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Sacrifice

ANZAC Day has become one of the saddest days in the Australian calendar. It's a desperately sad day because it highlights how far governments will go to deny the truth to suit their political objectives in 2014. It's one thing remembering and honouring sacrifice, it's another thing examining why so many Australians were sacrificed during World War One.

Of the 300,000 young Australians who volunteered to fight in "the war to end all wars", over 62,000 died on the European killing fields and another 60,000 died within a decade of returning home. A terrible burden for a nation of just 5 million to shoulder. The First World War was not, as most Australians think, a war fought for democracy, freedom or equality. It was a dirty little trade war fought by workers at either end of a bayonet for the glory of God, King and Country.

If it wasn't for the efforts of the radical workers who belonged to the Industrial Workers of the World, large sections of the trade union movement, the Women's Peace Army, the Roman Catholic Church led by Archbishop Mannix and significant sections of the Australian Irish community becoming involved in anti-conscription struggles during WWI that resulted in the defeat of conscription referendums in October 1916 and December 1917, it's no exaggeration to say another 120,000 young Australians would have been sacrificed on Mammon's altar for the benefit of Europe and Australia's ruling classes – LEST WE FORGET.

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