Melbourne Anarchist Archives Index

Conscription (1967)

Once more the government elected by the Australian voters of age twenty-one, has seen fit to violate the rights of Australian youth to life, and the pursuit of happiness; another group of young men has been conscripted! There is only one way to fight such an unscrupulous and immoral foe - DEFIANCE!

Demonstrations are all very well, but the kind of defiance that I have in mind is the kind one sees in the members of Queensland's Society for Democratic Action: Arrested last year in anti-conscription marches organised by N.U.A.U.S., many of them are still serving jail sentences imposed on them because they have refused to pay their fines.

Going to jail is not amusing. There is a strong chance of injury and maltreatment. Last time, one of my personal friends was put in solitary confinement and on half rations because he refused to salute the flag when he came in! By no means did he do it out a sense of bravado, nor did he do it to see what they would do to him (Queensland students know the touch of the arm of the law); he refused to salute the symbol of state power.

For it is the State which conscripts, it is the State which wars and only that State and its minions which will profit from the wanton traffic in human happiness This mad carnage will not stop by itself; that state-machine careers across humanity. There is only one way to stop it: we must throw ourselves in its path: We nay well count the cost in terms of the disapproval of friends, of having a security file, of having a criminal record, of missing government employment; but would you prefer to count the cost of silence? Its currency is derangement, maiming, crippling, deforming; its dividend is death.

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