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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 8. 19th April 1973

The Tour: No Victory Until Apartheid Destroyed

The Tour: No Victory Until Apartheid Destroyed

Kirk's postponment of the tour does not mean that H.A.R.T. and the Anti-Apartheid movement have had a victory. Far from it. In fact if we do not study the situation objectively we will have sustained a loss. I can see two obvious reasons why we must work harder than before.

Firstly, the Tour has only been postponed, not cancelled. This has only been done to give the white South Africans a chance to arrange sham trials to pick a 'multi-racial' team. Judging by past experience in other sports the white South African Rugby Board will buy off the stooge Coloured and African unions and isolate the genuinely multi-racial' South African Rugby Union. The aim of this exercise would simply be to put a more acceptable face on apartheid sport. Kirk is doing no more than offer Danie Craven a pot of whitewash.

Secondly, New Zealand has not broken all sporting contacts bowls, surfing, softball etc. All these sports are just as important to apartheid as rugby. Remember our name. Halt AM Racist Tours.

Further more the Government has shown strong signs of intending to crack down on people who use direct action. During the election campaign Kirk and other Labour candidates raved about the bikies and how they were a terrible threat to the community. Now they have turned to political protestors. At the moment the police are making every effort to pin the blame for the Papakura fire bombing on the anti-apartheid movement, and Kirk has given them a free hand to find a scapegoat.

Some newspapers are trying to stir up hostile public opinion against 'disruptors'. Take, for example, the editorial in the "Evening Post" last Thursday. This warped piece of writing began by distorting H.A.R.T.'s policy to "threats of violent action", and presented the movement as a bunch of extremists who "will be casting around for a fresh peg on which to hang a fresh campaign - any peg will do so long as an emotive catch-cry can be associated with it".

"Peaceful protestors" were all right because they were considered ineffectual and therefore harmless. "However when it comes to calculated disorder, damage and disruption......a very different attitude must be adopted".

The editorial concluded: "Tolerance and leniency have been interpreted as weakness. A harder attitude must be adopted. There is no alternative whatever. If those who are at present brandishing a jagged bottle in the face of society start whimpering when the community strikes back in appropriate fashion, let them how. They've asked for it. And it's been a long time coming".

The editorial began by talking about protestors and ended up talking about people "brandishing a jagged bottle in the the face of society". Such an attempt to prove guilt by association is typical fascist reasoning: everyone who disturbs the suburban middle class, from the bikies to the radicals, is a cancer that has to be "rooted out - painful though the operation might be".

The "Evening Post" was not expressing a minority right-wing point of view. Many members of the Government probably think along the same lines and groups like H.A.R.T. will find it a lot harder in future to operate without police harrassment.

It is too easy for people to see a victory in the present circumstances. We will not have even a partial victory until we have caused the New Zealand Government to break all sporting contacts with South Africa.

Our most important task is to work to help the African and Asian working class of South Africa obtain a form of slavery nearer that of the white minority working class in that country, and workers in New Zealand. Then we can go on together to smash the source of racism everywhere international monopoly capitalism.