Young workers and students voice concerns at Redfern meeting

Several young people at the SEP public meeting in Redfern last Sunday spoke with WSWS reporters after the event.

Anthony, a University of Western Sydney student, said he came to the meeting because he was worried by “the trend by the American government toward dictatorship.” He added: “It seems like there is a pattern here and I’m concerned about what kind of solutions or actions ordinary people can take.”

The most important aspect of the meeting, he commented, was that “responsibility lies with the people and not the government. We can’t rely on the government to change the way things are. People are trying to survive and are taught to follow the status quo, but they cannot remain indifferent when the government is planning war or poverty.”

Glen, 35, said he and his parents had been reading the WSWS for several years. He found the meeting reports “very informative”. He explained: “I appreciated the very strong statement made regarding the independence of the working class and how important it is that they generate a revolutionary party, independent of the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois institutions that formerly purported to serve them but don’t any longer. It’s very important to make a strong statement about the Socialist Equality Party’s role in developing the independent consciousness of the working class in Australia and globally.”

Glen said the Obama administration’s campaign against Edward Snowden and the emergence of a police state in the US was “not just speculation”. He commented: “The Obama administration is actively involved in this and there are many examples of its lawlessness and how it violates the constitution and constitutional rights all the time. And it does this as a demonstration against such individuals, so that together, collectively, as a people we will be intimidated. This is another reason why our independence is so important, so we can stand up to this sort of gangsterism.”

Asked about the political role played by the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt, who are supporting the army’s new regime, and other pseudo-left organisations internationally, Glen said: “We’re reaching some of the most critical revolutionary circumstances in human history and these petty bourgeois organs are just behaving with complete deviousness. They are selling out the working class at any opportunity they can and aligning themselves lockstep with the capitalist class and the Obama administration, particularly in the United States.”

Milun, a recent high school graduate, explained: “My parents are from overseas and I’ve always been interested in international news. I was following Egypt’s revolution every day in 2011. I know I should have been studying but I needed to see what was happening in Egypt! I had the app on my phone so I’d be scrolling every day. That’s why I’m interested in international politics. Today it was explained how that relates to Australian politics so now I want to go back and look at Australian politics more.”

Milun had not heard of Edward Snowden until he met an SEP campaigner. He said he was now very concerned about what the former NSA contractor had revealed. “We’ve been practically betrayed by the governments today,” he explained. “Trusting them to serve us is wrong. They’re there to make themselves richer and to keep themselves in power. Take Snowden, for example, look at how much struggle he goes through to reveal the spying and now he’s been charged with espionage. It’s not fair.”

Leni, 20, from Greystanes in Sydney’s west, is a cycle mechanic. He was attending his first SEP event. He said it provided a lot of detailed information, including about Washington’s campaign against Edward Snowden. “The government is obviously scared of the people,” he commented.

Leni said he was worried about the high level of youth unemployment. “I think the situation facing young people is terrible,” he explained. “Until I found this current job, where I have been working for three months, I had been looking for work for four years, and during one of those four years I was homeless. I think what the SEP is putting forward is good and I will help out in the election campaign.”

Authorised by Nick Beams, 113/55 Flemington Rd, North Melbourne VIC 3051