Rallies calling for marriage equality were held in major cities across Australia over the past few weekends. The turnout was large, with numbers reaching the thousands. The overwhelming presence of youth was particularly noticeable. In many areas of the LGBTI struggle today, youth are helping lead the charge. Opinion polls conducted by Australian Marriage Equality found that 80% of those under 24 support equal marriage, the highest percentage for any demographic group.
Resistance Young Socialist Alliance
Universal Basic Income (UBI) is not a new idea. But it is an idea whose time has come. It is one of the simplest, most obvious pieces of social policy imaginable: every member of a society, with no exceptions, is entitled to enough money to live on. Eligibility is not conditional on age or employment status, or education or criminal record like the poorly-built social welfare programs of modern Australia that have deep, but invisible, cracks for the most vulnerable to fall into.
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”.
The fight for marriage equality in Australia has been long ongoing, and its success long, long overdue. Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH), for instance, is just one of the groups which have fought for equal legal rights. Founded in 1999, it has been campaigning tirelessly for well over a decade. This activism has already changed Australia, helping create majority support for marriage equality.
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.
Over the weekend of July 24 to 26, the nation will be watching as the Australian Labor Party (ALP) holds its 47th triennial national conference at the Melbourne Convention Centre. The Labor Party’s national conference is its highest decision-making body, deciding its policies and future direction. The Labor party’s previous national conference was in Sydney in 2011. At that conference, it voted for a policy supporting marriage equality. Despite that vote, and the Labor Party being in government until the end of 2013, marriage equality was not made law.
The increasing lack of job opportunities and job security for those wishing to enter the workforce is a barrier for young people seeking employment. There is an expanding list of experience required to increase employability and get the “competitive edge” that capitalists love to talk about. Undertaking an internship or traineeship after finishing a degree is a popular method of gaining experience and increasing employability.
A new enterprise bargaining agreement reached by the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) is set to leave thousands of low-paid workers worse off, according to detailed analysis conducted by union official Josh Cullinan, the May 24 Sydney Morning Herald said. “Cullinan, who works for the National Tertiary Education Union, did the analysis in a personal capacity, estimated Coles could be saving more than $20 million a year in wages by underpaying its staff.
On March 3, Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance members took part in the Market Stall Day as part of orientation week at Deakin University's Waurn Ponds Campus in Geelong, Victoria. Before the office hours of the event started, two Resistance members, both students at Deakin University, were told to change out of their T-shirts which displayed the classic feminist Rosie the Riveter image with the text “Up Yours Abbott”.
The National Union of Students organises national days of action, in which students around the country take part in rallies to fight back against the latest round of attacks against public education. This year, students are continuing to fight the biggest attack on accessible education since HECS was introduced in 1989.