Academic workers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have achieved a stunning victory with a serious campaign of industrial action, centred on an open-ended strike. Their approach is a model for unionists in Australia.
A recent NBC News poll found that 70 percent of US voters don’t want Joe Biden to recontest the presidency next year. Sixty percent feel likewise about Donald Trump. Yet the two men are currently odds-on to face each other in a 2024 re-run of the 2020 presidential election.
Fifty years ago, the world witnessed the first strike for gay rights in one of the more unlikely places: among the leafy suburbs of northern Sydney at Macquarie University.
While most of us are being hit hard by the biggest cost of living crisis in a generation, Australia’s “big four” banks—Commonwealth, Westpac, ANZ and NAB—have had a record-breaking start to the financial year, posting a combined half-year profit of $17.1 billion. That’s a 19 percent increase from the equivalent period in 2021, and $1.3 billion more than the previous record of $15.8 billion in 2015.
“You’re just a performing fucking monkey”. A racist barb, and one of many pointed moments in Jacky, a Melbourne Theatre Company production currently playing at the Arts Centre. Jacky is about the politics of performing monkeys. It is about racism and exploitation, hypocrisy and resistance.
Australia is facing a full-blown housing emergency. House prices have been increasing faster than wages for decades, meaning that for many people, the prospect of ever owning a home is now vanishingly remote.
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An undignified display: two vainglorious leaders of mid-level powers groping in front of 20,000 people. Anthony Albanese and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were clumsy with excitement as they embraced at Sydney’s Olympic Park on Tuesday, projecting unity ahead of well-publicised bilateral talks.
The South Australian government has followed New South Wales and Victoria to undermine democratic rights. A bi-partisan bill has been rushed through parliament’s lower house, which proposes fines up to $50,000 or three months in jail if protesters “intentionally or recklessly obstruct the public place”.
NTEU Fightback, a rank-and-file union group of the National Tertiary Education Union at the University of Sydney, is calling on staff to vote No in the upcoming ballot on the proposed enterprise agreement. The campaign was launched at a forum on 25 May, attended by over 50 people. A members’ meeting on 13 June will consider the agreement. This week will probably be the first time that members are provided with a full list of proposed changes to our working conditions.
Allyship presents itself as a way that people can show support for the rights of an oppressed group that they themselves are not a part of without “taking the space” of those who are oppressed. Marxists, conversely, argue that solidarity is the key way we can win reforms for, and ultimately liberate, the oppressed. Allyship and solidarity might sound like much the same thing, but there are important differences in these strategies for social change.
We’ll need to bring a lot of industrial power to bear if we’re going to win the enterprise agreements we need. That means putting serious organising work into preparing for open-ended strikes.
Justin Akers Chacón, a socialist based in San Diego, California, campaigns for worker and migrant rights in the US-Mexico border region and is the author of The border crossed us: the case for opening the US-Mexico border. He caught up with Red Flag to discuss immigrant rights in the US under Democratic President Joe Biden.
Early twentieth century Hollywood moguls declared themselves to be the bosses of a “dream factory”. They were the heads of an industry in which fantasies were splashed in technicolour glory across the big screen viewed by millions. Much ink has been spilled over the ideological nature of these fantasies. Less has been written on the reality of life in the factory. When the curtain is ripped away, Oz-like, the truth is revealed: Hollywood, and the film and television industry more generally, are sites of class exploitation and, at times, working-class retaliation.
Banksia Hill is a youth detention centre with an overwhelmingly Indigenous population and a notorious record of human rights violations. Detainees are regularly confined to their cells under “lockdown” conditions, which means that they are released from their tiny, suffocating rooms for only 10-30 minutes a day, as has been exposed by the ABC. One inmate spent 79 out of a total of 98 days in solitary confinement, according to Jesse Noakes in the Saturday Paper.
While French President Emmanuel Macron continues his months-long battle to raise workers’ retirement age from 62 to 64, his government is waging war on another front, some 8,000 kilometres away on the island of Mayotte.
The mission statement of Universities Australia, the peak industry group for the sector, describes in lofty terms the purpose of universities: “For hundreds of years”, it reads, “universities have existed as institutions that seek to further human endeavour through the distribution of knowledge and the embodiment of the ideals of free inquiry, equality and independence”.
One of the biggest activist meetings in nearly half a decade was last week held at the University of Melbourne, as students gear up to support staff in the National Tertiary Education Union fighting for better wages and conditions.
The process of creating a more progressive Chilean constitution took another decisive step on 9 May. Unfortunately, it was a step further away from the demands of the 2019 rebellion, which pushed the conservative government to the brink of collapse and forced it to initiate the constituent process as a way out of the political crisis.