VANGUARD - Expressing the viewpoint of the Communist Party of Australia (Marxist-Leninist)
For National Independence and Socialism •


May Day Talk 2024

We have had requests for the text of Shirley Winton’s speech at the Melbourne May Day event on May 5.  Shirley was speaking on behalf of No AUKUS Victoria – eds.


Thank you May Day Committee for inviting us to speak on AUKUS, war and imperialism.
I’m on the stolen lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulan nation, never ceded.  I pay my respects to their elders past present and emerging and stand in solidarity with the First Nations people of this country in their 260 year long struggle against the brutal colonialism, for self-determination and sovereignty.  
1 May is also 78th anniversary of the heroic First Nations pastoral workers in the Pilbara walking off the cattle stations in a long 3-year strike for pay and working conditions.  And they won. Always was always will be Aboriginal land.
May Day is International Workers’ Day. A day when workers around the world proudly celebrate their hard won victories and the ongoing struggles for workers’ rights, for decent and secure livelihoods for all, for peace and a better world. 
On May Day workers and their unions pledge their solidarity with struggles of the people around the world against exploitation, oppression and imperialist wars. 
This year’s May Day workers around the world stand in solidarity with our heroic Palestinian sisters and brothers in their 76 year struggle against the Zionist Israeli colonial occupation and genocide.  Working people, unions, students and millions around the world from all walks of life stand shoulder to shoulder with the Palestinian people’s resistance and determination to free themselves from Zionist Israel oppression and its backer, US imperialism.  
Palestinian people’s struggle is setting the world on fire. Inspiring and giving confidence to workers, unions, students, the oppressed and exploited, in their struggles. 
The Palestinian struggle for liberation is exposing the face of imperialism behind the wars of aggression, invasions, military occupations, political and military coups and foreign interferences in countries.  
Most major military and political conflicts in today’s world can be traced to fierce competition between the imperial big powers for control and exploitation of natural resources, markets, people and the environment – the proxy war in Ukraine, in the Middle East, in Latin America, in the resources rich Africa, and in our own Asia-Pacific region.     Imperialism creates wars, refugees, and whips up racism to divide the people.
Today, the world is on the threshold of another global imperialist war threatening to engulf workers across the world. 
A war that is being instigated and led by the US.  And, as in all the imperialist wars, we the working people and the environment are the casualties, the disposable pawns in the super power competition and the profiteering weapons corporations and military industrial complex.  It’s always us the ordinary people who pay with our lives, our health, our livelihoods and carry the main economic and social burden of imperialist wars.
In our region of Asia-Pacific, the US is preparing to start a war with China, its biggest competitor threatening to replace the US as the dominant global super power.  
It will be a war of aggression forced on the people of this region.  And Australia, the US deputy sheriff in the Asia-Pacific, is again marching to the beat of US war drums.  
Australia has joined AUKUS, an aggressive war pact between US, UK and Australia, created and led by the US, to start a war with China.  AUKUS and its nuclear powered submarines are not for the defence of Australia and peace in the region.   It is an instrument of aggression to protect the US dominance in this region,  not for the defence of the people of Australia, nor for “peace and prosperity” in the region.
AUKUS is more deeply enmeshing Australia politically and militarily into the US war plans and its multinational weapons corporations.  
Australia, a US deputy sheriff doing the bidding for the US, enforcing the so called US global rules based order in our region, rubber stamping US actions in the UN and supporting Israel’s genocide in Gaza.  
AUKUS and Australia’s involvement in a US-led war with China will syphon off more than half a trillion dollars of Australian people’s taxes from urgent needs of Australian people in health, education, housing, social services, aged care, child care, and urgent action to tackle climate crisis.  $368 billion on nuclear submarines and tens of billions more on US military and propping up the US and UK economies.
The only beneficiaries are the US economy and the hugely profiteering military industrial complex and fossil fuel corporations. 
The winners from AUKUS and nuclear submarines are the multinational weapons and fossil fuel corporations – Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BAE, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, the military industrial complex – raking in $trillions of dollars in profits from suffering of people and destruction of the environment.   
The only imminent threats to the Australian people’s safety and security come from the aggressive AUKUS war alliance, the US military bases across the country, the secretive US controlled Pine Gap spy base, the nuclear weapons carrying US bombers and warships in our ports and airfields, the AUKUS nuclear powered submarines in our ports, the deadly nuclear waste stored on the lands of the First Nations people, the US-Australia Alliance and the devastation of climate crisis These are the real threats to our safety and sovereignty.
Australia’s manufacturing industry is being turned into a production line for multinational weapons corporations and imperialist wars.  This is because workers in this country are not in charge of what our labour produces.   These are the weapons used in the horrific genocide of Palestinian people and against our sisters and brothers in other countries fighting for their rights and against oppression. 
Multinational weapons corporations are embedding themselves in our universities and our schools.  Public funds and universities are handed over to weapons corporations for research and development of their deadly weapons for wars of aggression.   These are public funds much needed for scientific research into health and wellbeing of people and the environment.  Australia’s military and defence are now deeply integrated into the US imperialist war machine. 
Our fight is not against workers of other countries. Our battles are right here – for secure and decently paid work for all, for workers’ rights, for safety at work, for affordable and secure housing for all, for properly funded health care and education and tackling the climate crisis.  For urgently needed funds to support women fleeing domestic violence and to end the violence against women epidemic.
Australian people don’t want Australia to be involved in another US war.  
Workers, unions and people from all walks of life are coming together, uniting, working together and speaking out against AUKUS, for peace and against war.
Australian workers and their unions have always stood up for peace and against imperialist wars.  Peace is Union Business.
We need an independent and peaceful foreign policy that upholds the sovereignty of all countries and builds solidarity with workers and the oppressed around the world.  We must build a broad anti-war movement and fight for peace. The heroic Palestinian people are showing that protracted struggle will unite and mobilise the people against injustice and tyranny. 
Pease is Union Business 
Scrap AUKUS and nuclear powered submarines
Remove all foreign military bases from Australia
Close Pine Gap
Cut ties with multinational weapons corporations assisting Gaza genocide 
End US-Australia Alliance
End the Israel Zionist occupation of Palestine
Solidarity with Palestinian people
Solidarity with all workers and the oppressed around the world
Touch one Touch all!    Palestine will live! 
Shirley Winton
May 2024