In October 1917, revolutionary Russian workers, supported by millions of peasants and soldiers, succeeded in overthrowing capitalist rule and replacing it with their own democratic structures of power. Exploited masses have risen up in rebellion throughout history. But in Russia, for the first time, they actually took control of society, created a government based on democratic workers’ soviets (councils) and, at least temporarily, routed the capitalist state.
As Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine proceeds, protests have continued in cities across Russia. This is despite more than 10,000 arrests and protesters facing fines and even jail time. Millions have signed anti-war petitions and open letters, and anti-war graffiti is appearing everywhere.
Fresh from witnessing the demise of National Party leader John Barilaro and Liberal leader Gladys Berejiklian, New South Wales is asking, who’s the new guy?
A campaign has been launched by activists in New South Wales, called Lockdown to Zero—Health before Profits. It comes as Australia enters a new phase in the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSW government abandoning what has been the established practice of every state and territory of maintaining zero or close to zero community transmission of the virus. By refusing to lock down Sydney early enough, and then implementing a weak lockdown—labelled a “mockdown” by many—Premier Gladys Berejiklian has led the state into a health disaster.
On the national day of “freedom rallies”, thousands of people protested in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane against both NSW’s lockdown and the national vaccination program, under the influence of a range of right-wing Trumpian anti-science conspiracy crap and social Darwinist individualism masquerading as the call for “freedom”.
Kristo Langker, a producer of satirical social media outlet Friendlyjordies, was arrested last month by counter-terrorism officers, just hours after trying to speak with NSW Deputy Premier and National Party leader John Barilaro. Friendlyjordies is fronted by comedian Jordan Shanks, and Barilaro has been a frequent target of the show. Shanks spends hour upon hour throwing juvenile personal insults against the deputy premier, but he also raises serious allegations of corruption.