Melbourne’s latest fascist mobilization, on Nov. 20, had a new edge. This time, neo-Nazis planned to rally to celebrate Trump’s election. Their PR was jubilant and emboldened. They picked Parliament House as their site, and nearly 900 people signed up on their Facebook event.
Campaign Against Racism and Fascism (CARF), a united front that Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) and Radical Women (RW) helped found, recognizes that the electoral ascendancy of far-right demagogues adds fuel to the far-right fire. We promptly called a counter-rally.
CARF was joined by No Room for Racism. Together, we were in counter-organising overdrive — reaching out to networks of unionists, LGBTIQ people, women, immigrants, refugees, First Nations, students and the Left.
We planned, as always, a disciplined counteraction. We knew the cops would protect the fascists. Our objective was to stop the neo-Nazis from rallying and marching through Melbourne.
The day arrived. Fifty fascists turned out, but 200 anti-fascists! The police strategy was to block us from getting near Parliament House and intimidate us with a heavy line of riot cops. We weren’t spooked by this or by the cops’ removal of their name badges, indicating they were ready to move in.
The fascists had their little rally under cop protection. But our superior numbers surrounded them, and we made them invisible. Our loud speeches and chants made them inaudible. And we stopped them from marching.
The brownshirts lost in Melbourne, again! But now, more than ever, the united front has to broaden and strengthen. If the growing list of the far right’s targets joins together, especially unions, we could do more than hold back this threatening fire. We could stomp it out.
Melbourne is planning a Jan. 21 protest of Trump’s inauguration in solidarity with the massive rally in the U.S., which will be another opportunity to continue to build democratic alliances against the neo-Hitlerites. FSP and RW have our sleeves rolled up for this weighty task. Let’s collaborate!
For more information on the Australian branch of the Freedom Socialist Party, visit our Facebook page.