Across the US young people are pouring into the polling booths. The contest is not the Presidential election — that is still some months away. Instead they are lining up to vote in the primaries for the Democratic Party. In particular they are turning up to vote for an old Jewish radical from New York.
Politicians in the Coalition government are attempting to destroy a campaign aimed at making schools safe for queer youth. Urged on by arch-conservatives such as Senators Corey Bernardi and Eric Abetz, the federal education minister Simon Birmingham has announced a federal review into the funding of the Safe Schools program. This program is an attempt to eradicate homophobic and transphobic bullying from schools and encourage diversity and tolerance among young people.
In our “A World to Win” series, Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance members have expressed their desires for a different future. From universal basic income, green economies and reproductive rights, we have discussed demands that can change the trajectory of our current world towards somewhere greener, freer and more just. In this final article of the series, Angus McAllen raises the demand of “Everything for Everyone”, an idea of a society without classes, inequality and poverty. ***
Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance will host its second Radical Ideas Conference over December 4 to 6 in Sydney. Following the success of last year’s conference, hosted in Geelong, Resistance activists say this conference will help energise young people to struggle against corporate power, environmental destruction and social exclusion. The conference will have workshops and panels including discussions on topics such as combating the austerity agenda of the 1%, fighting back against racism, Islamophobia and colonialism and the struggle for environmental justice.
Protesters rallied outside Queensland’s parliament on September 16 to demand the Palaszczuk government honour its election promises and protect the Great Barrier Reef. This comes after several victories for the environment movement, with major banks pulling out of the Carmichael Coal mining project that, if approved, would greatly increase Australia’s coal production and damage to the Great Barrier Reef.
A World to Build: New Paths Toward Twenty-First Century Socialism Marta Harnecker Monthly Review Press, 2015 US$19, paperback The emergence of diverse, complex and popular social projects in Latin America — several of which have involved winning governmental power —- is arguably the most important phenomenon shaping radical politics in the 21st century. The political practices of popular movements and political parties engaged in these revolutionary projects can inspire and educate radicals and activists all over the world.
The University of Queensland Resistance Club has joined with other student clubs to call on the university administration to divest money from fossil fuels. The university has an undisclosed amount of money invested in projects whose emissions jeopardise the future of the young people that UQ is supposed to be educating.
Seventy years ago this month, the US committed two of the worst terrorist attacks in human history. The incineration of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by atomic bombs represented the bloody climax of World War II. The nation that committed this heinous crime soon itself came to be the only remaining capitalist superpower.
The conservative right has launched a last ditch campaign to swing public opinion away from support for marriage equality. The Marriage Alliance, a new organisation dedicated to opposing what it sees as a threat to “family values”, was launched on August 2. Backed by wealthy businesspeople, the campaign hopes to scare people away from marriage equality by raising vague but menacing threats about damage to children and loss of “rights and freedoms”.
Around the corner from where I used to live in northern Brisbane, there was an abandoned flourmill. It had been abandoned for decades, left to slowly decay, and became home to pigeons, homeless people and drunk young people trying to scale its enormous silos and inner frameworks. The story of the mill is one of capitalism as a whole, of post-industrial decay in advanced capitalist societies where wages have become too expensive. Work moves offshore, or into the outer suburbs, and the mill decays.
New strikes have hit Greece as anger flares over the latest deal pushed onto Greece by the Troika of European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. Thousands of public sector workers from the ADEDY union took to the streets on July 15 as part of a general strike calling for the rejection of a raft of new austerity measures being put to the parliament by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
On July 19, Reclaim Australia will lead a coalition of conservative, Christian fundamentalist and fascist organisations in another set of rallies to “defend Australian values” from “Muslim invasion”.
“Protesters rallied in Columbia on Tuesday to demand the flag's removal from South Carolina's state capitol,” the BBC reported on June 24. The protest comes in the aftermath of the racist mass murder carried by Dylann Roof on June 17 in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof, who killed nine people in a historic African American church, was photographed with the flag, which still flies over the state's capitol.
In recent difficult economic times, with youth unemployment at record rates, there is still one major state institution which is always recruiting — the military. As they have in the past, the armed forces are trying as hard as possible to present an attractive job prospect to the youth market. The offer of a career, job stability, qualifications and training can often seem too good to pass up.
For young people today, the international situation can seem hopeless. The world seems increasingly filled with chaos and crisis, as austerity and war impoverish and immiserate increasing numbers of people around the globe. The situation facing young people today, in Australia and around the world, is difficult to say the least, and it is important to confront such a situation seriously and with determination.
This is how Tony Abbott explained the new work-for-the-dole measures in the latest federal budget to the Queensland Chamber of Commerce: “That person can do up to four weeks of work experience with your business, with a private sector business, without losing unemployment benefits so it gives you a chance to have a kind of try-before-you-buy look at unemployed people.”