Is this the end of the three year hiatus ?

Just over three years back this planet's peoples mobilised in their millions against the war in Iraq.

But then the tide subsided when the war proceeded regardless of the massive opposition to it and we've experienced three years of generalised passivity.

But then, in the space of three days we've seen a massive strike in Britain, strikes and protests on a hige scale in Paris and the mammoth mobilisation against the Sensenbrenner Bill in USA cities-- topped off with the 500,000 to one million who protested in LA on Saturday.

Then here we are seeing some aggresive motion in the trade union movement over the IR laws (first in Victoria with a great follow up here in Brisbane today -- and for the rest of the week ) despite the oppressive electoral position of the ACTU.

What has closed down Paris and frozen much of France makes the ACTU and Labor's electoral strategy option look piss weak and the sham, that it is.

Mass mobilisation and striking is back on the political agenda such that I bet there are a few in the ruling circles on this planet who may be a bit worried about how all this is going to pan out.

While this is occurring in the imperialist countries, the Venezuelan revolutionary process consolidates further and the Bolivarian people seem to be embarking on a new democratic experiment. Tens of thousands have protested Bush's visit to Pakistan, the US state is despised world wide such not since the sixties has the USA been so hated on this planet.

Thinks:Maybe even more hated today?


These mobilisations have featured unionised workers, students -- including high school students -- immigrants, and the like in such huge numbers that these layers are experiencing for the first time the potency of their own collective action.

[I should also mention the recent Unite victory in New Zealand as it alsoreflects the collective strength of a layer that was not previously activist or organised]


It reminds me a touch of 1968.

Now I can't draw too many parallels because I think history doesn't repeat itself like that or play to rule, but at least we can say, that the quietness we have experienced and the reliance on electoralism we seem to have been sentenced to may now be marginalised a smiggin such that we are now offered a different perspective -- at least potentially, as it is too early to call.

I consider the last 2-3 years the toughest the left has had to deal with during the past 30-40 years and this period has taken a big toll in way of demoralisation and organising.

But as the last Our Common Course pointed out:

The need in Australia for a fighting opposition, a genuine political alternative that will reflect and act to secure the lives of working-class people has never been so stark. With the ALP increasingly in crisis,it is all the more urgent that we keep up our efforts to build a broad, progressive political alternative.

[This is a very succinct summary of where we seem to be at so check it out]


If there is promise in the air and if there is a potential whiff of a fightback these recent events underscore how far we could carry it.

However, there is a problem with any thing that happens hereon in. Who is going to lead it? Who is going to organise it? Who is going to carry it forward?

Our ALP? No way. Our ACTU? Come on! The Greens? Dream on!

What flowed from 1968 was a consciously self actualising layer of youthful radicals who formatted all the protest that was to follow and created the many movements we know today.

While history always bears its own children the demographics of the 1960s was really, albeit conincidentally, on our side and youth rebellion was a direct product of the post war baby boom.

It was a happy historical marriage where the Vietnam War and the world wide national liberation struggle was born up by the Civil Rights movement and the new youth radicalisation.

At the moment this significant new layer is missing from our arsenal. (While I note here how youthful the March 18th anti war rally was here in Brisbane) The small left groupuscules are in idle mode and are heading back to the bunker frightened to tackle the challenges that confront them. Similarly none of this concern, politics or activity is feeding into the ALP.

It's as though(with deference to Pirandello)all these political characters are still in search of an author.

The pressure not to deal aggressively with this promise and the gauntlet that is thrown down before us is very general on the left and even within the DSP who is so dedicated to the Socialist Alliance project , its glum minority shares a narrow and conservative perspective.

Maybe these recent events can begin to unravel this generalised confusion and passivity.

And in the business to hand we may find a new beginning and a new commitment that can harnass the very best we can manage from what history throws up.

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