Published: The Vanguard, Vol. 13, No. 48, December 16, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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’Lifting a rock only to drop it on one’s own feet’ is a Chinese folk saying to describe the behaviour of certain fools. The reactionaries in all countries are fools of this kind. (Mao Tsetung).
It is now over 12 months since the action of the Governor-General, in what has become widely known as the “bloodless coup” and the “Kerr-Anthony-Fraser-Barwick semi-fascist coup”, occurred and the Whitlam ALP government was dismissed.
In that time people’s action for a democratic, independent Australian republic has greatly risen, the facade of parliamentarism is rapidly being destroyed and the workers’ struggle has intensified under the inherent contradictions within capitalism.
Despite the protestations of the Frasers, Hawkes and the media, that the workers are not in the mood for fighting, and that the workers are fed up with being told what to do by “militant, left-wing” trade union officials (which is true), the fact remains that the workers are engaged in unprecedented levels of struggle over economic and industrial issues (and all strikes are political) – the effects of inflation, high prices, reduced real wages and unemployment affect the vast majority of the Australian people.
Along with this, opposition to the traitor Kerr and the institution of the Governor-Generalship has grown spectacularly and continuously. This has been extended into the demand for a democratic and independent Australian republic. This patriotic independence consciousness has the reactionaries terrified. It has forced them to put up all sorts of diversions and straw men to mislead the people. They trot out all sorts of learned witch doctors who pontificate on the people’s struggle and then retreat back to their ivory towers; ivory towers which have become the lair of all sorts of Trotskyites, revisionist and social-imperialist lackeys (a nice assortment of imperialist collaborators and social misfits).
On September 20, under the auspices of a group called “Citizens for Democracy”, a public meeting was held in the Sydney Town Hall. With a capacity crowd of over 3,000 plus another 1,500 crowded onto the steps and footpath outside – the overwhelming sentiment expressed by those present was the demand for an independent Australian republic. Literally thousands of “Eureka – Independence for Australia” badges were worn and Australian independence material was in overwhelmingly popular demand. The manner in which the people responded to the chant “Sack Kerr, Sack Fraser – Independence for Australia” was indicative of the mood of the people, who did not wish to be side-tracked into parliament-bound demands for a “new constitution” and a “bill of rights similar to that in the USA”, etc.
Characteristically, this meeting trotted out hoary old relics from the past such as Jack Mundey (who had arrived back from an expensive overseas jaunt, telling workers in England what to do, and how great a workers’ hero he was). Another discredited cretin from the revisionist camp to get up and parade about as a “democrat” was a Miss Sarah Sheehan. This woman, in her capacity as a full-time paid officer of the Australian Union of Students, spends most of her time writing articles and spreading gossip, attacking anti-imperialist students and workers. Her latest activities as a leading “democrat” include making a deal with the Trotskyite “gay caucus” of AUS to secure the spoils of office as 1977 President of that organisation; and at student rallies in Sydney she has become notorious because of her manipulation of the rights of speakers. For instance, at the TEAS rally on September 30th, she refused to let a student arrested at an anti-Kerr demonstration speak. She also openly collaborates with the police.
However, this is not to detract from the large numbers of genuine people who do wish to actively oppose Kerr and the consequences of the coup. The people themselves already are finding ways and means of struggle outside the straitjacket that the revisionists, Labor “leaders” and their fellow-travellers are attempting to impose.
Already, the Eureka flag is becoming the symbol of people’s activity on November 11, as it has already come to symbolise opposition to Kerr, Fraser, and the superpowers. Despite all attempts by the ALP leaders and the ACTU boss Hawke to get the workers to “cool it”, the day November 11 was a mighty day of struggle. It furthered and promoted the struggle for real Australian independence.
As can be seen, the actions of the reactionaries last October, November and December, on behalf of U.S. imperialism and its CIA in their desperate contention with Soviet social-imperialism, have resulted in them lifting a rock only to drop it on their own feet. The contempt that the imperialists themselves hold for parliament has resulted in the further awakening and development of the people’s consciousness.
At the same time, the development of understanding of, and opposition to, the role and nature of Soviet social-imperialist penetration of Australia, has also immensely increased. Struggles against the Soviet stooges Saprykin and Zamoshkin; the building workers’ bitter struggle against “Dingovitch Clansky”; the July 4 anti-superpower protests; the struggles of residents in Woolloomooloo against the activities of the Moscow Narodny Bank and its associates, have all gone towards developing a great patriotic united front against both superpowers and for Australian national independence. These struggles are bound to grow.
Make trouble, fail, make trouble again, fail again . . . till their doom, that is the logic of the imperialists and all reactionaries in the world over in dealing with the people’s cause, and they will never go against this logic. Fight, fail, fight again; until victory – that is the logic of the people. (Mao Tsetung).