The chant “You’ll always lose in Melbourne!” echoed in the streets of Melbourne on 17 September as another pick and mix of assorted fascists, Nazis and white supremacists was vastly outnumbered by a loud counter-rally.
Between 400 and 500 anti-fascist protesters gathered at the State Library for speeches and chants. Indigenous activists, speakers from the Rohingya community, Jews Against Fascism and longstanding anti-fascist activists spoke about the need for an active and defiant anti-fascist and anti-racist campaign.
The protest, organised by the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, spent weeks encouraging organisations and individuals to join a united march through the streets of Melbourne to outnumber the far right. We succeeded.
Protesters marched to the far right rallying point at Parliament. We outnumbered their rally four or five to one, assembling 50 metres away, separated by police barricades. We drowned out the fascists with chants of “Black, Indigenous, Arab, Asian and white – Unite! Unite! Unite to fight the right!” and “Always was, always will be, Aboriginal Land!”
The far right rally, “Make Victoria Safe Again”, was organised by the increasingly notorious right wing Zionist and gym owner Avi Yemini. Yemeni was attempting to bring together a broad far right audience using the tried and true politics of racist dog whistling directed at the myth of African and other immigrant crime gangs. In the end, the right wing rally was dominated by existing neo-Nazi and fascist groups, including the Soldiers of Odin, the United Patriots Front and the True Blue Crew.
By counter-rallying, anti-fascists have again blunted one of the most important tools the fascists have. Street rallies are a key method for the far right to meet new recruits and build their confidence. Persistent counter-rallies, ever since the far right started serious attempts at street mobilisations with “Reclaim Australia” in 2015, have been crucial in reducing the far right’s street presence to a tiny rump of already organised fascists.
The issue of Catalonian independence has returned to the forefront of Spanish politics in recent weeks. At least 170,000 people protested in Madrid on 18 November against an amnesty deal for 400 people who were arrested for their involvement in a 2017 independence referendum. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) signed the deal with two Catalonian political parties and the Basque Nationalist Party in return for support to form government.
Waste companies in Ipswich have been poisoning residents for decades, toxifying the air and making life unbearable. For people living in the suburbs surrounding the Swanbank Industrial Area in Ipswich’s south, it can be a hazard even to step outside.
On 6 October the South Korean labour movement lost Bang Yeong-hwan—a comrade, leader and, for many, a friend.
High school students in Melbourne taught the government and right-wing media a lesson when they walked out of class in their thousands on 23 November in support of Palestine. From Werribee to Greenvale, students came from all over the city to show their horror at Israel’s war on the people of Gaza, half of whom are children, and their disgust at the Australian government’s backing of the genocide.
Middle Eastern supporters of Palestine have long bemoaned the failure of Arab leaders to take a strong stance against the Israeli occupation. It’s easy to see why.
For the past month, textile workers in Bangladesh’s ready-made garment industry have been fighting for an increase in the monthly minimum wage from 8,300 taka ($115) to 23,000 taka ($318).