November 2014

DissenterLink #2, published by the IWW Melbourne branch circa 1999. Click image to download pdf.

DissenterLink #2, published by the IWW Melbourne branch circa 1999. Click image to download pdf.

After a long hiatus, it’s time for another post in my irregular series, From the Archives!

This weeks item is a newsletter distributed to dole claimants by the Melbourne branch of the Industrial Workers of the World circa 1999. DissenterLink #2 is a a fun little pamphlet that focuses on the Howard government’s introduction of “Work for the Dole”.

It’s content is particularly relevant in light of the Abbott government’s renewed push in this area. I’d be interested if any one reading this who was involved in the IWW in Melbourne back in 1999 could offer some more background on this pamphlet, how it was received, and the campaign against the implementation of “Work for the Dole” back in 1999.


‘Hassle the Work for the Dole poverty pimps’, a Darwin correspondent
‘How to Work the Job Network’, A Job Network insider
‘Bullets Not Words’, J. Tomlinson
‘Work-for-the-dole in the real world’, unsigned
‘Work for the dole crap set to continue’, unsigned
‘Why Work For The Dole Schemes Still Suck’, unsigned
‘Mutual Obligation’, Geoff Francis and Peter Hicks.

Thanks to comrade LB for scanning the pamphlet. I’ve put it together in a PDF you can download here (pdf).

Update: After uploading this pamphlet I discovered that Reason in Revolt has a copy of what appears to be Issue 1 of DissenterLink.

A Call Out

Do you have mouldy old piles of pamphlets, leaflets, or other anarchist or far left propaganda? I want! If you have old propaganda to offload, or if you have a collection I could take a scanner to, get in touch.


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After months of rumours and false starts, there is now reliable information that Golden Dawn MEP Giorgos Epitideios will be in Australia and holding events in Melbourne and Sydney, 16-20 November.

SEE: The Guardian, Golden Dawn: far right Greek party members pay ‘stealth visit’ to Australia, “Two members plan to raise money and meet local supporters in Sydney and Melbourne this week”.

Golden Dawn is a violent fascist organisation in Greece, that has attempted to build support in the Greek diaspora community in Australia and around the world. This tour of Australia comes at a key time for Golden Dawn, and opposing them now is critical.

As a fascist organisation Golden Dawn has its roots in the military dictatorship of 1967-1974, but until recently they have been at most a marginal political force. In 2012 they capitalised on the the waves of anger and discontent at mainstream Greek politics in 2012 to win 18 seats in the Greek Parliament. Their violent apparatus has close links with the repressive apparatus of the Greek state, and is renowned for it’s violent attacks on immigrants, the workers movement, anarchists, left groups, and the queer community.

The Greek state has subsequently turned on Golden Dawn:

Golden Dawn (GD), as we knew it, is over. Their leader N. Michaloliakos is behind bars, along with other prominent members, while those who survived the first purge are facing added charges that emerged a few days after the first arrests. While this was happening, a number of their offices around Greece have closed down, the state funding they received has been stopped, and reports indicate that many of their members (ex or current) are forming lines outside the High Court to testify against the organization.

For an analysis of the how and why check out When the state turns antifa.

Golden Dawn is on the defensive in Greece, and as such is seeking support abroad. Golden Dawn MEP Giorgos Epitideios, a former general, is in Australia as part of a respectability campaign.

Within Greece, Golden Dawn want to be able to claim that they have support from the Greek diaspora, and that they’re seen as respectable internationally.

Within Australia they want to pitch to the Greek community, in particular to organise funding to offset the losses they have suffered following the attacks on their organisation in Greece.

A solid, public and overwhelming rejection of these fascists in Australia would send a strong message of support to anti-fascists in Greece, would harm fascist propaganda in Greece, and would prevent these violent thugs organising among the fringes of the diaspora community.

A Welcoming Committee

Information is being disseminated through the No to Golden Dawn in Melbourne facebook page and twitter account. The event page Disrupt and Dismantle Welcome Collective will be updated to the address and dates of Golden Dawn events in Australia as information comes to hand.

A statement condemning Golden Dawn has been signed by ten Australian trade unions including the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association, the Communications Workers Unions, the Community and Public Sector Union, the Construction and General Division of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), the Maritime Union of Australia, the National Tertiary Education Union, the National Union of Workers and the Textile, and the Clothing and Footwear Union of Australia.

A call to action will be issued by the No to Golden Dawn in Melbourne group in the coming days.

What Needs to Happen

The Golden Dawn events in Melbourne are already appropriately infiltrated. The time and location of the planned events is expected to be released at very short notice, at some point between 16 and 20 November.

Anyone who cares about opposing fascists in Australia and in Greece should prepare to respond in this time frame. In order to oppose and disrupt Golden Dawn in Australia, we need to muster hundreds of opponents of fascism at a particular location in the Melbourne area at short notice.

Make ready in your organisations, unions, and community groups. Keep an active watch on the No to Golden Dawn events and facebook page. Tell everyone you know about this, spread the word that these dimwits are coming and we are going to drive them away. When Golden Dawn attempt to show their heads in our city, let’s drown them out, break them up, and drive them out.

– Kieran.

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Renters in Victoria are being wrung dry by rising rents and insecure tenancies. One million of us rent. 24% of us experience “housing stress”; we fall in the bottom 40% of households by income and we’re spending more than 30% of what little we have on keeping a roof over our heads (link).

And it keeps getting worse. Every six months landlords and real estate agents hit us with “pay more or we’ll inflict the cost and trauma of seeking new accomodation on you”.

Higher rents for shorter leases, lower wages for casual hours... You better not get sacked, you better not get evicted...

Higher rents for shorter leases, lower wages for casual hours… You better not get sacked, you better not get evicted…

Ben Schneiders writes in today’s Sunday Age:

The forgotten people, Victoria’s 1 million renters
There are about 1 million Victorians who rent in a system that is heavily weighted towards the interests of landlords and has become steadily less affordable …

The interests of renters are unlikely to attract much attention in this state election campaign. When housing has received a mention in recent state and federal campaigns it has tended to focus on the woes of first home buyers – not renters.

For the working class in Victoria, every tenancy is precarious. For the landlords and real estate agent scum, any working class tenant who is not in housing stress should be paying more.

But The Greens reckon they haven’t overlooked housing. Trent McCarthy was quick to get a media release out this morning, “The Greens haven’t forgotten Northcote’s renters“:

The Greens introduced legislation into Parliament only a few months back that would have removed the ability for landlords to evict tenants without giving a lawful reason. And it would have required all rental properties to pass a ‘roadworthy’ – to meet basic standards in relation to repair, comfort, safety, facilities and energy efficiency.

It’s piss weak rubbish.

The Greens are not credible on housing. A “house roadworthy” and energy efficient requirements will not lower rents. On the contrary, these measures would drive rent increases and do little if anything to improve the quality of housing stock. They would create a lovely little market in house roadworthy certification.

Removing the ability of landlords to evict renters without cause would be a minor step in the right direction, but it is rendered meaningless in a world of six month leases. The six month lease cycle is a key weapon in the landlords campaign to squeeze the working class.

When it comes to affordability, it seems the only people The Greens are serious about are artists, their Arts and Culture policy calls for:

The provision of low rent working spaces for practising artists in under-utilised buildings.

If The Greens took renters seriously they’d have some serious housing policy. Security of housing in rental is abysmal. A real demand would be that once leased, tenants should be secure from eviction indefinitely.

Once you’re in a house, price increases are the real bastard. A real demand would be for serious price controls and strict limitation on increases during tenancy. shows how Australian rental conditions compare. shows how Australian rental conditions compare.

But neither price controls nor greater security of tenancy address the fact that housing is a basic human need. Access to housing should hostage to private landlords, who operating through a few real estate agents are practically a cartel arraigned against the working class.

As workers and renters we should demand a right to secure, cheap and comfortable housing. We should demand the kind of investment in social housing, democratically self-controlled social housing, that could give the working class a bloody alternative to the cutthroat antics of the private rental market.

Bonus! Lets Hang the Landlord!

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