One thing working class activists have learned is that working people can’t rely on the capitalist state to stop injustice. The reason for this is, of course, that capitalism is the source of injustice, inequality and oppression across the globe. If there’s a battle to be fought, then we have to do it ourselves. We never call on the government to remove rights, even of our enemies. Inevitably such laws will be used to attack us, because working class activism is always bad for business.
A campaign to have Pauline Hanson “banned” from public buildings in Moreland municipality was launched by the International Socialist Organisation (ISO) during 1997. It seems the ISO wished to “prove” that it is an influential and relevant organisation, and that other Left groups in Moreland have no clout with the powers that be. The ISO “succeeded!” In October, Moreland Council voted to refuse “divisive” groups access to its facilities.
ISO leaders had hardly stopped congratulating themselves when a Campaign Against the Nazis (CAN) activist received a call from a Moreland Council functionary. CAN has been fighting to remove a Nazi “bookshop” from Moreland, and its principled militancy has irritated some councillors. The functionary inquired about CAN’s activities and politely mentioned the council’s new policy. The implication was clear – CAN is to “behave” or risk being denied access to council resources.
Another burden to bear. Moreland has many cheap, accessible meeting places. Now, if a council bureaucrat decides that a group’s activities are “divisive,” the group faces being banned from council venues. Whose rights are protected? The oppressors’, whom we struggle against daily!
Back to activist school, ISO! Working class organising, not backroom lobbying, is what will stop Hanson’s and others’ attacks on working people. No reliance on the capitalist State!