Sunday, December 11, 2016

Old Trotskyists never die - they become teachers for refugees

There has been some controversy here in Melbourne about a group of teachers who plan to wear political T-shirts to class tomorrow. The teachers want to close Australia's offshore detention centres, meaning in effect open borders for those arriving by boat.

The spokeswoman for the group is Lucy Honan. It turns out that she is a member of a Trotskyist group. In other words, she is not so much a Cultural Marxist as a real bona fide Marxist.

Lucy Honan addressing a Trotskyist meeting

The little Trotskyist groups get involved in left-wing campaigns in order to recruit people. That is their primary aim. They often squabble with each other in the process (Trotskyist turf wars). One of the Trotskyist groups, Socialist Alternative, complained in a letter that another Trotskyist group, Solidarity, had attended a Refugee Action Collective (RAC) demo simply to pick a fight:
We are writing to you to protest in the strongest terms possible about your behaviour towards our organisation.

Your inexcusable disruption of the RAC speak out on Tuesday 7 February in Melbourne, which prompted this letter, is but the latest example of your disgraceful activities. At this event, several of your members spent the whole time loudly abusing, pushing, shoving and even punching Socialist Alternative members.

In particular, the behaviour of Tom Orsag was so appalling – constantly and loudly abusing our members – that he was repeatedly asked by activists (not SA members) to stop it and show some respect for the scheduled speakers, who he was drowning out. When the crowd were chanting “Free Ismail”, and “No deportations” Orsag tried to get a chant going against Socialist Alternative. All of this is particularly reprehensible [w]hen put in the context of Solidarity member Chris Breen’s admission that Orsag had only come to the speak out in order to harass Socialist Alternative members.

One of our women members was repeatedly pushed, shoved and punched by three Solidarity members – Chris Breen, Lucy Honan and XYZ (XYZ being the one who punched her). David Glanz went out of his way to approach Mick Armstrong to abuse and harangue him, adding to the disruption to the speak out.

According to the letter, the Trotskyist women, including Lucy Honan, had a pushing, shoving, punching fight during the refugee demonstration. It's credible, as this sort of thing happened back in the mid 1980s, when I was at uni - some of the names of the activists are familiar to me from back then. (The Solidarity group wrote a response blaming the Socialist Alternative leadership for instigating the fighting. )

Anyway, the moral of the story is that the refugee issue, in this case, is being pushed by Marxist activists who hope, above all, to recruit people to their little Trotskyist groups through their activism.

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