Action updates

October 23, 1996

Picket against Telstra sell-off

BRISBANE — Members of the Community and Public Sector Union gathered in the mall on October 16 to protest the Howard government's plans to privatise Telstra and slash 23,000 jobs. The unionists picketed a Telstra shopfront being closed as part of the privatisation process.

CPSU state secretary Claire Moore, and other public sector union officials and members, slammed the plans and called for an ongoing campaign to prevent the sale. Demonstrators distributed leaflets to passers-by explaining that "Last year, Telstra paid dividends of $1.4 billion to treasury. The government will lose this source of revenue for all time if Telstra is sold. The Liberals plan to cover this loss by cutting services like health and education or by increasing charges."

Afghan women's demonstration

MELBOURNE — A demonstration of around 70 people was held on October 18 at Parliament House, aimed at highlighting the fact that Afghan women are fed up with the political instability in Kabul and other areas under Taleeban control. The Taleeban militia, which has been progressively gaining control of Afghanistan, are extremely reactionary towards women, banning such basic rights as the right of women to do paid work.

Anti-Communist referendum defeat celebrated

BRISBANE — On September 22, 1951, the people of Australia voted down a referendum to ban the Communist Party of Australia, initiated by the Menzies Liberal government as the centrepiece of a McCarthyist-style anti-communist witch-hunt.

"It was one of the biggest public campaigns ever", former Queensland secretary of the CPA and current member of the Socialist Party of Australia, Jim Henderson, told a Politics in the Paddo Workers' Club forum on September 23. A lively discussion took up the lessons of the 1951 victory for the struggle against the anti-democratic and anti-worker Howard government today.

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