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Red Flag (Australia)

Capitalism: great for the rich, shit for the poor

Capitalism has generated the highest level of economic inequality in human history.According to the latest World Wealth Report, published annually by French consultancy company Capgemini, the wealthiest 2.1 million people—just 0.027 percent of the world’s population—in 2020 had a combined wealth of more than $45 trillion. The ten richest people…

‘Look up’, Australia: How capitalism and climate change are turning our food bowl to dust

Quentin Beresford’s book Wounded Country: The Murray-Darling Basin—a contested history, published in September 2021, is a warning. State officials, politicians and agribusinesses risk turning Australia’s premier food bowl—the Murray-Darling Basin, which covers 14 percent of the Australian mainland—into desert.The book is an environmental history…

The Italian resistance to fascism

A mass political and military movement led by the working class and headed by Communists freed Italy from fascism in the early 1940s. “A society which seemed extremely stable and controlled, destined to continue in the same way forever, suddenly exploded from below with mass activity, such that for a brief period everything seemed possible”, Marxist…

Far-right terror: Perth’s 1980s ‘fascist revolution’

Between 1984 and 1989, tens of thousands of lampposts, letterboxes and bus stops across Perth were covered with neo-Nazi posters bearing slogans such as “No Asians”, “No coloureds”, “White revolution: The only solution” and “Jews are ruining your life”. The poster campaign, initiated and organised by the Australian Nationalist Movement…

Five things the pandemic has taught us

The world has been turned on its head during the pandemic, and there is no end in sight to COVID-19. While the future remains unclear, the last two years have furnished us with many lessons about the nature of our society. Here are five things we’ve learned.1. The capitalist class is comfortable with mass death “Tragic loss of life”. The lamentations…

All refugees must be freed

Millionaire anti-vaxxer Novak Djokovic recently drew global attention to Melbourne’s Park Hotel, which is currently used as an immigration detention centre by the Australian government. While Djokovic got to fly home to one of his mansions, 32 refugees remain imprisoned in torturous conditions, an ordeal that has been going on for more than nine years.One…

Commemorating Tamil Oppression Day

Uncalloused white hands shake brown hands, somewhat reluctantly. A golden lion with a triumphant grip on a sword, emblazoned on a flag, is hoisted high. Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) celebrated its independence from British rule on 4 February 1948. However, for Tamils and other minorities on the island, the day was just another instance of one oppressor…

Why is the US so backward on abortion?

In Guanajuato, Mexico, activists are breaking laws to help women terminate unwanted pregnancies. The women are not from Mexico, which last year decriminalised abortion. They’re from Texas, where abortion was effectively banned last September. And they’re preparing to help many more US women over the course of 2022 in anticipation of the possibility…

They should treat the healthcare system like they do the military

When was the last time you heard the army announce that it had run out of soldiers and was bringing in extras on 457 visas? You didn’t. Because the military, unlike the healthcare system, doesn’t face resource problems.There is always money for new hardware, whether it gets used or not. In January, the federal government announced another $3.5 billion…

Ukraine in the crosshairs

The Russian military has amassed more than 125,000 troops along the Ukrainian border, together with the heavy artillery necessary for an invasion of the country. Why have simmering tensions reached a boiling point yet again? In part, the answer relates to Ukraine’s unique position in European affairs.Ukraine is the second largest European state by…

Wage rises are long overdue: it’s time to fight

After years of stagnant or falling wages, and with big business making record profits, now is the time for workers to make a concerted push to raise wages and improve living standards.With growing labour shortages in a number of industries, the balance of forces has turned sharply in workers’ favour. There is an opening to claw back the massive gains…

‘United we stand, divided we fall’: celebrating the life of Fred Moore

The world has lost a working-class hero with the passing of Fred Moore on 21 January, and we have lost a dear friend and mentor to so many on the Wollongong left.On the South Coast of New South Wales, Fred was legendary for his life of struggle for anyone in need: workers, First Nations people, women, refugees, the disabled. He was an activist, a socialist…

Nurses and midwives protest against appalling conditions at Westmead Hospital

Members of the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association at Westmead Hospital protested last Wednesday to demand that the Perrottet government address the crisis in the state’s hospitals. Nurses and midwives demonstrated outside the hospital during their lunch break, holding signs demanding that the premier spend a day in the shoes of hospital…

Celebrating 50 years of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy

The longest protest for Indigenous land rights, sovereignty and self-determination in the world, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, located on Ngunnawal land in Canberra, will mark its 50th anniversary on 26 January. Established by Aboriginal activists to demand land rights, the Embassy has been a key site for the struggle for Indigenous rights ever since.The…

The marvel of the Pilbara cooperative movement

In 1946, Aboriginal station hands and domestic workers across the Pilbara region launched the longest strike in Australian history, demanding better wages and conditions in a watershed moment for Indigenous and workers’ rights. After their victory, many strikers decided that they were better off continuing to work for themselves in mining cooperatives…

Why we should abolish prisons

More than 10 million people are incarcerated in prisons around the world. In Australia, the incarceration rate is the highest it has been in a century. According to a recent Productivity Commission research paper, the number of prisoners per 100,000 adults has more than doubled since the mid-1980s and increased by 40 per cent since the beginning of…

Indigenous liberation and communism during the Great Depression

In September 1931, Bert Moxon, a leading member of the Communist Party of Australia, published Communist Party’s Fight for Aborigines: Draft Program of Struggle Against Slavery, a radical document connecting the struggle for Indigenous rights to a revolutionary fight against capitalism and imperialism. The product of Moxon’s semi-clandestine tour…

Why does the media seem to want everyone in Western Australia to get COVID?

Across Australia, more than 650 people have died with COVID in the last two weeks. Not one of those deaths occurred in Western Australia. Nearly 5,000 people are currently hospitalised. In Western Australia, the number is zero. The country is averaging around 70,000 new cases per day. In the west, we’ve thus far been lucky to keep it to around a dozen…

Elective surgery suspension compounds the health crisis

In early January, the Victorian government suspended indefinitely all category two and three elective surgeries at public and private hospitals across Melbourne and major regional cities. This was announced on the same day that Ambulance Victoria issued a code red alert, meaning the ambulance system was under such stress that people seeking emergency…

In Trump’s shadow: the Republican Party one year after Capitol Hill

It appeared that the hard right of the US Republican Party was in trouble after the 6 January 2020 Capitol Hill riot. As far-right protesters, enraged by the victory of Joe Biden in the presidential election, smashed their way through the building in MAGA hats, shaman outfits and camouflage gear, the Trumpian movement was exposed as deranged, vile and…

Aboriginal solidarity with Palestine

Aboriginal rapper Barkaa announced before Christmas that, in solidarity with Palestine, she was pulling out of the Sydney Festival. The Malyangapa and Barkindji artist announced her decision on Instagram, saying: “I stand with Palestine always and I’m pulling out of all events associated with [Sydney Festival]”. Sharing the statement from Artists…

Twenty years of torture at Guantánamo Bay

Twenty years ago this month, twenty men were unloaded off a C-141 military transport plane at the US Navy base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. They stumbled off the plane in shackles, having been chained and hooded for the duration of the twenty-hour trip from Kandahar, Afghanistan. These were the first of the roughly 800 individuals who have been held in…

Morrison to workers: work till you drop

“As per our call to you today—and as confirmed by S.A. Health—you are required to present for work tomorrow (Monday) as normal unless you are feeling unwell. This applies even if you have tested positive for Covid-19 either by a PCR or Rapid test (RAT), and also if you are currently isolating because you are a close contact.”—Letter to workers…

Qld delay of school year is no solution to stemming Omicron case numbers

In what seemed to be a welcome response to the surging COVID cases in Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk recently announced a two-week delay to the start of the school year to avoid schools reopening during what is expected to be a peak in infections. However, the devil is in the detail: the delay is far from adequate and risks the health of…

Australia is sleepwalking into a long COVID catastrophe

“You’ve often heard us say”, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told the media at one of his regular press conferences on the COVID-19 situation on 5 October 2021, “that no-one wants to get this”. On that day Will Smith, a 24-year-old former athlete, was brought out to speak. Will caught COVID-19 in March 2020 but was still feeling the effects…


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