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Australasian Spartacist No. 238

Spring 2019

Down With AFP Raids on the Press!

Australian Imperialist Terror, Lies and Censorship

All Australian Military Out of the Pacific, Middle East!

On 4 June Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers raided the Canberra home of Annika Smethhurst, the political editor of News Corp’s Sunday Herald Sun newspaper. Smethhurst was targeted over a 2018 story she wrote that revealed the Home Affairs and Defence departments had discussed formally extending the activities of the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) from its existing remit of spying on foreign sources to include spying on Australian citizens. The AFP trawled through Smethhurst’s belongings for seven hours, including searching her oven, bathroom cabinets, kitchen and underwear drawers.

The raid on Smethhust was followed the next day by an AFP raid on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) headquarters in Sydney. Targeting the broadcaster’s news director, as well as TV producer Samuel Clark and reporter Daniel Oakes, the AFP searched for documents related to “The Afghan Files,” a 2017 documentary series that exposed war crimes by Australian elite special forces (SAS) in Afghanistan. It was reported that the warrant allowed the AFP to “add, copy, delete or alter” material on ABC computers. The police downloaded more than 9,000 electronic files.

There can be no doubt why the News Corp and ABC reporters were targeted: having obtained leaked information, they provided the public with a tiny glimpse into the bloody crimes, machinations and subterfuge that are part of the normal workings of Australian capitalism, a jackal imperialist power under the umbrella of U.S. imperialism. As Russian revolutionary leader V.I. Lenin explained in Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916), imperialism is a system in which the ruling classes of the richest capitalist countries are compelled, through capitalism’s inner workings and thirst for profit, into an unrelenting drive for new markets and ever-greater sources of cheap labour. An essential feature of imperialism is the competition between great powers for hegemony.

Imperialist powers wage wars against their rivals for the division and re-division of the world, subjugating whole countries and regions in the process. The imperialists repel their rivals and enforce their looting and exploitation both at home and abroad through the coercive powers of the state—the military, police, prisons and courts. They use lies, manipulation and secrecy to deceive the masses as to their system’s bloody and exploitative character.

That the AFP should go after such slavish mouthpieces of the bourgeoisie as the Murdoch media empire and government-funded ABC demonstrates that no-one is safe. The raids are clearly intended as an open threat to all would-be whistle-blowers and investigative journalists. This repression did not go unnoticed internationally, with a 5 June New York Times headline observing that “Australia May Well Be the World’s Most Secretive Democracy.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended the AFP raids in the face of widespread domestic criticism, haughtily declaring that “It never troubles me that our laws are being upheld.” Along with his Home Affairs tsar Peter Dutton, Morrison has refused to rule out prosecuting the targeted journalists. Meanwhile, a former Australian military lawyer, David William McBride, has been charged in relation to “The Afghan Files” with leaking classified documents and faces spending the rest of his life in prison.

These raids parallel broader repression against whistle-blowers by U.S. imperialism and its allies. Prominent and courageous individuals such as Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, who have lifted the veil, however slightly, on imperialist war crimes and government spying, have been relentlessly hounded and targeted for persecution and incarceration (see article page 5). We say: Down with the raids on Annika Smethhurst and the ABC reporters! Drop the charges against David William McBride! Free Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning! Hands off Edward Snowden!

Truth: First Casualty of Imperialist War

Morrison made his comment defending the raids while in London to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the “D-Day” invasion of northern France by the Allied imperialist forces during World War II. Back then, these powers mobilised workers behind their respective war aims with the Big Lie that this was a progressive fight for “democracy” against fascism and militarism. In fact, on the part of all the imperialist powers involved, this was a reactionary war. Against the tide of social-chauvinism Trotskyists sought to rally the proletariat in its own class interests. Seeking to transform the imperialist war into a proletarian-centred civil war at home, they fought for the unconditional military defence of the Soviet degenerated workers state, the defeat of their “own” imperialist rulers and for the liberation of the colonies.

Lies and deception such as accompanied the bloody Second World War are part and parcel of all imperialist wars. For almost two decades, capitalist rulers around the world have used the bogus “war on terror” as a pretext for the imperialist military occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq while shredding the democratic rights of all at home. This October marks 18 years since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. During the almost two decades of imperialist occupation, in which Australian forces have played an aggressive role, air strikes and night raids alone have killed tens of thousands of civilians. Over one million have been displaced internally and more than two-and-a-half million have been forced to flee the country altogether.

Amid the seemingly endless litany of sadistic outrages perpetrated by imperialist forces, in 2010 a dozen U.S. Army soldiers stationed in Kandahar province were charged with murdering Afghan civilians for sport. The soldiers cut up the bodies of their victims, keeping fingers and skulls as trophies of war. A year earlier, according to media reports, an Australian SAS soldier pushed a bound Afghan prisoner off a cliff and afterwards machine-gunned him to death. The prisoner’s prosthetic leg was then taken and used as a drinking vessel at SAS HQ in Perth. “The Afghan Files” ABC TV series, based on leaked defence force documents, exposed the covert operations of the Australian SAS, including that troops slaughtered unarmed civilians and chopped off the hands of slain “Taliban fighters.” Such atrocities are an inevitable part of imperialism’s brutal wars.

The 2001 invasion of Afghanistan was quickly followed by the similarly blood-drenched invasion of Iraq in 2003. To provide a fig leaf of legitimacy, the imperialists peddled the additional Big Lie that Saddam Hussein’s regime possessed weapons of mass destruction. The U.S., British and Australian imperialist blitzkrieg and subsequent occupation of that country turned whole cities into rubble and left in excess of one million dead.

Against the imperialist attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, we Trotskyists stood for the military defence of these countries, while not giving any political support to the respective bourgeois regimes. In the ensuing occupations we demanded that the bloody Australian imperialist military get out. We called for class struggle against the capitalist rulers at home while emphasising that the fight against imperialist barbarism can only be victorious if it becomes a proletarian-centred struggle to rid the planet of the whole capitalist-imperialist system through workers revolution.

This period of escalating militarism abroad has been matched by the savage “war on terror” at home that has particularly targeted the tiny Muslim minority and broader immigrant and refugee populations. Under Australia’s racist “border protection” regime, refugees, many who have fled countries devastated by the wars waged by U.S. and Australian imperialism, are treated with contempt by the bourgeoisie. With bi-partisan support, refugees arriving by boat are condemned to the inhuman, racist system of mandatory offshore detention.

Aiming to silence criticism and stymie pro-refugee sentiment, the government has sought to hide its barbaric behaviour behind the veil of “national security.” In 2015 the government passed the Australian Border Force Act. Under this law, any staff member within the offshore detention system who speaks out about conditions in the camps is liable to two years in prison. The government has also attempted to enforce a media blackout. Outrageously, radio 2GB presenter Ben Fordham is under investigation for a story he wrote indicating that there were six asylum boats off the coast of Australia.

Degrading and tormenting refugees serves a purpose: to whip up poisonous nationalism through which the bourgeois rulers strive to instil loyalty, if not submission, to the state and compact the population behind their racist and exploitative class rule. By punishing desperate asylum seekers, the bourgeoisie aims to inure working people to the idea that loss of rights and horrific treatment, particularly for brown, dark-skinned and other non-European derived people, is the norm. At the same time, they hone repressive measures to be used against proletarian and other social struggles at home. As part of defending its own interests, the working class needs to take up the fight for all the oppressed. This includes a fight to stop all deportations, close the detention camps and champion full citizenship rights for all those who have made it here, including those refugees imprisoned on Manus Island and Nauru.

Bi-partisan War on Everyone

It is no accident that the AFP raids took place just a few weeks after the re-election of the Liberal/National Coalition government. This government has been at the forefront of international moves to further censor the internet and monitor the public’s electronic communications. In 2015 they introduced a tranche of laws that forced telcos to store their customers’ phone and internet records for at least two years.

In 2017-2018, during the same period that police were probing the ABC and News Corp, the AFP accessed the metadata of journalists on at least 58 separate occasions. Last year the government introduced new espionage laws that make it a crime to deal with information “if the person intends or is reckless to whether that conduct would prejudice Australia’s national security.” Penalties include 25 years to life imprisonment. Even Amnesty International declared that the passage of these laws means that “Australia is effectively criminalising organisations which expose human rights violations….”

While engaging in its usual parliamentary pantomime, the ALP has dutifully joined with the government in passing every new law strengthening the government’s spying and repressive powers. It was the Labor “Opposition” that demanded the government investigate the leak to Smethhurst for “damaging the integrity” of the security agencies. When last in power, the Labor government threatened to reintroduce D-notice protocols. Under these protocols, the capitalist press connived for decades with the security services to censor anything that could be construed to undermine “national security.” This cosy arrangement fell apart in 1995 when some media outlets rejected demands by the then-ALP government to not disclose that ASIO and the U.S. National Security Agency had installed bugging devices during the construction of the Chinese embassy in Canberra. This information leaked out because former Australian spies claimed the U.S. withheld intelligence obtained via the bugging, giving them the edge over Australia in trade deals with China.

Since its formation, the Labor Party, which has a pro-capitalist leadership and program but is based on the unions, has backed every war and every dirty colonial intervention by the Australian capitalist rulers. Consistent with its support to Australian imperialist incursions abroad, the ALP has a long history of anti-Communist, anti-working-class subversion at “home.” The ALP government of Billy Hughes jailed hundreds of supporters of the Industrial Workers of the World and shut down left-wing newspapers for their opposition to conscription and the imperialist carnage of World War I. In 1949, Labor prime minister Ben Chifley established ASIO as part of the first Cold War against the Soviet Union. This was the same year that the ALP called out the army to break the coal miners’ strike. One of the ALP’s greatest crimes was the Hawke/Keating Labor governments’ zealous prosecution of the U.S.-led imperialist drive to restore capitalism in the Soviet Union during the 1980s Cold War II, thus helping to destroy the world’s first workers state. During this same period, the Victorian Labor governments of John Cain and Joan Kirner oversaw mass spying through the Operations Intelligence Unit. This targeted more than 1,200 individuals and organisations—leftists (including the Spartacist League), trade unions, Aboriginal, immigrant, women’s and civil rights groups.

Through the decades-long “war on terror,” Coalition and Labor governments alike have massively beefed up ASIO and other intelligence forces. During this period, under the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance of Anglophone imperialist countries (U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand) there has been a greater integration of the previously separate domestic and international spy operations, as Snowden’s revelations showed. In August, the ASD’s former top cyber spy was appointed the head of ASIO. This appointment followed hard on the heels of the AFP deputy commissioner hinting that the press raids were important in protecting the integrity of the “Five Eyes” alliance, which plays a key role in targeting the Chinese bureaucratically deformed workers state.

State Repression and Anti-China Hysteria

Moves to merge the operations of ASIO and the ASD, and the passage of new espionage and “foreign interference” laws, occur in the context of a strident campaign against China’s “undue” influence in Australia and the region. True to Australian imperialism’s White Australia roots, this campaign combines “yellow peril” racism with a deep-going anti-red scare. In July some 34,000 U.S., Australian and Japanese troops participated in biennial war games off the coast of Queensland in which “the enemy” was the “red” team. Hawkish elements of the bourgeois media now openly bray about a new Cold War that targets China.

Earlier this year, the U.S. sought to enlist French and most particularly Australian imperialism to play a stronger role in the South Pacific to defend so-called “Western” values against China. This call was reiterated during a recent visit to Sydney for the Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) summit by the U.S. secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and the defence secretary, Mark Esper. Invoking the 1980s U.S.-led anti-Soviet war drive, Pompeo called for a “determined effort” to “band together” on China. The Australian government is already building a new joint military base with the U.S. in its PNG neocolony and recently announced the formation of a Defence Force “flying squad” to “reassert” Australia’s role in the Pacific.

During the AUSMIN talks, Esper ranted that China was “using predatory economics” and “debt” to reach deals with Pacific island states while practising “theft” of other nations’ intellectual property. Alongside serving the imperialists’ broader drive to restore capitalism in China, such propaganda also aids Washington’s attempt to put the blame for U.S. capitalism’s economic malaise on China. As part of this, the U.S. administration is prosecuting a telco and trade war. In the latest measure, U.S. president Donald Trump has moved to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports.

U.S. bellicosity towards China has been welcomed in this country by imperialist hawks such as former SAS commander and now Liberal MP, Andrew Hastie. Chair of the parliament’s Joint Intelligence and Security Committee, Hastie recently compared the PRC under Xi Jinping to Germany under Hitler. In response to such vitriol, significant sections of the Australian ruling class are jittery. While they share the U.S.’s strategic aim for the restoration of capitalism in China, the bourgeoisie involved in export industries, such as the mining magnates, don’t want their lucrative economic ties derailed by their U.S. ally’s anti-China machinations. They would prefer to accomplish capitalist counterrevolution primarily through economic penetration while continuing to enrich themselves. That said, in the event of military conflict between the U.S. and China, the jackal Australian ruling class would unquestionably side with the U.S. while pursuing their own neocolonial interests in the region under the U.S. umbrella.

The seemingly boundless accusations against China come amid repeated U.S.-led military provocations in the South China Sea, proposals by Washington to sell $2.2 billion in arms (tanks and missiles) to Taiwan, and U.S. backing of the counterrevolutionary protests in Hong Kong. Now the U.S. government has confirmed that it wants to deploy intermediate ground-based missiles in the Asia-Pacific, possibly in northern Australia. Already 2,500 Marines are stationed at the U.S. base in Darwin. Meanwhile, U.S. spy bases from Geraldton in the northwest to Pine Gap in central Australia are part of a network of U.S. spy and military bases extending from South Korea to central Asia, which particularly target the Chinese and North Korean bureaucratically deformed workers states.

The U.S. bases are a cornerstone of the ANZUS pact signed in 1951. Under this agreement, which targeted the former Soviet degenerated workers state, the U.S. and Australia have slaughtered millions of workers and peasants from Korea to Vietnam, Afghanistan and the Middle East. In 1965-66 Australia’s security forces collaborated with the American CIA to help orchestrate the anti-Communist massacre in Indonesia. This bloodbath, costing more than a million lives, crushed the Indonesian Communist Party and served to “stabilise” Southeast Asia under the heel of the imperialist powers. We say: Down with the counterrevolutionary U.S./Australia alliance! U.S. bases and Marines out now! Australian troops get out of the Pacific, Afghanistan and the Middle East! Not one person, not one cent for the Australian imperialist military! For the unconditional military defence of the bureaucratically deformed workers states—China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cuba—against imperialist attack and internal capitalist counterrevolution! At the same time, we Trotskyists stand for proletarian political revolutions in the deformed workers states to oust the Stalinist misleaders whose bureaucratic mismanagement and appeasement of imperialism helps pave the way for capitalist restoration.

Timor-Leste: A Case Study in Imperialist Lies and Plots

Today the Australian government complains that the leaders of tiny Timor-Leste (East Timor) are considering Chinese funding for a gas pipeline from the Greater Sunrise project in the Timor Sea. They fret this loan could lead to the Chinese military gaining access to a port in the country. Responding to these developments, the Australian foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, remarked in June, “Australia is committed to the independence, sovereignty and economic sustainability of our near neighbours, including Timor Leste.” What rubbish! As junior partner to the U.S., Australia sees itself as the gendarme of the southwest Pacific, with the right to exploit the people and plunder the resources of impoverished imperialist neocolonies from Fiji to Papua New Guinea, to Indonesia.

Australia’s sinister “intelligence” agencies and police are embedded in the neighbouring region for the purpose of suppressing struggles that might affect the smooth flow of profits to large Australian companies such as Woodside and BHP-Billiton. For years Australia’s secret police and military have worked hand-in-glove with successive murderous Indonesian regimes against Indonesian, East Timorese and West Papuan dissidents. Australian forces have long trained the ruthless Indonesian Kopassus special force killers, whose crimes include the widespread torture and extra-judicial killings of West Papuan independence fighters and anyone in that country deemed an obstacle to Indonesian rule (see “Independence for West Papua!” ASp No. 236, Summer 2018/19).

In 1999, after some 350 years of Portuguese colonial rule and more than two decades of a blood-drenched Australian-backed Indonesian occupation, the East Timor masses voted overwhelmingly for independence. This was swiftly followed by an Australian-led UN occupation force, supposedly to “protect” the population from the bloody reprisals of Indonesian forces. Outrageously, almost the entire reformist left marched in chauvinist demonstrations behind Laborite parliamentary and union misleaders screaming for Australian “peacekeepers” to “save” East Timor. In sharp opposition to the social-chauvinist left, we opposed the Australian military intervention while championing East Timor’s independence (see “Australian/UN Imperialist Troops Out of East Timor,” ASp No. 170, Autumn 2000). During years of repressive, gun-toting, racist occupation, the Australian-led UN military forces attacked desperate job seekers, terrorised women and tortured suspected pro-Indonesian “militiamen.”

In 2002, on the very day formal independence was declared, the Australian imperialists bullied Timor-Leste into signing the Timor Sea Treaty. This delivered 82 percent of the oil and gas from the Greater Sunrise fields to Australia despite the fact that these resources were found entirely on Timor-Leste’s side of the mid-point between the countries. With Australia holding the whip hand, resource giant Woodside was able to rake in fabulous profits while the majority of the people of Timor-Leste were consigned to unemployment, illiteracy, poverty and low life expectancy. Under conditions of enforced neocolonial squalor, the masses have seethed with discontent.

For years the Timor-Leste government fought to renegotiate the extortionate Timor Sea treaty. In 2012 it was revealed that in 2004 Australian government agents bugged the Timor-Leste cabinet room so that Australia could gain an advantage during negotiations over the maritime resources. For lifting the lid on this imperialist skulduggery, a former Australian Secret Intelligence Service spy known as Witness K and his lawyer, Bernard Collaery, were last year charged with conspiring to share information protected under Section 39 of the Intelligence Services Act. Both now face up to two years in jail for the “crime” of helping to inform the public about the nefarious attempts by Australian imperialism to rip off one of the most impoverished countries in Asia.

The persecution of Collaery and Witness K provides a crystal clear example of how the state exists to defend the economic interests of the imperialist rulers. Indeed, in 2006, two years after the bugging of the Timor-Leste cabinet room, Australian imperialist forces once again occupied Timor-Leste to impose “law and order.” Behind the occupation were imperialist intrigues to oust Mari Alkatiri, then Timor-Leste’s prime minister. Alkatiri was an irritant to Canberra and Washington due to his stubborn attempts to get an equitable deal on Timor Sea reserves and most especially because of his preparedness to look to other powers for assistance, including China. We demand: Drop the charges against Witness K and Bernard Collaery! Australian imperialism keep your bloody hands off the South Pacific and Southeast Asia!

The Fraud of Bourgeois “Democracy”

Following the AFP raids there has been an outcry from the bourgeois media to protect “freedom of the press” so that the media can continue to “tell the truth” in this “open society” and so on ad nauseam. In the forefront of this bourgeois hue and cry has been the execrable Murdoch News Corp. For all its blather about press freedom, it just so happens to control around 60 percent of the print media and the dominant news websites in Australia.

For the Murdoch press, police raids are more than acceptable when they target unions, Muslims, “African gangs” or other oppressed minorities. However, such raids are not supposed to happen to them. Having aggressively promoted the re-election of the Morrison government, they feel slighted. Angry about government overreach, News Corp, along with the ABC, now advise the government that they need to build in “safeguards” and restore “balance” to “press freedoms.” This has zero to do with “truth” and everything to do with trying to refurbish the credibility of the “free” press while restoring the normal order of things, i.e., allowing the media magnates’ unrestricted rein to say and do as they please.

While Marxists are steadfast defenders of democratic rights, such as freedom of assembly and press freedoms, we know that in the mouths of the bourgeoisie such terms represent rank hypocrisy. Under capitalism, the mass media is an auxiliary to bourgeois class rule. As long as the media is owned by the bourgeoisie, freedom of the press means freedom for the rich to use their wealth to manufacture and shape so-called public opinion so that it aligns with their class interests.

From the press barons to the bourgeois Greens, to the union leaders at the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and the reformist scribblers at Green Left Weekly, opposition to the AFP raids has been framed in terms of defence of capitalist “democracy.” In contrast, we Marxists know that, despite their prattling about “democracy for all,” the only rights the bourgeois rulers are committed to is their right to hold private property, to own the means of production—the factories, mines and transport and other essential industries—and to exploit wage labour.

As Bolshevik revolutionary leader V.I. Lenin wrote in The Proletarian Revolution and the Renegade Kautsky (1918): “It is natural for a liberal to speak of ‘democracy’ in general; but a Marxist will never forget to ask: ‘for what class?’” Further on Lenin elaborated:

“There is not a single state, however democratic, which has no loopholes or reservations in its constitution guaranteeing the bourgeoisie the possibility of dispatching troops against the workers, of proclaiming martial law, and so forth, in case of a ‘violation of public order,’ and actually in case the exploited class ‘violates’ its position of slavery and tries to behave in a non-slavish manner.”

In defence of their capitalist class rule, all parliamentary democratic bourgeois states have reserved and frequently use special powers to spy on and lock up dissidents, often under the rubric of “national security.” The ultimate target of such laws is the multiethnic working class and its struggles. It is not by accident that aspects of legislation giving the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) ASIO-style powers to spy on, secretly interrogate and prosecute militant workers, were modelled on the “anti-terror” laws.

However, what the ruling class can actually get away with depends on the outcome of struggle. Contrary to the wishes of the bourgeoisie, working-class struggle cannot be legislated or repressed out of existence. As long as capitalist exploitation exists, new struggles will break out. As glimpsed by the powerful strikes by workers in Mexico’s maquiladoras (see article page 9), and even the recent highly constrained waterfront strikes against the profit-gouging DP World stevedoring company, the capitalist system propels the proletariat to resist the bosses’ attacks. With its numbers and organisation at the point of production the working class has the potential social power to bring the wheels of industry to a grinding halt.

Proletarian rights such as the right to strike and to picket, and broader democratic rights such as the right to free speech and assembly, have historically been wrested from the bosses through class and social struggle. Sedition laws were last used in 1960 against an Australian patrol officer who advocated independence for Australia’s brutally oppressed PNG colony. They effectively became a dead letter from the late 1960s/early 1970s with the mass protests in solidarity with the Vietnamese workers and peasants’ heroic struggle against U.S. and Australian imperialist military forces. So too for over a decade with the penal powers following the 1969 mass strike in defence of jailed tramways union leader Clarrie O’Shea.

We Trotskyists take as our model the October 1917 Russian Revolution, led by Lenin and Trotsky’s Bolshevik Party. This was the greatest ever victory for the world’s working class. Fighting for social revolution under conditions of both legal and illegal work, the Bolsheviks relentlessly sought to expose the tyranny and fabrications of the capitalist rulers before the workers and oppressed. It was through a regular polemical Marxist press and tireless intervention on the side of the oppressed that the Bolsheviks were able to expose reformist illusions in capitalism and build an internationalist workers party capable of leading the most advanced layers of the proletariat to vanquish capitalism in Russia, thus “shaking the world” and opening the prospect of a global socialist society.

The obstacle to successful working-class-centred struggle are the union tops and their ALP cronies. These pro-capitalist misleaders poison the consciousness of the proletariat. By pushing obeisance to the courts and putrid nationalism, they keep workers in thrall to capitalist rule. As Russian revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky outlined in his 1940 article “Trade Unions in the Epoch of Imperialist Decay”:

“The trade unions of our time can either serve as secondary instruments of imperialist capitalism for the subordination and disciplining of workers and for obstructing the revolution, or, on the contrary, the trade unions can become the instruments of the revolutionary movement of the proletariat.”

We need a class-struggle opposition in the unions that fights to exacerbate the contradictions between the objective interests of the proletariat and the policies and actions of their social-patriotic Labor-loyal leadership. It is in the course of organising workers in their own independent interests and in defence of all the oppressed that the ALP’s proletarian base will be politically won away from its pro-capitalist misleadership and a revolutionary Marxist party forged.

In struggling to break workers and the oppressed from illusions in Laborism, our purpose is to build that necessary vanguard party which can infuse the working class with the consciousness that it has both the objective class interest and social power to eradicate the system of capitalist imperialism. Such a party would be committed to nothing less than proletarian socialist revolutions internationally. It will only be with the working class in power that imperialist spying, lies and violence at home and abroad will come to an end and the full extent of imperialism’s bloody crimes and secrets be laid bare to the workers and oppressed of the world. For a workers republic of Australia, part of a socialist Asia!


Australasian Spartacist No. 238

ASP 238

Spring 2019


Down With AFP Raids on the Press!

Australian Imperialist Terror, Lies and Censorship

All Australian Military Out of the Pacific, Middle East!


Self-Determination for Kashmir!

Indian Troops Out of Kashmir Valley!


Government Hands Off the Unions!

Oppose the Frame-Up of John Setka, Defend the CFMMEU!

For a Class-Struggle Fight Against the Bosses' Attacks!


From the Archives of Workers Vanguard

The Truth About the Tiananmen Uprising


Victor Granovsky



Free Julian Assange!


Imperialist Sanctions Starve Iranian Masses

Down With U.S. War Moves Against Iran!


Capitalist Exploitation and the Oppression of Women

Mexico: Women in the Maquiladora Sweatshops

(Women and Revolution pages)