Uploaded as part of the Anarchism in Australia project.
Author: Anarchist Affinity
Originally Published: September 2015
Obtained from: Collective Action (web.archive.org)
Position statement adopted 6 Sep 2015, modified 4 October 2015.
1. Purpose and Scope
1.1. This position statement is intended to sketch some initial points of agreement in order to facilitate Anarchist Affinity’s continued involvement in anti-fascist work in 2015. It is neither comprehensive nor complete, and we recognize that this position will have to be re-visited, reviewed and developed on as the situation and our understanding develops.
2.1. The Australian state is inherently racist; both the state and capitalism in Australia are rooted in racist premises and racist practice.
This commenced with invasion, and continued (and in many ways continues) with acts of dispossession and genocide perpetrated against this continent’s first peoples. It continued with the establishment of control and domination over the entire continent, and with the fostering of a ‘white Australia’ nationalist ideology.
Despite periods of modification, notably the brief period of official multiculturalism, the legitimating ideology of the Australian state has been an exclusionary one that pits a predominantly ‘white Australia’ against perceived internal and external threats. This racism permeates all levels of Australian society; popular racism interacts with the state and capitalism.
2.2. There has long been a small and often irrelevant fascist milieu operating on the fringes of Australian nationalism. The far-right, including fascist actors, seeks to break out from and reach an audience outside of the its milieu. The most significant break-out by the far right in recent political history was the short term success of the One Nation party in 1998.
2.3. The effect of the far-right achieving mainstream success in 1998 was to break the official multicultural consensus and to open the space for the Australian state to move further to the right, most notably on immigration and indigenous affairs.
2.4. In 2015 we have witnessed attempts by fascist actors to utilize the political opportunities opened by the Abbott government’s renewed attacks on the Muslim community. For the first time in several years fascist actors are reaching a wider political audience on the basis of anti-Muslim racism.
3. Position of Anarchist Affinity
3.1. Anarchist Affinity contends that the far-right must not be allowed to achieve wider political traction. A growing far-right represents a particular threat to all groups seen as outsider to the narrative of Australian nationalism.
3.2. Where there appears to be a genuine threat of far-right groups cohering and gaining traction among a significantly wider audience, Anarchist Affinity will seek to act in concert with other groups and actors who wish to counter the threat of the far-right and who understand this threat in similar terms to ourselves.
3.3. Anarchist Affinity seek to support self-organisation and self-defense by communities experiencing racism and colonisation. We seek to amplify the voices of people who experience racism (including anti-Muslim racism) and other communities attacked by the far-right.
3.4. Where possible Anarchist Affinity seeks to identify and organize cooperatively with the libertarian anti-state elements of any wider campaign against the far-right.
3.5. In anti-fascist work Anarchist Affinity rejects nationalism, appeals to “Real Australian” national identity, and appeals to the state. Anarchist Affinity opposes racism at all levels of Australian society.
3.6. In anti-fascist work Anarchist Affinity argues that the working class, which includes the diverse communities attacked by the far-right, can and should organise to defend itself. We seek to support, facilitate and engage in grass-roots resistance to attacks by the far-right.
3.7. The political minimum we will argue for in working with other actors on this issue:
3.7.1. Direct action to confront and disrupt the far-right is appropriate where there is a genuine prospect of far-right groupings gaining access to and cohering in an audience significantly wider than their own circles;
3.7.2. No appeals to the Australian state, legal system, or the police to ‘deal’ with the far-right;
3.7.3. Any critique of the far-right must also critique the racist practice of the Australian state, in particular in relation to both colonisation and the border regime.
3.8. On the basis of the above political minimum, Anarchist Affinity will continue to participate in the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, as well as the autonomous anti-facist network. This position will be periodically reconsidered.