench a compliant and precariously employed workforce.

The COVID-19 pandemic is being used as a cover to extend attacks on the hard won conditions of workers. Preparations are being made to expand the repressive anti-union laws designed to crush organised workers fighting for their wages, conditions and democratic rights. Employer organisations such as the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group and the Minerals Council of Australia are arguing for the need to reform Australia’s Industrial Relations legislation, for industrial flexibility to deal with the current economic crisis. However, calls for increased “flexibility” are always a euphemism for threats to the conditions of workers. Employers are seeking to reduce the protections available to workers through the Award and EBA systems. 

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Parent Category: Spirit Content

Waiting for the Old Bailey: Julian Assange and Britain’s Judicial Establishment

by Dr Binoy Kampmark

Freedom of Expression Julian AssangeOn September 7, Julian Assange will be facing another round of gruelling extradition proceedings, in the Old Bailey, part of a process that has become a form of gradual state-sanctioned torture.  The US Department of Justice hungers for their man.  The UK prison authorities are doing little to protect his health.  The end result, should it result in his death, will be justifiably described as state-sanctioned murder.  This picture was not improved upon by a prison visit from his partner, Stella Morris, accompanied by their two children.  Almost six months had passed since the last meeting.

Read more: Waiting for the Old Bailey: Julian Assange and Britain’s Judicial Establishment

Parent Category: Spirit Content

L.I.F.E Campaign Launch - Humphrey McQueen

LIFE (Living Incomes For Everyone) was officially launched on 21 July 2020. Humphrey McQueen was one of the guest speakers for the launch. He gave a rundown of the interconnections and inter-connectedness of all things and points the finger squarely of culpability for our current crisis at the long term impacts of predatory capitalism - a philosophy and construct that continues to profit from creating and managing states of crisis and conflict.

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Nationalise the fossil fuel monopolies for a rapid transition to clean energy!

A Spirit of Eureka statement

During the last decade, the climate crisis has impacted severely on the Australian people and the biodiversity of the natural environment.

The climate crisis has been marked by a long drought across much of the country, with major river systems reduced to trickles, some choked by algae and dead fish. Yet other regions have suffered damaging floods and storms. Weather patterns have shifted, affecting both large and small scale agricultural production, especially wine and honey producers.

Dying CoralStorms and rising sea levels have threatened many coastal communities, while the bleaching of coral reefs continues. Melting polar ice and shifting sea temperatures and currents have also affected fish populations and traditional fishing grounds across the world.

Last summer’s horrendous bushfires that overwhelmed communities and fire and emergency services across Australia have rammed home the reality of climate warming and the urgency of taking measures to reverse it.

Read more: Nationalise the fossil fuel monopolies for a rapid transition to clean energy!

Parent Category: Spirit Content

Covid-19 pandemic and capitalism

Contributed article to Spirit of Eureka

Whichever way we look at the Covid-19 Pandemic and its dire consequences for the people, especially the working class, we inevitably come up against the brutal profit driven capitalist system.

As the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds every day, we also learn more about monopoly capitalism and the urgency to end the capitalist system. On all measures, capitalism is not only incapable of preventing, managing the pandemic and protecting the people, but is itself the root cause of the economic and health crises.  This pandemic is shining a powerful light on capitalism’s destructive forces against humanity and the environment.

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Parent Category: Spirit Content