Hundreds of Victorian Socialists volunteers have been staffing early voting polling booths since 14 November, building on the more than 150,000 doors knocked across the north and west of Melbourne during the state election campaign. They are bringing a new style of campaigning to the state election, and have found a constituency of voters fed up with the prevailing pro-corporate, mainstream politics.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirm that real wages are falling at the fastest rate since the Great Depression, possibly even the 1890s, both period of massive unemployment.
The Australian Nursing Federation will proceed with a ballot of its West Australian members in defiance of an order by the Industrial Relations Commission. If nurses reject the McGowan state Labor government’s below inflation pay offer, they will resume a campaign of industrial action, which was suspended last week.
The UN COP27 climate conference is taking place in Egypt, which is an apt choice for a climate conference—a military dictatorship propped up by oil money from Saudi Arabia. And it’s reflected in the outcome.
Socialist Alternative is the largest revolutionary group in Australia since the 1920s. We are the only socialist group with a national presence and an expanding membership. Founded by a few dozen people based overwhelmingly in Melbourne in the mid-1990s, the organisation has grown to nearly 500 activists spread across the country. While this is nowhere near what we ultimately need, it’s an important achievement in a context where the broader left has disintegrated.
There was once a little pub in Carlton called the Corkman. Built in 1854, it was one of the oldest buildings in the suburb. It wasn’t particularly charming—mission brown had been slopped all over it in the 1970s—and it didn’t have a particularly worthwhile social function, mostly used as a watering hole by Melbourne University law students.
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Victorian Socialists—recognised by Beat magazine as “the most left-wing option Victorians have this election”, and by PEDESTRIAN.TV as “Fierce door knockers and grassroots campaigners”—is making a mammoth effort to push against the grain of history in the state election. The party has a chance of getting Jerome Small elected to the upper house in Northern Metro and Liz Walsh in Western Metro. If successful, it will be only the third time a socialist independent of the ALP has been elected to any Australian parliament.
“You don’t know what you’ve started!” was one of many warnings shouted at politicians by leaders of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) earlier this month from the public gallery of the Ontario parliament. The MPs had just passed the strike-breaking Bill 28, or Keeping Students in Class Act, which used something called the “notwithstanding clause” to force a contract onto workers while making it illegal for them to take any strike action.
Apple retail workers across Australia have resoundingly defeated an attempt by the world’s richest corporation to force through a non-union enterprise agreement.
Alma Torlakovic, a member of the National Tertiary Education Union at Sydney University, has written a response to this piece, which can be read here.
After 40 days on strike, plasterboard workers at the Knauf factory in Melbourne voted to return to work on 25 October. The main attack from the company—loosening the wording in the enterprise agreement to allow permanent workers to be replaced with insecure labour hire workers—was withdrawn.
“The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from the question of what kind of people we want to be”, Marxist geographer David Harvey writes in his book Rebel Cities. “What kinds of social relations we seek, what relations to nature we cherish, what style of life we desire, what aesthetic values we hold”.
David McBride, the former military lawyer who exposed Australian war crimes in Afghanistan, will face trial next year after Commonwealth lawyers intervened to suppress the use of crucial evidence that reportedly would have granted him whistleblower protection.
This piece is a response to National Tertiary Education Union Swinburne Branch President Julie Kimber, whose article can be read here.
With three weeks to go until the 26 November state election, the Victorian Socialists have released their policies as they campaign across Melbourne’s Northern and Western Metropolitan districts. Here we publish a selection from the party’s 2022 election manifesto. To view the full policy platform, visit victoriansocialists.org.au/policies.
The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is widely considered the scientific authority on climate change. It informs government policy, and its predictions about the likely consequences of global warming are frequently invoked by environmental activists to highlight the urgent need for climate action. The IPCC’s contributions to environmentalism are largely positive, but this obscures the fact that even the IPCC is not entirely dedicated to the pursuit of truth, science and environmental protection.
More than 250 volunteers and supporters turned out on 21 October to the historic Mission to Seafarers in Melbourne’s Docklands to help launch the Victorian Socialists’ state election policy manifesto.
The revelation by ABC’s Four Corners program on 31 October that the US Air Force will base six B-52 bombers in the Northern Territory is the latest signal that the United States is preparing for war with China and confirms Australia’s bipartisan commitment to these murderous plans.