CPA (M-L) Statement on Melbourne Rallies
Written by: Central Committee, CPA (M-L) on 24 September 2021
When protesters including some CFMEU members smashed the John Cummins building, all trade union leaderships and their members received a wake-up call. Former Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash (and the giant multinationals she represents) must have danced with joy.
The CFMEU has sustained unrelenting ruling class attack to crush any ability of workers to organise. They have continued to mobilise members to achieve big wage rises, good conditions and safety standards in a notoriously dangerous industry.
All this in the face of millions spent on the Australian Building and Construction Commission, to threaten, charge and fine the union and its members.
The late John Cummins was the epitome of what the ruling class feared. Not only did he and his comrades rouse workers to united militant struggle and were jailed for it, he did so as a communist, a leading member of our party. He and those around him, including a young John Setka, educated workers to exercise their strength by facing up to the ruling class of giant corporations.
Construction workers understood who they were in this imperialist system, and who were their enemies. They knew from struggle the power of the Eureka Flag, as a symbol of unity of all peoples in Australia living under the thumb of US imperialism.
In the face of this ruling class power, construction workers educated in class struggle joined Cummo and the CFMEU leadership in going into hell and back, knowing they would come out victorious, despite some wounds.
The ruling class took good note of this.
Its pervasive ideology and power, unless we constantly struggle against it, draws us all to individualism and compromise with capitalism.
Trade union ideology seeks to win the best it can from the system. It’s a capitalist ideology of compromise. At its worst it puts our own individual interests before others.
When people speak of keeping politics out of unions, or only allowing Labor Party politics, or refuse to fly the Eureka flag, they leave a vacuum into which the divide and conquer of capitalist ideology leaks. Capitalism brings out the worst in us.
The people want and need more!
Unless they are given this lead, they will take it from others.
Most people understand that governments have lied to us again and again.
They see the staggering profits of giant pharmaceutical companies.
They know we are not “all in this together”.
Right now, we ask workers and their leaders to think of those who will suffer most in this pandemic, our frontline workers, First Peoples, the poor, the prisoners.
We are your class sisters and brothers. We are nurses, and ambos, doctors and teachers. We work in supermarkets and in distribution centres. We deliver your food, working ever increasing hours.
Think of nurses working in Covid hospital wards in Sydney and Melbourne, describing the terror in Covid patients’ eyes; how they are run off their feet not able to take breaks, collapse at the end of their shifts in utter mental and physical exhaustion, the deep pain from suffocating and tightly fitting masks, of dehydration because to take a break or a drink would mean they have to remove their PPPs to drink and again later to go to toilet. The concern and anxiety about their sick patients, about being infected themselves and infecting their own families and community, is constantly on their minds. These nurses beg people to be vaccinated.
Governments are not the only ones lying to us. The billionaire far right – the US weapons’ corporations, the Murdoch empire and Clive Palmer – despise us as they lie about vaccines because they think they can manipulate us. They divide us to conquer, to protect their profits from the threat our united class poses.
In both Sydney and Melbourne, police have used anti-vax rallies to practice methods of suppression that will later be used on genuine people’s protests. This includes militarised riot squads using rubber bullets. The Army keeps a lower profile but is there if and when it is needed. In Sydney police helicopters and drones have been flying over working class southwestern suburbs as part of the state’s surveillance and monitoring of people’s movements below.
A storm of Covid is rising as this continent opens up to it to “get the economy moving”. Vaccines are our best protection. They are not perfect, but without them our hospitals which are just coping now will be completely overwhelmed.
If you are afraid of the vaccine, think what your decision not to take it will mean for others, working day after day dealing with a virus empowered by capitalist division and an unvaccinated population.
We ask all union leaders and workers to follow the lead of those on the front lines. Stand against conspiracy and lies. Educate workers to act as one class.
United we stand.
Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
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