2006 Trot Guide Update #2 // Riot Squad

Yes! A split! And in the Spartacist League (of Australia… & New Zealand?) no less! According to Lou:

According to a May 2005 leaflet, Trotskyist Platform (TP) ‘Is a left split from the Spartacist League (SL), which had in practice started moving, albeit quite slowly, in the direction of the social-democratic left. The new tendency is being founded by the editor of the SL’s newspaper … who is known as Praba Balasubramaniam’.

‘The immediate cause of the split was the SL’s recoil from turning their written defence of the arrested Redfern & Palm Island Aboriginal militants into actual *action*’ (that is, the defeat of Balasubramaniam’s motion calling for SL to initiate a ‘united-front demonstration’ on the subject.)

A further detail, ‘TP is today founded with just 6% of what the tiny SL has.’

Assuming that the SL has 100 members — an extremely generous estimate — the Trotskyist Platform has… 6.

Q. Is this Australia’s smallest Trot group?

Well, I’ve searched for online refs to TP, and found just two, both referring to demonstrations in Sydney:

—->> Rally: Down with the Anti-Communist, China-Bashing Campaign!

—->> Rally to Defend the Black Opponents of Racist State Terror! See: 2006 Trot Guide // 2006 Trot Guide Update #1
Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in CustodyIn related developments…

Steve Gee rejoices as “finally” NSW has a riot squad. Note that in this report the main question put to Iemma is ‘Why didn’t this happen sooner?’, not ‘Is this a good thing?’. That this is a good news item for the citizens of NSW is simply assumed; while the squad’s disbandment in the 1980s is mentioned, no reason is given, nor any mention made of its history.

Iemma is then quoted as making a denial: ‘We don’t have an ethnic gang problem’. Immediately preceding this statement is the NSW Premier’s assurance that the state government has enough police, enough laws, and enough prisons to ‘solve racial conflict’ and put a permanent end to race rioting…

NSW riot squad formed
By Steve Gee
The Advertiser
January 17, 2006

IT took three race riots in less than two years – but finally NSW has a riot squad.

The hand-picked squad of 50 officers will be on call 24 hours a day.

Their new tactics will include the use of riot shields and horses to force back lines of rioters.

A further 600 police from across the state have been trained in riot response tactics and can be called in at any time. Eventually there will be 1200 riot-trained police on call across the state.

Unveiling the Public Order and Riot Squad yesterday, Premier Morris Iemma denied the squad was too little too late in the face of violent conflicts around Sydney.

“There’s riot police, tough new powers and plenty more coming in the fight to take back control of the streets and to ensure peaceful, law-abiding citizens can go about their business,” Mr Iemma said.

“This is another step in our fight to take back the streets in our crackdown on anti-social behaviour and riotous behaviour.

“The message is a simple one: If you want to riot we’ve got riot squads and we’ve got plenty of cells in our jails to accommodate you.”

Mr Iemma denied Sydney had an ethnic gang problem, saying: “No matter what their ethnicity, no matter where they come from the message is a simple one – your behaviour won’t be tolerated.”

The Government announced plans to reform the riot squad – axed in the 1980s – after the Redfern and Macquarie Fields riots.

Deputy Police Commissioner Terry Collins said police had learned from the experience of last year’s Macquarie Fields riot, in which officers were injured by missiles as they held their positions.

“We’ve gone through that. We’ve tried to do that softly, softly approach, quite frankly,” Mr Collins said.

“We’ll certainly be putting large contingents – a large field force – of police out there with a clear mandate to do what they need to do, not just stand there in the line, cop molotov cocktails, cop rocks being pelted at them.”

Interestingly, despite news of the squad’s formation being framed in terms of it being a response to riots at Redfern and Macquarie Fields, Dale Mills notes (‘NSW riot squad to target dissent’, Green Left Weekly, January 26) that the initial announcement “was made after the ‘anti-globalisation’ protests against the [neo-conservative] Forbes business leaders’ conference at the Sydney Opera House on August 30, 2005. The next day, NSW Police Minister Carl Scully praised the police crackdown on the protesters, even though many had been injured, and he endorsed the formation of a full-time state riot squad. On September 1, Police Commissioner Ken Moroney announced the formation of the Public Order and Riot Squad.” And in a sign of things to come, according to Mills “The new riot squad is likely to use the NSW government’s new “lock-down” powers, introduced in an emergency sitting following the Cronulla riots late last year. These powers allow police to ban people, including journalists, from entering an area where the riot squad is being used. Out of the gaze of the media, serious human rights abuses could occur when the riot squad has been let loose.”

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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