1968, a year of wonders

John Scott The scene on which the sun rose in 1968 was one which, in the years since World War Two, had shown a remarkable recovery. Not a return to the 1930s, but a seemingly stable environment of rising living standards, a mixed economy, expanded opportunity, a welfare state and a liberal cultural...CONTINUE READING

Two apartheid states, two massacres

Mick Armstrong On 21 March 1960, the apartheid state of South Africa carried out one of its most notorious massacres, unleashing murderous fire on 5,000 Blacks gathered outside the police station in Sharpeville. They were protesting against the racist Pass Laws, which severely restricted the movement of...CONTINUE READING

How Marx became a Marxist in five easy steps

Todd Chretien On 5 May 1818, Karl Marx was born into a world on the cusp of a great social transformation. As he and his lifelong political partner and friend Frederick Engels wrote in the Communist Manifesto in 1848: “The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massiv...CONTINUE READING

The assassination of Martin Luther King

Barry Sheppard This year marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King. The murder of one of the great Black leaders of the time by white racists with the complicity of the US government, most likely the FBI, stunned African Americans in the country. Immediately, violent uprisi...CONTINUE READING

Understanding the Palestinian catastrophe

Vashti Kenway 15 May marks 70 years since the beginning of the Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe), when more than 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their land by Zionist militias clearing the ground for the formation of the Israeli state. Before 1948, Palestine was contested territory. Afte...CONTINUE READING

Lessons from the Your Rights at Work campaign

Jerome Small As unions launch a round of protests under the Change the Rules banner, it’s worth recalling the history of the Your Rights at Work campaign, which concluded in 2007. Directed against the Howard government’s anti-worker WorkChoices legislation, Your Rights at Work protests were the biggest...CONTINUE READING

The fraud of Stalinism

Daniel Taylor Stalinism is experiencing a small revival. For now, it is greatly exaggerated online, where many of the popular socialist meme pages are as devoted to praising gulags and North Korea’s nuclear missile program as they are to denouncing capitalism. But as the imagery and politics of Stalinis...CONTINUE READING

Vale Val Macarow, a tireless campaigner

Janey Stone, Keely Macarow Val Macarow, a lifelong activist for many causes, most notably the Movement Against Uranium Mining (MAUM) and the anti-nuclear movement, died on 9 March at the age of 87. Val’s Jewish grandparents had escaped from pogroms in Russia, and she grew up in a working class family in Carlton. “Th...CONTINUE READING

Remembering Aboriginal leader William Ferguson

Gavin Stanbrook It’s been 80 years since the first recorded protest for civil rights in Australia, led by the Aboriginal community in what is now known as the “Day of Mourning”, 26 January 1938. The Aboriginal organiser of the march, William (Bill) Ferguson, was a Wiradjuri man born in 1882 at Waddai, Dar...CONTINUE READING