Democracy and the state in the age of Trump

Jerome Small The world’s greatest democracy is in danger. A “deep state”, unaccountable to democratic control, spies on a presidential candidate. Shadowy security forces leak damaging, and often false, secret dossiers. When the anti-establishment candidate is elected, the deep state moves into high gea...CONTINUE READING

The right is wrong to scoff at CFMEU comparisons

Jerome Small It’s been a big week for holier-than-thou scoffing from right wing commentators. In the wake of ACTU secretary Sally McManus’ comments last week, endorsing the idea of breaking unjust laws, many people pointed out that McManus’ sentiments echoed the views of US civil rights movement icons...CONTINUE READING

What we need to revive our union movement

Jerome Small “I believe in the rule of law where the law is fair and the law is right. But when the law is unjust, I don’t think there’s a problem with breaking it.” This unexpected and forthright declaration by the new secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Sally McManus, points to one i...CONTINUE READING

Trump and the forces of repression

Jerome Small In May 1970, National Guard soldiers fired live ammunition into a crowd of anti-war student protesters at Kent State University, Ohio. When the firing stopped, four students, all unarmed, lay dead. In early February this year, mass demonstrations prevented a planned speech by right wing ex...CONTINUE READING

The US working class vs. Donald Trump

Jerome Small Amid the waves of protest sweeping the United States, we get a glimpse of the incredible power that organised workers can bring to a mass movement. On 20 January, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, unionised dock workers shut down the massive port of Oakland, California, one of the bu...CONTINUE READING

Is a union revival still possible?

Jerome Small “Organise the unorganised!” A century ago, this was one of the key demands that militants raised in the trade unions. It’s a slogan we should revive. With only 15 percent of the workforce in unions, there’s no shortage of workers who would benefit from a union organising drive. And there i...CONTINUE READING

‘Thirty bucks, no trucks!’ Warehouse workers strike back against Coles

Jerome Small A dramatic three-day strike by hundreds of Melbourne warehouse workers, members of the National Union of Workers, has won important gains. The standout feature of the strike was the widespread and effective use of mobile pickets. In a rarity for present-day strikes in Australia, the worker...CONTINUE READING

Coles warehouse workers prepare to strike

Jerome Small Seven hundred workers at a major warehouse in Melbourne’s west have voted overwhelmingly for an indefinite strike. The workers, at the giant Polar Fresh warehouse in Distribution Drive, Truganina, work around the clock in chiller rooms to keep Coles supermarkets in Victoria supplied with f...CONTINUE READING

The odious spectre of Hansonism is reborn

Jerome Small It’s a shock, but no surprise, that Australia’s most well-known racist politician is back in the national parliament: Pauline Hanson looks certain to become a senator for Queensland following the 2 July election. Hanson was first voted into parliament 20 years ago, as voters dumped the dis...CONTINUE READING