For Justice Not Tokenism!

Invas-day-pic-1

23-01-2023: As Invasion Day (January 26 or “Australia Day”) is marked around the country, the debate on the rights of Indigenous people is overshadowed by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) Federal Government’s proposal to amend the Constitution to establish an “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice”. This proposal is best described as token, patronising and even insulting. If approved by referendum, three sentences will be added to the Constitution[1] which effectively establishes a committee which can make representations to the Parliament. The politicians can purportedly make laws as a result….or they can simply ignore it all ! There is opposition to the Voice from the conservative right, however the federal Liberal Party does have a point when it asks for more detail as to how it will work, as there are currently no details at all. They have even wedged the ALP by calling for the Voice to be legislated first, as the 250 Indigenous leaders which released the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart called for the establishment of a constitutionally enshrined body.[2]

War at home and abroad

It is the height of irony that the Voice is being championed by ALP Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who in some quarters is nicknamed “Alba-Nazi” for visiting Kiev with NATO’s proxy war on Russia raging, and subsequently delivering hundreds of millions of dollars and military hardware[3] to Ukraine. This materiel inevitably ends up in the hands of Nazi regiments such as the Azov Battalion. The liberal ALP can make as many token virtue signalling moves as they wish, but the concern of the Australian ruling class for Aboriginal people is on a par with their care for innocent Ukrainians and Russians – zero. For example, during the fraudulent Covid “pandemic”, state and federal governments exerted more political repression on Aboriginal people than the non-indigenous. The Australian Army was rolled out to enforce Covid lockdowns in some remote indigenous communities, and some indigenous people were thrown into concentration camps and banned from going for a walk.[4]

There were reports of Aboriginal people being forcibly vaccinated, while an almost indescribably racist narrative in the corporate media thundered about how indigenous people “needed”[5] to be vaccinated against Covid first, because they were supposedly more vulnerable. The “pandemic” turned out to be nothing of the sort, but was rather a means of political repression of workers and the oppressed to enable the largest transfer of wealth in history from the poor to the ultra-rich. It is true that Covid – whether or not it exists at all – divided the Aboriginal community down the middle, in a similar way in which it ruptured non-indigenous Australia. While forms of racism against Aboriginal people never disappeared entirely, for a brief period of time vaccinated indigenous people were spared the horrific discrimination which was waged against the “unvaccinated” – both indigenous and non-indigenous. In fact, unvaccinated working-class people were given but a glimpse of the racism experienced by Aboriginal people when they found themselves physically excluded from whole parts of society.

For an anti-capitalist struggle

The political leadership of both the Aboriginal people and the working-class is in dire need of being re-forged from scratch. Before Covid lockdowns began, the leadership of the Aboriginal rights movement squandered a huge opportunity for a significant victory. After gathering a millions strong groundswell behind the demand of “Change the Date”, subsequent Invasion Day rallies abandoned this overwhelmingly popular demand for the militant sounding but nihilistic “Abolish Australia Day” or even “Abolish Australia”. Subsequently, hundreds of thousands of non-indigenous supporters who wanted nothing more than to assist the Aboriginal struggle dropped away, dismayed and disillusioned. Changing the date of Australia’s national day could have been achieved, and while this would not have abolished indigenous disadvantage, it would have been a vital step forward.

Then came the horror of “Covid” lockdowns, with forced vaccinations with a potentially deadly substance, logic defying quarantines and the running of concentration camps. The leadership of the indigenous community was split on this massive issue, reflecting the split within indigenous people themselves. While some endorsed Covid nonsense, others were extremely wary of the government’s transparent agenda, given their history of abhorrent treatment of Aboriginal people for centuries. Some indigenous people joined the freedom movement, which fought against lockdowns and vaccine mandates, and was the largest and most sustained political movement in Australian history by several orders of magnitude. Most capitulated to the government, egged on by the utterly treacherous fake left “socialist” parties and ossified Trade Union officials, who indulged the fantasy of a “health crisis” and politically merged with the police, the military and the ruling class of the Australian capitalist state.

Some of the posters for this years Invasion Day rallies bear the slogan “What Price is Freedom?” Perhaps this is a coded acknowledgement of the sheer scale of the 2020-22 anti-lockdown freedom movement. Regardless, the Covid civil war imposed by big capital demonstrated yet again that the fate of Australia’s indigenous or First Nations people is bound up with the fate of the working-class, even taking into account the historical and current forms of oppression Aboriginal people endure. That is to say, it is imperative that indigenous and working-class fighters forge a political leadership which aims at nothing less than the overturn of corporate rule, the superseding of an allegedly supra-class parliament and the establishment of a socialist republic based on workers’ councils.

Neither the liberalism of the “Indigenous Voice”, nor the liberalism of the Covid sham left nor the anchorless militancy of “Abolish Australia” offers any way forward. Only revolutionary integrationism, i.e., the forging of a multi-racial and multi-ethnic Leninist vanguard party, has a chance to break the political impasse. We are under no illusions about how difficult this will be, as many indigenous people may see Marxism as a “foreign” ideology, and only the most committed left-wing and pro-working class forces will be attracted to revolutionary party building. But there is no other way. Aboriginal and working-class liberation is today bound up with the fight for freedom against state terror, deceitful “pandemics” and apocalyptic imperialist wars against Russia, China, Iran and beyond. No to the “Indigenous Voice”! Treaty Now! For sovereignty via workers republics in Australasia!

WORKERS  LEAGUE

E: workersleague@protonmail.com

www.redfireonline.com

[1] www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jul/29/anthony-albanese-reveals-simple-and-clear-wording-of-referendum-question-on-indigenous-voice (18-01-2023)

[2] www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/albanese-owes-it-to-the-public-to-release-voice-details-jeff-kennett (18-01-2023)

[3] www.defenceconnect.com.au/land-amphibious/10279-australia-gifts-more-apcs-bushmasters-to-ukraine (18-01-2023)

[4] www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10237761/Covid-Australia-Outbreak-Indigenous-Northern-Territory-communities-spark-toughest-lockdown.html (18-01-2023)

[5] www1.racgp.org.au/ajgp/coronavirus/aboriginal-communities-covid-vaccination (18-01-2023)

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