|Issue No 23||23 July 1999|
Letters to the Editor
Dissent Within the Ranks!!
I would like to express my utter contempt for certain comments made by LHMU organiser Steve Klaason in issue 21 of Workers Online. He presents a minimalist view of the role of today's youth in political activity and in the labor movement.
As a first-year university student, I was surprised by just how active and opinionated students (especially university students) are. Yet their efforts often go unrecognised.
Klaason claims that the GST and the Republic are not major issues for young people. While issues such as reconciliation and Jabiluka are important to the student body, more current debates like the GST will certainly take priority.
Lack of media exposure often prevents the student voice from being heard. Student involvement in the anti-GST rally in Sydney was largely ignored by the media. Also, the policies and ideas of the Young Australians for a Republic have been denied recognition, despite their close involvement with the Australian Republican Movement.
I think it is unjust and wrong for Klaason to simply deny that young people have strong political beliefs regarding issues as nationally important as the GST and the Republic!!
As for his opinions on the existence and role of factions in Labor- he couldn't be more wrong. As witnessed at the recent national conference for the National Union of Students, factions are alive and kicking.
Despite Klaason's predictions of progress and constant change in the union movement, his view of student activism is regressive and tinged with apathy.
It is time for the student body to be recognised! And comments from people like Klaason , apparently "in tune" with today's youth, will get us nowhere.
Interview: An Economic Wet
Dr Christopher Sheil on economic rationalism and the 1997-98 water failures in Adelaide and Sydney.
Unions: The Stench from the South
In 1997 the entire Adelaide metropolitan area was drenched in foul, sulphorous, sewerage odours, emanating from the Bolivar waste water treatment plant.
Environment: Trading into Trouble
Seattle, USA, is shaping up as demonstrator mecca in the lead up to World Trade Organisation talks.
History: Eveliegh Rail Reunion
Former workers and their families from the historic Eveleigh Railway Workshops in inner-Sydney are holding a picnic reunion and folk music festival on the site on Sunday, August 29.
International: Bosses Use Armed Gangs to Break Russian Picket
On 9 July 1999, eighty masked, uniformed gunmen accompanied by the local prosecutor and other officials tried to storm the Vyborg Pulp and Paper Mill, under occupation by workers for the past eighteen months.
Satire: New Refugee Crisis: Journalists Flee Peace Zone
The camps are once again full in the Albanian border town of Gruntiez.
Review: 10 Reasonably Interesting Moments in Film
Cultural theorist Snag Cleaver flies off the handle again..
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