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Issue #1945      14th December, 2020

2021 – A Year to Deepen the Struggle for Socialism!

The year 2020 will remain in people’s memory forever and become a reference point for future historians. In the same way we revisited what happened during the so-called Spanish flu a century ago, history books will note the disaster created by the Covid-19 and the failures of capitalism.

The coronavirus was brought into Australia by travellers from other countries, yet for weeks they were simply allowed to get off planes and ships without any government screening, at most being told to self-isolate for fourteen days. The onus was put on the individual traveller. This did not work. The government’s inaction led to the virus spreading throughout the country and people dying.

Australia had just suffered devastating droughts and catastrophic bush fires, making evident the climate emergency we now live with and highlighting the government’s complacency and inaction. We must act now to stop an even greater climate catastrophe.

The Australian government and society weren’t prepared for the bush fires or a pandemic. The CPA statement issued on 16th March 2020 stated: “Covid-19 is spreading throughout much of the world, largely as a consequence of the failure of capitalism to solve any crisis. The Communist Party of Australia recognises the significant contribution made by health workers at the frontline of this developing pandemic and stands in solidarity with them, along with working class victims, denied their basic human rights, and all people fighting for universal access to life’s needs.” The Central Committee also recommended a two-week shutdown to be implemented to minimise the contagion in the community.

A number of demands were put forward to guarantee people’s health and income. Also, the urgent need for solidarity within the workplace and with the national and international community.

It was evident that the government approach to the crisis wasn’t enough. The introduction of Job Seeker, Job Keeper, Free Childcare and Homebuilder schemes left many workers behind and in the end, it will be workers who will pick up the tab for the crisis.

Australia in general terms did well with the pandemic but the risk of second and third waves is still there. In 2021 our priority is to campaign so that workers will not pay for the capitalist crisis.

The Party continued to operate during the hard months of isolation. Branches found new and creative forms to stay in touch and developed campaigns on key demands. Despite the isolation and the risk of fines people took to the streets to demand that Black Lives Matter and on other issues. Our weekly newspaper the Guardian continued to operate thanks to the dedication of our small team in the Guardian collective, our revolutionary salute goes out to the Guardian team for their efforts and dedication.

The pandemic also affected the celebrations of the Centenary of the Communist Movement in Australia. The Centenary Exhibition to be held at the Sydney Trades Hall had to be postponed and other activities were called off or rescheduled. Despite this the Party celebrated the Centenary with a Zoom conference with national and international speakers. Party organisations in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Wollongong also organised local activities proudly flying the Red flag, stating that the CPA is not just a piece of history but present and still working for a better future, a socialist future.

In the new period we must continue to work on our campaigns. As the CPA grows with a number of new members there is an urgent need to organise more education at all levels of the Party. Reorganising all those aspects of Party work that needs to be adjusted to be able to effectively build the Party of the Australian working class.

The government’s new industrial relations Bills seek to slash wages and working conditions in the interests of employers and severely restrict workers’ and trade union rights. The Coalition government will target the most militant section of the union movement with their demerger legislation. Workers and unions must remain united and fight together against the common class enemy. We can never give up the struggle or engage in class collaboration.

The CPA will continue to stand in solidarity with socialist Cuba and against the US blockade.

Likewise with the people of Bolivia who, in a united struggle, elected Luis Arce as president. They defeated the fascist-like de facto government to return to rebuild the movement of a path towards Socialism.

Of importance also was the Parliamentarian election results of Sunday 6th December in the Bolivarian republic of Venezuela in which the Maduro government won back the National Assembly five years after a pro-imperialist opposition won a majority in 2015. The imperialist project with puppeteer Juan Guaido was defeated. We salute the Communist Party of Venezuela which in difficult circumstances participated in the elections with a working-class perspective. Again, the unity of the peoples against imperialism is a must.

We look forward to an important year for the Party. In 2021 we will celebrate the 14th National Congress from 29-31 October in Sydney. This will be a year in which, as a collective, there is much we must do. The struggles of working people whose rights at work are being undermined by the Morrison government with their planned introduction of further industrial reforms will continue. The movement and its struggle for climate action must be grown and it will be an important task for the Party to explain that capitalism will not be able to deliver the solution needed. The future can only be a socialist one.

Communists must exercise their right to govern. So, in the new year all Party members and organisations must work together to get the Communists registered with the Australian Electoral Commission. Standing communist candidates in elections will allow us to publicise the policies we put forward in the interest of the working class and the entire people.

At this time of the year all Party organisations look back over their work from the past year at AGMs and take time to reinvigorate and plan for the coming year in an ongoing commitment for social change and socialism.

We wish all Party members and the Guardian readers a safe and restful season’s holiday.

Yours in socialism,

Andrew Irving – General Secretary

Vinnie Molina – Party President

Next article – Australia's shameful deflection

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