Socialist Equality Party public meeting in Melbourne

The class issues behind the racist “African gang” campaign

The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) is holding a public meeting in Melbourne to mobilise workers and young people of all backgrounds against an ongoing government-media provocation over alleged “African gangs.” The meeting will be held this Saturday 2.30 p.m., March 3, at the Meat Market Conference Centre, 5 Blackwood St, North Melbourne.

On January 1, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull denounced “African gang crime,” alleging that it was responsible for “growing lawlessness” in the state of Victoria. The government has promoted a lurid media campaign, led by the Murdoch press, which has sought to elevate a few instances of petty crime into a virtual national security threat. The Labor Party is fully complicit. The federal opposition leadership has criticised Turnbull only for not giving more money to the Australian Federal Police, while the state Labor government has stoutly defended its “law and order” credentials, including a multi-billion dollar expansion of the police force by 20 percent.

The Socialist Equality Party meeting will outline the class issues underlying this campaign.

Around the world, crisis-stricken capitalist governments are systematically targeting working class immigrant communities. In the US, President Trump’s denunciations of Mexicans, Muslims, and Africans are a central part of his right-wing agenda. Immigrants in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, are being scapegoated for an escalating social crisis for which the ruling classes have no solution. Staggering social inequality—between a super-wealthy few and the working class majority that confront mounting financial hardship—has created a political powder keg. The aim of racist and anti-immigrant campaigns is to sow divisions within the working class.

The “African gangs” campaign also serves as a deliberate diversion from the government’s preparations for war. The Australian ruling elite is marching in lockstep with Washington’s aggressive confrontation of North Korea and China. As prior to the previous two world wars, the promotion of nationalism is the ideological mechanism for smothering working class opposition to militarism and lining it up behind the war agenda of the capitalist class.

Capitalism is a failed social and economic system. The public meeting on Saturday will outline a socialist and internationalist perspective necessary to combat the official promotion of racism and anti-immigrant sentiment, and to fight for the social rights of the entire working class. We urge workers and young people to attend.

Meeting details:

Saturday 2.30 p.m., March 3
Meat Market Conference Centre
5 Blackwood St, North Melbourne
Melway Reference: 2B A9

For those taking public transport to the meeting from the western suburbs, one option is to take the 402 bus, departing from outside Footscray Railway Station at 1.50 p.m. or 2.10 p.m., and then get off on Wreckyn Street, North Melbourne.