Socialist Alternative deny hijacking Save Safe Schools rally

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The Perth branch of the Socialist Alternative have posted a statement to their social media page denying accusations made in the ‘Green Left Weekly’ that they hijacked last weekend’s ‘Save Safe Schools’ rally.

In fact the ultra-left political organisation declares that the opposite occurred, accusing the Save Safe Schools WA organisation of taking over an event organised by Equal Love and the National Union of Students.

“An article in Socialist Alliance’s Green Left Weekly accuses Socialist Alternative of splitting the demonstration, disrupting it, and attempting to hijack it through bureaucratic means. The exact opposite is the case. We have written this reply to set the record straight.

“The April 23 rally to defend safe schools was called by Socialist Alternative member Clare Francis in her capacity as the elected LGBTI Officer of the National Union of Students, and was endorsed by Equal Love WA.” the statement read.

The statement goes to on to accuse Save Safe Schools WA of taking over the rally.

“In short, an entirely new group was set up after the rally was called, claimed to be organising it, and took it over.” the statement said.

The grassroots organisation Save Safe Schools WA is made up of students, parents, teachers, and members of other political groups. The group held several meetings in the lead up to Saturday’s protest.

On Thursday, Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front announced that they would counter-protest the rally. The far right group announcing it would campaign against any issue the Socialist Alliance supported.

On Friday, the organisers linked to the new Save Safe Schools WA group found they were blocked from the rally’s Facebook event. The description of the event was changed to make note of the threatened counter-protest from the United Patriots Front, and the time of the protest was changed.

Save Save Schools WA had previously claimed the Socialist Alternative had taken over their event, but the statement from the Socialist Alternative claims it was their event all along.

The result was three competing protests within 100 metres of each other on Saturday afternoon.

Save Safe Schools WA condemn actions of Socialist Alternative

A spokesperson for the Save Save Schools WA Rally Organising Committee said the group condemn the actions by the Socialist Alternative and Equal Love WA coordinators.

“The actions of Equal Love – run by the Socialist Alternative, were detrimental to the campaign to Save Safe Schools,” the spokesperson said.

“Save Safe Schools WA are working with many organisations, political parties, community groups and individuals to ensure that the campaign is a success. The Socialist Alternative attacks on WA Labor, Farida Iqbal and many others are untrue and factually incorrect.”

The spokesperson described Socialist Alternative as a fringe organisation that does not represent Save Safe Schools WA, accusing them of using Equal Love as a front.

“Save Safe Schools WA will not condone bullying from any group or organisation, including the Socialist Alternative and Equal Love WA,” they said.

“It is telling that Socialist Alternative boycotted that meeting [mentioned in Socialist Alternative’s statement] after we made it clear that we would not tolerate stacking, intimidation tactics, manipulative maneuvers from the chair.”

Save Safe Schools WA state they were not aware of a meeting held by Equal Love to endorse their tactics at the rally.

OIP Staff

Representatives for National Union of Students and Socialist Alternative were contacted for comment but did not respond before our print deadline.


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