The coronavirus pandemic

UK at “perilous moment” with NHS unable to cope

By Rory Woods, 15 October 2020

Treatment and care for the victims of the government’s herd immunity strategy is under threat, with the NHS facing a “triple whammy” of staff burnout, a massive backlog of treatment built-up during the pandemic, and a huge surge of COVID-19.

Macron hails herd immunity, rejects lockdown as COVID-19 surges in Europe

By Alex Lantier, 15 October 2020

In a national interview, Macron said non-essential work and in-person schooling would continue and that he is aiming for 90,000-150,000 monthly new COVID-19 cases in France.

French, Spanish hospital workers protest as COVID-19 spreads across Europe

By Will Morrow, 15 October 2020

Protests are driven by demands for desperately-needed resources for hospital workers to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Tripling of new coronavirus infections in Germany in only one month

By Marianne Arens, 15 October 2020

Anger is growing among workers at the herd immunity policy being imposed by big business, as the government is using the pandemic as an excuse to deploy the army within Germany.

Pandemic fuels class struggle across Africa

By Jean Shaoul, 15 October 2020

The working class is manifesting its discontent with the situation in a resurgent wave of political radicalisation that had briefly abated after the onset of the pandemic.

Trump’s “herd immunity” policy and right-wing terror

By Andre Damon, 14 October 2020

On Tuesday, Newsweek reported that two Trump administration officials said the White House supports the Great Barrington Declaration, a statement advocating for the mass infection of the population with COVID-19 through a policy of “herd immunity.”

Michigan Supreme Court overturns governor’s executive orders on COVID-19 pandemic

Benefits for hundreds of thousands of jobless workers in jeopardy

By James Brookfield, 14 October 2020

The rulings coincide with the demands of the ruling elite that workers return to work under dangerous conditions so that profitability can be restored.

“If they don’t figure out what’s really going on there, people are going to continue to die”

Whistleblowers: Colorado meatpacking plant used threats and lies to keep potentially infected workers on the job

By Cordell Gascoigne, 14 October 2020

Two former health screeners at the JBS beef processing facility in Greeley, Colorado after a coronavirus outbreak have blown the whistle on flagrant violations of basic safety measures by management.

The Great Barrington Declaration: Capitalism’s global policy of herd immunity

By Benjamin Mateus, 14 October 2020

Super spreading events are the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19 infections. The recent declaration at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, attempts to establish herd-immunity as a global policy that will have catastrophic consequences for the working class.

Johnson UK government rejected scientific advisers’ call for temporary national lockdown in September

By Robert Stevens, 14 October 2020

The measures advised by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies fell way below a full lockdown, but such was the Tories’ determination to enforce their herd immunity agenda that every measure was rejected bar one.

Polish high school students strike to demand end to in-person classes

By Clara Weiss, 14 October 2020

Schools have become the main vector for the second wave of the pandemic, with at least two teachers and one 20-year-old student dying over the past week alone.

Teacher death toll mounts as districts across the US push forward with school reopenings

By Emma Arceneaux, 14 October 2020

At least eight more educators across the US have died from COVID-19 in the past two weeks alone.

COVID-19 outbreaks erupt in Florida public schools as state demands further reopenings

By Alex Johnson, 14 October 2020

Public schools in Florida are experiencing a dangerous growth of COVID-19 infections as the state government aggressively pursues in-class instruction in locations ravaged by the pandemic.

Australia: New South Wales wage freeze approved by Industrial Relations Commission

By Martin Scott, 14 October 2020

Growing numbers of workers are demanding industrial action while the unions are advocating impotent appeals to big business politicians.

More than three-quarters of event workers have lost all of their income

Live music industry in the US faces “massive collapse” due to pandemic

By David Walsh, 14 October 2020

The devastation has implications that go beyond even the immediate economic situation, as desperate as that is. The coronavirus crisis is threatening to wipe out a considerable portion of cultural life in the US.

COVID-19 outbreak exposes Sri Lankan government claims that pandemic is under control

By Naveen Dewage, 13 October 2020

The previous, relatively low number of COVID-19 infections in Sri Lanka is mainly the result of the government’s refusal to carry out systematic testing.

Coronavirus infections threaten Germany’s hospitals with overload

By Markus Salzmann, 13 October 2020

In the last months, protective measures against the virus have been almost completely dismantled. The government has done nothing to prepare hospitals for the inevitable rise in serious cases.

Cuts to healthcare system responsible for Victoria’s coronavirus resurgence

By Margaret Rees, 13 October 2020

Mass health worker infections are the direct outcome of the gutting of the sector by successive state and federal governments, Labor and Liberal alike.

UK jobs cull continues as thousands more redundancies are announced

By Margot Miller, 13 October 2020

The pandemic is having a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods, thanks to the disastrous policies of the Johnson-led Conservative government—fully supported by the Labour opposition and trade unions.

Poverty in Germany: Power cuts for 289,000 households

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 13 October 2020

Hundreds of thousands had no lights, no warm water, could use neither stoves nor refrigerators, could not do laundry and had no access to radio, television or the internet.

Irish government rejects medical experts as coronavirus infections spiral out of control

By Dermot Byrne, 13 October 2020

Ireland's coalition government has scorned advice from scientists and medical experts to impose a full lockdown.

Australian citizens stranded by COVID-19 measures denounce Morrison government

By John Harris, 13 October 2020

“The rich are having no trouble circumnavigating the globe because they can still travel first class. It’s no big deal to them. Everyone who flies economy class is stuck and with no chance of getting in.”

New Jersey projected to face disproportionate growth in food insecurity

By Erik Schreiber, 13 October 2020

The Community Food Bank predicts that the number of food-insecure New Jersey residents will surpass 1.2 million—a staggering 13.5 percent of the state’s population.

As COVID-19 claims the life of London bus driver Kofi Opoku, Unite mounts fake “safety campaign” to stem drivers’ anger

By Laura Tiernan, 13 October 2020

Unite is seizing on a second wave of COVID-19 to deepen its corporatist partnership with Transport for London and the bus companies.

State and federal governments conceal COVID-19 outbreaks in US schools

By Chase Lawrence, 12 October 2020

Across the US, the location of coronavirus outbreaks in schools are being deliberately hidden from the public, in order to prevent teachers and parents from drawing the conclusion that face-to-face instruction should stop.

As pandemic surges worldwide, governments resist new lockdowns, step up back-to-work drive

By Benjamin Mateus, 12 October 2020

The world is seeing a resurgence of the pandemic as daily cases of COVID-19 reach record highs. Governments internationally are rejecting future lockdowns and instead are continuing the homicidal policy of “herd immunity,” which sacrifices potentially millions of lives to protect the profits and wealth of the ruling elites.

350,000 US education jobs slashed in September

By Renae Cassimeda, 12 October 2020

The mass layoffs come four months after an unprecedented 1.4 million education layoffs as a result of the pandemic, and are the tip of the iceberg with no federal aid on the horizon.

As mental health crisis deepens, New York City hospitals leave psych units shuttered

By Josh Varlin, 12 October 2020

Even as the need for mental health services reaches new heights, psychiatric units remain closed and are unlikely to fully reopen.

University and College Union moves to prevent strikes as COVID-19 cases surge on UK campuses

By E.P. Milligan, 10 October 2020

Northumbria University’s decision to move online prompted the University and College Union (UCU) leadership to call off strike action, while claiming a victory.

With more than 1 million dead, who have been the victims of the coronavirus pandemic?

Part two

By Benjamin Mateus, 10 October 2020

More than 1 million people globally have succumbed to COVID-19. The working class has faced the brunt of this pandemic, with all indications that the worst is still to come.

State of emergency declared in Madrid as COVID-19 resurgence sweeps Europe

By Jordan Shilton, 10 October 2020

New daily infections in Europe Friday surpassed the 100,000 mark for the second day running.

Richest 50 Americans now have as much wealth as bottom 165 million

By Gabriel Black, 10 October 2020

Data from the Federal Reserve demonstrates that the pandemic has accelerated trends toward social inequality in the United States.

Reopening of German schools leads to explosion of COVID-19 infections

By Gregor Link, 10 October 2020

The ruling class knows that it is preparing a catastrophe with its ruthless policy of opening up the economy and its refusal to take serious measures to contain the virus.

Pennsylvania educators, bus drivers and school workers launch rank-and-file safety committee to put an end to in-person instruction

By Pennsylvania Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 10 October 2020

Educators across Pennsylvania have formed a new rank-and-file safety committee to mobilize the working class against the unsafe reopening of the commonwealth’s schools.

As Midwest states experience record surge in cases

North and South Dakota record fastest growing COVID-19 outbreak in US

By Anthony Bertolt, 10 October 2020

As President Donald Trump returned from his Walter Reed Army Medical Center suite to tell Americans not to worry about the coronavirus, both North Dakota and South Dakota reported the highest per capita infection rates in the country this week.

Dutch government’s malign neglect accelerates resurgence of COVID-19

By Harm Zonderland and Parwini Zora, 10 October 2020

The Netherlands has become a major hot-spot in western Europe for COVID-19 infections, with record numbers of confirmed infections each day.

Oppose the $900 million cuts in retroactive pay to New York City educators!

By New York City Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 10 October 2020

The withholding of $900 million in pay owed to NYC teachers from over ten years ago is a brazen act of blackmail and wage theft.

SUNY Cortland pauses in-person instruction after outbreak of COVID-19

By Alex Findijs, 9 October 2020

After recording 101 positive cases of coronavirus in less than two weeks, SUNY Cortland became the third SUNY school to temporarily switch to online instruction for two weeks.

Percentage of young adults living with parents higher than during the Great Depression

By Noah Ryan, 9 October 2020

According to a new study, 52 percent of young people ages 18-29 lived with their parents in July this year, nearly six months after the onset of the pandemic in the US.

As COVID-19 infection rates skyrocket, hundreds of Missouri schoolchildren quarantined

By Cole Michaels, 9 October 2020

October 10 is the last day residents of the state qualify for extended unemployment benefits.

The impact of “herd immunity” on youth and students in the US

By Melody Isley, 9 October 2020

The unbridled spread of COVID-19 is not the fault of a relatively small number of students, but is a direct consequence of the criminal policies of the American ruling class.

As Canada’s COVID-19 cases surge, unions and NDP expand their support for Trudeau’s reckless back-to-work campaign

By Roger Jordan, 9 October 2020

Quebec, Ontario and Canada as a whole have set new daily COVID-19 infection records this past week. Yet the entire political establishment is doubling down on its criminal back-to-work, back-to-school drive.

Zimbabwean teachers refuse to work as government reopens schools without COVID-19 protection

By Stephan McCoy, 9 October 2020

Teachers are demanding that as frontline workers they should have regular testing, adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), and risk allowances before they are prepared to start work again.

COVID-19 cuts a swath through official Washington

By a reporter, 8 October 2020

The coronavirus is cutting a swath through official Washington, hitting dozens of White House aides, the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff and well over a hundred members of Congress and their staff.

Australian inquiry hears Victorian quarantine hotel program plagued by “disorganisation, lack of appropriate staffing”

By Martin Scott, 8 October 2020

Health workers reveal the “shambolic” conditions that have contributed to as many as 768 deaths and 18,000 infections in the state.

With more than 1 million dead, who have been the victims of the coronavirus pandemic?

Part one

By Benjamin Mateus, 8 October 2020

More than 1 million people globally have succumbed to COVID-19. The working class has faced the brunt of this pandemic, with all indications that the worst is still to come.

UK COVID-19 cases triple in a fortnight

By Robert Stevens, 8 October 2020

The spread of COVID-19 in the north of England is presented in the media as a regional disparity. But the most infected areas are in deindustrialised, socially deprived regions where fewer people work from home.

Quebec educator urges teachers to build rank-and-file safety committees to oppose reckless school reopening

By our reporter, 8 October 2020

There is no longer any doubt that the reopening of schools in Quebec, as across Canada, is fueling the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They want the schools to remain open at all costs”

Tennessee educator speaks out on unsafe conditions in schools

By Our reporters, 8 October 2020

While the state’s governor proclaims schools are safe, the teacher reveals how her school has been unable to contain the spread of the virus and the impact this has had on educators and students alike.

New York governor closes some schools and businesses while COVID-19 infections spike

By Alberto Escalera, 8 October 2020

With anger increasing over the unsafe opening of the nation’s largest school system, Governor Andrew Cuomo is moving to close a limited number of schools in communities that have become COVID-19 hotspots.

Appalachian State University faculty and students demand action after death of healthy student from COVID-19

By Aaron Murch, 8 October 2020

Following the death of 19-year-old Chad Dorrill, students and professors have spoken out against the poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic by the university’s administration.

Global billionaire wealth tops $10 trillion as COVID-19 deaths mount

By Jacob Crosse, 8 October 2020

The unprecedented surge in wealth takes place amidst a global pandemic that has killed more than one million people worldwide, including more than 215,000 in the United States alone.

US safety agency undermines federal oversight of COVID-19 workplace spread

By Shannon Jones, 7 October 2020

The workplace safety agency revised wording on its website to state that employers must only report a hospitalization if it occurs within 24 hours of exposure, a near impossibility that effectively abolishes any requirement that companies notify OSHA of severe cases.

With COVID-19 rates rising, Massachusetts officials push to reopen schools and businesses

By Andrew Timon, 7 October 2020

Last Thursday marked the opening of public schools in Boston, Massachusetts, for in-person learning for high need students, despite rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the city and state.

Trump escalates political conspiracy despite White House pandemic

By Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore, 7 October 2020

Trump’s decision to return to the White House from the Walter Reed Medical Center Monday night was intended to get his plot to overturn the election back on track.

Trump breaks off talks on pandemic stimulus bill

By Barry Grey, 7 October 2020

Trump’s announcement is a savage attack on the working class under conditions of a worsening pandemic, a rising tide of permanent layoffs, soaring hunger and tens of millions of looming evictions and home foreclosures.

Tens of thousands laid off as major exhibitor Cineworld closes movie theaters in US and UK

By Matthew MacEgan, 7 October 2020

The world’s second-largest movie theater chain announced that it will close over 600 locations this week, resulting in the loss of employment for 45,000 workers.

Nurses and health care workers at three California hospitals begin 5-day strike

By David Brown, 7 October 2020

Health care workers in the East Bay confront chronic understaffing, lack of PPE and attacks on wages while serving on the front line against the pandemic.

“We want the government to stop using us” like “guinea pigs”

Youth who led Montreal high school strike against unsafe school reopening speaks out

By our reporters, 7 October 2020

Dozens of students at LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School protested last Thursday against the provincial CAQ government’s reckless reopening of Quebec’s schools.

Academic promoted by Jacobin to campaign for reopening schools meets with Trump officials

By Genevieve Leigh, 7 October 2020

Martin Kulldorff, who was interviewed and endorsed by Jacobin to support the reopening of schools, met Monday with top Trump officials to discuss the policy of “herd immunity.”

School occupations continue in Greece as students resist government blackmail and violence

By Katerina Selin, 6 October 2020

Since the homicidal reopening of schools two weeks ago, students, with the support of parents and teachers, have been fighting against the attempt to force them back into dilapidated school buildings, where they will be exposed to the deadly threat of the coronavirus without adequate protection.

Bangladesh’s Awami League government intensifies anti-democratic attacks on its critics

By Wimal Perera, 6 October 2020

Prime Minister Sheik Hasina has responded to the social crisis exacerbated by COVID-19 by suppressing information on the disease and persecuting journalists.

Trump stages White House return to boost back-to-work policy and election coup plans

By Patrick Martin, 6 October 2020

The departure was staged for political effect and signals the resumption of efforts to carry out an election day coup d’état.

Allina health care workers begin limited two-day strike over safety conditions amidst pandemic

By Matt Rigel, 6 October 2020

One month after voting to authorize a strike over safety conditions, medical and tech workers at Allina healthcare in the Minneapolis area have begun a two-day walkout.

Révolution Permanente (NPA) silent on Greek youth protests against COVID-19

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 6 October 2020

The New Anticapitalist Party’s (NPA) web site is silent on the mass struggles in Greece because it supports the official policy of herd immunity on COVID-19.

Despite COVID outbreaks, NFL season continues in front of tens of thousands of spectators

By Andy Thompson, 6 October 2020

Despite COVID-19 outbreaks of two NFL teams, the professional football season continues.

Third wave of COVID-19 expected to sweep across the United States

By Benjamin Mateus, 6 October 2020

Health officials reviewing the case reports from across the country are concerned that the trends indicate another wave is on the horizon, bringing with it rising hospitalization rates and an increase in the number of deaths.

Pandemic exposes Australian employers’ exploitation of young backpackers

By Michael Smith, 6 October 2020

The political establishment’s only response to the abuses has been to expand such visa programs and extend them to jobless workers and school leavers.

COVID-19 infections on the rise in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 6 October 2020

The age of the infected, for both mild and severe cases, has been decreasing as infections rise. The average age of those hospitalised has dropped to 37 years.

Tens of thousands of UK COVID-19 cases and contacts went unreported

By Thomas Scripps, 6 October 2020

Besides giving a completely false picture of the spread of the disease, the failure to report 15,841 positive Covid-19 cases has left tens of thousands of their potentially infected contacts untraced for up to a week.

Ranks of long-term jobless soar as US unemployment aid dries up

By Jerry White, 6 October 2020

Both parties are using mass unemployment and the threat of destitution as a bludgeon to force workers back into unsafe factories and workplaces.

India to reopen schools, despite COVID-19 death toll surging past 100,000

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 October 2020

The Modi government long ago abandoned any effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and is insisting workers be forced back on the job to produce profits for big business, whatever the cost in human lives.

Transit union shuts down job action by Detroit bus drivers

By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2020

The memorandum of understanding signed by the Amalgamated Transit Union does nothing to seriously address the needs of drivers, let alone resolve the deplorable state of public transit in the most impoverished big city in America.

Partial closures in New York City as infections spread throughout US schools

By Renae Cassimeda, 5 October 2020

With at least 39,000 COVID-19 infections and 30 deaths of K-12 educators since schools began reopening in the US in late July, the full resumption of in-person learning in large cities across the country will vastly accelerate the spread of the pandemic.

Israel: 130,000 protesters demand resignation of Netanyahu government

By Jean Shaoul, 5 October 2020

Israeli workers now face measures long associated with the suppression of the Palestinians in the territories illegally occupied by Israel since their seizure in the June 1967 war.

Almost half of UK coronavirus infections in schools, colleges and universities

By Harvey Thompson, 5 October 2020

Figures from the latest Public Health England’s COVID-19 epidemiology surveillance summary show that educational settings now account for 45 percent of all positive cases in the UK.

Ontario Labour Relations Board refuses to hear case brought by unions on unsafe school reopenings

By Roger Jordan, 4 October 2020

The OLRB’s decision not to hear the case is a damning exposure of the trade unions, whose leaders insisted that teachers take no job action and place their faith in this state agency to ensure safe working conditions.

COVID-19 rampaging across the US Midwest

By Kristina Betinis and Cole Michaels, 3 October 2020

Wisconsin infection rates are rising sharply, placing hospitals at risk of being overwhelmed, while Missouri hit a record rate Friday after schools opened to in-person instruction.

Health care workers stage strikes, protests in Chile and Argentina

By Mauricio Saavedra, 3 October 2020

According to Amnesty International, of the 7,000 health professionals in the world who have died after contracting COVID-19, more than a third are from the Americas.

Trump falls victim to his own “herd immunity” policy

By Patrick Martin, 3 October 2020

While the short-term political consequences are highly unpredictable, the Trump diagnosis does not alter the fundamental trajectory of the social and political crisis of American capitalism.

UK students denounce dangerous conditions in universities and halls of residence

By Our reporters, 3 October 2020

University students, lecturers and members of the public have been speaking out against the absurd and dangerous conditions facing thousands of young people as they start the university year.

Australian teachers confront fast-tracked return to classrooms in Victoria

By Karen Maxwell, 3 October 2020

Behind the backs of teachers, the Australian Education Union is working closely with the state Labor Party government to stifle resistance.

EU summit backs herd immunity policy and sanctions against Belarus

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 3 October 2020

The European Council of EU heads of state met for two days in Brussels, Thursday and Friday, to discuss the bloc’s foreign and economic policy.

Two charged in Massachusetts nursing home catastrophe that left 76 veterans dead from COVID-19

By Alex Johnson, 3 October 2020

Both indictments represent the first criminal case in the country brought against administrators at nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Russia prepares health care cuts as COVID cases rise

By Andrea Peters, 3 October 2020

The Kremlin’s proposed budget axes spending on health care and allocates 27 percent of all federal expenditures to the army, national guard and security forces of the interior ministry.

Nearly 20,000 US Amazon and Whole Foods workers have been infected with COVID-19

By Tom Carter, 3 October 2020

The increase in Amazon’s market capitalization since the start of the year amounts to $34 million for each worker who got sick.

Malign neglect in New York schools: The politics of the SUNY Board of Trustees

By Alex Findijs, 3 October 2020

The Board of Trustees for the State University of New York is packed with members and strategists of the Democratic Party.

Ninth COVID-19 death reported at California poultry processor Foster Farms

By Cordell Gascoigne, 3 October 2020

The poultry processor in Merced County, California bitterly resisted all efforts at regulation despite the unchecked spread of the deadly virus at the facility.

Drop in September job growth shows slowdown in US recovery

By Kevin Reed, 3 October 2020

The September employment report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the economic recovery—largely based on the CARES Act infusion of government money into Wall Street and corporate America—is stalling, as millions of workers remain unemployed and a new round of corporate layoffs is being carried out.

“I think teachers need to organize like they did in West Virginia”

Tennessee governor Bill Lee hails “strong safety measures” in schools amid growing anger from teachers

By Isaac Finn, 3 October 2020

On Monday, Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee praised “very strong safety measures” in schools in Knox County, despite over a thousand students and staff in quarantine.

PSOE, Podemos propose herd immunity as COVID-19 rips through Madrid

By Alejandro López, 3 October 2020

This week, the Spanish government reached a deal with Madrid regional authorities on policies for the working class districts hardest hit by the virus.

COVID-19 in Germany: No protection for high-risk groups despite dramatic increase in infections

By Joshua Seubert and Markus Salzmann, 3 October 2020

As in other European countries, the number of infections in Germany is reaching dramatic highs after school reopenings, exposing schoolchildren, teachers and educators to mortal danger.

The pandemic Depression: Bailed-out US airlines slash tens of thousands of jobs

By Genevieve Leigh, 2 October 2020

Millions of workers are being forced to choose between putting themselves at risk of catching the deadly virus and putting food on the table for their families.

“The unions were like ghosts throughout the pandemic”

Istanbul municipal workers speak out against trade unions, herd immunity policy

By our correspondents, 2 October 2020

WSWS reporters recently spoke with workers from several municipalities of the greater Istanbul area on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nineteen-year-old North Carolina university student in “tremendous shape” dies from COVID-19

By Harvey Simpkins, 2 October 2020

Chad Dorrill contracted the virus after his return to Appalachian State University for fall classes.

After teacher dies of COVID-19 in rural Michigan, Detroit educators call for unified fight against unsafe school openings

By The Detroit Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 2 October 2020

“We pledge to step up our fight to unify educators across the state around demands that put the well-being of our children, co-workers and communities first.”

Coronavirus in the UK: A poor schools’ pandemic

By Margot Miller, 2 October 2020

Private schools have no worries about supply cover or getting their pupils and staff tested for the virus.

As pandemic resurges, Canada’s governments press forward with reckless back-to-work drive

By Roger Jordan, 2 October 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is surging across Canada, with total new daily infections rapidly approaching 2,000—or more than four times the average just six weeks ago.

Report exposes huge scale of COVID-19 infections in UK food processing industry

By Barry Mason, 2 October 2020

The government and its agencies have done everything to play down the scale of the spread of the virus, particularly in workplaces, to keep the profits rolling in.

Australia Post workers denounce union-enforced restructure, call for independent rank-and-file committees

By Jim Franklin and Oscar Grenfell, 2 October 2020

“On the eve of the biggest battle of our lives, the union has gone around in the middle of the night and emptied our guns of bullets. Just as the war begins they take away our right to withdraw our labour.”