A number of workers, students and young people in Australia have expressed their appreciation for the international webinar held by the WSWS and the International Workers Alliance of Rank-and-File Committees (IWA-RFC) on October 24.
Entitled “How to end the pandemic,” it featured a panel of workers and distinguished scientists who have fought for policies to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. The event, which can be viewed in full here, provided a comprehensive refutation of the lies used to justify the homicidal “herd immunity” policies being advanced by governments around the world, and elaborated the necessary scientific response to the pandemic, including measures that can be taken to end transmission.
As Australian governments dispense with earlier public health measures, and insist that the population “live with the virus,” numbers of ordinary people have responded with enthusiasm to the webinar, joining an international audience that has viewed the event more than 10,000 times.
Robert, a retired university educator from Brisbane and a Socialist Equality Party electoral member, said the webinar was “terrific” in answering a lot of questions about the pandemic.
“The scientists’ presentations showed that the pandemic can be beaten, but the governments are giving in to the pressure of the financial elite.
“All the governments are in the pocket of big business, aren’t they? In Australia we had Qantas announcing government policy on reopening international flights. That says it all about the influence of big business.
“It was brilliant that you had ordinary working people at the beginning of the event providing personal testimony about the pandemic. Give us more please! I remember Lisa Diaz’s first appearance on the previous webinar. Her call for a school strike went around the world.
“Getting the information out to the working class—that is very important. You had factory workers, health workers, teachers and a London bus driver.
“You don’t hear about any of this in the media. There is a complete blackout! Instead, people are told, over and over, that there is no alternative to ‘living with the virus.’ Even on the ABC [Australian Broadcasting Corporation], which you would expect to be neutral, all you get is how happy people are to be ‘reopening.’
“Instead of reporting on the number of schools that have had to close because of infections since they returned this week, the ABC’s ‘7.30’ program had interviews with ‘excited’ parents and teachers, and with school principals who claimed that schools were being made safe.
“My great hope on the virus is that protests from parents, workers, and others becomes the mass workers’ movement we’re calling for.”
Prageeth, a leading member of the Teacher-Student-Parent Security Committee in Sri Lanka said, “The webinar held on October 24 to discuss how to eradicate the pandemic is a milestone in working class opposition to the criminal policy of the bourgeoisie amid the pandemic. I would like to thank all the experts who have made a powerful scientific exposure about the real dangers facing workers in the workplace as well as children in schools under the ruling classes’ murderous ‘living with COVID-19’ policy.
“The reports put forward by experts proved sharply that the reason the pandemic has dragged on for two years is that capitalist governments all over the world are avoiding the genuine scientific steps that must be taken to end the pandemic. The webinar made clear that the most dangerous thing is not the virus on its own, but the reaction of the bourgeois ruling class, driven by its profit interests.
“The participation of the leading organizers of the ongoing working-class opposition against government policies, including Lisa Diaz, highlighted the revolutionary character of the event.
“The historic role of eradicating the pandemic falls on the shoulders of the working class. Just as the intervention of the working class was decisive in ending the First World War, a global program of the international working class is needed to end the pandemic. This was strongly confirmed at the meeting.”
Dolores, a 55-year-old SEP electoral member from Australia said, “The webinar was a powerful message to the working class. They were very good speakers—you learnt about how the pandemic spreads, how it is transforming, and how to detain it.
“Dr. Howard Ehrman from Chicago explaining the situation in the United States was very interesting to listen to. As was Dr. Jose-Luis Jimenez, who spoke about aerosols explaining how COVID is airborne. It was scary.
“I’m very happy that Lisa Diaz has formed the movement of parents around the world. People are really concerned about their children going to school. David North explained how the situation is currently and how consciousness in the working class is developing about what has to be done.”
Paxi, a 29-year-old from Australia, said the webinar “Shined a lot of light on bits of scientific research that haven't been made public by our leaders. Government leaders and health bureaucrats aren't listening to scientists who are giving them advice.
“It was a powerful statement from the World Socialist Website about what is possible if we are united and all stand together and look at things scientifically and not for corporate interests.”
“An eradication policy would be difficult, but we are already in difficult times. The webinar showed that it would be possible, viable and beneficial.
“Dr Joe Vipond gave some clear guidelines on how to start and run an advocacy campaign to encourage changes in policy and community expectations. I really appreciated those good ideas. I think some social campaigns are needed to bring about attention to a viable alternative to the way we are handling the pandemic.”
He concluded, “Workers and young people do need to watch this meeting.”
Colleen, a member of the Committee for Public Education, wrote the following statement:
“I am from Shepparton, Victoria, Australia. I attended the meeting ‘How to end the pandemic' and felt justified in my own opinions regarding the reckless herd immunity policies of capitalist governments and the reopening of schools before full vaccination of children. Thank you to the panel for the scientifically based informative session. So refreshing to be told the truth.”