The event, titled “No to Australian school reopenings amid record COVID infections! Educators, students, parents—join the fight for rank-and-file safety committees!” will discuss the urgent need to organise the opposition to the reopening of schools across Australia that is planned for late January and early February. Register today!
If allowed to proceed amid unprecedented COVID infections, the beginning of the academic year will see a further explosion in case numbers, inflicting suffering and death that is entirely preventable.
International scientists have repudiated media and government claims that Omicron is a “mild” virus and that children especially require no protection from infection. Nearly 800 children are now being hospitalised in the United States every day. Long COVID is causing widespread suffering, with studies suggesting up to 10 percent of all children who contract the virus develop debilitating long-term symptoms.
Australian children are threatened with being herded into unsafe classrooms in conditions where large numbers of those under 12 have not been able to access vaccine due to supply shortages and related booking problems.
The homicidal campaign to condition the population to “live with the virus” is a bipartisan one, uniting the Labor and Liberal parties. State Labor premiers comprise the majority of the so-called “National Cabinet” that last year coordinated the deliberate sabotage of Australia’s previous COVID mitigation measures and this year is accelerating the dismantling of even the most minimal of protections as part of its “herd immunity” policy.
The ruling elite is united behind the campaign to reopen the schools because this is a central aspect of their drive to permanently junk lockdown measures and other health restrictions impinging on the interests of big business and finance capital. Prime Minister Scott Morrison summed up the agenda last week, declaring that the schools needed to be open, so that parents could be forced into unsafe workplaces in the interests of corporate profit.
The teacher unions are actively collaborating with this agenda. Within the schools, the Australian Education Union and New South Wales Teachers Federation have echoed the unsafe government and Department of Education guidelines for “managing” the COVID threat.
Educators and parents cannot passively accept a situation in which they and their students and children are sitting ducks for the virus! In the American city of Chicago, teachers have pointed the way forward for their brothers and sisters internationally. Before being sold out and sent back to the schools by the Chicago Teachers Union, educators defied demands that they teach in highly dangerous conditions and demanded a transition to online learning. Courageous student and teacher walkouts are emerging in multiple other American cities.
Likewise in Britain, parent Lisa Diaz organised action independently of the unions and establishment parties through the #SafeEdforAll campaign, which involved coordinated parent boycotts of face-to-face learning.
The experiences of the past months have demonstrated that the basic social rights of workers are incompatible with a society subordinated to the dictates of big business. Rank-and-file safety committees need to be formed in every school, independent of the unions, to organise the widest discussion on the necessary steps going forward to take up the fight for remote learning, as part of a global fight for the elimination of the virus.
Register in advance and promote the meeting among educators, students, colleagues and friends!
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