[Update (September 29) : The plague rats have today obtained a qualified victory, as CFMEU outbreak: President tests positive, Setka in isolation, Michael Fowler and Ben Schneiders, The Age.]
… and more besides.
Just a brief note to let you know that I wrote something for Overland titled ‘Constructing a narrative: the CFMEU protest and the far right’ (September 23, 2021). I may add a little more detail here when I can, but also of interest are:
• Understanding the right wing attack on the CFMEU, Tommy Lawson, Red & Black Notes (September 22)
• Against capitalism, against the pandemic: our stance on the current crisis, Black Flag Sydney (September 22)
• Inside three days of rage in Melbourne, Ben Hillier, Red Flag (September 23)
• Melbourne anti-lockdown protests are a disorganised mess, Tom Tanuki, Independent Australia (September 23)
*September 24, and a few more articles of interest:
• Has solidarity succumbed to the rise of rage?, Waleed Aly, The Age
• Covid, the Left and radical democracy, Jeff Sparrow, Overland
• Far-right throws up new challenges for unions, Sue Bolton, Green Left Weekly
• Just 1pc of workers on major building sites are anti-vaxxers, David Marin-Guzman and Patrick Durkin, Australian Financial Review (September 23)
• I’m a construction worker—the protesters don’t speak for me, Ryan Stanton, Red Flag
• Nazis prey on the disenfranchised and angry. So does News Corporation, Dave Milner The Shot (September 24)
• Workers’ rights or the far right: who was behind Melbourne’s pandemic protests?, Michael McGowan, The Guardian
I love you! I’ve been pondering the protests from a “left wing” perspective, sure, I support them, because fuck the police, but actually fuck them too! AAAAAHHHH.
So, some real considered analysis from a variety of sources that I can trust. Cheers.
I read an article today (sorry can’t find it on the web now-was in Fin Review paper) where they listed the vaccination rates for construction workers in various construction companies in Victoria. The rate was around 80% (first dose) and workers had been surveyed about their intention to vaccinate. Only 1-2% said they would refuse, I cant remember undecided %, Multiplex had the highest number of anti-vax responses – 3%.
Those sort of figures don’t seem out of whack with the general public response.
The Age article quotes 80-90% union members in the marches and if there are over 300,000? construction workers in Victoria and the rate of unionisation is something like 10% that would mean about 600 hard core antivax Victorian construction worker union members. There were a couple of thousand hi vis marchers seems to be the general consensus, so it seems doubtful that 80-90% were union members, more like 30% if all 600 turned up – and you never get 100% turnout from your supporters to a march, so my guess is less than 30% were union members. Of course modify my assumptions and you get any figures you want.
I didn’t add union members from other industries and other unions. I don’t have a guess for that.
“The Age article quotes 80-90% union members in the marches”
The bulk of participants in the first demo outside the CFMEU office were CFMEU members. They were wearing gear that identified them as coming off strong union sites. There were only a few hundred participants, though.
The rallies that followed were much bigger, but had a much smaller proportion of CFMEU members. And there were Right wing activists going full Astroturf and handing out brand new hi-vis vests for anyone who wanted to take them.