Australia: CFPE and Health Worker Rank-and-File Committee hold successful, well-attended public meeting

The Health Worker Rank-and-File Committee (HWRFC) and the Committee on Public Education (CFPE) in Australia held an online public meeting on Sunday, 20 November, titled “Educators and Health Workers Unite: Ending COVID Safeguards” Resist doing!lives before profit!

The meeting was attended by over 150 participants, including nurses and other health workers, primary, secondary and tertiary level teachers, activists from various sectors, as well as students and youth. Attendees came to the meeting not only from across Australia, but also from the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

CFPE member and educator Patrick O’Connor, who chaired the event, placed the meeting in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the abandonment of public health measures by governments around the world. “This ongoing disaster is not purely a natural disaster,” he said. “It is rather, and centrally, a politically engineered social crime.”

A nine-minute video was shown, highlighting the scale of the COVID-19 crisis and the criminality of governments in causing it. Check out the video here.

HWRFC convenor and Socialist Equality Party (SEP) member Julia Thomas said the public meeting was initiated by a discussion in one of the rank-and-file committees. This was “an indication of the effort for united action by the workers and the importance of these committees in carrying forward this fight.”

He called Albania’s Labor government ending isolation requirements and the pandemic holiday a “declaration of war against working people” and “a long overdue final step on any coordinated public health response to the pandemic in this country”. described.

As the virus spreads rapidly, driven by the Omicron variant amid declining levels of vaccine immunity, the government has scrapped any remaining restrictions and sought to silence opponents of the “Let it Rip” program. “An important role of rank-and-file committees is to mobilize activists to defend those who are under attack for exposing the truth,” Thomas said.

In July, the HWRFC launched a campaign to defend Dr. David Berger, a physician threatened with deregistration by AHPRA because of his vocal opposition to the “herd immunity” program and condemnation of COVID misinformation on social media.

Thomas emphasized the important role played by trade unions in suppressing growing protests among health workers about the deterioration of their working conditions due to the pandemic.

“To fight for their interests, workers must know who their friends and their enemies are.” he explained. “Your allies in these struggles are all the workers in this country and around the world. But you cannot fight with your hands tied behind your back. Workers must be independent of organizations that act as policemen for governments and big business.” “

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