Australians Against COVID, an ad hoc organization of disabled and immunocompromised people, the elderly and other vulnerable groups, will hold a vigil outside the Federal Parliament in Canberra this Sunday. It is part of a nationwide ‘Day of Action’ to protest the social criminal ‘let it rip’ policies being enforced by Labor and Liberal National Party-led federal, state and territorial governments.
This Sunday’s 2pm vigil will recognize the deaths of over 16,000 people from coronavirus across Australia since the pandemic began – 13,000 of whom died last year – and call for the full roll-out of COVID-safe measures. Organizers are urging those unable to attend the vigil due to geographic and/or health reasons to take photos from their front door and tweet them to the Prime Minister @AlboMP using the hashtag #VigilAgainstCOVID.
“This week marks the tragic milestone of 16,000 Australians who have died from COVID-19 while countless sick and disabled people are endlessly trapped in their homes,” said Sam Connor, spokesman for Australians Against COVID World Socialist Web Site (WSWS).
“As governments lift lockdown measures, 13 per cent of the UK’s clinically vulnerable people continue to protect. If Australia follows, there could be over a million shielded here… COVID is not over and we urge governments to listen urgently and put lives before profit,” she said.
Craig Wallace, another spokesman for Australians Against COVID and a lifelong campaigner for the rights of the disabled, said: “We want a public commitment from all governments to end Australia’s current uncontrolled transmission of COVID through clean air, masks, distancing and common sense health.” Measures.
“We seek guaranteed rights to work, study and work from home, essential spaces to be COVID-safe, health and disability support for those with long COVID, community development for the isolated, access to accessible care, Tests and treatments and better access to RATs, PCRs and free masks and HEPA filters,” Wallace said.
Australian Against COVID was formed following the National Cabinet’s decision in late September to end the requirement to isolate those infected with COVID-19 and the abolition of federal pandemic furlough pay for COVID-positive workers.
Fueled by demands from big business, the unanimous decision by the National Cabinet to allow COVID to spread freely everywhere was the culmination of an ongoing assault on a scientific response to the pandemic. It was a profit-driven declaration of war on the working class and the vulnerable, and on a public health system already weakened by decades of cost-cutting.
With the unions’ unwavering support, Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has taken action that his predecessor, Liberal-National Coalition Prime Minister Scott Morrison, could not. Any remnants of a scientific approach to the deadly virus have been thrown away and replaced with “personal responsibility”. It was “the end of COVID exceptionalism,” said Australian Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly.
As internationally, nothing should stand in the way of the profits and production of the large corporations. Immunocompromised and elderly people, as well as the working class as a whole, are considered expendable.
The predictable response from the Albanian government and its counterparts to the grim milestone of 16,000 deaths, a 400-fold increase from that time last year, has been a stone’s-clad silence. While acknowledging the death toll, the corporate media maintains a steady stream of articles that downplay the deepening public health crisis, promote unscientific claims and pressure those fighting for COVID-safe measures.
A Sydney Morning Herald This week’s article titled “The next wave of COVID is here. Here’s what you’re getting into,” he claimed, citing University of Melbourne epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely, that there would be no large-scale deaths. This was because, Blakely explained without providing a shred of evidence: “We are all gaining more immunity to natural infections, even as vaccine uptake falls and immunity in the population wanes.”
The claim that people are safe from infection because of “herd immunity” is a flat lie, as are other unscientific but widely held claims such as “children don’t get infected”.
Scientific analysis has irrefutably proven that there is no such thing as “immunity from natural infections” and that any infection weakens a person’s immune system, undermining their ability to fight the deadly virus and increasing the likelihood of contracting Long COVID.
Australians Against COVID’s vigil in front of Parliament this Sunday and their online social media day of action is an important and politically significant event and should be supported by as many workers, students and youth as possible. We urge WSWS readers to share this article extensively on social media.
The vigil is the first and so far only in-person protest in Australia against deeply reactionary COVID policies being implemented by the state and federal governments with the support and aid of unions.
It is a crucial step in the struggle to unite all sections of the working class and the most oppressed sections of the population behind the campaign for a zero-COVID policy that prioritizes life over profit – a demand advocated by the founding of grassroots safety committees in workplaces, schools and neighborhoods must be fought, independently of the unions and the capitalist parties.