Sympathy for Ukrainian refugees is promoted in the Western media as unquestionable—as it should be. This is exactly how refugees from every conflict and crisis should be treated. Yet it is impossible to ignore the stark contrast between the treatment of refugees from Ukraine and those from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The United States government labelling another country an “aggressor” is about as ironic as the phrase “US Department of Defense”.
“Amazon won’t let us leave”—those were the last words Larry Virden sent, via text message, to his partner. That night, on Friday 10 December, a tornado ripped through the warehouse in Illinois where Virden was working, killing him and five co-workers. Their lives were sacrificed so that Amazon could make a few more dollars during peak delivery season.
Michael* is a network technician at Frontier Communications in southern California and a member of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 9. In October, Michael and his co-workers struck twice for six hours at a time. They claim Frontier engaged in “unfair labor practices” (a term in US workplace law for actions by employers that violate the National Labor Relations Act) after management threatened to discipline workers, including Michael, who raised safety concerns.
When fascists attacked the headquarters of an Italian trade union confederation this month, tens of thousands of anti-fascists responded by taking to the streets. We should take note in Australia.
International cooperation at a historic, unprecedented scale is essential if the world is to avert the looming climate catastrophe. Anyone can see that and, for their part, our world leaders are happy to go through the motions. This international act plays out at conference after conference in which governments sign on (so we’re told) to fight climate change together: from the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement to the International Solar Alliance.