The myths of Beersheba

Vashti Kenway The 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba has been cause for great patriotic celebration among the Australian political elite and the mainstream media. The Battle, a little-remembered incident in the Middle Eastern theatre of the First World War, featured the Australian Light Horse...CONTINUE READING

Russia 1917: when the people rose

Sandra Bloodworth A century ago, Russian workers blazed a new path in human history. Their revolution of 1917 inspired millions around the globe and struck terror into the hearts of the rich.CONTINUE READING

Beating anti-union laws: the Clarrie O’Shea strike

Katie Wood On 15 May 1969, union leader Clarrie O’Shea was jailed for refusing to allow the industrial court access to his union’s accounts. The Tramways Union had been fined under the penal powers, the coercive sections of the Arbitration Act, for taking industrial action. The penal powers had been...CONTINUE READING

The politics of patience

Ian Birchall Tom O’Lincoln will be known to many for his historical writings. But Tom is also a lifelong political activist. Now, turning 70 and facing health problems, he has written an autobiography, The Highway is for Gamblers . For some on the left, an autobiography is an opportunity for self-justi...CONTINUE READING

What Marxists say about religious freedom

Mick Armstrong Defence of religious freedom is the war cry of No campaigners. It is a cynical attempt by the likes of Tony Abbott, John Howard, Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi to divert the debate away from the core issue of the democratic right of same sex couples to be married in a civil ceremony. Civil m...CONTINUE READING

The role of Queensland Native Mounted Police in genocide

Duncan Hart The premeditated use of murderous violence against Indigenous people by agents of Australia’s early colonial order is often glossed over. For many commentators and politicians, it is too much to admit any element of malice. Take Malcolm Turnbull describing the adorning of statues of Captai...CONTINUE READING

Separate but unequal

Chris di Pasquale Attempting to present the case for a No vote on marriage equality on ABC’s 7:30 program recently, former Woolworths CEO Roger Corbett instead gave a rambling and at times contradictory interview in which he unwittingly exposed the deeply segregationist logic beneath the right’s defence of...CONTINUE READING

Owning up to Australia’s slave labour past

Hersha Kadkol This year marks the 170th anniversary of the beginning of “blackbirding”, the kidnapping of people from Pacific islands and bringing them to the Australian colonies as indentured labour. In 1847, “pioneer” Benjamin Boyd, in an effort to maintain a failing pastoral and whaling business, kid...CONTINUE READING

Understanding the 1917 general strike

Robert Bollard On 14 August 1917, readers of the Sydney Morning Herald were treated to the following passage by Mr W.D. Carmalt, the manager of the refreshment rooms at Central Station. He was relating the scandalous behaviour of the young women whom he employed as waitresses: “For the past few days the...CONTINUE READING