On the weekend outside the CPAC conference being held in Sydney around 30 protesters banged on windows, attacked attendees, threw coffee and droned their unimaginative chants like a small platoon of lifeless zombies with identical placards.
So who were these people who had taken time out of their day to camp outside someone else’s event, attack attendees with hot beverages and and make themselves as obnoxious as possible?
Well as usual the media seemed strangely incurious.
10 Daily called them “protesters” which is accurate although a little sparse.
News Corp was slightly more descriptive, calling them “left wing protesters” which is better than their usual efforts.
The chubby correspondent and noted pie aficionado Nick O’Malley from the Sydney Morning Herald who was tweeting in barely concealed outrage throughout his attendance at the CPAC event went so far as to get a quote from the “protest organiser”:
““Hersha Kadkol, a student and ethno-cultural officer with the National Union of Students, warns that the CPAC gathering inside had drawn speakers that might influence another act of racial violence. “The situation globally is urgent for the right is on the rise around the world. That means more violence. Look at El Paso, look at Christchurch,” Ms Kadkol said””
Ms Kadkol’s patter sounds familiar. She was the only spokesperson for the beverage-flinging mob on the day.
SBS did a full interview to camera with Hersha as well as quoting her at length on their site. They described her as “protester Hersha Kadkol of the National Union of Students” and the protest as consisting of members of “Unite Against The Far Right” and “NUS against Racism”. Which is again accurate as far as it goes but is also likely to be exactly what Hersha told them to say.
Journalists strangely seem to get all obedient in the presence of some people. Amazingly in a huge coincidence all the journalists covering the fracas all managed to miss the same readily available facts, not the least who this “Hersha” person they were interviewing actually was.
So who is Hersha Kadkol?
Hersha Kadkol is a long-time member of the revolutionary Trotskyist group Socialist Alternative. She has been a member of the group since at least early 2017 and is one of their primary organisers in Sydney. This really shouldn’t have been much of a shock to any journalist watching. The protest outside CPAC was fronted by a gigantic banner with the words “Socialist Alternative” printed on it underneath a slogan comparing the attendees to Nazis. Next to this banner was a flag with the logo of the “Antifa” group complete with the double red and black flags of Marxism and Anarchism. Behind that were a couple of weird looking Chinese guys holding placards denouncing the new “cold war on China” apparently being waged by western imperialists.
The amount of time it took to realise that this was a Socialist Alternative organised event should have been about the amount of time it took for the journalists reporting to get over their Friday night hangovers. Yet none of them did.
This was a protest held under a banner that clearly read “Socialist Alternative” alongsid99e the flags of Anarchism and Marxism and led by one of the best known and most easily recognisable Marxist activists in Australia. During the scuffles the CPAC attendees even managed to grab yet another banner printed with the words “Socialist Alternative” from their attackers that they proudly presented on stage in front of all the cameras and furiously tweeting journalists present at the event.
The woman arrested for throwing coffee over CPAC attendees was Chloe Rafferty the Socialist Alternative organiser for the University of Wollongong. How much research do you need to figure out this is a Socialist Alternative event? Should we send seeing eye dogs around to Australian newsrooms?
The fact that journalists would repeat that Ms Kadkol is the ethno-cultural officer with the National Union of Students without pointing out that she only won that position standing on a Socialist Alternative (Left Action) ticket is also dumbfounding. Have they not heard of Google?
Ms Kadkol is after all hardly a secret agent. In June last year she organised Socialist Alternative protests outside the ABC against a QandA discussion of the proposed Western Civilisation course to be funded by the Ramsey centre. In August last year she led a Socialist Alternative organised protest against Peter Dutton, describing him as a “right-wing bigot” who tortures refugees and “dog whistles” to white supremacists.
In September last year she was a featured speaker at the Socialist Alternative Sydney conference. In October last year Ms Kadkol spoke at another Socialist Alternative organised event protesting the Ramsay centre this time at the University of Sydney.
Earlier this year she was the main coordinator of the Socialist Alternative protests against the Jordan Peterson speaking tour. It was during this tour that Hersha created the “Unite Against The Far Right” as a front group for the “NUS against Racism” group which is itself a front group for Socialist Alternative. Trotskyists do love their front groups.
Hersha even organised the protest against One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham before the recent Federal election.There is no point in journalists pretending not to know who Kadkol is. Any NSW based political journalist who claims not to be able to identify one of the most prominent NSW protest organisers for Australia’s largest far left group is either a failure at their job or a liar.
Socialist Alternative is the largest, best organised, and in recent years best-resourced political extremist group in Australia. In the first sentence of their Statement of Principles (easily available online) they describe themselves as a “Revolutionary Marxist Organisation”. They call for the division of Australia into rival groups and the stirring up of a civil war leading to a revolution that they believe will bring them to power. Once attaining this power they plan to implement a totalitarian Marxist state where freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom to belong to a non-government political party and the freedom to own property will all be abolished (along with a great many other things).
You might say they are ever so slightly extreme. You might more accurately say that they’re a cult-like group of brainwashed semi rabid sheep willing to attack whoever is put in front of them.
Considering that almost all the media coverage associated with the CPAC event was concerned with the supposed extremist connections of the organisers you’d think that the fact that some very real extremists showed up outside to attack attendees would have been quite the news story.
Almost as if it’s deliberate hey?