On Wednesday Greens moderate faction MPs Cate Faehrmann and Justin Field circulated an open letter calling for the proscription and expulsion of all Greens party members affiliated with the Trotskyist extremist group “Solidarity” and the wider Anarcho-communist “Left Renewal” faction.
Almost immediately the petition gained the support of fellow NSW MP Dawn Walker who had famously been the target of a protest by members of these extremist groups during a sitting of the NSW upper house. She was quickly joined by dozens of former and sitting Greens councillors, members, candidates and the Greens mayor of Byron Shire Council Simon Richardson. Even QLD Greens founder Drew Hutton has thrown in his two cents, declaring the extreme left group to be factional, sectarian “Leninist” and poisonous.
This explosive letter comes in the wake of allegations of sexual assault made against NSW Moderate faction leader Jeremy Buckingham which have been promoted and publicised by left extremist aligned activists and MPs both through leaks to the press and even a speech to parliament.
The moderates and their supporters have given the party until Monday the 17th of December to expel the Marxists and their fellow travellers or face a split that would see an exodus of more mainstream members and a takeover by those activists advocating for less focus on conservation and more focus on revolutionary socialism.
The letter endorsed by the moderate forces stated:
“The animosity, lack of trust and bad faith pursued by these wrecking forces within the party has reached a point where two immediate actions are required to demonstrate a genuine commitment to improve democracy and accountability in the party, and to remove destructive forces.”
Those two actions being the purging of Marxists and Anarchists and the reallocation of pre selection votes to another moderate candidate if Jeremy Buckingham agrees to stand aside for the good of the party.
The extreme left was allowed by the Guardian’s Michael McGowan to anonymously strike back at Faehrmann and her allies accusing them of having “reds-under-the-bed paranoia” and spouting “tinfoil-hat stuff”.
These statements stand in contrast to the long standing and public relationship that many NSW Left faction representatives and activists have with the Trotskyist extremist group “Solidarity”. The most prominent member of the NSW Greens Left faction David Shoebridge has appeared as a keynote speaker and honoured guest at the annual Solidarity “Keep Left” conference earlier this year and also appeared alongside then Senator Lee Rhiannon at the same event in 2017. Both have in the past associated with Ian Rintoul, the founder of “Solidarity” and a Trotskyist activist with a history of violence, riots and arrests stretching back to the mid 1970s.
McGowan continued to quote his extremist contacts anonymously in saying:
“The party is tracking left Australia-wide. The policies we’re bringing to the next federal election are some of the most radical we’ve ever presented. It’s like what’s going on in the UK between the Blairites and Momentum.”
The extreme Left is clearly in a position of such strength inside what is traditionally the most radical state branch of the Greens that they feel they can affect the national policy of the wider party. The moderates under Buckingham, Walker, Field and Faehrmann have made it clear that the only alternative to the purging of the taint of violent Marxist and Anarchist extremists is a party split.
Only time will tell if they have the courage of their convictions.