Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi was a speaker at yet another Marxist meeting last month. The Greens factional powerbroker and Education spokeswoman was the featured panel speaker at a campaign launch organised by Socialist Alternative front group “Students Organising Resistance in the Pandemic” (SOR).
Naturally, when extremist groups aren’t operating under their own names more mainstream politicians might be excused if they accidentally accept an invitation to speak without knowing the full story behind their views. But that isn’t the case here. Not even close. This is far from Mehreen’s first time speaking at an event organised by violent nutcases. Not by a long shot.
In October last year Faruqi spoke at a Socialist Alliance organised protest in favour of cowardly anarchist murderer Jock Palfreeman outside Sydney Town Hall.
In May last year Faruqi spoke at a public protest against Mark Latham organised by Socialist Alternative. She made a speech against “extremism” in front of a giant banner with “Socialist Alternative” written on it while standing beside Socialist Alternative activist Hersha Kadkol.
Even if the giant banner and all the uni kids with glazed eyes trying to force bystanders to buy Trotskyist newspapers weren’t a bit of a giveaway there is still no point in Faruqi pretending she didn’t know who Hersha Kadkol was. They both were speakers on the same platform a month before that event during an anti-Israel protest outside the Opera House. Faruqi also spoke alongside Ms Kadkol at a Socialist Alternative organised event protesting the very idea of a Ramsey centre sponsored Western Civilisation degree at the University of Sydney in late October 2018.
As recently as January of this year Faruqi was a speaker at a Socialist Alternative organised “climate justice” march of an estimated 30,000 people in the centre of Sydney. Also speaking was Greens MLC David Shoebridge whose association with at least three different revolutionary Trotskyist groups goes back over a decade. Both shared the podium with Gavin Stanbrook of Socialist Alternative.
A quick view of the “Students Organising Resistance in the Pandemic” Facebook page would have told anyone with even a passing knowledge of the Australian extreme left (which Ms Faruqi clearly possesses) that the organisation is an obvious Socialist Alternative run front group. The posts around the announcement of Faruqi’s speech were made by well known Socialist Alternative activists Oscar Roter, Grace Hill, Clare Francis, the aforementioned Gavin Stanbrook, Sage Jupe, Cathy Lewis, Chris Giddings, Nahui Ludekens, Jack Mansell, Sarah Garnham, Kim Stern, Caitlin Keogh, Tom Gilchrist, Natalie Acreman, Anneke Demanuele, Shovan Bhattarai, Lily Campbell and Faruqi’s old speaking partner Hersha Kadkol.
Socialist Alternative is not a normal political actor and shouldn’t be treated as such. They’re not just some crazy kids with oddball ideas. They are a revolutionary Marxist organisation in the Trotskyist tradition with roots going back to the early 1970s. They genuinely and fanatically believe that if Trotsky had won his power struggle with Stalin (instead of having his long-overdue meeting with an ice pick) that the Soviet Union would have been a paradise. Their vision is of a utopia with all the earth’s problems solved. History has left us mountains of corpses to illustrate that they and their ilk are willing to commit any atrocity imaginable to bring that fantasy to life.
If anyone from a right of centre party was knowingly speaking at events held by neo-nazis there would be outrage. At the very least the media would demand answers.
But with Faruqi? Silence. And I think we all know why.