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.
Youth & students
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.
The white US police officer who shot dead Black teenager VonDerrit Myers while off-duty will not be prosecuted, officials said on May 18. The 18-year-old teen was shot 17 times in St Louis in October, six minutes after buying a sandwich at convenience store. His death exacerbated protests in Missouri state against the killing of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown in the nearby town of Ferguson in August, also by a white officer. Like the fatal shooting of Brown, the details of Myers’ death contained startling inconsistencies.
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.”
Chile has been hit by another round of protests by student groups demanding substantial reforms to the country’s education system. Two student activists were killed in Chile on May 14 amid nationwide protests. The two students were shot in the city of Valparaiso, near the Plaza Victoria, at the end of a huge rally. Local media said both students were gunned down by a Valparaiso store owner as they attempted to hang a banner over his shop.
Mexican gov't blocks investigation over missing students Demonstrators demanding justice in the case of the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa students. Photo: Clayton Conn/TeleSUR. The lawyer representing the parents and relatives of 43 missing Ayotzinapa students criticised the Mexican government on May 14 for stopping a meeting between experts from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and army officials.
Photo: NSW Education Action Network/Facebook. Students took to the streets on May 12, budget day, to call for free education and an end to the fee deregulation bill.
Four Corners’ exposure of the massive exploitation of workers on 417 visas — the backpackers’ visa — by farms and factories has triggered inquiries and legal minefields for supermarkets giants such as Coles, Woolworths and Aldi.
Macquarie University has suffered a setback in its courtroom battle against seven students associated with the Macquarie University Postgraduate Research Association (MUPRA). On May 7, the Supreme Court recommended mediation, which was agreed to by both parties. The university also agreed to release MUPRA funds for legal representation in a future mediation hearing. The mediation hearing is set by May 28, and the verdict will be released in a month, if a result is not reached through the mediation process beforehand.
We live in a time of growing inequality between the rich and poor, when the environment is being destroyed to the point of threatening our very existence, because of a system that prioritises profit. Here are 10 reasons why socialism is the way forward to solve society’s problems. 1. THE DESTRUCTION OF CLASS DIVISION Under capitalism, people are divided on the basis of class. There are the 1%, who own the wealth and the means to produce wealth, and the rest of us, the 99%, who sell their labour to produce profit for the 1%.
The University of Sydney has ramped up its bullying of students and staff who interrupted a lecture by a visiting Israeli colonel last month. Several students who took part in the protest were sent “show cause” letters on April 15. Others had been summonsed to interviews about the protest. Mia Sanders, one of the students who took part in the protest action, told Green Left Weekly: “Vice chancellor Michael Spence is, once again, showing contempt for the university’s own charter by trying to silence dissent”.
Two thousand people rallied in Federation Square on April 4 to oppose Reclaim Australia freely spreading racism and fascism on the streets of Melbourne. Anti-racist participants included socialists, anarchists, feminists, refugee rights advocates, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and the politically unaligned. All were united in a common cause to stop the spread of racism in Australia.