I’ve been thinking about whether to post this for some time. I believe in free speech, but whether I should be seen to promote (and thus be accused of implicitly approving of) speech I strongly disagree with is another matter. In general, I think that sharing information about the local community allows the community to better understand itself.
So, despite my misgivings about drawing attention to a group whose politics I find deeply suspect, residents of the City of Yarra should know that a national-anarchist group has established itself in the area, at least according to its own media.
It’s difficult to determine their political philosophy or agenda. They’re (small ‘g’) green and link to the Sea Shepherd and the Wilderness Society websites but they appear to dislike the established Greens party, state that Socialist Party City of Yarra councillor Steve Jolly has “totalitarian aims” and claim that the council itself engages in “fascist behaviour” because it allegedly destroyed a guerrilla garden in the vicinity of Smith St.
They’re apparently anti-communist, anti-capitalist, anti-corporate and anti-fascist. I hold anti-capitalist and anti-corporate views so I understand these. They’re vegetarian / vegan and are opposed to animal cruelty, as are many of my friends (I’m an omnivore but we respectfully agree to disagree).
Their rhetoric makes me uneasy. Their criticisms of the City of Yarra council seem vague and ideological rather than expressing clear opinions on particular council policies. I too am critical of the council in some instances, but this criticism is founded on the analysis of specific policies, such as the proposal to outsource the provision of public toilets to private businesses. I also praise the council when appropriate and help promote its services.
In contrast, their criticism of Jolly seems entirely ideological. While he is a member of the Socialist Party, his actions as a councillor have in my opinion been fundamentally pragmatic, not ideological, and have been grounded in achieving practical community outcomes.
The national-anarchists have nothing to say about the ALP-Greens alliance that dominates decision making on council, and which Jolly is critical of. If they are serious about commenting on council politics they should, to use a banal but apt football metaphor, ‘play the ball not the man’.
There’s nothing obvious about race or racial separatism on their site, but I have some questions. Do the vegetables in “a national anarchist garden” all decide for themselves as individuals which way to grow? Is the bok choy allowed to hang out with the potatoes? Shouldn’t they be separated? Add your diatribe below…