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Don’t let people tell you Liverpool Fans turned up late and attacked the police, they attacked us

Liverpool fan Phil Rowan was in Paris and saw an unprovoked police attack on football supporters. Here he tells his story – and the story of many other fans


We spent the day walking to the ground stopping for refreshments. We left the last bar 90 minutes before and that was a 10 minute walk to the ground.

That’s where it all went wrong.

There was a police block and an outer cordon that was uncomfortable but nothing worse than usual European away matches in France and Spain.

We got through and I said that should be the worse bit over. How wrong I was.

There was now an hour until kick off but we were at the ground.

Gate A was directly in front and didn’t look to bad.

Gate Z to the right and then our gate, Y.

We walked that way and there was a huge crowd, and we seen the stairs inside the stadium were empty.

We tried to make our way to Y and there was a huge crush, the fence to our left with tv fans behind, the crowd and gates to the right.

We then were told the gates had been shut and had been for some time.

The police then started wading in from the direction of the turnstiles with shields and batons and it caused a panic and people were trying to escape in both directions but no one could move.

We lifted kids up over the fence to sit on the tv vehicles.

Eventually we went back the way we come through the panic stricken crowd and from the back the police were firing tear gas, we all got it.

This went on for an hour, gates locked and the police attacking people, eventually we got in through gate A. Just after kick off and hours since we arrived. There are empty seats here, don’t let people tell you the inside is over crowded it’s not.

Don’t let people tell you we turned up late and attacked the police, they attacked us.

Fuck you UEFA. I’m not even too interested in the match, it’s ruined.

Our group have been all around the world with LFC and World Cups. We know how to deal with aggressive police and get into football grounds. But the ground tonight was closed for hours. We were told that Real Madrid fans also had major issues.

I had a feeling people might end up dead

This short clip shows how dangerous it was yesterday and is the exact spot we were in. It doesn’t show the full context just a couple of feet so I’ll explain.

The fence is the barrier between the sort of outside outer cordon and the inside cordon. The vehicles belonged to the press. Behind that some had press on filming and they said don’t worry we are filming this to show what’s happening.

If you imagine the fence is on the left, gate Z is to the right, and gate Y (our gate) about 50 metres past that. Both gates had been locked since 18:30, kick off was meant to be 21:00. This was about 20:00.

The police were in front wading in with shields and batons so naturally people were trying to go backwards to get away. From behind police were firing tear gas so others were coming toward us. People were going in both directions to get away from danger but no one could move.

As you can see people had to lift kids and older people over the fence on to vehicles to make sure they were okay.

It was shortly after that we slowly made our way backwards and told people coming toward us that the gates were locked and the police were attacking people. Thankfully people then also turned around and went backward towards the police with tear gas, as it was safer than staying there or going forwards. People stayed remarkably calm and helped others.

It was in the middle of all that that I had a feeling people might end up dead. That’s when winning the European cup stops being the main concern.

The only thing I care about is that I am 99.9% confident no one died today because at one time I thought there would be and seen someone getting CPR. The police were firing CS gas like it’s going out of fashion. No one knows why. Both sets of fans were running away

I’ve been all over Eastern Europe watching football and never been treated like this. UEFA and the police need to be held accountable.

Open Letter for the Equal Treatment of Displaced International Students

We demands equal treatment for all people fleeing Ukraine


We are international students who fled the war in Ukraine — we are Black, Indigenous, and people of color without Ukrainian citizenship.

Together with students in FU, HU, TU, UdK, BHT, and more supporters, we have written an open letter and demands addressing the unequal treatment we experience in Germany. We are fighting against discrimination, bureaucratic and legal obstacles, and the fear of deportation after August 31.

We urgently need your support before the Ministers Conference on 1-3 June, which will determine our futures in Germany bound to these laws.

OUR LETTER IN FULL is below. German, Ukranian, Russian, French and Arabic versions here.

SIGN by sending your individual or group name & affiliations to



To the 

  • German government,
  • Interior Ministers of the German states,
  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research,
  • Berlin Senate,
  • Berlin State Office for Immigration,
  • Berlin’s university presidents,
  • University Admissions Foundation,
  • and anti-discrimination and diversity offices and public officers of Berlin.


We are international students who fled the war in Ukraine—who are Black, Indigenous and people of color without Ukrainian passports.
We are still being traumatized from the war, as every part of our life was lost or uprooted. Our dreams were short-lived and the opportunities we sought out for in Ukraine were destroyed.

We have experienced violence due to discrimination and racial profiling on our way out from Ukraine to Germany. Once in Germany, we have had further unwelcoming encounters on a structural level, as its current policies are preventing us from reclaiming prospects to build our future lives.
While Ukrainians, according to the EU Council Decision of 4th March 2022, have received relatively uncomplicated and unbureaucratic access to residence permits, work permits, study permits, stable housing, social benefits, and ample time to rebuild their lives in Germany, we have not been given the same rights. We condemn the unequal treatment of any and all war refugees based on country of origin, citizenship, socioeconomic status, or race.

In conjunction with students from Freie Universität, Humboldt Universität, Universitat der Künste Berlin, Technische Universität, Berliner Hochschule für Technik and more supporters, we have come together to address the unequal, discriminatory treatment of Germany’s laws and policies that displaced students without Ukrainian passports are facing. There are about 70 000 international students in Ukraine who had built thriving careers, studies, and lives that were suddenly disrupted by militarized violence. A large number of these students, fleeing the war, came into Germany.
Speaking from our perspectives and our experiences, we demand:


1. Equal Inclusion in § 24 AufenthG

Because we do not have Ukrainian citizenship, we experience extreme instability in our personal lives and in pursuing our futures in Germany.

Most importantly, there is no consensus from the German government about our ability to apply for the EU-wide directive § 24 AufenthG, which offers relatively unbureaucratic and uncomplicated procedures for Ukrainian refugees, the right to study and work, social and state assistance, and exemption from proving finances (proving Lebensunterhalt, according to § 5 Abs. 3). All of our lives and the prospects of our futures centered in Ukraine, which should uniformly be regarded as meaningful links according to the European guideline 2022/C 126 I/01.

Instead, we are facing a dire lack of housing, the inability to meet our basic needs, and no clarity or support about our right to work and study. When we apply to universities in Germany trying to legalize our stay outside of the § 24 AufenthG, we have already been given rejections, stating that we can only apply if we first get a legal resident permit. We are not applicable—or it is completely unclear—how we can be involved in the existing refugee integration/”Guest student” (Gasthörer*innen+ programs at HU, TU, and UdK, to take Berlin as an example) as a means to continue our studies and legalize our stay, since we cannot apply for asylum first nor be eligible for the § 24 AufenthG.

Our exclusion from this temporary protection under section 24 of the German Residence Act results in the loss of our achievements and our futures, by forcing us to ‘go back’ to countries of origin, which we have all left for still unchanged and true reasons.
We fled the same war. We traveled the same distance. We left our lives behind, too.

We demand equal inclusion for those without Ukrainian passports in § 24 AufenthG!


2. Support for Those Without Documents

We face many obstacles to access and get our documents recognized.

Some of us have had our documents taken from us wrongfully, or we have lost our documents whilst fleeing to Germany. Ukrainian universities are holding our transcripts, claiming that we have to return to Ukraine physically to pick them up, graduate first, and/or self-expel from our studies. Furthermore, we face the difficulty that the Ukrainian grade system is not easily transferable to the German system. For some programs such as medicine and dentistry, it has proven impossible for us to transfer our existing credits and recognize our former studies.

High school transcripts in many of our countries (such as those from West Africa) are also not recognized here in Germany.

With all these bureaucratic hurdles, it is impossible for many of us to enroll here.

According to the Berl-HZVO, § 2 Abs. 4, universities can freely decide on the documents required and the “form” of applications. We urge the invocation of this regulation to adapt to our situations.

We demand support or exemptions for those who are not able to access their documents, or get them recognized!


3. Financial Support

Unlike people with Ukrainian passports, we face unreasonable financial obstacles to study.

To apply for universities in the hopes of continuing our studies, we must prove a blocked account (Sperrkonto) of 10,332 Euros, which will change to 11,172 Euros in the fall semester, on top of uni-assist fees (75 Euros for the first application and an additional 30 EUR for every following application), fees to translate our certificates into German or English (approximately 250 Euros), fees to pay for English language tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, or the Cambridge exam (approximately 245 Euros), and fees for health insurance (approximately 120 Euros per month).

It is absolutely unreasonable to require these finances from us when we have fled war and abruptly left our entire lives. Many of us are young adults who were preparing for future careers through our education in Ukraine, and cannot be expected to have large sums of savings. Our finances went towards our housing, livelihood, and studies in Ukraine, and in Germany they have to go towards immediate needs such as travel, housing, food, hygiene, and more.

With vague, unclear, and inconsistent laws about how we can be granted permits, it is difficult to work legally in this country.

We demand financial support, various avenues for financial assistance (e.g. BAföG), and the exemption of application fees—for example, through decentralized admission processes rather than uni-assist!


4. Reasonable Extension of Deadlines

Unlike people with Ukrainian passports, we face stressful, short, and inconsistent deadlines to legalize our stays through study.

While we just arrived in this country mere months, weeks, or even days ago, we are recommended to apply several weeks beforehand (by approximately the end of May) for processing of uni-assist applications for the fall semester (which often have the deadline July 15). For some of us who would need to do a Studienkolleg (preparatory course) because our diplomas and certifications are not recognized in Germany, these deadlines can be even earlier.

The legal stay for those without Ukrainian passports until August 31, 2022 as determined by UkraineAufenthÜV is similarly not a sufficient amount of time for us to gather our documents, get finances, and meet the various, necessary requirements to apply for universities. Contradictorily, our stay under the current policy is shorter than the Berl-HZVO, § 2 Abs. 1 deadline of application of October 1 intended for people who are not legally considered equal to German students, for example.

We demand the extension of the UkraineAufenthÜV and university application deadlines to gather our basic needs in this country and meet further requirements!


5. Centralized Language Support

We receive little to no support regarding German and English language requirements for study.

The entirety of West African countries are not recognized as proof of English language sufficiency. We strongly condemn this, as most of us have spoken and read English our entire lives, and English is the official language for many countries (for example, Nigeria, Ghana, and more). For some of us who have completed their Bachelor’s in English, even this diploma is not recognized as language proficiency because the degree came from a non-Western country.

In most of Berlin’s university programs, we are required to meet a level of B2-C1 German language proficiency. Without centralized support that streamlines where we can study German, as well as financial support for us to fund these language studies, it is extremely difficult for us to even know where we can begin. It is impossible to reach that level of language proficiency when we have only been in Germany for a short time.

Most universities do not offer German language classes from A1 every semester, including this semester. We are forced to learn in a short amount of time, and with little to no resources, the minimum proficiency to be considered for language class enrollment.

We demand centralized, state-funded services that help us learn German, and for all universities to offer large and frequent German language classes from A1 for all!

We demand for all English language programs to be made readily available for us to browse, and to exempt the German language requirement for admission for courses that don’t require German!

We demand for teachers and courses that can be taught in English to do so, to ensure our classrooms are equally accessible for all!


6. Social, Psychological and Anti-Discrimination Services

Like everyone who has fled war, we experience the trauma and difficulties of leaving our lives behind. Beyond that, as students without Ukrainian passports who are predominantly Black, Indigenous, and people of color, we face extreme and unequal bureaucratic hurdles, the fear of imminent deportation, the difficulty of integrating into a foreign country, and discriminatory experiences of racial profiling.

We face hostile immigration staff in our attempts to legalize our stays and follow confusing bureaucratic procedures. Some of us have been wrongfully detained or forced into the asylum procedure without any resources or consent. Some of us have been wrongfully deported back to our home countries and do not know what to do. Some of us have even desperately returned to the unsafe situation in Ukraine, as we cannot deal with the unfair difficulties of staying in Germany.

Due to unequally applied laws, our experiences in Germany have been unwelcoming and stressful.

We are isolated from community spaces and access to social and psychological resources.

According to BerlHG § 5b Abs. 4, universities are meant to consider the extraordinary circumstances of international students with a history of migration. We call on the implementation of this consideration, because while both universities and state structures claim to practice anti-discriminatory behavior and laws, they are clearly not doing enough to support us in our precarious situations at the moment.

We demand all wrongful asylum requests to be annulled!

We demand for public officers in immigration structures to offer adequate, accessible, anti-discriminatory treatment as well as accurate information!

We demand state-funded complaint offices and accountability procedures that recompense wrongfully treated people!

We demand the coordinated activation of social, psychological, and anti-discrimination support structures to apply to us!

We urge for the change of Germany’s current discriminatory policies to meet our demands and realize the continuation and possibilities of our futures here. We situate our above list of demands within past and ongoing migrant, anti-racist struggles, and demand the use of all legal possibilities—such as those suggested by Flüchtingsrat and Migrationsrat for refugees and displaced international students—to support the situations for all third country nationals displaced by war, including foreign workers.

We condemn the social invisibility and precariousness for certain populations of people made vulnerable by unequal legal systems. We believe that migration is a human right and that education must be accessible to all.



Anatomy of the German Far Right

The combination of electoral representation, a presence on the streets and support from the State is what makes the German Nazis still dangerous


Based on a speech I gave to the Marxism 2022 Conference in Melbourne earlier this year. It was a panel discussion on the far right in Europe. I therefore spoke only about general trends. Here I have linked to more detailed articles, in English and German.

I will use three acronyms. AfD is the ‘Alternative für Deutschland’, which sits in the German parliament; PEGIDA, is the ‘Patriotic Europeans against the Islamicisation of the Western World’, is a racist street movement; and the NSU, or ‘National Socialist Underground’ is a pro-Nazi cell which murdered migrants with state support.

It is important to discuss all three organisations to get an understanding of the German far right. In France, Marine Le Pen came within a whisker of the presidency, but she lacks a large street movement to back her up. The potential of a Nazi movement which combines parliamentary representation and street fighters is arguably even more worrying in Germany.

This is not to say that the growth of the German far right has gone uncontested. I conclude with examples of how their inexorable growth was not automatic, and if we organise a broad and militant anti-Nazi movement, we can stop them.

Alternative für Deutschland – Nazis in parliament?

The AfD was formed in 2013, initially as a neoliberal party against the EU. Original party leader Bernd Lucke was an economist, former advisor to the World Bank and long-time CDU member but left the AfD in 2015, saying that it had “fallen irretrievably into the wrong hands”.

The party made an electoral breakthrough in 2017, profiting from the polarisation of German society around the 2015 “refugee crisis” when over 1 million Syrian refugees were allowed to enter Germany. Much of German society welcomed the refugees, organising reception committees at stations. But there were enough insecure racists who became an easy target for the AfD.

At the 2017 election, the AfD received 12.6% of the vote, giving it 94 MPs. This made the AfD the third largest party in the German parliament. As the CDU and SPD formed a coalition government,  the AfD became the official parliamentary opposition.

In the elections last September, the AfD vote went down to 10.3%. There are two ways of looking at this result. On one hand, you could welcome the fact that the AfD parliamentary representation had gone down. On the other, over a tenth of the population showed itself prepared to regularly vote for a party where Nazis were increasingly winning hegemony.

The up-and coming star in the AfD, Björn Höcke, is party chief in Thüringen. Höcke is a proper Nazi, making provocative statements like “Christianity and Judaism are an antagonism” and “I don’t want Germany to have only a thousand-year past. I want Germany to also have a thousand-year future.”

Höcke is the leader of the Der Flügel (the wing) group inside the AfD. Der Flügel was officially disbanded in April 2020, after the Federal Office for the Protection of the German Constitution declared it to be a “guaranteed right-wing extremist endeavour against the liberal democratic basic order.” But its members remain active and Höcke still has political ambitions.

As Sabine Am Orde argued in the taz: “the AfD leadership has not drawn personal consequences for Höcke … and other Flügel leaders. They remain influential and powerful in the party and in office. Networks and dependencies will continue to have effect. You don’t lose the ability to organise majorities on which some national party leaders are dependent by just removing a Flügel logo, nor do you lose the extreme right wing ideology.”

Until now, the anti-Fascist Left has preferred to say that the AfD is not a Nazi party, but a party with Nazis in it. I think that this analysis still holds. This is not static nor is it definite that Nazis will not be able to take over the party in the relatively near future.

PEGIDA – a dangerous street movement

Unlike the AfD, there is no dispute about the Nazi background of the PEGIDA leadership. The street movement’s founder Lutz Bachmann was forced to stand down after photos were found of him posing as Hitler. Facebook discussions were also discovered of him describing migrants as “’cattle’, ‘scumbags’ and ‘trash’”

Nonetheless, PEGIDA mobilised tens of thousands, particularly in Eastern Germany. In December 2014, 15,000 joined the ‘pinstriped Nazis’ in an Islamophobic demonstration against “criminal foreigners” in Dresden. The following month, 25,000 demonstrated in the same city. Although they were met with counter-demonstrations attracting at least as many people, an Eritrean refugee was murdered on the night of the demonstration.

In the face of this opposition, PEGIDA was unable to sustain weekly mass mobilisations, but attempted a comeback in 2018. In October, on the 4th anniversary of the first demonstration thousands turned up for a “Monday stroll.” Police were accused of protecting the demo.

Querdenken and Coronaleugner – Covid brings a new wave of right wingers onto the streets

As Covid hit Germany, and Angela Merkel’s government prioritised protecting German industry over public safety, the far right saw an opportunity. A strange mixture of anti-Vaxxers, libertarians and open Nazis took part in a series of demonstrations against government restrictions. Not everyone on these demonstrations was a right-wing extremist: the organisers of the demos professed themselves “neither Right nor Left” and “open to everyone”.

This provided fertile soil for the far right. Sabine Volk from the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right noted that “Pegida was among the first groups to claim that it is ‘peaceful‘ activists, not elected representatives, who defend democracy. Not long into the pandemic, a large-scale anti-lockdown movement joined forces with Pegida.”

In a more comprehensive article, Volk noted “continuities and breaks in PEGIDA’s activism during the first wave of the pandemic”. She located PEGIDA as a “social movement organisation inside broader a right wing populist movement.” Voss concludes that “the PEGIDA organisers have used the opportunity to cultivate the image of a resistant political actor”.

In December 2021,Michale Nattke from the Kulturbüro Sachsen noted that “in Saxony we observed over half a year ago that the protests against the pandemic have been taken over step by step by organised Neo-Nazis.” Nattke believed that “we have a similar situation as with the Pegida protests. In Eastern Germany there is the potential that … mobilises exactly the people who were on the streets in 2014 and 2015.”

Protest researcher Dr. Piotr Kocyba noted the presence of PEGIDA and recognised familiar patterns: “I have the impression that I’m experiencing a déja-vu. … Such people are much more dangerous than the extremist fringe of society, because they develop a large mobilisation force, normalise extreme right wing ideas and are not to some extent stigmatized from the majority of society in the way that Neo-Nazis are.”

I would refine Dr. Kocyba’s analysis – it is not that everyone, or even the majority, of people on the Covid demos were neo-Nazis, but that the demonstrations led to a normalisation of the far right. They were able to gain significant influence on many of the demos and in the wider “Querdenker” (lateral thinker) movement.

In Wedding, North Berlin, where I live, the small Monday demonstrations consisted almost entirely of liberal hippies. Nonetheless we organised counter-demonstrations with the slogan “you’re marching with Nazis”. Whatever the individual views of the people on the protests, they were enabling a national movement which enabled the far right to gain influence and build a cadre on the streets.

The NSU Affair – State collaboration with Nazis

I will now move to the most shocking element of the story – the open collaboration of state forces with violent Nazis. Victor Grossman sets the scene: “NSU is the secret pro-Nazi cell which murdered ten men of Turkish or Greek background and a policewoman, blasted a Turkish-populated street with a bomb and robbed several banks. The two main NSU killers died, perhaps suicides, in the closing scenes of this tragic series of events.”

The initial reaction of the police was to harrass the victims’ families. The experience of Abdul Kerim Şimşek, whose father was one of the NSU’s victims was typical: “while his father was still dying, his mother had to go to the police station to make a statement. They asked if her husband was involved in criminal machinations, or if he had an affair or enemies.”

Günther Beckstein, the interior minister of Bavaria briefly considered a racist background. But the investigators assumed from the start that they would find the murderers in the (non-German) drug or mafia scene. The police sent drug-seeking sniffer dogs to the Şimşek family home and tapped their phone. The victims of the murders were made into suspects.

The press talked of a Turkish gang war, and the killings were labelled “Döner-Morden” (Döner murders). As Christian Fuchs reported in Der Spiegel: “over years the murders by the extreme right terror cell were labelled with this phrase. It is evidence of how long investigators and journalists were groping in the dark – but also of how racist prejudices resonated.”

In the end, it seems that the police should have been looking closer to home. V-Männer (police liaison officers) were, according to reporter Stefan Aust “extraordinarily closely involved” in the murders. Forty V-Leute (they weren’t all men) were NSU members, and took part in robberies and murders. One V-Mann was the leader of the violent Nazi group ‘Blood & Honour‘.

When the NSU suspects were raided, police destroyed evidence and provided weapons, at least one of which was present at the crime scene. NSU members were tipped off about forthcoming police raids. When 5 people were finally charged, they were all described as “Einzeltäter” (lone gunman).

The word “Einzeltäter” was to crop up again. When a gunman attacked first a synagogue, then a kebab shop in Halle in 2019, he was called an Einzeltäter. When another far right extremist attacked two shisha bars in Hanau in 2020, killing 9 people with migrant background, he was once more identified as an Einzeltäter.

The German press, the legal system and many politicians have much less problem conceiving of attacks being carried out by crazed individuals than accepting that Germany has a far right racism problem that has often been sustained by the State.

There is a solution: Learning from Dresden Nazifrei

This does not mean that the far right in Germany is on an inexorable rise. Nazi street forces have been stopped before, and they can be stopped again. Just 10 years ago, the largest Nazi demonstration in Europe took part in Dresden every year on the anniversary of that city’s bombing by Allied planes. In 2007 and 2009, 6,500 took part in explicit neo-Nazi demonstrations.

Mass blockades in 2010 and 2011 confronted the Nazis, and in 2012 they were not able to march at all. This was possible because of an alliance ‘Dresden Nazifrei‘, which was both broad and radical. It contained mainstream politicians like Bundestag president Wolgang Thierse (SPD) and the then young LINKE party, but it was absolutely committed to not giving a centimetre of the street to the Nazis.

Such an alliance may be required again soon. As I’ve documented above, the Nazis have not gone away, and have received some support from the German State. The demonstrations, first against refugees, more recently against the Corona measures – succeeded in mobilising at least part of society alongside the far right, especially in the East, which had suffered over 3 decades of neglect.

Less than a year ago, Germany voted in an SDP-Green-Liberal government which proved more eager to double Germany’s military budget than to solve the problems of a broken society. This gives Nazis new opportunities to offer simple solutions, based on nationality not solidarity. They must be stopped. They can be stopped! We must remain vigilant.

Socialists make electoral breakthrough in Victoria, Australia

Summary of the Victorian Socialists’ campaign in the recent Australian elections


After the article we published this week on the Australian elections, here is some supplementary information about the Victorian Socialists, who were mentioned in the article.

The Victorian Socialists is an electoral alliance involving members of Socialist Alternative, Socialist Unity Caucus, and many independent socialists based in the southern Australian state of Victoria. It was formed in 2018 to contest the Victorian state election in November that year, where it fell just short of having someone elected to the state parliament. Details on the party’s formation and its results in the 2018 state election, and 2019 federal election, can be found here. In local council elections in 2020, VS member Jorge Jorquera was elected as a councillor for Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

The following is an edited extract from an email sent to members of Victorian Socialists by party secretary Corey Oakley on Sunday 22 May detailing the results the party achieved in the election.

Across the eleven lower house seats we contested, 22,116 voters had given their first preference to Victorian Socialists when counting closed last night. With more counting to come, this is easily the largest number of votes for a socialist electoral project in many years in this country.

Once again we’ve shown that a socialist message of hope and resistance, which for decades has been pushed to the margins of Australian political life, can strike a chord with many thousands of people in some of the key working class heartlands of Melbourne.

It’s important to put our 2022 results in context. In the 2019 federal election, Victorian Socialists contested just three seats. We were pleased with our 2019 results—4.6 percent in Calwell, 4.5 percent in Wills and 4.2 percent in Cooper. In 2022, campaigning over 11 seats, we were always going to be massively stretched. We had significantly fewer campaigning resources in Calwell, for instance—both on the booths on election day, and in advance to knock on doors.

So it’s a terrific achievement that the first preference vote recorded for Jerome Small in Calwell is currently at 4.91 percent, with the large Craigieburn pre-poll booth still to report. At a couple of booths in Roxburgh Park we won 10 percent of the vote.

Other results in the north also held up well. Kath Larkin in Cooper is currently on 3.9 percent, Emma Black in Wills on 3.3 percent, and Colleen Bolger in Melbourne on 3.8 percent. In Scullin—where we didn’t have the resources to do much beyond letterboxing and a presence on some booths—Cameron Rowe is on 3.1 percent. The Scullin result includes booths like Lalor North where 7.4 percent of people voted socialist, and Thomastown Secondary where we won 5.8 percent of the vote.

In the western suburbs, Victorian Socialists has never run a candidate in a federal or state election. Though our local councillor Jorge Jorquera has raised the profile of VS with his consistent work, in most areas we’re starting from scratch. So it’s great to see Catherine Robertson currently on 5.4 percent of the vote in Fraser, a really good result for all the work put in by our campaigners. Two booths in Footscray reported over 10 percent for Catherine, with another five booths reporting over 7 percent.

Most of our campaigns in the west consisted of letterboxing and a small presence at the polling booths, engaging with voters who had never heard of us before. Belle Gibson in Gorton is on 2.5 percent, Andrew Charles in Gellibrand on 1.6 percent, Jack Hynes in Hawke on 1 percent, Claudio Uribe in Lalor on 1.8 percent, and Daniel Dadich in Maribyrnong is on 2.2 percent.

In each of these campaigns, our campaigners could find a sympathetic audience for a socialist project when we could engage with voters. For instance, 9.6 percent of voters at Deer Park voted for Belle Gibson, while 5.8 percent of everyone who voted at Tarneit West voted for Claudio Uribe. The sheer scale of the task meant that duplicating this kind of vote across the west was always going to be a challenge, however.

Of course, these raw numbers tell only one part of the story. In those numbers are the airport workers, aged care workers, students, construction workers, retail workers, warehouse workers and all sorts who have heard a socialist message, often for the first time in their lives, and who have responded by voting socialist.

We’ve put socialist politics on the map through large sections of the working class suburbs of Melbourne’s north and west for the first time in decades—or for the first time ever, in the case of the massive growth suburbs. We’ve done this through putting hundreds of thousands of leaflets in letterboxes, through knocking on tens of thousands of doors, and through countless thousands of conversations on doorsteps, in shopping malls, and especially on the voting booths.

In particular, the contribution of the 200 campaigners from Tamil and other refugee communities who were part of Aran Mylvaganam’s Senate campaign needs a very special mention. Most of these campaigners are systematically pushed to the margins of Australian society—but over the last few weeks and in particular yesterday they have played a crucial and inspirational role in rebuilding a militant, anti-racist, socialist current in this country.

Importantly, all of this work has built a platform the Victorian state election on November 26, where we’ll be aiming to achieve a breakthrough for the socialist left by getting a socialist elected to the Victorian upper house. Though we have plenty of work to do in sifting through the results and planning our campaign—and an enormous amount of work to do in the lead-up to November 26the results from our federal campaign give us confidence that it’s possible to achieve this task.

Of course, though we’re proud of our efforts, Victorian Socialists is under no illusion about the state of politics in this country. We’re celebrating the appalling Morrison government being tossed out of office. And it’s great that the Greens have picked up at least 2 lower house seats in Brisbane. But with a drab Labor government under Albanese determined to look like a pale imitation of the Liberals, and a surging far right vote, the urgency and importance of rebuilding a socialist current in Australian political life is clearer than ever.


Ararat Collective

An Armenian antifascist collective founded during the Artsakh war in 2020


Ararat collective was founded by Armenians in Berlin following the 44-day war against Artsakh by Azerbaijan, which together with its Turkish and Islamist allies killed over 4,000 Armenians and ethnically cleansed over 70,000 in the Fall of 2020. During the protests against the war, we realized that we needed a platform for Armenians who actively oppose colonialism, imperialism and patriarchy in all their forms, and who wish to focus on an internationalist approach to resistance—building links and practical solidarity between all of the communities targeted by Turkish fascism, including Assyrians, Yazidis, and Kurds.

Together with members of these communities we started to meet and exchange and organized several demonstrations under the call “United Against Turkish Fascism”. We found many 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation exiles from our region who are eager to engage in conversations and get to know each other here in ways that are not possible under the shadow of fascism and war in our homelands.

At the same time, Germany is not exactly a safe refuge for our communities. Besides facing deportations and racism as other migrants and refugees, there are also very real threats from Turkish fascist organizations such as the Grey Wolves (Ülkücü), which are estimated to be the largest fascist organization in Germany with 18,000+ members. More broadly, many Turkish migrants remain ideologically aligned with the nationalist, panturkish and religious-chauvinist doctrines of Turkey and Azerbaijan, such that daily racism, threats and genocide denialism are a constantly reopening our wounds in schools, the streets, and the media.

Furthermore, the German state, politicians and capital remain deeply invested in their military alliance with Turkish imperialism, and heavily police our communities and our resistance. The media here is also largely silent on Turkey’s aggressions, war crimes, genocide denialism and acts of ethnic cleansing and ethnocide. This is particularly painful given Germany’s deep complicity in the Armenian and Seyfo Genocide of 1915 as an ally of the collapsing Ottoman empire and then the Young Turk’s regime. There has been almost no official recognition of how German leadership knew of the three Pasha’s intention to annihilate the Ottoman minorities and yet continued to supply weapons, infrastructure and logistical support, while arguing that the “disloyal” Armenians deserved it.

The response of EU governments—but also of civil society and the left—to the war has been shockingly inadequate if we consider that the fact that a Turkish state that still denies the genocide it was founded upon has now gone to war with the remaining people it could not destroy and has announced its intention to “complete the mission of the forefathers”, as Erdogan recently stated, while continuing to use terms like Lebensraum at a high level of government.

All of this means it is more crucial for than ever Armenians to come together with each other and with potential allies, especially those of us who are not blinded by the hypocrisy of Western ‘humanitarianism’ and ‘democracy’ and do not succumb to the wishful thinking that after 106 years the West, or Russia or any other great power is willing to save us from this perilous moment.

Last but not least, Armenian diasporic life is a space of great potential joy and divergent experiences. We have much to learn much from one another and about the cultures and politics we have been part of and the places we have called home after the Aghet—the catastrophe. Armenians in Berlin come from the state of Armenia (East Armenia), from West Armenia (occupied by Turkey), from Syria, Iran, Lebanon, California and all over the world.

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