The stolen revolution: Iran in 1979
The stolen revolution: Iran in 1979
Priya De

Minoo Jalali was among those who resisted Ayatollah Khomeini’s rise to power in Iran. In the early months of 1979, she joined a mass women’s protest against the compulsory wearing of the hijab in public. “That revolution was inevitable”, Jalali recounted 40 years later in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “Nobody could have really stopped the force of it. We hoped that we could steer it [but] we were wrong. And the clergy hijacked it ... and deceived many people.”

Students against the Vietnam war
Grace Hill

With the vibe today being one of corporate promotions, patronising advertising and soulless study spaces, it can be hard to believe that Australian university campuses in the late 1960s and 1970s were noted for their rebellious students and the decisive role they played in the campaign to stop Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

The strategic value of students
Sandra Bloodworth

Revolutionary Marxists argue that socialism is possible only if the working class leads a revolution. So why organise among students?

Bans versus strikes at Sydney Uni
Alma Torlakovic

There has been a vigorous argument over the direction of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) industrial campaign at Sydney University this year. Most recently, those who have been reluctant to argue and organise seriously for frequent enough and long enough strikes are now leading the charge for a “smarter” strategy of administration bans. 

Plasterboard workers strike
Adam Bottomley

In late August, around 50 union members at Knauf plasterboard held a meeting in their Melbourne factory to discuss recent EBA negotiations, which had begun a few months earlier. A new HR manager insisted on attending the meeting and wasted people’s time explaining the wonderful job that company management had done taking care of the workers, in particular their recent and significant safety concerns. As he spoke, one after another the workers turned their backs on him. Soon, they began challenging the manager about a worker who had just been sacked.

When students sparked a general strike: May ’68 in Paris
May ’68 in Paris
Eddie Stephenson

In May 1968, over the course of not much more than a month, student protests against police repression in Paris sparked off a general strike of millions of workers, consuming French society for weeks and shattering the notion that capitalism could not be challenged in advanced industrial economies. 

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‘We are all Mahsa’: riots shake Iran
Riots shake Iran
Bella Beiraghi

Protests and riots have spread across Iran after a 22-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, was murdered by the morality police. Amini was visiting the capital, Tehran, on 13 September when she was arrested for allegedly breaking mandatory veiling laws. Police beat her into a coma and she died three days later. Amini was buried in her hometown of Saqqez.

PC gone mad in public education
Tim Arnot

The Productivity Commission’s interim report into Australian schools confirms what those of us working in the system have known for years: the education gap is widening for students from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds, students are falling behind their international peers, and teachers are overworked and underpaid.

Reform or revolution?
Tom Bramble

The international working-class movement has long been divided between two strategies to win socialism: the reformist and the revolutionary.

University bosses’ hypocrisy
Tom Gilchrist

Australian vice-chancellors continue to rake in huge salaries even as they propose pay cuts for university staff. Figures compiled by James Guthrie of Macquarie Business School show that at least twelve vice-chancellors were paid more than a million dollars last year, and several of them served for only part of the calendar year. 

A dangerous government in Greece
Antonis Davanellos

The New Democracy government, under the leadership of prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is facing the most serious political crisis since it came to power after the defeat of the SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) government in the elections of 2019.

Reformasi! The Indonesian student movement that toppled Suharto
When Indonesian students rebelled
Erin Russell

While student radicalism is most often associated with 1960s Paris or Vietnam-era US campuses, there is a similarly rich history of university student rebellion outside of the advanced capitalist countries. One of these rebellions took place in Indonesia in 1998, when students led a movement that ended the 30-year rule of General Suharto. The movement involved hundreds of thousands of ordinary Indonesians in a fight for democracy, encapsulated by the slogan reformasi total (complete reform).

Sydney's biggest festival of anti-capitalist ideas
Far right makes gains in Swedish elections
Far right makes gains in Sweden
Chris Giddings

In 1994, 15-year-old Jimmie Åkersson sought out a neo-Nazi party. Today, he’s brought that party into the mainstream. In disturbing results, the Swedish parliamentary elections on 11 September have given the far-right Sweden Democrats, which Åkersson has led since 2005, more than 20 percent of the vote. The party is now the second most popular in the country, and holds more seats than any other party.

Reservoir Visy mill stinks
Steph Price

It has been variously described as smelling like off ham, burning plastic and chemicals. Officially, it produces “a strong odour with wet paper and sweet fermented characteristics”, in the words of an odour engineer from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). People who live near it report experiencing headaches, sinus problems and skin irritation because of the unrelenting stench.

Unionists debate at Sydney Uni
Alma Torlakovic

Sydney University is in the midst of an important industrial campaign as we fight for our next enterprise agreement. The campaign is happening in the context of plummeting living standards, job losses and a huge betrayal from our National Tertiary Education Union leaders in 2020, when they tried to ram through the now-infamous Jobs Protection Framework (JPF), which proposed a pay cut of up to 15 percent for university staff across the country. Despite the challenges to organising posed by this situation, we have had four successful strikes this year at Sydney Uni. 

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State health systems in crisis
Vashti Fox

Aishwarya Aswath was 7 years old when she was carried by her father into the emergency department at Perth Children’s Hospital. She had a high temperature, her hands were cold, her eyes were cloudy and her body was floppy. Despite her parents’ efforts, for 90 minutes she received only sporadic attention from nurses, clerks and doctors. Three hours after entering the emergency department, Aishwarya went into cardiac arrest. Her death was avoidable.

Enough blah: it’s class war

If Australian union leaders know anything, it’s how to make themselves feel relevant within establishment circles. The public relations victory that was the Jobs and Skills Summit no doubt has the Australian Council of Trade Unions media department patting itself on the back over national press headlines such as “Bosses wedged”, “Big victory for unions”, “Bosses’ horror” and “Unions win”.

Five ways to lift living standards
Five ways to lift living standards
Josh Lees

Workers’ living standards are being pushed down as capitalists raise prices and hold down wages. While the wages share of national income is the lowest on record, corporate profits are at their highest. Big companies, especially the energy giants, are profiteering from a global supply shortage by jacking up their prices to take more money out of workers’ pockets and put it in their own.