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Workers' Liberty newsletter No 71 (August 2019)

Contents:
School students reach out to labour movement for climate action
* Losing the climate election
* Radical union leader Bob Carnegie loses Queensland MUA election
* RAFFWU Fighting cuts to penalty rates, interview with Hayden Walsh
Tax and wealth after the election, interview with Dick Bryan
* Reviews: Pamphlet on climate change, a book about the GFC and its aftermath, a documentary about Brazil and the Workers’ Party.
Corbyn is reactionary on Europe
* International Socialist US collapse, and Socialist Alternative, abridged from ISO: Losing the thread
* Palestine – Israel and the Right of Return, abridged from Return of old formulas

 

Workers' Liberty newsletter No 70 (Spring 2018)

Workers' Liberty newsletter No 69 (Summer 2017/2018)

Workers Liberty newsletter No. 68 August/September 2017

All issues of newsletter 

What we stand for

• Independent working-class representation in politics.

• A workers’ government, based on and accountable to the labour movement.

• A workers’ charter of trade union rights — to organise, to strike, to picket effectively, and to take solidarity action.

• Public ownership of essential industries, and taxation of the rich to fund renewable energy and environmental protection, decent public services, homes, education and jobs for all. End fossil fuel extraction.

• A workers’ movement that fights all forms of oppression. Full equality for women, and social provision to free women from domestic labour. For reproductive justice: free abortion on demand; the right to choose when and whether to have children. Full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Indigenous control of indigenous affairs. Working class unity against racism.

• Free refugees, let them stay, right for workers to remain in Australia without insecurity of short term visas.

• Global solidarity against global capital — workers everywhere have more in common with each other than with their capitalist or Stalinist rulers.

• Democracy at every level of society, in trade unions, and from the smallest workplace or community to global social organisation.

• Equal rights for all nations, against imperialists and predators big and small.

• Maximum left unity in action, and openness in debate.

 

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Chinese students organise solidarity with Hong Kong

Author

Colin Foster

Chinese students at the University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia, have set up a "Lennon Wall" in the student union precinct at the main campus.

The wall, expressing solidarity with the protests in Hong Kong, has been ripped down twice by pro-Chinese-government students, but restored each time.

Organising in schools to control carbon emissions

Author

Martin Thomas

Corinda State High School, a secondary school with over 1800 students in a middling-income inner-west suburb of Brisbane, has declared itself the first "carbon-neutral" school in the Australian state of Queensland.

It was certified as "carbon-neutral" by the Queensland government Department of Energy in April 2019.

Corinda was not as much a flagship in Australia's student climate strikes, a few months ago, as Kenmore State High School, on the other side of the Brisbane river. But it has done the work to audit its carbon emissions, including from staff journeys to work.

Only one union fighting cuts to penalty rates: RAFFWU

Author

Interview with Hayden Walsh

The latest stage of Fair Work Commission cuts to minimum penalty rates came in on 1 July 2019. The union that is taking on employers and keeping penalty rates is the Retail And Fast Food Workers Union. We spoke to Hayden Walsh, a Sydney retail worker and member of the RAFFWU National Committee.

Sydney RAFFWU ranks-and-file members organised a snap speakout in the CBD on 6 July to coincide with the 2019 cut to penalty rates. About 40-50 people came along. It was fun. We know it’s possible to retain penalty rates.

Climate change activist: "This pamphlet helped me understand how socialism can drive change"

Author

Janet Burstall

Daisy Thomas, who recently became a climate change activist in Brisbane, discussed the Workers’ Liberty pamphlet For workers’ climate action with Janet Burstall.

I was aware of socialism as an idea. This pamphlet gave me more understanding of how socialism can be used as a driver for change. It made me realise the importance of tapping into workers as a social mobilisation force that can be part of their own solution, including in fossil fuel industries that are going to be phased out. I’ve also started reading a book on the Green Bans.

Losing the “climate election”

Author

Janet Burstall

The Australian Labor Party’s climate action platform for the May 2019 Federal Election was the most ambitious yet. Pre-election polls showed climate change was a high priority for voters.

The Liberal-National coalition was divided on climate action. Climate-change deniers controlled the party room, and had elected Scott Morrison as leader, an MP who had famously cradled a lump of coal in parliament to show his support for coal-fired power. Yet Labor lost the election.

Losing the thread: ISO’s collapse

Author

Martin Thomas

The veteran Marxist writer Paul Le Blanc has written the most substantial and critical account yet of the collapse of the USA’s International Socialist Organization, of which Le Blanc was himself a member, though not a central one.

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