NSW Police broke up a meeting held by Marxists and their fellow travelers at the University of Sydney last Friday, sending a clear message that privileged left wing extremists are not above the law.
The event had been called by the “Staff and Students say NO Cuts” group, a front campaign organised by members of the Trotskyist groups Socialist Alternative and Solidarity in coordination with sympathetic staff and students. The contact phone number for the “Staff and Students say NO Cuts” group is that of Kelton Muir (an activist with Solidarity) and is the same phone number used for the University of Sydney Solidarity student club.
Kelton is perhaps best known for helping to organize the month long occupation of the Sydney College of the Arts administration building in 2016. Even back then there was no doubt about Kelton’s political sympathies, he and his comrades festooned the admin building with red communist flags while (unsurprisingly) being vocally supported by then Greens senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens NSW MP Jamie Parker.
On their Facebook page the organizers of the event boasted about “defying police repression” and declared that “cops couldn’t stop us”. The page celebrated a previous event held on Sep 23rd where various extremists organised a march of students in contravention of NSW police instructions and COVID restrictions that led to 21 fines being issued.
It seems NSW police read this Facebook page and decided to pay a visit. The Friday event was called as an organizing meeting for another planned “day of action” protest on October 14th.
As the meeting began two police four wheel drives one marked and one unmarked drove up to the organizers. NSW Police officers including Chief Inspector Michael Merrett informed the organizers that suspicion of intending to break the COVID Health Act was enough for them to come and “have a conversation”. They then informed the shocked Marxist activists that they had indeed seen their Facebook event for the meeting, and told students that this was why they had come to investigate the situation.
Since various Marxist groups on USyd have been publicly holding small meetings to organize larger events designed to break COVID restrictions over the last few months you’d think the organizers would have expected NSW police to eventually show up at one, but instead they seemed quite surprised. Socialist Alternative activist Jack Mansell declared that “the police clearly intend to try and intimidate and harass students into giving up on our fight”. Fellow Socialist Alternative activist Chloe Rafferty confronted Chief Inspector Merrett demanding to know why the police were there. Jordan Pardoel of Solidarity whinged that “the police are using intimidation to do the dirty work of (university administrator) Michael Spence, helping him intimidate protest”.
NSW Police are on somewhat of a roll when it comes to inconveniencing left wing extremists in Sydney. They stopped a mob led by Solidarity from attacking the Captain Cook statue in Hyde Park in June, arrested Solidarity activist Paddy Gibson in July, broke up another Marxist protest on USyd in August and this month even laid charges with the possibility of jail time against Solidarity activist Adam Adelpour.
We can only hope that other forces around Australia learn from the NSW police example. Well done you boys in blue.