The new Australian McCarthyism
The response to the demonstration in Sydney has unleashed a wave of racism not witnessed in Australia for many years. It lays the groundwork for an even further shift to the right in Australian politics and all the many dangers that entails for the working class, unions and unionists, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, refugees and Muslims.
Human rights? By my reckoning my phone is tapped. Either that or that funny whining noise that’s just started at the beginning of conversations is some very convenient line fault.
That is small beer to what is about to be unleashed on Muslims. There will I suspect be some big ‘terrorism’ raids soon.
The right wing, and I include the Labor Party leadership in this with its threats to deport people, are using the demonstration, especially stupid and reactionary placards about beheading those who insult the Prophet, to justify a wave of hate and ultimately recriminations that could shift Australia to the extreme right and will make the lives of all Muslims much worse.
It is no just that the volume has been turned up on verbal attacks on Muslims; attacks on property have begun. Soon I suspect the attacks on people will begin.
The State is already witch hunting protesters. Last week it raided Muslim families in Melbourne and traumatised children using terrorism as the pretext.
The State will arm itself with more powers to address ‘terrorism’ and to attack all who oppose the neoliberal agenda of racism, war and attacking workers’ living standards and jobs.
The ruling classes in the US and its allies have used Islamophobia as a way to win support for their war of terror on Muslims and Muslim majority countries. It is also a way to tie their working classes to the capitalist system and is part of the mechanism for winning workers’ acceptance of the economic war on them and their living standards, jobs and public services that these ruling classes are carrying out.
The war of terror and the war on workers are part of the same coin and are held together by the glue of Islamophobia.
It is also no accident that in this climate of McCarthyite hysteria Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi can oppose same sex marriage on the absurd and reactionary grounds it will lead to bestiality, that talk about increasing the GST has re-surfaced, that the Government could offshore asylum seekers in public silence to the concentration camp on Nauru and that the fightbacks against massive government cuts to public service jobs, health and education have been lost in the cacophony of reaction.
Bernardi for example feels confident to express his reactionary ideas in the knowledge that the climate of ideas is now cold and windswept with reaction and the rejection of reason.
Read the newspapers. Listen to the radio. Watch television. View social media. It is all awash with the filth of reaction and racism, much of it open and some of it more nuanced and disguised. In effect the right is on the rampage across the country.
That is is why it is absolutely correct for socialists to point out the truth of the events in Sydney. That truth is that the violence on Saturday was overwhelmingly committed by the police who used tasers, pepper spray, police dogs and batons against peaceful demonstrators a police attack on demonstrators.
But we need to put what happened into a wider context and try to understand the implications for the fight against racism and Islamophobia.
This is not just about a racist video. Globally these are protests too against decades of violent US domination and intervention in the Muslim world, which has killed millions of people and continues to kill non-combatants.
In Sydney another factor was the daily racism, abuse and vilification Muslims suffer at the hands of Australian capitalism.
It is now about the fight for Muslims to go about their lives unhindered; it is the fight against racism and the right wing assault on our freedoms. It is the fight against the new McCarthyism.
One thing missing in this equation of reaction and fightback is the existence of a mass revolutionary working class party with real roots int eh class that could make the arguments in teh class against the racism and Islamophobia. The choices are becoming starker as we move to a more draconian asphyxiating society of racism and warmongers - we, the Left and those interested in our ideas, have to build that mass working party of revolution and we need to do it now. There can I believe be no halfway houses. It is time for people to make up their minds which side they are on.
All across the country Socialist Alternative is holding meetings addressing these issues. I would urge all of those on the Left wanting a better understanding of the events and the consequences, and the bigger picture, to attend. I would urge all those concerned by the frenzy of reaction that has been unleashed and the new McCarthyism that is on the agenda to attend.
|Thursday 20 September
|Challenging anti-Muslim bigotry: Why the left needs to defend the Muslim protests||SA centre, Trades Hall||Carlton||Melbourne|
|Thursday 20 September – Thursday 20 September
6.00 pm – 8.00 pm
|Anti-Muslim racism, police brutality and imperialism: Why we must defend the Muslim protest||Moran Building room G008, Australian National Univ||building 26b at map reference G3||Canberra|
7 pm Tuesday 25 September 246 King St Newton
For readers who might want a slightly better analysis of the triggers for the protest rather than the rubbish you will normally find in the mainstream media read this article by Mohamed Tabbaa called He’s my brother – why angry Muslim men are protesting in Sydney in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.
Here is a link to a Socialist Alternative video of eyewitness shots of the police violence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh8AG5tOEEA&feature=player_embedded