Melbourne: Rebecca Winter’s response to Fairfax article

Anarchist Affinity: In response to an article from today’s Age dealing with ASIO surveillance of anarchists:

“So yeah… this happened. Pity Fairfax decided to go with the usual ‘anarchist=terrorist’ garbage.

For anyone’s who’s interested: I decided to meet up with ASIO because people from Quit Coal asked me to do so. They had reason to believe that ASIO was investigating Quit Coal and people thought that meeting with ASIO was worth the risk so that we could get confirmation of this that we could then take to the media.Turned out, they weren’t at all interested in Quit Coal. I’d apparently been ‘identified as someone active in the anarchist movement.’ They asked me a heap of questions I replied with a lot of ‘I don’t know’s. Should go without saying that they didn’t get any information from me that could be used against anyone.Afterwards, some people thought it would be worth talking to a journo from Fairfax so that other people could know what was going on and we could bring some attention to the way that people in Melbourne are currently being targeted for surveillance for nothing more than holding lefty/revolutionary political views.As you can see, though, this didn’t work out quite as well as hoped. As usual, the mainstream media is happy to present anarchists as scary terrorists and little else.I think some of the things we should take from this are:

1. We should be aware that in the next couple of years there may be increased attention on anarchists and other lefty dissidents from the state and its various instruments of control.

2. We shouldn’t respond to this by stopping the good work that we are doing. I’m proud to be an anarchist and to take part in anarchist organising. Part of the purpose of these approaches by ASIO is no doubt to scare people into silence. I think we should respond by being even more organised and even more vocal.

3. We should think about ways we can show solidarity to anarchists who are facing state repression. My experience with ASIO made me decide to initiate the upcoming solidarity rally for the 2 people in the US who are currently in prison for refusing to testify about anarchist political activities.

I think a good response to ASIO’s bullshit would be a have an amazing solidarity rally to show them that we will not be intimidated into silence. So yeah, hope to see you all of Friday!

See also: Statement from Melbourne Anarchist Club (MAC)

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