Above: A section of the 1 to 2 million strong “Convoy to Canberra” which beset the Federal Parliament in Canberra on February 12, 2022. http://www.blog.canberradeclaration.org.au
17-02-2022: It was the largest demonstration in Australia’s political history, by a huge margin. The Freedom Convoy to Canberra, which culminated in a mass march and rally on February 12 to Parliament House, flooded the capital. While the total numbers are difficult to estimate, even the police admit that 800 000 people were camped out in Epic Park, and that 1.4 million vehicles entered the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) on the day. With may vehicles being buses carrying 50 or more people, it is safe to say that there was easily between 1 to 2 million who were determined to abolish vaccine mandates and vaccine passports, at the very least. The most popular chant against the politicians was “Sack Them All!” Risible claims by the mainstream media that “ten thousand anti-vaxers” showed up once again clearly marks the mouthpieces of the establishment as a part of the old world, trying to stem the inexorable rising of the masses against unbearable tyranny and oppression.
Freedom Movement spreads worldwide
The Freedom Convoy to Canberra was inspired by the game changing Freedom Convoy in Canada, where thousands of truckers drove across the country to the capital Ottawa, in sub-zero temperatures in the middle of winter, cheered on by tens of thousands of pedestrians along the way. While the trigger may have been vaccine mandates for truckers crossing the Canada-USA border, the truckers – with mass support amongst Canadians – are saying enough is enough. The mass movement ratcheted up the pressure with a blockade of the Ambassador Bridge, Canada’s busiest commercial route. In New Zealand, Freedom Convoy protestors rallied outside their parliament in Wellington in a determined action against vaccine mandates. Police repression was severe, with 50 arrested and campers forcibly removed, who had vowed to stay until all Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Over the same weekend, the Freedom Convoy to the French capital Paris caused the authorities to deploy 7000 police. Demonstrators blocked city streets, waved French and Canadian flags and chanted “QR Code, Never Again!”, “Freedom” and “No to the vaccine pass!”.
While the Freedom Movement is certainly about basic democratic, civil and human rights, it can scarcely be reducible to demands for rights alone. Vaccine mandates are about nothing else than removing the employment of millions of workers on pain of taking an experimental drug which could very well end your life. There can be little more industrial about a mass movement which seeks to remove genocidal employment directions which are almost universally outside any number of bourgeois laws, statutes, human rights legislation and whole constitutions of the so-called liberal democratic (but in reality imperialist) states. What is more, the exclusion of the “unvaxed” from society can hardly be described as little more than imposing a horrific and unprecedented form of apartheid.
Covid left capitulates
Despite the largest political movement in modern history consistently mobilising against government repression which is a clear move to replace liberal democracy with fascism, the Covid left (formerly the lockdown left) have instead decided to double and triple down on their abject betrayal of the working class. As we have previously argued, the treachery of the ostensible left parties on Covid surpasses that of August 4, 1914. At that time, virtually all “socialist” parties the world over backed “their own” ruling class and marched into the slaughter of the first World War. Today the Covid left, from the very start of the civil war launched by big finance capital, have aggressively sided with “their own” imperialism while having the temerity to lambaste millions of working and oppressed people as “far-right” or “fascist” for mobilising against Covid fascism. In the process, the Covid left not only assaults Marxism, they subject it to corrosion and disintegration.
For example, the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), known for militant campaigning to keep primary school aged children locked down at home while their schools are closed (!), blithely denounce the Freedom Convoy in Ottawa as an “occupation” by “far-right and fascist activists”. Australia’s Socialist Alternative (SAlt) have been the most aggressive with vain attempts to counter the mammoth Freedom Movement, regularly organising counter-protests. Although denouncing the Freedom Movement as “fascist”, “far-right” and “anti-health”, SAlt – through the “Campaign Against Racism and Fascism” (CARF) – have not been able to mobilise even the Covid left, outside of themselves. SAlt’s “pro-health” pickets of gargantuan Freedom demonstrations have been less than negligible, with numbers of 50 versus 100 000, or at most 1000 versus 400 000. One wonders what passes through the minds of those participating, if your counter-picket is outnumbered by a ratio of hundreds of thousands to one!
To their very partial credit, Solidarity claim that left-wing opposition to “pandemic” powers should form, rather than counter-protesting and denouncing the Freedom Movement as “fascist”. At least rhetorically, they call for “left-wing” protests against vaccine mandates to be built, supposedly to undermine the “right-wing” freedom movement. While this sounds halfway reasonable, they nail their colours to the mast as card carrying members of the Covid left by claiming that “established groupings of fascists” have joined the freedom movement, and “individual Neo-Nazis” have infiltrated the organising circles. They offer not a shred of evidence for their claims of the composition of the Freedom Movement, and never having taken part, how on earth would they even know?
The Socialist Alliance (SA) in a report in Green Left Weekly, took the prize for identity politics, by claiming that the February 12 Canberra mobilisation was “largely middle-aged and Anglo-European” (!!), before begrudgingly admitting that many family groups and their children were also present. Incredibly, SA repeat the ludicrous claims of the corporate media that only “ten thousand” protested. They deride the largest rally in Australian history as “anti-vaccination”, when the very clear demand of the Freedom Movement is not against vaccination per se, but against vaccine mandates, i.e., cop an injection ordered by the government whether you choose to or not – or be terminated and lose the ability to put food on the table and keep a roof over your head. As has been the case since “Covid” began, much of the historic so-called left found themselves aligned with the very institutions they claim to oppose.
The Trotskyist Platform (TP), another champion of identity politics, go a step further into the arms of the super elite, despite themselves. They state that those who claim it is their right to refuse vaccines, facemasks and social-distancing rules are doing so on the basis of “extreme individualism”, which is counterposed to the collectivist spirt on which the socialist and trade union movement is based. One hardly knows where to start with such enmity towards fellow workers. It is completely devoid of any kind of politics which is separate and independent from the perfidy of the trade union officialdom. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), to demonstrate how much more it believes in “Covid” than even capitalist politicians, recently threatened strike action – to demand free Rapid Antigen Tests! One might expect a claimed “Marxist” organisation would at least attempt to hold a position to the left of the deeply conservative trade union bureaucracy, but for TP, this is too much to ask. Will TP, for example, back the ACTU officialdom if they come out with a statement which demands the “unvaxed” be excluded from workplaces altogether? Somehow, we doubt even this would wake them.
The purported parties based on “Marxism-Leninism” (Stalinist in practice) likewise shred whole volumes from the lexicon of the labour movement by signing the same tune as the (fake) “Trotskyist” parties. The Communist Workers Party of Australia (CWPA) doesn’t hold back in condemning Construction Forestry Mining Martitime and Energy Union (CFMMEU) members who protested against the betrayal of their officials aligning with Dictator Dan Andrews over vaccine mandates. They spew venomous and unhinged vitriol at CFMMEU members facing the loss of their jobs as “fascist” and “fake tradies”. The Communist Party of Australia (CPA) is somewhat more restrained, writing that the Freedom Movement is “far from harmless” and lurking beneath the surface is “right-wing extremism”. The Australian Communist Party (ACP), from early on, deplored the anti-lockdown and freedom movement as a “mobilisation of fascist ideology”. Despite our universal opposition to Stalinism, it is difficult to believe that all members of these parties do not at least question the marked propensity of their respective leaderships to kneel before Big Media, Big Pharma, Big Tech – the uber elite.
Fascism – old and new
Fascism, above all, is the fusion of the capitalist state with private corporations. The most obvious expression of this is the fact that Big Media, Big Pharma and Big Tech do not hide their partisanship, and aggressively enact censorship of differing views on Covid, even from some of the most decorated cardiologists, doctors and virologists. Following the lead of unimaginable private wealth, the Covid left likewise refuses to debate with anyone on the left, or anyone at all, who simply has a different viewpoint to the government and the highest echelons of corporate power. They preach diversity while demanding conformity. More than this, they not only demand submission to their own views, they expect comprehensive self-subjugation to the very capitalist states which are in the process of doing away with the very trappings of parliamentary procedure, i.e. in essence, fascism.
“Scratch a liberal, and you will find a fascist”. This saying from the 1960s is perhaps even more apt today than it was then. A fascist in the 20th century was easily recognisable – they were a Nazi, a Blackshirt, a Brownshirt or some form of ultra-nationalist. In the time of Covid, a fascist is not named as such, and their acts and their behaviour comes wrapped in a different label. Today, fascism is the domain of “progressive” liberals, who supposedly stand for humanitarianism, pluralism and “public health”. Yet this is only what they believe themselves to be psychologically. Virtually no one can imagine themselves to be a “fascist” and would strenuously deny being one even when their behaviour is pointed out to be very similar, or identical, to that of fascism. We would do well to remember that it was predominantly doctors and scientists – not soldiers – who carried out Nazi totalitarianism in the 1930s. Eugenics, the “Master Race”, the elimination of “undesirables” – the parallels with the exclusion of the “unvaxed” from society today is unmistakable.
The Covid left requires scapegoats to cover for their own sins against the working class. To prove their position in reverse, they seek salvation in the attempted destruction of the Freedom Movement, which is the desperate aim the ruling classes across Canada, the USA, Europe, Australia and elsewhere. To do this they engage in wild slander and construct a fantastic straw man (“fascists” in the Freedom Movement) which they then slay with their cardboard swords and imagine they have completed their duty as “socialists” by warning workers away from the “far-right”. Unable to discern form from content, they cannot see that many liberals, “Marxists”, anarchists, peace activists, Trade Union officials and their coterie, social-democratic, environmental and conservative bourgeois political parties today form one single political bloc. Though they themselves cannot conceive it in their worst dreams, this bloc forms the political and ideological foundation of Covid “health” fascism. This is the body which the ruling class currently entrusts to drive the Covid agenda, i.e., the appalling repression of the working class through measures of a virtually undisguised civil war.
The Freedom Movement, on the other hand, despite its nationalist vexillum, is objectively resisting the current phase of Western capitalism (Covid “health” fascism) even if it imagines itself to be combatting the “socialism” and “communism” of the globalist elite (Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Klaus Schwab, World Health Organisation, United Nations etc.). At the same time, the Freedom Movement is also aware that it is fighting fascism – hence the exclamations that “we are fighting against fascism and communism”. Yet they are generally not able to recognise that fascism is bound up with capitalism, that capitalism at a certain point hands the reins over to fascism after giving birth to it. Covid “health” fascism is not by any means a historical exception to this law of development of a class divided society.
To be sure, the nationalism of the Freedom Movement (Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, French etc., national flags saturate freedom mobilisations) remains a significant issue which pro-freedom Marxists need to parry with tact and patience. The working-class feel they have been betrayed by all governments, all sides of politics, almost all parties – and in this they are not far wrong. Despite this, genuine revolutionists need to throw themselves into the Freedom Movement, fight shoulder to shoulder with the masses rising against tyranny, while seeking to win the most class-conscious workers to the perspective that real freedom can only come through workers’ revolutions which depose the crumbling capitalist regimes and erect new workers’ republics. Imperative for this perspective is the moulding of a workers’ vanguard party firmly anchored with the essential pylons of Leninist-Trotskyism, and the struggle for the distribution of the world’s resources through regionally integrated, collectivised and planned economies – the basis for a new socialist order.