How should we respond to the rise of the far-right?

The rise of the far right in countries around the world is opening up important questions about how the left should respond. While anti-fascist groups have become active, their tactics have been criticised and debated.

Following our interview with Jason Wilson on the threat of the far-right, Green Agenda presents two differing perspectives on how the left should respond to the rise of the far-right. In the first piece Jasmina Brankovich presents a defence of the antifa as a way to organise against right wing groups. Then, in a piece first published in Waging Non-Violence, Kazu Haga argues that tactical non-violent direct action is the best response.

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The Threat Of The Far Right: Why Take It Seriously?

The recent white supremicist rally and murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia have brought attention to the rise of far right groups in the United States. The Australian journalist Jason Wilson, who now lives in Portland, has been reporting on the rise of these groups since the election of Donald Trump. Prior to attending a far-right rally hosted by the organisation ‘Patriot Prayer’ in Portland, Green Agenda editor Simon Copland sat down with Wilson to talk about Donald Trump, the rise of far-right in the U.S., and how the left should respond.

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Community As The Antidote: Social Justice And Populism

Green Agenda editor Clare Ozich participated in a discussion on social justice and populism at a Conversation Salon organised and moderated by Muslim feminist and social justice advocate and entrepreneur Hana Assafiri.

Below is an edited transcript of Clare’s remarks and Hana’s response. The conversation was an excellent example of plurality and building on ideas to establish a contemporary and relevant inclusive discourse. Continue reading →

International climate agreements: useful or useless?

Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has put the status of the international processes on climate change in doubt. In this discussion Green Agenda editor Simon Copland and researcher Felicity Gray debate whether Trump’s withdrawal should mean the end of the international climate process.

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Protecting Country: First Nations People And Climate Justice

Green Agenda’s Simon Copland recently interview Larissa Baldwin, the national co-director of the Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network. Simon and Larissa spoke about the indigenous climate movement and how it connects to broader questions of colonialism and land rights.

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“A vibrant clash of passions”: exploring agonistic democracy

The nature of democracy is an age old question. We are currently witnessing a crisis in representative democracy. Times of crisis present opportunities for questioning assumptions and asking fundamental questions including about our conceptions and practice of democracy.

Green Agenda spoke with Associate Professor Sarah Maddison about the concept of agonistic democracy and what it offers for the practice of politics.

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The Age of Consequences: the nexus of climate and conflict

The Age of Consequences is a documentary film exploring how climate change stressors interact with societal tensions, sparking conflict. The film unpacks how water and food shortages, drought, extreme weather, and sea-level rise function as ‘accelerants of instability’ and ‘catalysts for conflict’, with grave implications for peace and security in the 21st century

The film is being shown in Australia as part of the Transitions Film Festival. Green Agenda editor, Clare Ozich, spoke to the film’s writer, director and producer, Jarad Scott, about the rationale behind making a climate film focused on security, the concept of interconnectedness that is central to the film, and making documentaries in the time of Trump.

Green Agenda also spoke to Jarad last year about his film, Requiem for the American Dream, featuring Noam Chomsky on the principles of concentration of wealth and power. A film (and an interview) that now provides a useful background to the conditions leading to the Trump Presidency.

 

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Fairness to fascism – Trump’s bait and switch

“Forgotten men and women”. “Struggling families”. “Mothers and children trapped in poverty”, not “sharing the wealth” of “the establishment”.

On one reading, Donald Trump’s inauguration speech is full of left wing imagery and ideas. So much so that I have seen it explicitly suggested that it was the kind of speech that Bernie Sanders might have given. Following his rejection of the Trans Pacific Partnership as one of his first acts, the tendency to “give him a chance” is even stronger.

It strikes me that this is a misguided response, born of an accurate and important analysis of the political circumstances that led us here today, but falling for a classic fascist bait and switch. Continue reading →

Building Momentum for Change

Does strategic community organising create and lead sweeping social change? Or does social change momentum arrive from disruptive actions and sweep individuals and organisations along with it? This is the question tackled by US labour, civil rights and immigration rights activist brothers Paul and Mark Engler in This is an Uprising; the answer, of course, is ‘both’. Continue reading →