Reclaim Australia is one brick in the wall

Let’s knock the whole wall down

It looks like we are in for another round of Reclaim Australia’s Islamophobic, racist and anti-Left mobilisations around Australia, particularly in Melbourne. Lately we have seen the racist, Fascist thugs raise their heads, ready to fight not only Muslim communities, but also anyone who opposes Islamophobia.

The ugly United Patriots Front (UPF), a split from Reclaim Australia, tried to storm Richmond Town Hall in the belief that they could destroy those they imagined were the main organisers against their April rally in Federation Square. They thought they could destroy the Left and the antifascist movement. Instead, a few dozen thugs wearing swastikas and other Nazi paraphernalia failed to “give the Left a lesson”.

We believe that, in order to resist and effectively kick out the new round of hate mobilisations on 18 July, the whole antifascist movement must not repeat the faults apparent on 4 April. There is an urgent need for trade union and mass community mobilisation. We need migrant communities to participate in the counter-rallies and other activities planned for 18 July in Melbourne and for 19 July in the rest of the country.

The counter-rally on 4 April was comprised mostly of white activists, most of whom were Anglo-Australian militants. With the important exception of activists from Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance (WAR), and some non-white supporters of larger organised Left and Anarchist groups, the non-white and the migrant communities were simply absent. The same happened in the most recent counter-rally against United Patriots Front at Richmond Town Hall on 31 May.

This description of the weaknesses of the mobilisations so far is not meant to discredit the efforts of the organisers of these events. Every effort towards kicking the Fascists out and building an effective antifascist movement is welcome. Rather, we say this to emphasise that the task in front of us is larger than the work we have done so far.

The task we face is to draw the mass of the working class into direct and active participation in the movement. On the one hand, the Muslim and Asian communities who are the immediate target of Reclaim Australia need to join us. On the other hand, the union movement, which is the Fascists’ ultimate target, needs to come on board. Without these two sectors, the anti-racist, antifascist mobilisation is likely to be seen as one side of a war between fringe groups of our society to which few will pay attention. This orientation, however, does not mean we allow the leaders of the Muslim communities or the union movement to have a veto on our activities.

Through our mobilisations we seek to halt the progress of the far Right. We must also realise they are only a symptom of the government push to criminalise Muslims, indigenous people, immigrants and people of colour. They label them as potential terrorists who are enemies of some imagined “Australia”.

We must go a few steps further, therefore, than just engaging in anti-racist and antifascist organising. We must fight the ongoing displacement of Aboriginal people from their homelands in Western Australia. We must fight the mass incarceration and illegalisation of people seeking asylum in this country. We must confront all these “single” issues. They are part of an entire attack against the working class and our communities by the Government, capital and the State.

Capitalism generates racism and produces the potential for Fascist groups to emerge. To abolish racism and to eliminate the Fascist threat for good, we need a workers’ revolution to overthrow capitalism.

This article was originally published in The Anvil Vol 4 No 3, published in June 2015.