Sam Wainwright

On the weekend of February 7-8, over 600 delegates and as many observers attended the founding conference of France’s New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA), held at la Plaine-Saint-Denis in the working class suburbs to the north of Paris.
The move to the right by the Socialist Party (PS), which drew the French Communist Party (PCF) and the Greens along in its wake, has been so clearly against the wishes of the support base of these parties that a significant vacuum in French politics has opened up to the left.
On October 31, 50 people gathered outside the offices of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to protest against the powers of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. Speakers at the action, organised by
In August, over 1300 people attended the Revolutionary Communist League’s (LCR) annual “Summer University”.
We all celebrated our fantastic victory in driving the miserable anti-worker Liberal government out of office. However the fact remains that we still have a lot of work to do to turn back the Howard agenda.
Labor leader Kevin Rudd and IR spokesperson Julia Gillard have fallen into the trap set for them by PM John Howard. By accepting the need to crack down on unionists in order to make Labor look respectable to big business, Rudd and Gillard have given credibility to the Coalition’s witch-hunt about “the union threat to the economy”.
The election of Nicolas Sarkozy as France’s president in April and the landslide to the conservatives in the first round of the parliamentary elections on June 10, described in France as the “blue wave”, were widely presented in the Australian capitalist media as a dramatic shift to the right in French political life. They are all too keen to wipe out last year’s images of French workers and students successfully resisting anti-worker laws, something they only grudgingly reported on in the first place.
The French presidential and parliamentary elections produced very contradictory results for the broadly defined radical left. Its collective vote of a little less than 9% in the presidential poll, while large compared to other industrialised countries, was down from 15% in 2002. However the Revolutionary Communist League (LCR) bucked the trend and cemented its position as the most credible voice of the anti-capitalist left.
West Australian union official Joe McDonald has rejected calls by Labor leader Kevin Rudd for him to leave the ALP. He insists he will fight moves by the party’s national executive to have him expelled, setting the stage for an important showdown.
If the Howard government thought that it’s battery of anti-unions laws had completely intimidated workers not to take so-called “illegal” industrial action then they must be disappointed. For the first time in more than a decade all work on the nation’s waterfront came to a halt on March 23 when more than 11,000 wharfies walked off the job. The stop work coincided with the Melbourne funeral of Bobby Cumberlidge, who died in an industrial accident at Toll’s Westernport wharf on March 16.


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