Liz Ross is a socialist activist and historian. She is the author of several books, most recently Stuff the Accord! Pay Up!, available from Red Flag Books.
Under the cover of darkness, at midnight on 7 April 1998, balaclava-hooded thugs swarmed onto Australian docks, confronting workers with orders to “Get out! You don’t work here any more!”. Shocked Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members, employees of Patrick Stevedores, were frogmarched off the job and replaced by non-union scabs protected by security guards with dogs and mace.
“Jack Charles is Up and Fighting” is the title of one of Uncle Jack Charles’ early shows for the Indigenous Theatre Group, Nindethana, and it sums up his life. An actor, musician, potter, activist, proud gay man, this Boon Wurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung, Woiwurrung, Palawa and Yorta Yorta elder was, as actor and director Rachel Maza put it, “a shining, vibrant celebration of life”.
The chants rang out through cities and towns around the world as protesters defiantly challenged the US Supreme Court’s 1 July decision to end national access to abortion: “We won’t go back!” and “Our bodies! Our lives! Our right to decide!”
Around the US, tens of thousands have hit the streets slamming the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established abortion as a right. In Manhattan, a large crowd of young, multiracial activists marched, chanting “Fuck the Supreme Court!”
Crises tumble around our world, challenging certainties, destabilising regimes and shaking-up people’s understanding of society. Out of the disruption comes political analysis and organising, a battle between left and right—liberation or barbarism. Alongside the organisers and agitators are the writers, poets, filmmakers, photographers and artists whose work documents our world of change, forging iconic images that provide fuel for the struggle.
The Australian ruling class has long enthused about a nuclear-fuelled future. And as most of the rest of the world powers reduce their commitment to nuclear energy—Germany plans to shut down all of its nuclear plants by 2022, and only 16 percent of countries today have operational nuclear reactors—the Australian government wants to power up.