Home Latest News May Day Melbourne 2023 Spirit of Eureka Statement

May Day Melbourne 2023 Spirit of Eureka Statement

On May Day we celebrate the struggles by workers and working people from around the world. We never give up the fight for workers’ rights, for decent, secure and safe jobs and life, for a clean environment, for peace and justice.
Every day workers struggle against capitalist exploitation, poverty and imperialist wars.
The world is on the threshold of another global capitalist economic recession, climate crisis and another imperialist war threatening to engulf workers across the world.
Workers not only face the day to day hardships of a global economic crisis, but the threat of a major war. We carry the heavy burdens of these imperialist wars.
AUKUS and nuclear submarines are dragging the Australian people deeper into another US led war. A war between the super powers, US and China. China’s economic rise and global expansion is threatening the US global economic hegemony The subservient Australian government no longer even tries to give an appearance of independence from the US foreign policies or defending Australia’s sovereignty.
It is an aggressive military war alliance between the US, UK and Australia, and led by the USA. It is an instrument for aggression, not for the defence of the people of Australia or for “peace and prosperity” in the region.
AUKUS and nuclear submarines make Australia a military target, a US proxy, in a war between the U.S. and China. Nuclear submarines, B52 bombers, US and UK warships, and more than likely, carrying nuclear arms, will be permanently based in Australian ports and airfields across the country. Thousands of US marines are now permanently stationed in Darwin training and preparing to go to war on China. More will arrive.
Joint military exercises involving tens of thousands in army, navy and airforce are regularly taking place in Northern Australia. The US is expanding its military and intelligence bases across Australia ( like Pine Gap), turning Australia into a US military base, a launching pad for war. This has nothing to do with defending Australia, but only to protect and promote America’s economic and military supremacy in Asia-Pacific.
AUKUS, nuclear submarines and the Force Posture Agreement allow the US to turn Australia into its major military base; enmeshing Australia into the US war machine.
The Australian government is marching in lock step with the US helping to provoke and start war with China. A US deputy sheriff imposing global US policies and its so called rules based order.
Recently Foreign Minister Wong declared that she respects US policy of “neither confirm nor deny” whether US war ships and bombers based or visiting Australia carry nuclear weapons.
Australia’s military and defence are almost completely interoperable and interchangeable with the US, and more than ever under control and dependent on the US military.
High ranking and influential US military and political advisers are embedded in Australia’s military and defence departments, “advising” (more like instructing) the Australian government on foreign policies and defence.
Retired US navy admirals hold powerful and decisive positions in the Australian navy developing and preparing nuclear submarines, AUKUS and war. Some are paid $7000 a day by Australian taxpayers to integrate Australia’s naval defence into the global US military force.
Australian people are being lied to that the huge military spend on AUKUS and nuclear submarines is necessary for the security of the people of Australia and the region. But it is not the security and prosperity of the people, of our livelihoods and the environment that profiteering corporations have in mind. What they really mean is the security and prosperity for their profit making by multinational corporations and protecting the US global economic and political domination.
AUKUS is deepening Australia’s subordination to the US militarily and politically, intensifying tensions in the region between the US and China which potentially can lead to another disastrous US-led war, this time a nuclear war, in our region.
Nuclear Submarines –
(i) nuclear submarines are a major risk to the safety of people and the environment in ports. The storage of nuclear waste is a major environmental problem, especially for the First Nations People on whose land/country nuclear waste will be stored.
It is criminal that at a time of the rising cost of living for working people, rising interest rate, sunaffordable housing, sky rocketing rents and mortgages, the 20-25% increase in power; at a time of critically underfunded and under resourced public health and education in crisis, struggling aged care, NDIS and climate crisis, the government is spending $368 billion on hunter killer nuclear submarines, and billions more on US military and its war with China.
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 in profits from suffering of people and destruction of the environment.
The cost of AUKUS and nuclear submarines will deepen the economic recession in Australia, worsen hardships for the people, climate crisis and accelerate the march to war. It will be a war of aggression led by the US, with Australia, its deputy sheriff brown-nosing closely behind.
It’s a lie that AUKUS and the nuclear submarines will revive our manufacturing industries and create thousands of jobs. The $368 billion on nuclear submarines will be used to prop up the ailing US and UK economies.
Instead, the $ billions on nuclear submarines should be spent on re-building viable and sustainable manufacturing industries that will create hundreds of thousands of long term and secure jobs, on jobs in health, education, child care, aged care, mitigate climate crisis and repairing destruction of the environment.
Australia can build sovereign publicly owned defence manufacturing industries for the territorial self-defence of Australia, not for US wars of aggression.
It’s a no brainer! You don’t need a university degree to work that out.
So, what’s stopping this sensible and logical approach?
Australia is a capitalist economy driven by profit making. The main pillars of Australia’s economy are largely owned by some of the biggest multinational corporations and banks who have enormous power and influence over Australian political and military policies.
We are told the government is spending half a trillion for national security. The security that working people need is permanent jobs, decent wages and a decent standard of living, affordable housing, health, education and a safe and clean environment. That’s the security and the prosperity workers need.
The only threat will come from US provoking or starting war with China. Our national security is threatened by having US military installations based in Australia and our involvement in AUKUS and nuclear submarines. If war breaks out between US and China the first targets will be US Pine Gap intelligence base in Alice Springs and the US military based around Darwin and Northern Territory.
Workers don’t create imperialist wars. These wars are created by big powers and corporations competing for global resources and markets. But it’s the workers who get marched off to big powers’ imperialist wars … to fight, to get maimed, to be killed and kill workers of other countries with whom we have no beef. We don’t want to be dragged into war against workers of other countries.
Our struggle, our fight is right here – for decent and secure jobs, for affordable housing for all, for health care and education. These are our important battles. Our wages, working conditions are relentlessly attacked by big business whose profits are rising as our wages are falling.
Our workers are at war with the bosses every day of the week, fighting to defend our rights, our wages, our conditions, our livelihood to keep our heads above water. For months Visy workers in Shepparton have been battling for a wage increase just so that they and their families can keep up with the rising cost of living.
Australian workers and their unions have a long and proud history of opposing unjust and imperialist wars. From opposition to conscription during WW1, the long strike by Port Kembla maritime and wharfies in 1937, opposition to Vietnam and Iraq wars, and opposing nuclear weapons. For decades workers and unions led campaigns and marches for peace under the banner of Peace is Union Business. This banner has been taken up again.
Wollongong unions and community on the NSW South-East Coast have united in a powerful fight to stop Port Kembla being used as a base for nuclear submarines. Yesterday, two thousand attended the May Day rally in Port Kembla declaring no nuclear subs in Port Kembla or anywhere. Many supporters travelled from other states to show their support.
Union after union members’ meetings are passing resolutions opposing nuclear submarines and AUKUS, pledging solidarity and support for the Port Kembla unions and community in their fight. This is the kind of powerful unity between workers, unions and communities that needs to be built.
People from different walks of life are coming together, uniting and speaking out against nuclear submarines and AUKUS, for peace and no war. More voices are calling for building a broad and united movement for peace, justice and independence.
This is what May Day stands for. This is the kind of working class solidarity the bosses fear and try to crush. It is this kind of solidarity that gives courage and inspires workers and communities across the country to stand up unite and fight. It is this solidarity that we have to build across unions and communities on the ground to defend our rights, our livelihoods, for peace and justice.
Australian workers need an independent and peaceful foreign policy that respects the sovereignty of all countries and is independent from all big powers.
An independent and peaceful foreign policy that builds solidarity with workers across the world.

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