Australasian Spartacist No. 236

Summer 2018/19


Down With Government Ban on Chelsea Manning!

The following Spartacist League leaflet was published on 9 October.

In early September, prominent whistle-blower against U.S. military atrocities, Chelsea Manning, was denied access to Australia to speak at public forums. The Liberal/National Coalition government’s outrageous refusal to grant Manning a visa was a concrete demonstration of its deep fealty to the blood-drenched anti-Communist U.S./Australia ANZUS alliance.

Formalised in 1951, the ANZUS pact has bi-partisan Coalition and Labor Party support. Under this alliance, which particularly targeted the former Soviet bureaucratically degenerated workers state, the Australian military has participated alongside the U.S. in the slaughter of millions of workers and peasants from Korea and Vietnam to Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria.

Today, as part of the U.S.-led military encirclement of the Chinese bureaucratically deformed workers state, Australia is engaged in its biggest military build-up since World War II. The overall strategic aim behind this militarism is to overthrow the gains of the 1949 Chinese Revolution and return that country to untrammelled imperialist exploitation. As proletarian internationalists we stand for the unconditional military defence of China against imperialist attack and internal capitalist counterrevolution and for workers political revolution to oust the nationalist Stalinist bureaucrats who appease the imperialists. In opposition to the ANZUS alliance and our own capitalist rulers at home we demand: All U.S. bases and Marines out of Australia now! Not one person, not one cent for the Australian imperialist military! Australia get out of the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and the Middle East!

The barring of Manning from Australia is part of a broad attempt by the government to stifle any criticism of the U.S./Australia alliance and the growing imperialist militarism in the Pacific. It is in the interests of the world’s working class to defend courageous truth-tellers such as Chelsea Manning as part of the struggle to overthrow this whole rotting capitalist system through workers revolution.

The following statement by the Partisan Defence Committee was sent to the federal Ministers for Home Affairs and Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs on 8 September. The Partisan Defence Committee is a class-struggle legal and social defence organisation which champions cases and causes in the interests of the whole of the working people. This purpose is in accordance with the political views of the Spartacist League.

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We protest the government’s denial of a visa to courageous U.S. truth-teller Chelsea Manning, preventing her from attending planned public meetings in Australia during September at which she was the featured speaker. This is a case of transparent political censorship. It denies entry to Australia of one of the world’s most prominent whistle-blowers. These measures have been carried out under the Migration Act. Under this Act a visa can be denied to non-citizens if it is decreed that they have failed “the character test.”

As to Manning’s character, she has carried out a heroic service to humanity by exposing some of the secret machinations and crimes of Australia’s U.S. ally. In 2010, Manning leaked files that cast a spotlight on the war crimes of U.S. imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan. For this brave act, she was imprisoned and tortured for seven years under the Obama administration, driving her to two suicide attempts.

The denial of Manning’s visa to enter Australia is an outrage! It is aimed at silencing all those who would dare speak out about, expose, or oppose U.S. and Australian imperialist mass surveillance and military atrocities. The Partisan Defence Committee demands you drop the ban and allow her entry should she seek to visit Australia in the future.