Alan Bradley and NIBS on East Timor

Kim Bullimore k_bullimore at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 5 16:53:32 MST 2003


David writes:
"It is entirely true that the anti-war movement has lost its bite since  the
Australian occupation of East Timor. And as NIBS says it is also  true that
it is partly because of the DSP call for troops into timor".

Kim writes:
David, perhaps your sectarianism is blinding you, but the anti-war movement
in Australia at this present movement is leagues ahead of where the Vietnam
war movemen was at the same juncture.  In Sydney we are expecting between
50,000 and 100,000 people at the February 16 rally.

I am also active in the Sydney International Women's Day Collective, this
year we have chosen to organise the IWD rally and march around the theme
"Peace, Justice, Diversity, Solidarity - Women Against War and Racism".
Indeed many other IWD collective around the country have choosen a variation
of this theme.  IWD has been continually getting smaller in Australia (as in
may countries) but there is every indication that this year it will be
bigger as a result of many women radicalising in opposition to the war and
racism.

As for the DSP and Socialist Alliance "bureacratically dominating various
coalitions" you obviously not been to the Walk Against War coalition in
Sydney.  The last meeting was attended by around 60 people, 4 of whom were
in the DSP and maybe another 2 or so who were "independents" in the
Socialist Alliance. If anything, the main political grouping who is
dominating this collective is the ALP.

I also understand that the Victorian peace network is also a vary broad
coalition with DSP and Socialist Alliance members well in the minority (and
that this is the case being repeated around the country in other coalition
groups)  Perhaps we (the DSP) should reprint the badges a comrade told me we
had made as a joke in the 1980's when our name was the Socialist Workers
Party which said "SWP - We're everywhere!" (apparently we bureacratically
controlling EVERY group then as well - oh dear!) ;-)

David goes onto argue that the anti-war movement has been sapped by "people
seeing the anti-war in afghanistan marches to closely related to election
campaign of the socialist alliance being run at the time".

Ummm... okay (??)....So Dave, does this just apply to Socialist Alliance or
do you equally apply this logic to the Greens who also organised local
rallies against the war in Afghanistan?

In Sydney and around the country, the local rallies organised by Socialist
Alliance included a broad range of speakers, including members of the Greens
and other anti-war groups.  The  rallies mobilised hundreds of people in
different local areas and at every rally we organised locally, we promoted
and publicised the major mobilisations.  So could you please explain to me
how this "sapped" the anti-war movement.

And if  this is the case, does this mean that my local SA branch should stop
organising the anti-war rally we have scheduled in Bankstown this weekend?
A rally which has a wide range of speakers, including the Greens candidate
for Bankstown, a representative of the Arab Council, the Islamic Council, a
woman from the Women Against War and Racism collective and others and a
rally at which we will be publicising and building the February 16
mobilisation.

Kim B




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