Matt McCarten and his pal, Grant Morgan’s are best mates with the Aussie .
Queensland Labor Premier Peter Beattie has called a snap election for the 9th of September and Socialist Alliance are gearing up to take state power for the working class.
Socialist Alliance is running their top candidate in Beattie’s own seat, long time Brisbane based socialist and Aboriginal activist, Sam Watson
Watson first burned with revolutionary fervor as a high school student during the late ’60s. Radical students used to gather outside the Brisbane post office to hear speakers preaching class struggle. “It was there that I heard Communist Party speakers talk about the White Australia policy from a workers perspective.”
A member of the underground Students for Democratic Action, Watson gathered signatures to demand a referendum on including Aboriginal people in the census. He went on to become the only Aboriginal student at the University of Queensland.
At Uni, Watson was active in support of the Gurindji strike of Aboriginal workers in the Northern Territory, the “freedom bus rides” and the campaign to establish a network of Aboriginal legal aid and housing organisations in Queensland.
Watson also became a socialist. “I realised that the struggle of my people was not a race struggle, but one facet of a broader class struggle“.
In 1971, the tour of apartheid South Africa’s Springbok rugby team amped up “anti-racist” activism. Queensland Premier Joh Bjelke-Peterson declared a state of emergency for the Brisbane match. “We declared the university a peoples’ university and closed down the formal lecture program. We invited Aboriginal people into the lecture rooms and the tutorial rooms to discuss racism.”
Watson now lectures in black Australian literature and is deputy director of the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Study Centre at the University of Queensland.
Still an activist, Watson recently helping to organise the People’s March on CHOGM. “In the Brisbane Murri community I am a link with the white left. For a long time, the Murri leadership was very suspicious of the white political movement and always insisted that Aboriginal politics should play a predominant role in joint activities. But over the years, Aboriginal leaders have become far more accepting of our white comrades.”
Watson was the lead senate candidate for the Socialist Alliance in Queensland in the 2001 federal election and Alliance’s senate team in the 2004 election.
In both those elections Watson only scored a few percentage points of the vote. Will it be different this time? Will Queensland voters finally wake up to the fact that Marxism-Leninism is their only hope for a bright future? Is Sam Watson the Queensland working class’ “Great Red Hope“?