RISE & RISE OF THE EXTREME RIGHT

This article originally appeared in The Anvil, Vol 5 No 1, published in August 2016

Despite a burst of publicity at its first appearance, Reclaim Australia (RA) has been eclipsed by the certifiable fascists of the United Patriots Front (UPF). The UPF announced themselves in May last year, when they attempted to march on Richmond Town Hall, but they got a hiding. They have had similar experiences on repeated occasions in Melbourne, either being blocked by anti-fascists or cowering behind masses of cops. Their mobilisations in Bendigo, however, have been far more successful, each time outnumbering the anti-fascists who came out to counter them.

This hasn’t been all. Alarmingly, on 1 November the UPF visited the Melbourne Anarchist Club and radio station 3CR, in unspoken but clear acts of intimidation. Then, on 26 June, the UPF and the even more thuggish True Blue Crew decided to counter an anti-racist rally in Coburg. To cut a long story short, the fascists eventually got another hiding, but not before things nearly went the other way.

Meanwhile, overseas, fascist groups attack refugees in Greece, Italy, Germany and Sweden – often with impunity. The Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacists rally in the United States, inflicting grievous bodily harm on anti-fascists who come out against them. The rise of fascism is world-wide.

Fascists are not, however, merely thugs with swastika tattoos and convictions for violent assault. There are many open fascist parties in parliaments in Europe, including Golden Dawn in Greece and Jobbik in Hungary. The Front National in France and the Freedom Party of Austria, though less extreme and denying their fascist heritage, are on the verge of taking over government. Finally, though Donald Trump in the United States is not a fascist, his extreme right populism is providing fascists an umbrella under which to organise.

Back here in Australia, we see the return of Pauline Hanson, who has come out on top in the struggle to be the mouthpiece of the extreme right. Having been granted uncontested space to spew her racist bile on morning television, her party has reaped a swag of Senate seats in the recent election. Like Trump, she isn’t a fascist, but her party is infested with them and they will likely grow in influence while she’s publicly engaged in her infamous xenophobia.

It is a burning necessity that all working class organisations mobilise against the far right, both populist and fascist, before the menace grows even larger. The UPF is the most powerful fascist organisation in Australia for 80 years, while Hanson has the most successful extreme right parliamentary presence ever. Both tap into a deep well of Islamophobia nourished by years of government and media demonisation of Muslims. Their claim that the jihadis and their crimes are representative of all Muslims is a dangerous lie.

The return of Hanson is both a threat and an opportunity. Her policies are deadly dangers, but by seeking to scapegoat both Muslims and Asians simultaneously, she makes herself more opponents and renders herself easier to rebut in arguments with workers who might be attracted to some of her ideas.

All efforts must now be made to bring the unions into the struggle. This will be difficult, though, due to the cowardly nature of the union bureaucracy. The message must be got through to all unionists that racism is fatal to working class solidarity.

THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW

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ELECTIONS ARE NOT THE ANSWER

Cage

The Australian Federal election campaign grinds on, with most people being heartily sick of the whole thing. Neither the Liberals nor Labor are trusted by most voters and the major parties are horrified at the drift of voters to minor parties of all stripes. Anarchists have something to say about this, something deeper than just advising people about voting. We say if you’re looking to fix the problems in society, Parliament is the wrong place.

Real power in a capitalist society doesn’t reside in Parliament, but in the boardrooms of the major companies, in the editorial rooms of the mainstream media, in the officers’ mess of the military, in the courts and in the offices of top public service mandarins. Even if a government reflecting the electorate’s opinions came to office, it would be hamstrung by the power of society’s real rulers. It would be unable to implement its program and the results of its legislation would be contrary to expectations. There is no Parliamentary road to a just society.

And what’s on offer anyway? Exhibit One is the Liberal Party, the open mouthpiece of Big Business and advocate for capitalism itself. Its actions of the last few years speak for themselves – the Liberal politicians replaced Tony Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull purely because they needed a better salesperson.

Exhibit Two is the Labor Party. This cowardly bunch is far more committed to occupying the Treasury benches than standing up for their supporters. They want to govern capitalism far more than they want to change it. Over time, they have become the neo-liberals they once denounced, because capitalism demands a neo-liberal policy framework. If they have the misfortune to win office it will be their allotted task to kick Labor voters where it hurts, all the while arguing that the Libs would kick harder. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Exhibit Three is The Greens. If this mob ever offered a real alternative to the major parties, they gave that up the day they decided to tackle global warming by putting a price on carbon. Their intention to tackle climate change is not in doubt, but they ignore the way carbon pricing would make working class people pay – and how this would drive workers into the arms of climate deniers and the coal mining bosses. Their carbon price flows from their belief that a just and sustainable capitalism is possible. Greens members are not advised to go shopping for used cars on their own.

Let’s leave aside the assorted Right Wing Nut Jobs (pausing only to note that they range from religious bigots to bona fide Fascists) and the plethora of middle-of-the-road to mildly progressive single issue groups – listing them would send readers to sleep. Their grievances and causes, to the extent to which they are legitimate, will bog down in direct proportion to their significance to the operations of capitalism. If it would stop the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, it would have Buckley’s chance of being implemented. Finally, the Nick Xenophon Team presents a moderate image even while they peddle protectionism and uphold Australia’s imperialist military build-up.

What about the various Socialist parties running in selected electorates and some Senate races? No, there’s still no Parliamentary road for them. While it’s no crime to enter Parliament in order to oppose every capitalist government consistently, refusing them confidence and blocking attacks on the working class, the campaign necessary to get there is a massive waste of time and effort. Any opponent of capitalism would get a better reward for their efforts by building a working class movement in workplaces and communities, rather than entering a forum where the rules are rigged against us.

Whoever wins this election will find a global economy which is stagnating and threatening to spin completely out of control, while international events are both breaking up the European Union and building towards a conflict between the United States and China. Parliament, necessarily focused on the national arena, cannot solve these questions. Under pressure from uncontrollable global events, it will inevitably attack the working class to solve the problems of capitalism in Australia. Removing the capitalists from power is necessary, but Lucy Parsons was right when she said:

“Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth”

WORKERS’ REVOLUTION IS THE ANSWER

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Counter Protest vs Fascism 26 June 2016

The True Blue Crew and the United Patriots Front have announced they will attempt to rally and march in Melbourne on 26 June. Rally to stop them:

Parliament (top of Bourke St)
11:00 a.m.
Sunday 26 June

TOUCH ONE, TOUCH ALL

Say NO

https://www.facebook.com/events/1043092919079717/

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Love Coburg Hate Racism 28 May 2016

Love Coburg
Love Coburg 2

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MAY DAY 2016

Chicago 1886

On 1 May, workers in Chicago in the United States went on strike for the 8 hour day. Three days later, a bomb went off at a workers’ demonstration. Seven police and four workers were killed, either by the bomb or the following gunfire. In the outcry that followed, eight Anarchist union leaders were framed and convicted for the crime. Four were executed. The campaign for the exoneration of the Haymarket Martyrs and the release of the survivors gave birth to May Day, celebrated around the world as a day of working class solidarity.

Melbourne 2016

The labour movement in Melbourne, though far declined from its former strength, has neither totally given up the ghost nor been allowed quarter by its enemies. Unions struggle for health and safety, against insecure work and against the use of temporary work visas to undermine labour standards. The union campaigns, though, are undermined by the conservatism and timidity of the union officials, their support for the Labor Party and their nationalist focus on “Aussie jobs”, which interferes with building the necessary solidarity between local workers and super-exploited migrant workers. Meanwhile, the capitalists are proceeding with legislation to destroy the construction workers’ union (CFMEU) and bring the entire union movement under close State supervision.

Abroad

Although workers’ struggle in Australia has been low key in recent years, events overseas have been stepping up – for good and ill. China has become strike capital of the world and workers in India continue to stage immense general strikes. The movements behind Jeremy Corbyn in Britain and Bernie Sanders in the US (though the candidates themselves have no answers) are evidence of a desire, particularly amongst young workers, to break away from the current political establishment. Against this, however, stand other factors. Unions in South Korea are under massive assault, while governments in Turkey and Thailand have become increasingly violent and intolerant. Religious sectarianism deepens in West Asia and North Africa (assisted in some countries by imperialist intervention). And Fascism, that ghastly menace from the past, rises again across Europe and elsewhere, feeding off both the failure of the European Union and the influx of refugees fleeing persecution and imperialist war. Even in Europe, however, the mass struggle in France against anti-union attacks on the labour code is a ray of light.

Communism

Time grows short, with the environmental disaster of climate change accelerating yearly and international relations descending into ever more intractable imperialist wars. The emerging struggles show that the working class is up to the task. We will rise up and overthrow capitalism. We will create a stateless, classless society of libertarian communism, where each contributes according to their ability and receives according to their need. We will win – and be free.

WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!

PO Box 5108 Brunswick North 3056
1 May 2016
https://www.melbacg.wordpress.com
macg1984@yahoo.com.au

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FOR PEACE

The Western Front

On 25 April 1915, Australian, New Zealand and other troops of the British Empire landed at a Turkish beach at Gallipoli. It was a fiasco, a disastrous side-venture in World War I. Bloodied and beaten, they withdrew in January the next year. The British High Command weren’t done with them, though, and sent the Anzacs to the Western Front, where some of the main business of WWI was being conducted. There, even more Anzac blood was shed for the cause of one grasping imperialist alliance in its struggle against another that was no better. The blood continued to flow until November 1918.

End of the War

The War ended in 1918, not because of the military victories of the Entente on the Western Front, but because revolution had broken out in Germany and the Kaiser had abdicated. Revolution had also swept Russia the year before and it dawned on the ruling classes of Europe that they were also in danger if the War was not brought to a halt. And so it was, with the Armistice being signed only two days after the abdication. The Austro-Hungarian empire had disintegrated, with declarations of independence in Prague, Budapest and Zagreb. And even the collapse of the Ottoman Empire owed as much to the rebellions in its Arab provinces (encouraged by one Colonel T. E. Lawrence) as to the exploits of British and Australian troops in Palestine. The War ended because many of the people involved refused to fight it.

Militarism

These days, Anzac Day is an occasion for the most appalling propaganda for nationalism and militarism. The Anzacs are subject, metaphorically, to a secular canonisation and their hagiographies are the theme of endless documentaries and coffee table books. The purpose of this has nothing to do with their sacrifice and everything to do with drumming up support for today’s imperialist wars and making criticism of Australia’s imperialist military taboo. Governments only spend hundreds of millions on the dead if they think it will help them turn a profit on the living.

Revolution

If we want peace, we must follow the example of the workers and worker-soldiers who ended WWI. We must build a working class movement which spans across frontiers and cuts the ground out from under the capitalist governments that have no solution for international problems but war. We must make a workers’ revolution and overthrow capitalism. And only then will we be able to build a world of liberty, equality and solidarity – a world at peace.

END WAR AND MILITARISM

Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group

http://www.melbacg.wordpress.com
macg1984@yahoo.com.au
PO Box 5108 Brunswick North 3056
25 April 2016

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International Women’s Day 2016

IWD 2016.1

8 March, International Womens’ Day

It’s time for women and the working class to organise and emancipate.

International Women’s Day is a day when the women’s movement around the world celebrates social, political and other achievements of women. It is also a good day for women to take a closer look at the oppression that flourishes through the double bondage of capitalism and patriarchy, and which is still an unfortunate and undeniable reality for the majority of women today.

Women’s oppression has lots of forms, perhaps a sexist boss, partner or a comrade. As anarchists we have a lot of work to do before there is equality in gender and sexual relations, both in our own lives and in the wider community of which we are a part.

The struggle for female emancipation belongs to militant self-organising women. Women’s struggle against the patriarchy must has to be both anti-state and anti-capitalist. State, capital and patriarchy nourish one another by supporting bosses who exploit women and fragment women’s resistance.

Mobilisations on 8 March, like those on other days, must challenge empty liberal notions of gender equality within a generalised system of inequality. This is a day of resistance against all forms of oppression.

In the regions of Turkey and Kurdistan women are participating in a long struggle against the fascistic Turkish regime, against theocratic totalitarianism of the so-called “Islamic State” and against patriarchy. The revolution in the autonomous regions of Kurdistan, despite misgivings about the implications of the alliance of the YPG-YPJ with US imperialism, is a living example of militant self-organisation of women for social autonomy.

We call on working women all over the world to join this fight, to make this day a day of resistance. We honour the murdered women whose bodies were dragged in the streets as trophies of the enemy.

The women in Kurdistan inspire us in our struggle here and everywhere for emancipation and freedom.

IWD 2016.2

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