Unite and fight

June 30, 2016
Ken Canning addressing a speakout in Glebe on June 25. Photo: Pip Hinman

Regardless of which major party, or coalition of parties, forms government after the July 2 election one thing we can be certain of is that the struggle for a people's movement will still be as necessary as ever.

The attacks on our class will not stop; of that we can be sure.

We have one common enemy. For decades and decades governments have been trying to annihilate unions and this has got to stop.

I first started marching in 1966 and my uncle Phil Emanuele, a wharfie and a member of the Communist Party of Australia, told me that the people's movements are only as strong as they are united.

Governments have not evolved: their mentality is the same as the people who got off the ships in 1788. That mentality was to keep the convicts, their own people, as slaves.

They are treating workers as convicts, as slaves. It's the same people who have said we'll not give Aboriginal people rights.

While we evolve our ideology, they have been stagnant for 228 years. The only thing that's different now, is that they have better suits and dental plans.

Socialist Alliance's slogan — for a people's movement — means that we will support anyone who is oppressed by government policies.

It is time for all oppressed peoples to join forces to fight these bastards. They are not politicians: they are gutless cowards because they pick on the most vulnerable people.

They are on the United Nations hit list for their cruel treatment of asylum seekers, First Nations people, the environment and people with disabilities.

That's who we're fighting for. So let's stand up and fight together. We can beat this government.

I've always said that if you stand up to a bully, he will fold. My Uncle Phil always told me if you keep fighting the bully, he will go down and he will go down screaming.

But we need to unite. Aboriginal people, migrants and unionists have to unite and fight because they will always try and keep us divided. They don't want me talking to you and they don't want you talking to me.

If we smash the colonial mentality that is keeping my people down, we will also smash the system that is keeping everyone down.

[Socialist Alliance candidate for the Senate in NSW Ken Canning gave this address to the Sydney branch of the Maritime Union of Australia on June 28.]

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