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John Passant

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Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)



Keep socialist blog En Passant going – donate now


En Passant is the most left wing daily blog in Australia. Commenting intelligently on issues that arise in Australian and international politics from a revolutionary perspective, it aims to provoke debate and discussion among more left wing and socialist readers and activists. Its aim is to arm left wing readers with arguments against the latest capitalist atrocities and outrages.

I have been writing the blog, and railing against war, poverty, austerity, climate change injustice, Islamophobia, racism, sexism, and oppression (among other issues) since 2008. In short, I have railed against capitalism and all that is rotten flowing from it.

Not only that but I argue a way forward. We can make the world a better one through our own mass actions. Through our strikes, our demonstrations, our pickets, our boycotts, our sit-ins, we can change the world. These are examples of the fight for democratic socialism, of socialism from below.

We can and must fight in the here and now but ultimately to get rid of war, exploitation and oppression we need a world where production is organised democratically to satisfy human need, not to make a profit. That is socialism. All of us together can run our world.

If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog.

To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going


Will union amalgamations address declining membership numbers?

Tom Orsag writes in Solidarity magazine about union amalgamations and the false hope they may offer. Here is a snippet.

But amalgamations are not the answer to rebuilding the union movement.

Nor are talk-fests, as ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said “Next month union leaders will be gathering for the Australia Disrupted Symposium to discuss the future of work and how we can best represent workers no matter who they are or how they work.”

Unions are built through strikes and industrial action. When unions take action they recruit new members. The Victorian nurses’ union recruited almost 6000 members through its industrial campaign in 2011. The ETU in Victoria has grown from 8500 members in 1995 to 19,000 today under a militant leadership not afraid to take strike action.

To read the whole article click here.  Are union amalgamations the answer to declining membership numbers?

My 24 November interview with Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp

This is the link to my 40 minute interview on 24 November with Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp. We discuss tax history and the role of forgotten classes in revolutions sparked by tax. We discuss the shift in wealth from labour to capital and how tax ‘reform’ is about continuing that.  We cover poverty, the economy and much much more.

Click here to listen.

Statement by activists: Defend the Mufti—no to Islamophobia, no to war

The campaign against the Grand Mufti and the National Imams Council following their statement on the Paris terror attacks has shown that some politicians and the Murdoch press are determined to continue to stir up racism against the Muslim community.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s decision to “condemn” the Mufti’s comments, and his claim that the Mufti needed to “make it very clear that he condemns these acts of terrorism”, were nothing more than an attempt to suggest that the Mufti, as the leading spokesperson for Muslims in Australia is a supporter of terrorism. Yet the Mufti’s statement on the Paris attacks and many previous statements make clear his strong condemnation of terrorism.

The constant calls by politicians for ‘moderate Muslims’ to oppose extremism is just another attempt to cast suspicion over all Muslims.

The Mufti has done nothing but tell the truth; that “causative factors such as racism, Islamophobia, curtailing freedoms through securitisation, duplicitous foreign policies and military intervention” are indeed issues feeding domestic terrorist attacks.

The Assistant Minister for Multiculturalism Concetta Fierravanti-Wells insisted that the Mufti should “leave aside those sort of more controversial concerns”. Social Services Minister Christian Porter said it was “outlandish” and not “very constructive or helpful”.

The government is trying to demonise the Mufti, while pursuing domestic and international policies that are the fundamental causes of terror attacks.

There is nothing outlandish in saying that governments should address the causes of terrorism, instead of inflaming Islamophobia and passing more draconian anti-terror laws, attacks on citizenship and giving more powers to ASIO and the police forces to put Muslim communities under increased surveillance.

In the aftermath of the Paris killings, the Treasurer, Scott Morrison has repeated his claim that the majority of the 12,000 places Australia has created for Syrian refugees will be taken by Christians. The government’s policy discriminates against single men and Muslims, but Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, says Morrison’s comments are “in line with government policy”.

Similarly, the government’s special envoy for citizenship and community engagement dismissed concerns about Australian government military interventions in Iraq and Syria.

Yet, the death and destruction caused by Western foreign policies in the Middle East have generated legitimate opposition all across the world.

Over 750,000 people across Australia marched against the Iraq War in 2003, among millions of others worldwide. At the time many people pointed out that it would only increase terrorism and instability. This has been proven right. That war led to the death of one million Iraqis, and created the circumstances where a murderous organisation like ISIS could emerge.

Renewed Western bombing in Iraq and Syria, including by the Australian government, has only added fuel to the fire.

Islamophobia and the resulting marginalisation of the Muslim community is an increasing issue inflamed by government policies. There has been a significant increase in violent hate attacks against Muslims over the past year, and even more since the Paris attacks.

Media coverage as well as government counter-terrorism efforts have often portrayed the whole Muslim community as responsible for terrorism. Successive rounds of new anti-terror laws have led to the targeting of the Muslim community.

The scapegoating of the Muslim community, as not doing enough to condemn or oppose terrorism, must stop.

Ahmed Aboushabana, community activist
Ashley Lavelle, Macquarie University
Ataman Atlas, lawyer, Atlas Legal
Australians For Syria Association (AFSA)
Australian Jewish Democratic Society
Australian Muslim Women’s Association
Briony Neilson, Adjunct, History, University of Sydney
Bruce Knobloch, Greens activist
Colin Long, Secretary, Victorian division, National Tertiary Education Union
Gabby Judd, Co-ordinator, Grandmothers against Detention of Refugee Children Sydney
Genevieve Kelly, Secretary, NSW National Tertiary Education Union
Hanan Dover, Muslim community advocate
Dr Harry Feldman, anti-racism activist
Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coalition
Islamic Research & Educational Academy (IREA)
Professor Jake Lynch, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, Sydney University
Jeff Sparrow, writer
Judy McVey, CPSU Section Councillor (personal capacity)
Julia Grieves, Voices Against Bigotry
Katie George, CPSU
Ken Canning, Murri activist
Kyol Blakeney, President, 87th Sydney University Students Representative Council, Aboriginal activist
Linda Briskman, Professor of Human Rights, Swinburne University of Technology
Lucy Honan, Councillor, Australian Education Union (Victoria)
Malaysian Progressives in Australia (MPOZ)
Malikeh Michaels, former Greens Councillor
Marcelo Svirsky, Newcastle University
Mehar Khan, educator, Malek Fahd Islamic School, Chullora NSW
Dr Melissa Slee, Assistant Secretary, Victorian Division, National Tertiary Education Union, President, RMIT NTEU branch
Michael Thomson, President, National Tertiary Education Union, University of Sydney Branch
Nasreen Dean, Sydney University Muslim Students’ Association
Nick Riemer, Lecturer, Sydney University
Randa Abdel Fattah, author and PhD candidate
Roger Markwick, Professor of Modern European History, University of Newcastle
Sonia Randhawa, PhD candidate, University of Melbourne
Susie Latham, co-founder Voices against Bigotry
Syrians for Freedom

To add your name email

This statement was published in Solidarity magazine.

Open letter to the organising committee of the Sydney rally against Reclaim Australia on November 22

We write to express our disappointment in the way the demonstration [in Sydney] against Reclaim Australia concluded on Sunday.

The rally itself was very good. We outnumbered the racists by at least 3:1. The speakers were representative of the some of the key social forces we need to mobilise in much larger numbers if we are to push back the Islamophobic offensive – unionists, Muslims, Aboriginal people and the broader left.

Clear points were made against the demonisation of Muslims under the current government and the Western bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria, the importance of justice for Aboriginal people and the need for working class unity in the fight against racism, war and Islamophobia.

Aboriginal leader Ken Canning, whose photo was used to promote the demonstration, made a strong point as part of his speech – and again towards the end of proceedings – that the rally should remain stationary and any attempt to march would only lead to pointless confrontation with the police. This position was widely supported in the crowd with clapping and cheering.

The rally looked to be ending strong and unified, when the chair Omar Hassan, from Socialist Alternative, announced that some people wanted to march – and quickly proceeded to lead one without the chance for any discussion for or against.

The march did not make it 100 metres down the road before it was broken up by police, including horses. We condemn this violence used by police, reject media suggestions protestors deserved to be attacked and defend the right to demonstrate. But this outcome was entirely predictable. Many people left feeling confused and demoralised. People had not attended the rally to pointlessly confront police, but to make a political stand against racism and Reclaim Australia.

It is an urgent imperative that we strengthen the movement against Islamphobia and war by mobilising far wider layers of people than we had at Martin Place today. This needs to focus not just on fringe far right groups, but mobilisations against the government policies driving the racism. It needs to include Muslims, many of whom do not feel confident to take to the streets in the current climate of fear.

The rally today had a number of strengths that can be built on to take this movement forward. But the unnecessary and undemocratic confrontation with police was a step back and must not be repeated. We will need a more democratic, honest approach to organising to make any future events successful.


Ken Canning, Murri activist and rally speaker
Ahmed Aboushabana, community activist and rally speaker
Elizabeth Jarrett, Goori activist and rally speaker
Kyol Blakeney, 2015 Sydney University SRC President
Clare Fester, Solidarity and rally organising committee member
Padraic Gibson, Jumbunna Research and Solidarity
Bruce Knobloch, Greens activist
Susan Price, National co-convenor Socialist Alliance
Ian Rose, Greens activist
Mia Sanders anti-racist activist, Socialist Alliance and rally organising committee member
Amy Claire Thomas, Solidarity and rally organising committee member
Evan Van Zijl, Greens activist
Natalie Wasley, anti-nuclear and Aboriginal rights campaigner

My article in Independent Australia: The Grand Mufti was right

This is the link to my article in Independent Australia on why the Grand Mufti is right about the West’s role in creating the conditions for terrorism.

To read the whole article click The Grand Mufti was Right.



The Canberra Times quotes me in an article on our anti-Reclaim White Australia rally

In an article in the Canberra Times on our anti-Reclaim Australia rally on Sunday at Parliament House, Christopher Knaus quotes me:

Prior to the arrival of Reclaim, John Passant, of the Solidarity Canberra group, told protesters that it was fantastic that so many had turned up to take a stand against the racism of Reclaim, and the racism of the federal government.

“We need to stand together against the new current of politics that is developing in Australia,” he said.

“A politics that sees race as a way of bettering themselves… of getting themselves noticed.”

The report itself doesn’t mention the strong Aboriginal Tent Embassy presence at the anti-Reclaim rally. Here is one of my poor photos of the 25 or so Aboriginal comrades at the beginning of the protest against racism.

Aboriginal comrades at the anti-Reclaim protest. Photo John Passant


Is Reclaim (white) Australia the mirror image of ISIS?

From The Shovel

Yesterday at our rally in Canberra against racism and for Muslims, I saw the potential front-line face of fascism in Australia. (Christopher Knauss, ‘Rival protesters clash in fiery exchanges’ The Canberra Times Monday November 23, page 4.)

Wrapped in the Australian flag, chanting Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi, oi, oi and sprouting hateful lies and abuse against Muslims and anti-fascists and anti-racists like me, and wanting to undertake physical action against its perceived enemies, these white nationalist Reclaim Australia people, mainly alienated middle aged and young men, are a potential lumpen proletariat wing of fascism. It made me realise why some alienated young men might also join or support Reclaim’s alter ego and mirror image, ISIS.

The personal abuse some of the reclaim white Australia people gave me after their rally finished and I was walking alone back from the United Voice union celebrations nearby to the anti-reclaim rally was obviously intended to frighten me. It didn’t. It also didn’t appear to frighten the older woman of Chinese appearance walking near me, who asked for a copy of Solidarity magazine in response to a tirade of foul and vile abuse from one of the racists aimed at me.

Others, especially Muslims, and Muslim women with head covers, as Diane pointed out at the rally, wearing one herself,  however will be frightened by this filth and their campaign of hate and the abuse and physical violence it provokes.  It is why our counter rallies are so important.

In the comments, Tom accuses me of being pro-ISIS. There is no evidence for this lie. Objectively the Reclaim White Australia racists may well be the best recruiters for their brother haters in ISIS. This cartoon captures it:



Roxley Foley from the tent embassy captures the best response to these racists.  This is from an earlier protest when Roxley sat on one of the memorial stones outside Parliament House and the Reclaim White Australia people held their rally around him.


Letter from a refugee

This is my story……… In 2014, during the incident that happened my throat was cut by a local guard.

Afterwards, those who are running the centre started to put some obstacles on my way by hardening up on me in order to make me disappointed therefore I go back to my country. For example, I was sent to the jail 9 months ago and I had been there for 21 days however I hadn’t been done anything wrong.

Actually I’ve been having this feeling like they want to get rid of me. When I came back to the centre I was told that officer who witnessed my throat cut had been fired from his job and moreover the guards broke his arm and sent him back. 

Unfortunately, I haven’t been sent for treatment anywhere so far. I’ve suffering from sort of suffocation due to my neck cut and there is something wrong with its nerve.

Since then I’ve been suffering from mental issues and I have fear because of the nightmares ( like the authorities have been hired someone to kill me) I’ve been having every night.

I feel like something is going to happen to me.

These are my medical issues that I’ve been suffering from and unfortunately I have not received any treatment so far 1) Problem with my neck nerve (due to the cut ) and I feel sort of suffocation whenever I bend my neck 2) Back pain because of the problem that have in my spinal (lumbar disk) 3) Sciatica Nerve issue (whenever I stand or after I have a walk it starts to sore) 4) Ingrowing hair in my back 5) Chronic Inflammation of prostate which causes me testicle and kidney pain 6) Skin Conditions including 1- Vitiligo 2- Seborrhoeic Dermatitis which causes intensified itchiness. 7) Due to the antibiotics that I have been given I have stomach problem.

Do you know more than 2 years I don’t speak with my wife because of security officers because they lost my property from first day and I had phone number of my wife in that property.

Stop the racists and fascists – this Sunday stand united against racism and war

If you want to fight against Islamophobia and racism, join these demonstrations across Australia taking a stand for  decency and humanity. Stop the racists and fascists.