Online meeting: No retreat from elimination! Mobilise the New Zealand and international working class to defeat COVID-19

The Socialist Equality Group in New Zealand is holding an online public meeting on Saturday, October 23, at 4:30 p.m. (NZ time) to discuss the urgent need for working people to organise to fight for a scientific strategy to eliminate COVID-19 nationally, and eradicate the deadly virus globally.

To attend, please register via Zoom.

New Zealand’s outbreak of the Delta variant, centred in Auckland, is rapidly expanding and placing thousands of people’s health and lives in danger. This trend is not inevitable. It is the consequence of the Labour Party-led government’s reckless and dangerous decision to lower public health restrictions, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to return to workplaces, in defiance of warnings from scientists.

On October 4, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the government will “transition” away from its elimination strategy of using lockdowns and public health measures to stamp out COVID-19 outbreaks, which has limited deaths from the virus to just 28.

The move came as a shock to working people and experts internationally, who had viewed New Zealand’s approach to the pandemic as a model. The Ardern government is riding roughshod over public sentiment and obeying the dictates of the financial and business elite. Powerful interests have determined that New Zealand must no longer serve as an example, demonstrating that the virus can be eliminated.

Worldwide, an estimated 10.1 million to 19 million people have died because governments, with the crucial support of the corporatist trade unions, have adopted criminal policies of placing profits ahead of lives, keeping schools and factories open while COVID-19 is spreading.

Working people are fighting back, including through the recent school strikes organised by parents in the UK, independently of the unions and capitalist parties. Workers, students and young people in New Zealand and other countries must prepare to follow this example.

At the October 23 meeting, speakers from the Socialist Equality Group and the International Committee of the Fourth International will refute the Ardern government’s lying justifications for abandoning elimination, including the false claims that hard lockdowns don’t work, and that the population can “learn to live” with the virus. They will examine the consequences of the homicidal “let it rip” policies in the UK, United States and other countries.

The meeting will make the case for workers, parents and students to form rank-and-file safety committees, completely independent of Labour and the unions, to oppose any reopening of non-essential businesses and schools while COVID-19 is spreading in the community.

We urge readers to share this meeting notice widely and register to attend this crucially important discussion.

Meeting time in different time zones:

New Zealand: Saturday October 23, 4:30 p.m.
Sydney, Australia: October 23, 2:30 p.m
Britain: October 23, 4:30 a.m.
India/Sri Lanka: October 23, 9:00 a.m.
New York: Friday October 22, 11:30 p.m.
Los Angeles: October 22, 8:30 p.m.