Daily Archives: February 12, 2015


Murdoch calls for Joe Hockey’s blood

COALITION budget savings, including those stalled in the Senate, have not been enough to cover the cost of new policies and have so far made no contribution to reducing the deficit over the next four years. With cabinet’s razor gang … Continue reading

Living Without Money – How and Why (a zine)

Living without money


Click the link below to read a zine I made in the middle of 2014, in response to the proposed federal budget that included a recommendation that unemployed people under 25 should be refused the dole for six months at a time. I spent a week feeling powerless and frustrated, and then thought that making something like this might at least help a little bit. It turns out that things aren’t quite as bad as I sometimes think – the budget measures never made it to legislation.

Still, I’m glad it inspired me to write this, because as well as containing some practical tips, this zine is a good way to share a lot of the philosophies by which I attempt to live. As much as I think we need to resist government policies like the ones in that budget, living free is a glorious thing which I unreservedly recommend. Hope…

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Bob Carnegie – Australian trade union activist – speaker tour

Bob Carnegie, who has been at the heart of every major workers’ struggle in Brisbane, Australia, for more than three decades, is coming to the UK to talk about his experiences and lessons for organising workers. Bob will be speaking … Continue reading

#ShutDownCanada: First Nations people plan nationwide protests Friday

This is happening on Friday in Canada…it seems to have come out of the Idle No More movement (which was started by First Nations women) – http://www.torontosun.com/…/shutdowncanada-first-nations-pe…

Indigenous people are planning events, rallies, boycotts and blockades all across Canada on Friday in what’s gearing up to be the biggest national First Nations…

1978: March in March

In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold,
Greater than the might of armies, magnified a thousand-fold.
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old
For the union makes us strong. 
                             Pete Seeger 'Solidarity Forever'

[Publisher’s Note: With another March in March coming up I thought the organisers and participants could have a look at a march in Brisbane on 4th March 1978.  I have posted the leaflet the CLCC produced for the march that day and a recording of speeches, songs and street theatre. – Ian Curr Feb 2015]

March on March 4th

March 4th is exactly six months after the September 4th banning of political street demonstrations by the Petersen government. In those six months, not only demonstrations have been banned. The banning of MACOS and SEMP from Queensland schools has further highlighted the state governments contempt for free speech, their fear of open discussion and their willingness to crush it in Queensland education as well as in the public forum.

The state governments ban on political street demonstrations is neither the beginning nor the end of their moves to crush opposition and entrench itself m government. Faced with · timid and ineffectual opposition from the ALP and allied with the states mining monopolies, the Petersen government has intervened heavily in both the structure and per­sonnel of the public service. In particular the Queens­ land police force was purged in order to promote the pro-National Party reactionaries. Having decimated the A LP in the ’74 state election and having successfully participated in the sacking of the federal ALP, Petersen has increasingly turned his attention to the trade union movement and the Left. He has taken union organisers to court, and he is trying to de-register the Seamen’s Union. The proposed ‘Right To Work’ legislation stands alongside the march ban as a blatant attempt to crush the organisation of opposition to the strategies of the state government.

Petersen is in a strong position, but he does not want decisive confrontations. He fears mass mobilisa­tions and stop-work actions around political questions. Only by playing on the passivity and demoralization of his opposition, can Petersen place the trade union movement on the defensive while he erodes its strength.

Why March?
The Civil Liberties Coordinating Committee (CLCC) which was formed to fight the ban on political demon­strations, has come to view the ban in this much broader context. Today it is leading the struggle against the state government, to defeat its anti­ democratic and reactionary strategies. The CLCC has built the right to march campaign through a series of demonstrations centered on the tactic of actually marching in defiance of the ban. The success of the campaign has been its ability to go beyond a declaration of protest into actual united mass con­frontation with the state government in a disciplined way that has given no opportunities to the state government to attack us for building violence in the street. We are not street fighters, we are a united body who wish to enforce our right to march at the point where the state government would enforce its ban on marching. In this way the Petersen government has been forced to show its hand and display the lengths to which it is prepared to go, in amassing 1000 police again and again to prevent marches taking place.

Far from playing into Petersen’s hands, the united march is a tactic for which the Petersen government has no answer short of mass arrest. Since the demon­strations began last September, the Petersen govern­ment has continually lost ground. Though Petersen is in a very strong position, he has no means of de­fending his march ban. People rightly do not see any justification for such anti-democratic acts and the more openly he is made to enforce it, the greater is the exposure of his overall reactionary character.

Fight Back!
The state government has banned demonstrations, SEMP and MACOS. It has foreshadowed the abolition of public rallies, greater powers for police and even more extensive interventions into education . We cannot win on this or any other issues without a fight, but to fight we must be prepared and organised. The mass rallies and marches organised by the CLCC are an opportunity to unite all opposition to the state government across sectional interests in a common struggle to secure the right to organise effectively as trade unions, political organisations and protest movements.

Democratic rights
The Civil Liberties Coordinating Committee stands in active opposition to the erosion of democratic rights in Queensland, as exemplified in the state governments ban on political demonstrations. We hold that political action is not the possession of parliament alone.

The ban on political demonstrations is a denial of individual democratic rights but more importantly it is a calculated attempt to deny to those opposed to and disadvantaged by the state governments strategies, the means of putting ·their ideas and organising in their own defence. Petersen openly admitted that the ban was aimed primarily at immobilizing the anti-uranium movement. What need have his colleagues in the Uranium Producers Forum, for street demonstrations when they have the funds for unlimited access to the mass media and the backing of the government itself?

The CLCC will not accept any compromise on the right to march. We hold that Queenslanders should not have fewer democratic rights than other Australians. People should have the right to march when and where they wish upon notification to the police to minimise traffic upset. This is the present situation in Victoria and South Australia.

Trade Unions
The CLCC stand for the independence of the trade unions from state intervention. The first action taken by the CLCC was to attend the September 7th TLC rally in solidarity with union organiser Ted Zaphir. The · CLCC sponsored rally for March 4th has as a central theme, opposition to the proposed ‘Right To Work’ legislation, which will make it illegal for unions to black ban bosses that employ non-unionised labour.

We are in total opposition to notions that “the trade unions have too much power”, “the trade unions are running the country” or that “there is no longer any need for the trade unions”. Petersen, who so readily invokes all these catch crys, has made it abundantly clear that they are no more than a rationale for those who would deny the reality of 8%% unemployment, and 18% of Australians living under the poverty tine. These notions are no more than a smoke-screen for those who would use unemployment as a bludgeon for political and economic purposes. Petersen said of those teachers who might oppose the government ban on MACOS and SEMP:

“Make no mistake, any teacher who wants to try a challenge, need have no doubt the government means what it says. They have been warned and already 700 of their colleagues are unemployed in Queensland.” (Sunday Mail; February 26th).

We fully support the right of trade unions to take actions over political issues, whether those issues are related directly to the unions or not.

Uranium The CLCC advances the slogan ‘Keep Uranium in the Ground’. The National Party is the political representation of the states mining monopolies. It was in their interest that Petersen banned demonstrations as part of his endeavour to ensure the mining and export of uranium. ,In view of the lack of safeguards over nuclear reactors, the inadequate systems for disposal of nuclear waste and the process of nuclear weapons proliferation, the mining of uranium serves only the interests of the mining corporations themselves.

Demand the right to march
Defend the right to organise
Keep Uranium in the ground

The roll call of those arrested include (i have committed the surname to protect the guilty 😉 although nearly all would wear that arrest as a badge of courage): Dave A, Ken A, Lee B, Dennis B, Charles D, Pamela M , Judy McV, Glenda W, Nikki Van H, Chris V, Catherine R, Kate McG, Yvonne D, Sue McG, Judy B, Leonie N, Chris F, Annette W, Cathy H, Robert S, Joe E, Rod F, Ciaron O’R, Mick D, Grant C, Colin L, Rob , Wendy McI, Paul M, James M, Gary McL, David T, Phillip D, Malcolm B, Ian W, Lyndsay J, Greg G, Ron H, Catherine H, Bryan Law, Michael M,  Stephen C, Peter N, Dan O’N, Ian R, John R, James S, Michael V, Michael W.


1978 – March in March Leaflet

New Dawn for Queensland, Campbell gone in an emphatic roar of NO Sale!!

Pensioner's Voice

Logan landslide liquidates LNP in and around Logan city.

Those major servile MPs who went all the way with the major to the extent that they would not answer our letters but who for media south column with some in our branch now follow him into oblivion, we hope the column goes with them.

New Dawn for Queensland, Campbell gone in an emphatic roar of NO Sale!!

So now’s the day and now’s the hour to press the victory over those who would oppress us, and emphasise to all; WE, US, OURS, NOT FOR SALE OR LEASE, NOT NOW, NOT EVER!

Did you ever see such a disgraceful attempt at getting yourself re-installed into Govt? Bare faced lies, half truths, touched up videos, voice overs, truckloads of money tipped into some electorates, the lot. They left no stone unturned, it must have been embarrassing to some of them even to have the stone lifted under which they had been coiled for so long, our local so called representatives have been invisible and silent for so long that only a few remembered them when they emerged briefly/nervously during the indecently short election campaign. The major’s training came into play here, (much harder to hit a fast moving target). But it didn’t work.

But let us not fall into their modus operandi of denigrating all who don’t adhere to their philosophy (if what they believe can be dignified by that name). It was truly heart rending to see Dr. Davies say his piece about the major led LNP. Obviously a man of principle, it must have taken a mighty effort to so describe the party which he so stoutly favoured B.M. (before major). We admire that as we admire all of that ilk, honest people, which includes the President of the Qld. Police Union, Leavers who was not afraid to look the people of Qld in the eye and tell them that the major lied to him, something that we already knew, but it took courage and integrity on his part to do it. Both have been joined by other prominent persons. But more to the point, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Queensland voters knew what his word was worth and said so at the polls.
So where to from here? For sure the only direction from here is up, this is as bad as it gets so let’s take heart from that.

We need to strongly lobby all politicians to the effect that this is our country, including the original inhabitants, who had it taken from them by the same people who are now attempting to take it from us. We need to have them understand that “our’s” means just that, you and I have no right to sell or lease anything without the agreement of the owners, they don’t either. We need to continue to push for better/more representation in the Parliaments of our country. For too long we have been treated like something that is a bit of a chore, a bit of a nuisance, something that would be better if it wasn’t here and except for a brief period during Rudd/Gillard when the FGFP Coalition really got us on the board so to speak, we have been poorly compensated for a lifetime of work.

Through the Fair Go For Pensioners Co-alition (FGFP Co) we lifted to the level of having the pension linked to the Average Total Male weekly Earnings (ATMWE) to the extent that the pension was set at 27% of ATMWE and that was indexed every 6 mths by referring to 2 indexes,the pensioners and beneficiary’s CPI and the cost of living index CPI then if that did not equate to 27% of ATMWE a further amount was added to maintain the link at 27%. Tony’s plan is to scrap that. Weep for the young people who will put in a lifetime of life on the dole. Already they are targeted for 6 mths of life with no money and the axes are out to chop the pension down further so that if they survive till age 70 it’s like losing a $1 and finding 50 cents. They deserve better than that, so do we and on that basis, this is our country, despite what Joe says we do have an entitlement.

There has been some talk lately about a minimum liveable wage paid to all regardless of circumstances to take the place of all other payments, dole, pensions of all sorts, everything, so that whatever your situation you would have sufficient money to live reasonably. This proposition comes to light periodically, I can remember it being discussed when Yvonne Zardani was Secretary of the League.

This idea doesn’t come from the likes of Tony, Joe or Campbell, in fact when the subject has been to the fore in the past people of that ilk were known to frequently take a hex and a lie down until the idea had drifted off the front page again, so to speak. Nevertheless it has some very positive aspects not the least being that it would eliminate cheating since everyone is automatically entitled. That would mean little to those in an already comfortable position but to those who would otherwise have to apply for the dole, pension etc., it would be a real boon. The cost of such a scheme would be considerable but when just 1% of people own over 50% of the wealth of the world, in the USA 1% own as much as the remaining 99% it is obviously affordable but would require a re-distribution of wealth, hence the bex’s and lie downs in certain quarters and that’s why in a little while this subject will again drift away.

You may think that’s good, now they will leave us alone for a while but history tells us that that’s not so, in fact right now all the lower paid and recipients of pensions etc etc are under attack by the very same people who we thought may have been away recovering from the shock of seeing the minimum/liveable wage (MLW) raised again and seen it off again. Their intentions have been listed in many places and in the Newsletter before and are familiar to you. We have been lucky that much of their intentions have been if you were thinking about coming down to our meetings and you have some problem with transport ecause of a disability that makes it difficult to use Public Transport don’t forget that you can go to your Dr nd explain the problem. He may issue you with a script hat can enable you to use taxis at half the normal cost halted in the Senate, but they will not go away whilst Tony and Co. govern.

On the local scene not one LNP candidate has been spotted in Woodridge, say what you like about the LNP (ugly, parasites,etc, etc,) as you please, but not stupid, they know and their supporters know too, this is working class territory and to campaign in Woodridge with their plans for the workers and pensioners and public assets as they currently are would be like making ice-cream in hell. And yet their presence is noted around the area, a bit like foxes, you know they are there, but rarely do they come out into the open , hoist their true colours, but when they do it’s truly something to behold. They reveal all the traits that we have attributed to them over the years, I must say on rare occasions even I thought some of the things said about them were a bit rough, but I certainly do think that any more.”Born to rule attitude” spot on, “arrogant” ditto, “sly” yes , “liars” the best and greatest, “wolves in sheep clothing” too mild, “would sell not only their own mother but yours too” absolutely. “Would masquerade as a friend of pensioners/pensioners then not only lease public assets to make profits for themselves but charge pensioners for the use of same” too true. “Would mislead people to the extent that they would find themselves on the wrong side of rules and normal proceedure,in fact a lynch mob” yes they would and in the case of Logan Branch they did. Do you think that now the game is over they will apologise and come back to the fold, I don’t.