More often than not I am not quick enough with a comeback and probably that is just as well. Just the other day, when I was out in the street distributing Green Left Weekly, a person roughly brushed past and muttered “traitor!”
She walked on and from about two metres away turned around, aimed her beady eyes at a poster I had put up advertising a Christmas visit to refugees in detention and shouted: “You are traitors, that’s what you are!”
“Give refugees some solidarity this Christmas,” was the headline on the poster.
Madam Grinch was well past when my tired brain finally came up with a suitable response: “If Scott Morrison is a ‘patriot’ then I am proud to be called a ‘traitor’.”
Morrison is Australia’s notorious minister for immigration and border control or, more truthfully, minister for turning-back-the-boats. The “boats” are what some desperate asylum seekers use to make a perilous journey to Australia, only to be sent to indefinite detention in an Australian government-run concentration camp in Papua New Guinea or Nauru.
Morrison makes all his media appearances flanked by a military general: Operation Sovereign Borders commander, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell.
The war on human solidarity is in full swing in Australia, which has the highest median household income in the world, according to the Credit Suisse 2013 Global Wealth Report.
It takes courage of conviction and moral resistance to take to the streets week after week with a publication that proudly swims against the tide. But Green Left Weekly has a band of volunteers who do this all around the country.
Have you considered becoming one of these volunteers or helping us get Green Left Weekly out through selling subscriptions? How about getting a few gift subscriptions for family and friends this Christmas? It would be like buying Solidarity Bonds.
The future of humanity hangs on winning the war for solidarity. The rich and powerful that rule the world today recognise that solidarity is poison to their system. We are many and they are few. This is why they wage a relentless war on solidarity.
If you support Green Left's system change politics, then you should help Green Left build the people's solidarity movement that can turn it into a reality. Please make a donation online to our fighting fund. Direct deposits can also be made to Greenleft, Commonwealth Bank, BSB 062-006, Account No. 00901992. Otherwise, you can send a cheque or money order to PO Box 515, Broadway NSW 2007 or donate on the toll-free line at 1800 634 206 (within Australia).
Below: the "traitorous" poster.