Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Anti-racist rally held in Melbourne

Tonight in Melbourne 3000 mainly young people rallied to oppose racism. The Socialist Party distributed hundreds of copies of their statement on racism as well as a leaflet advertising the February 9th meeting we have called on the issue with the Electrical Trades Union.

The more militant and radical the message from speakers, the better the response. Youth readily accepted the arguments that Howard had fostered an anti-Muslim climate to boost support for the Iraq war and that the mass media egged on racist attitudes.

However only the Socialist Party speaker Stephen Jolly, who spoke last (the rally began at the GPO and then marched to the Liberal Party HQ, where Jolly spoke), linked racism to the system of capitalism we live under. He got by far the best response of the night.

Many far left speakers from socialist groups correctly attacked Howard and the mass media (and one also attacked the ALP) however none raised the issue of capitalism, let alone socialism. In that sense their arguments were left wing liberalism.

The young people on the rally represented a revival of the youth radicalisation that exploded with the S11 demonstration in 2000 and then was cut across by 9/11 in 2001.

The racist attacks in Sydney last week could have led to a dangerous revival of youth radicalism as far as the bosses and their politicans are concerned. The challenge now is to direct this radicalism towards the direction of socialism.

By Socialist Party reporters