Activists with the revolutionary Marxist group Socialist Alternative Maddie Clark and Deaglan Godwin have both been suspended from the University of Sydney for their protest against Malcolm Turnbull last year.
The protest, as reported by Caldron Pool at the time, was a scene of absurdist hilarity as privileged uni student socialists with arms the size of string beans squealed noisily into megaphones while our former Prime Minister awkwardly tried to talk his way out of the situation.
As was the case for his entire period as both leader of the opposition and Prime Minister, Turnbull seemed entirely befuddled as to why the left was attacking him, even afterwards going to his friends at Guardian Australia to mislabel his communist interlocutors as “fascists”.
In a letter to the Sydney Uni student rag, Honi Soit Clark and Godwin stated that University management decided that their protest which shut down the former PM’s little speech constituted interference “with the rights and freedoms of others.”
Which of course it does. Socialist Alternative hold dozens of violent blockades and intimidating protests all over the country in every capital city every year.
Apparently, the only time something is done about it is when they embarrass poor Mr Turnbull. Interfering with the rights of others to be “bigots” “transphobes” “racists” “sexists” “capitalists” or “Christian fascists” (all defined by Socialist Alternative themselves of course) is what they do. It’s how they get their kicks.
None of this of course stopped Josh Butler at the Guardian Australia, Anthony Segaert from the Sydney Morning Herald or Peter Vincent from the Daily Mail Australia from giving them all the chance they needed to advocate for their own cause without ever mentioning their extremist views. Although it’s a credit to Peter Vincent that he did mention that Maddie Clark has previously been cautioned by Sydney Uni for attacking a Christian pro-life stall while calling them Nazis.
In their defence Clark and Godwin declared that violent and abusive protests work, using the example of when socialists mobilised mobs in 2014 to attack Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop in order to derail the then government’s education reforms.
They’re at least partially right, the fact that the extreme left in Australia can attack even government ministers and at most expect the adult equivalent of a smack on the wrist and a time-out means they have the power to intimidate and decide the limits of discussion in the institutions where our future elites are educated and socialised shows how disproportionate these fanatical extremists can be. Especially when the journalists who might otherwise expose their abhorrent views and extremist ideologies seem determined not to do so.
As Godwin and Clark said themselves in their student rag article:
Our protest against Turnbull last year was not just a publicity stunt. It was part of a tradition of standing up to hated Liberal Party politicians whenever they show their faces on campus. We need more student anger and activism, and that means taking it to our enemies at any and every opportunity. This is no threat to freedom of speech.
No threat at all. Unless you happen to have politics to the right of Trotsky of course.