“No war on Russia and China!” Speech outside US Consulate in Melbourne

On January 17th 2023, Davey Heller from classconscious.org spoke at the first action by Anti-War Victoria outside the US Consulate in Melbourne, Australia

Comrades, Anti-War Victoria is a new group launched to fight against the drive towards World War 3 by US imperialism against its major rivals China and Russia. We also stand with all countries targeted by US imperialism’s led wars and sanctions such as Cuba, Yemen, DPRK, Iran, Venezuala and Palestine amongst others.

This is a struggle that must be waged internationally but the most important contribution we can make is to mobilise the working class in this country to get Australia out of the US War machine.

We must fight to end the US Alliance and all its treaties including ANZUS, AUKUS. .

We must fight to kick out all of the US bases out of Australia including the crucial US spy base in Pine Gap. The US must not be allowed to treat Australia as one big aircraft carrier to station its marines and nuclear armed B52 bombers. The Force Posture Agreement that allows this must be ripped up.

We must fight against the plans to waste hundreds of billions of dollars on machines of death such as nuclear powered submarines, long range missiles, drones, tanks and planes.

Instead this money must be redirected to avoiding ecocide in the form of accelerating climate chaos. It must be spent on health including fighting the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, housing and education.

We must fight so that the Australian military is not involved in endless US wars, wars that have killed millions since World War 2. The truth of the matter is that Australian soldiers have not be sent to “defend democracy” but to defend the interests of Wall St in Korea Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now to prop up its fading hegemony the US is preparing and planning for World War 3 against China and Russia. Open warfare between the US and its allies and Russia and China, would almost inevitably be nuclear and if it doesn’t end all life on earth, would result in carnage and suffering that would dwarf the first two World Wars.

Australia is playing a crucial role in the escalating military build up and war plans against China. However the Australian Government is also deeply involved in the war that is already underway against Russia via the proxy war in Ukraine. The Australian Government has committed over 400 million dollars is the largest military funder outside of NATO. It has sent heavy weaponry and drones and is also training Ukrainian troops directly. The war in Ukraine has been used by the Albanese Government to make Australia a de facto member of NATO.

Ukraine has been turned into a killing field as the US, NATO and its allies have used the country as part of their long term plans of militarily encircling Russia. The US has made it clear that “victory” in Ukraine is not peace for the region but the military defeat of Russia in order to turn it into a semi-colony to be exploited by western imperialism. US imperialism only gives the couniries in its cross hairs two choices – submit to our interests entirely or face an all out effort to destroy you. Anti-war Victoria is not on “pro- Putin” but Russia, like all countries, has the right to defend itself and its intervention in Ukraine must be seen and supported in this broader context.

The fight against imperialist war and fascism is connected. Whilst of course not all Ukraninians are fascist, the US and its allies have utilized the most reactionary, indeed neo-nazi, forces within Ukraine. These fascists were the shock troops of the western backed Maiden Coup in 2014. They were then brought forth to crush all resistance to the coup, a move which led to the outbreak of the civil war in 2014 and the efforts of the Russian speaking areas of the Donbass to break away. The fascists were then brought into the military to prosecute the war against the Peoples Republics of Donestk and Luhansk. Fascists and followers of the World War 2 ultra-nationalist war criminal Stepan Bandera now hold key positions in the Ukrainian military and state and their ideology has become mainstreamed as their opponents have been repressed.

The link between imperialism and fascism can also be seen in the Phillipines where US Imperialism and its allies such as Australia have armed and supported the fascist forces in the Phillipines military and government. This is what our comrades from Bayan Australia are highlighting today.

We can be under no illusions that the fight we are raising can only be won if we mobilise on a massive scale. The entire Australian ruling class is united behind the war plans of the US. Since World War 2, the Australian capitalist class has sought to maximise its own profits and ability for Australian corporations to exploit the resources of the countries in our region by supporting US Imperialism. The Australian ruling class prostrates itself to US imperialism in order to protect its own profit interests. This is what they mean when they state they support a “rule based order”.

The Australian capitalist class also supports US imperialism as it is the major force globally that works to suppress any efforts to create workers states. The fight against the DPRK, Vietnam and the Peoples Republic of China are all part of the never ending fight by the imperialist countries against the strivings of the masses for Communism.

To build this movement we must deepen the understanding that the fight against imperialist war is not separate from other struggles. The fight against war is linked inextricably to the fight against the capitalist system which threatens ecocide through climate chaos. Every dollar spent on the war machine is a dollar that could be spent on meeting the working class’s fundamental needs. Imperialist wars also lead to impoverishment for example the war in Ukraine is fueling inflation that is literally taking food out of the mouths of people around the world.

The movement against war if it is to grow cannot however stay silent on Australia’s involvement in the proxy war on Russia in Ukraine whilst only demanding “No war on China, No to AUKUS”.

US imperialism is committed to defeating both Russia and China to ensure its dominance over the Eurasian landmass. They are not separate theaters of war. The peace movement cannot oppose US war plans in one part of this theater of war but be complicit in their silence on another.

The peace movement is trying to avoid the stain of being associated with the demonised Putin. However this is falling for a larger version of the same trap that was laid twenty years ago when all those who opposed the Iraq War were “Saddamites” or those who opposed the intervention in Syria must be “Assadists” etc.

What do people think would happen if the US, Australia and its allies managed to push past China’s “Red Lines’ in regards to Taiwan and the People’s Liberation Army moved to use force? What kind of propaganda campaign would be wheeled out against all opponents of the war that would follow. They would be labeled immediately as traitors and “agents of Beijing”. We must build a movement that can withstand these kinds of pressures.

The silence of some on Russia may be an effort to align with the section of the ruling class that is nervous about the impact of open warfare with China on its profits. However this faction would quickly fall into line if war with China breaks out. Our opposition to war with China must be based on more than what is in Australia’s “national interest” in the short term as defined by the capitalist class.

By ignoring the war on Russia which the Australian Government is participating in we also cede ground to the far right to coopt the anti-war movement. Sadly the biggest rally so far in Australia demanding Australia not be involved in the war on Russia was organised by an Australian fascist “The Aussie Cossack. Similar dangerous trends are occurring in Europe and the US.

Today’s actions is part of a week of action called by the US based United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC) under the banner of the Martin Luther King Week of Actions. We did so because we understand that our struggle must be international.

That is why we are planning another protest in Melbourne around February 25th to align with the “No2NatoNo2War” protest meeting in London and the “Rage Against the War Machine in Washington on February 19yh These events are a sign that the anti-war movement is starting to stir again in the imperialist heartlands.

So today’s vigil is only the start. Whilst it is small, it is a seed which we will grow if we act boldly and with principles. Join us. Like Anti-War Victoria on Facebook, send us an email and get in touch.

No to US Wars! No to US Bases! No to US Sanctions!

Peoples Need over Corporate Greed! Power to the People!

Davey Heller

Davey Heller is a Trotskyist from Melbourne and long-time campaigner for Left-wing causes including anti-war, refugee rights, environmental protests and workers' struggles. He is a former secondary teacher who studied history at Monash University and currently works in the environmental field. You can follow him on Twitter at @socialist_davey

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