Jacinda Ardern’s government has unveiled pro-union legislation. But salvation won't come from above, writes Ben Peterson.
Young Socialist Alliance and Resistance activists and their collaborators will be heading to Brisbane over December 13-15 for the education conference “How to make a Revolution”. Green Left Weekly spoke to some of those that plan to attend about what they hope to get out of the conference.
A socialist educational conference, “How to make a revolution”, is being held in Brisbane over December 13 to 15. This conference is being organised by Resistance Socialist Youth and the Socialist Alliance, and aims to be an event that gives young people the skills and perspectives to radically change the world.
Students across the country held protest rallies against the federal government’s proposed cuts to higher education on August 20. The cuts were announced by former prime minister Julia Gillard, but have been supported by PM Kevin Rudd, his new education minister Kim Carr and the Liberal opposition. With bipartisan support, these cuts will not be defeated without a fightback.
Student protesters will take to the streets in all capital cities and some major regional centres on August 20. The protests will stand up against the planned cuts to tertiary education by the federal government. Earlier this year, the government announced $2.8 billion in cuts to higher education, via cuts to universities and student welfare services. But the demands will go further than an end to cuts. “Education for all” is one of the demands of the protests. But is a free and accessible education even possible in the age of austerity politics?
It's election season once again. For the first time in three years, the government is allocating us all our piece of democracy. People in suits are frantically talking about the issues of the day, in the hope that they can win over enough of us to put them into parliament. Two of the defining issues in this battle are refugees and education. In both cases, candidates line up one after the other to show they are able to make the tough decisions.
The National Union of Students (NUS) education conference was held at the University of Adelaide from July 10-12. This year’s conference occurred in the context of the most serious attack on university funding in many years. In April, the federal government announced it was cutting $2.8 billion from higher education. Students responded to these proposed cuts by holding protests in cities across the country on May 14, the biggest student protests in years.
Reading the polls makes it clear that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is a hit. Overnight, Rudd's return has turned the tables for Labor. From staring down electoral annihilation, Labor is now on par with Liberal leader Tony Abbott. The election is a contest once again. “Kevin07” was a popular campaign that gained mainstream traction among Australia’s youth in the 2007 federal elections. Even though “Kevin13” lacks the same ring, his return has marked clear moves by Rudd to regain his attraction to young voters.
One Day in December: Celia Sanchez & the Cuban Revolution By Nancy Stout Monthly Review Press 457 pages, US$28.95 Read an excerpt Revolutions are great processes. Thousands and then millions of people, who had previously been excluded from their societies, take centre stage to challenge existing structures. In doing so, these movements of people can create history. These movements can propel people from relative obscurity to truly amazing heights as they are thrust into leading roles by the forces in motion.
About 100 people attended a rally at the University of Sydney on May 23 to protest the police brutality that has occurred at picket line held at the university earlier this month. Staff at Sydney University are involved in an enterprise bargaining process between the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and the university administration. The university administration is trying to force through changes that would undercut pay and conditions for university staff, including more casualisation and creating teaching-only positions.
The fight against homophobia is arguably the civil rights issue of our times. It is increasingly unacceptable that, in 2013, society continues to discriminate against people based on their sexuality. This is most obviously demonstrated by the continued refusal to grant equal marriage rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LBGTI) people.
Austerity almost seems like the defining feature of politics today. Across Europe and the US, crippling cuts to education, health care and welfare budgets are driving millions further into poverty. Even in Australia, where our economy has been spared the worst of the financial crisis, both big parties are raising taxes on ordinary people and applying cuts to welfare and education. Last year, cuts to courses and staff at several universities, including Sydney University and La Trobe University, led to strong campaigns by staff and students to defend their education and jobs.
The federal Labor government has announced it intends to dramatically increase funding to primary and high school education as part of the Gonski reforms. But before you think that maybe, just maybe, the government might be making some policy that could be defended by progressives, there's a devil in the detail.
The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at the University of Sydney is involved in an industrial battle with the administration over pay, conditions and casualisation. As part of this campaign, the union held a 24-hour strike on March 6. Staff and students held pickets outside all campus entrances, and the university was largely shut down for the day. The multiple picket lines converged on the main entrance to the university for a midday rally, which attracted hundreds of staff and supporters. There were many speakers including unionists, student representatives and the Greens.
Sydney University staff have successfully shut down campus as part of their ongoing enterprise bargaining campaign today (March 26). The two-day strike, by members of the National Tertiary Education Union and Community and Public Sector Union, is continuing tomorrow.
This week on campuses across the country, Resistance members are opening their books and getting back into study. Our “Bachelor of Revolutionary Activism” will be open to anyone who is interested in getting an education in socialist ideas. Classes will include a discussion on Marxist-feminism. Others will be about how we can save our environment, or how best to support the Palestinian people. It’s a little bit different in each city or campus, but there will be common themes. Everywhere Resistance will be putting forward an alternative vision on how to run the world.