(It is not completely clear where the idea of a march in support of the Lemmings came from- although one might suspect that the example of the American yippies had something to do with it- but it seems to have arisen on the fringes of the Melbourne Anarchists and then have been taken up at both Melbourne and La Trobe Universities. The anarchist orientation is fairly clear in the way the whole affair was turned into a parody of student maoist anti-imperialism but it is also important to note that the Lemming march suggested a general strategy for approaching the younger members of the youth culture. This approach-of movement into and exploitation of myth, fantasy and fairy tale-was tried out in the weeklong experiment of Fey Week activities at Melbourne and La Trobe Universities. It was a relative failure however because the intellectual foundations of the linkage of fantasy or myth and revolution were not worked out until some years later).
On Saturday 25th there shall be a march to the Swedish Consulate starting from Toorak Village at 10.00 a.m. This "Save the Lemmings" march is organised by the Goon Club at Melbourne and deserves the support of absolutely everyone. Below we reproduce songs for the occasion, unearthed after much labour by our comrade and folklorist from the Melbourne Anarchists, Anne Sydenham.
Hymn for Lemming Aid (Sung to the grand old tune of "The Red Flag")
1. The lemmings" fate it haunts us yet,
In these dark days could we forget
That they in deep despair do bide
And drown their hopes in suicide.
2. Upon the tundra long ago,
A lemming tree stood in the snow
Where every five years at its roots
The lemmings held their lemming moots.
3. But oh to tell the saga sad
The tree was felled by men so bad
And every lemming far and near
Drowned itself in grief and fear.
Chorus (after each verse)
We raise our lemming banner high
Without our help they still might die
Though men may rant and men may rave
Perforce their fate we still may waive.
To finish the dirge rightly it is customary to chant the haunting refrain known long ago in the book of lemming folklore as "The Lay of the Last Lemming" which they all sing as they fling themselves into the; cold north sea.
It is passed down to us, corrupted by the years as "Lemon Tree".
Lemming tree very pretty
And the lemming flower is sweet
But alas for the poor lemmings
No longer can they meet.
Lemmings of the World UNTIE!!
DARE TO STRUGGLE DARE TO SWIM!!
Lemmings of Sweden, do not be crushed by the weight of Swedish aggressive imperialist exploitation. Lemming did not die in vain. He died in Lemmingrad. Though the leaders of the oppressed Lemming proletariat are lackeys and lapdogs of the government who lead you to a suicidal end in the icy waters of the Arctic Sea, there is hope for you yet in the freedom-loving fraternity of Marxist-Lemmingist thought.
Though you may think that the filthy-comprador-imperialist aggressors-the Swedish Government are your worst enemies, this is not so. For although they are the ones who profit from tourism by selling your mass fever of self-destruction to some decadent, debilitated, sadistic American bourgeois grandmothers on their trip of a lifetime who will actually pay money (exploited from American workers) to see your irresistible wave of self-slaughter, yes, even then they are not your true enemy for they only exploit your deaths rather than pervert your revolutionary consciousness. The latter is by far the greater sin.
Although the broadsheet put out by bourgeois revisionist elements in the Lemming Action Committee professed to give some facts in its mealy-mouthed tirade...."The Legend of the Lemmings", what they did not say was where their information came from. They had gleaned their "facts" ??? from that vile, arch example of American cultural imperialism..."The Mickey Mouse Annual" of 1951. They will try to pervert you with their lies, they will try to mislead you from the path of true revolutionary thought, but do not listen to their misguided rantings. Uphold the banner of true revolutionary Marxist-Lemmingist thought.
RAISE THE CLENCHED PAW OF LEMMING LIBERATION
SMASH SWEDISH IMPERIALISTIC EXPLOITATION!!
MARCH MARCH MARCH
V.I.LEMMING for the PEOPLES LEMMING ARMY.
On Saturday 25th militant lemmingists of the Melbourne Goon Club fought their way from Toorak Village to the Swedish Consulate against a heavy stream of traffic.
Singing the revolutionary hymn to Lemming aid they battled the counter-revolutionary black band of revisionist wizard, Ian Channel.
The Australian rulingclass, long since convicted, before the bar of world opinion, of supporting Swedish anti-lemming policies, compounded its guilt by sending its -hired minions to 'protect' the consulate. They arrived too late.
Hearing of the presence of police, our comrades left a propaganda meeting they were conducting at Toorak Village. Re-inforced by recruits from the Village they hastened back to attack the enemy with balloons given to them by the villagers.
Having entered the consulate driveway the police were caught like rats in a trapor like lemmings at a seashore.* Heavily outnumbered they were forced to surrender to the superior logic and justice of the Cause.
Many lessons can be learnt from this phase of the campaign. Firstly, it is not necessary to raise the troops to a high ideological level beforehand: they learn by struggle. Very few of those involved in the fighting were previously lemmingists. Secondly we must cease reliance on urban struggle and turn our attention to the suburbs where enemy concentrations are fewer and less strong. Thirdly propaganda activities, e.g. village meetings, must accompany all guerilla activity.
* As is well known (e.g. see Lundberg 1948, Svein, 1950) lemmings do not just jump into the sea. They are driven into the sea by mercenaries hired by the Swedish ruling class.
The Lemmings waved their golden tails
And jumped into the Moat.
Though learned marxists search and scan
No single Neo-Stalinist can
Entirely see the joke.
- Ho, Ho Lemming Power - Marxist-Lemmingists of the World Unite.
The forty Lemming-lovers marched through the streets of Toorak in an effort to save the lemmings.
- Workers of Toorak! Come and join us. Was there a contradiction here? Very few people came and joined us. But they were confused and their reactions were various.
- So raise our lemming banner high ....we sang in Toorak Village. Little children joined in the singing. Their parents smiled, looked nervous, read the handout, were amazed - and are probably still wondering. Two old ladies suggested in not very polite terms that we should do something useful like working, to the accompanyment of guitar and whistle. Saturday shopping was disrupted for a number of minutes as we strolled, sang, shouted, sat down and enjoyed our Saturday morning in Toorak Village.
Onwards to the Swedish Consulate. Back up Toorak Road to St. George' Road. The march had started there along the middle of a Toorak Street into the oncoming trucks and cars which slowed to greet us. One Toorak woman made a special trip home to bring us several large balloons.
We were crossing Toorak Road with the lights and an old man in his shining new car tried to drive through us. At this stage we were joined by a one wizard opposition.
- They're nothing but Reds: Oppose Marxist-Lemmingists: Support the Committee for Roos and Platypus-craps the only genuine Australian movement.
As we neared the consulate for the second time, the police drove past and we noticed that our banners left there had been removed. The police were in the driveway. Storming the consulate was out. So we sat down in front of them and held a rally. Anyone was allowed to speak - even the opposition tendency.
After the rally a couple of girls attacked the police for having a dirty car and then proceeded to make use of it by scrawling "Save the Lemmings" on it with their fingers. One girl tied a red ribbon around the car. The police could do nothing were overwhelmed by the righteousness of our cause.
One demonstration in Toorak cannot save the lemmings of course. Afterwards at Jimmy Watson's the next stage of the long struggle was considered.
N.B. Some demonstrators ate lemmingtons.
Note: Sections A and B were published in the Anthology of Australian Anarchism. Sections C and D have been now added as they are included in the Melbourne Anarchist Archives. - Takver, August 2002