Paris massacre: Abbott's response 'no solution to cycle of violence'

Statement by Socialist Alliance national co-conveners on the Paris massacre The Socialist Alliance condemned the massacre of journalists, cartoonists and others at and around the offices of the Paris-based publication Charlie Hebdo. However offensive anyone may have found some of the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo, this act of brutal violence is not justified. Socialist Alliance condemns the conservative religious fundamentalist sects which promote and carry out such acts of violence. These sects are deadly enemies of democracy, justice and progress and their violent and sectarian actions weaken the real struggles for a just, equitable, democratic and sustainable future. The Socialist Alliance also warns against and condemns any attempts by Western politicians, governments, corporate media and others to use this latest incident to whip up racist Islamophobia which is already virulent in the rich countries of the world. This latest act of brutality does not justify the “clash of civilisations” hysteria that is widely used by racists to justify ongoing and new imperial wars, anti-refugee and anti-immigrant policies and laws and anti-democratic “security” laws. In particular, the Socialist Alliance condemns Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's crude attempt to use this latest act of violence to justify Australian military intervention in the Middle East. In a media conference on January 8, Abbott claimed that this attack was by “people who hate us not because of anything we've done, but who we are and how we live”. “They hate our freedom, they hate our pluralism, they hate the welcome we extend to people of all faiths, all cultures, all sexualities". This is an outrageous lie that feeds the racist, anti-Muslim “clash of civilisations” hysteria and ignores the fact that the vicious cycle of terror and counter-terror (including state terror by Western governments and the dictatorships they have and continue to prop up in the Middle East) has killed hundreds of thousands of people is a direct result of Western imperial domination and exploitation. The overwhelming majority of the people who have been killed in this cycle of terror are people of Muslim background. This applies to the non-state acts of violence. The great majority of people killed by the Islamic State In the Levant (ISIL/ISIS), for instance, have been Muslims. We live in a world divided between rich and poor countries where the rich countries spend hundreds of billions on their military forces to maintain this gross inequality. In 2013, the US alone spent US$640 billion out of a global military expenditure of US$1.7 trillion. It is no coincidence that the US has the biggest military expenditure and the biggest number of billionaires! Unless this gross global inequality and oppression is ended, Abbott's warning that there will be more terrorist acts in the future is guaranteed to be fulfilled. But the Abbott government offers no real solutions. It offers only an intensification of the deadly cycle of violence. Socialist Alliance calls for real solutions to the cycle of violence that must include:
  • Ending Australian participation in all imperialist military interventions and occupations.
  • Breaking from all imperialist military alliances and closing all US military bases and facilities in Australia.
  • Just reparations to the victims of all Australian military interventions.
  • An end to the war on refugees and full implementation of obligations under the Refugee Convention.
  • Abolition the new, undemocratic “security" laws passed by the Abbott Liberal-National government with the support of the Australian Labor Party.
Photo above: Candlelight vigil in Sydney on January 8 for the victims of the Paris massacre. Photo by Peter Boyle.