The mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques on 15 March that left 50 dead and 50 injured as of 21 March stands as one of the worst instances of far-right violence of the 21st century. The shooter is Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white supremacist and self-described “ethno nationalist eco fascist.”
PUSH stands in solidarity with the Muslim community of Christchurch, throughout New Zealand, Australia and the world. These communities have been subjected to vilification and persecution, which has only escalated since 9/11.
Fascists like Tarrant are influenced by an alarmingly organised and growing far-right movement. As the world economy continues to disintegrate and living standards suffer, governments use racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia to create scapegoats for people to blame. Fascists become the shock troops of racist governments trying desperately to hold up this crisis-ridden economy. New Zealand is no exception, and Christchurch has been home to a number of neo-Nazi and far-right groups.
The ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan and beyond – and the resulting demonisation of anyone from West Asia – create the perfect conditions for fascist Islamophobic violence. The War on Terror – now nearly two decades old – has provided racist governments with endless opportunity to target the very same peoples they are killing abroad. The flow of refugees from West Asia – which our governments have created through their never-ending wars – has been smeared as the cause of falling living standards, when the real culprit, as always, is the profit-hungry 1%.
This scapegoating plays directly into the hands of the global far-right, who use the misdirected anger of people like Tarrant to recruit, growing their ranks and increasing their threat. It is no accident that the massacre in Christchurch, committed by an Australian citizen, comes after Australian governments, both Liberal and Labor, have spent two decades demonising refugees, mostly Muslims, and locking them up in Pacific Island hellholes. It is no accident that it comes after years of racist dog whistling about terrorism, immigration and crime by Government ministers. And it is no accident that it comes after a decade or more of intense racist propaganda by the capitalist press, radio and television media. These have created the climate in which a fascist can find fellow thinkers and decide to turn words into deeds.
The solution to this threat is the global solidarity of all exploited and oppressed by this sadistic system. The massive, coordinated demonstrations in cities around the world against racism and fascism on 16 March are the antidote to the far-right menace. This resistance is the only way to eliminate the threat of far-right violence effectively and safely – not handing greater powers to our governments, which enable it. New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern’s gun control legislation and Police Commissioner’s paternalistic advice to Muslims to close their places of worship are deliberate deflections, not solutions. So are the sinister calls of Australia’s Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, and the Australian Labor Party Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, to stamp out “extremism” and “hate,” from both the left and right.
The solution lies with us. To be truly effective, this resistance needs to coalesce into a united front composed of all those who face fascist violence — women, First Nations people, immigrants of colour and temporary residents, Jews and Muslims, LGBTIQ and disabled people, sex workers, people on welfare and the poor, unions and the broader left.
PUSH aims to build this united front. To get involved, follow PUSH on Facebook for information about upcoming actions and meetings.
21 March, 2019
PUSH! Organising and Educating to Build a United Front against Fascism
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The Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group is a participant in PUSH!