Last Friday, as I sat down to write this, a progress report on the Green Left Weekly fighting fund was emailed in from Will who heads our small but serious finance team. More than $16,000 came in from our supporters the previous week (donations and fund raising events), taking the total raised this year to $203,815.
I was skipping around the office after a GLW subscriber rang in a $120 donation (that's on 1800 634 206 — a free call from landlines anywhere in Australia). Then came a text message announcing that a Socialist Alliance comrade in Wollongong was bringing in a cheque for $2500.
Another round of spontaneous dancing and singing out of key was in order. "Yes! We've got the power!"
We've made 83% of our annual target, with just $43,565 to raise over December. With your help, we'll make it. There are a number of GLW fundraising events which you'll find listed in the calendar on page 31. If you come along to them, dear reader, and bring lots of your friends and family and empty your pockets, we'll make that target by year's end.
One of the bigger fundraising events is the Sydney harbour cruise on December 9. Enjoying a summer evening on one of the most beautiful harbours in the world should not be a privilege of just the filthy rich, so make your booking now on (02) 9690 1977 or 0413 976 638.
If you can't make it to one of these fundraisers, you can participate in one of the GLW end-of-year raffls (contact GLW in your city for more information) or deposit a donation in the account at: Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 901992. Alternatively, send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007, phone it through on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia), or donate online at
The excitement about the fund's progress distracted me from what I was originally planning to write about: some reflections on the workers' rights protests on November 30.
GLW's last cover, "Make Howard history!", was very popular. Many are very worried about the dangerous course that the Howard government is forcing on this country — from his let's-go-nuclear madness, his bloody partnership with US imperialism, to his attempt to destroy the rights of workers to organise collectively. But do we have the power to make Howard history?
Thousands risked their jobs to take to the streets on November 30, and this revealed a tremendous potential power. But there is clearly a serious failure of leadership. The change of the official ACTU slogan from "Your rights at work — worth fighting for" to "Your rights at work — worth voting for" marked this failure.
Most of the union leaderships are afraid and suspicious of the very workers they claim to represent, and they are part of the corrupt elite that runs the ALP that better deserves the name "Another Liberal Party".
All the shuffling of the ALP leadership can't change the fact that the pack is full of right-wing politicians who fear popular power as much as Howard does.
The labour movement has the power to make Howard and his right-wing political agenda history as Jamie Doughney, Victorian division president, National Tertiary Education Union and Socialist Alliance member, explained in the previous issue of Green Left Weekly.
Taking on the argument doing the rounds to the effect that if the ALP loses the next election the movement is finished, Doughney wrote: "If this idea takes off, it could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy by convincing workers to give up the struggle in the event of a Coalition victory.
"The Australian union movement has defeated much worse attacks than this. Unionists have been jailed and unions reduced to nothing — only to rise again because of the courage of working people.
"In France this year, a massive campaign of strikes and protests killed off the government's anti-worker laws — in a country with a lower level of unionisation than here!".
We have the power.