More than 55 people met at the University of Technology, Sydney on May 28 discuss the upcoming "Stop Bush!" demonstrations, which will be held during the September APEC summit in Sydney. The meeting was a promising sign that people believe APEC is an important opportunity to build the campaigns that can challenge Prime Minister John Howard and US President George Bush's neoliberal agenda.
People from a broad range of political backgrounds attended the forum. Alex Bainbridge from the Stop Bush Coalition said that activists needed to stand firm in the face of government attacks on the right to protest. He confirmed that the group had lodged an official notice of intention to protest. Activists proposed marching through the "declared zone" to the Opera House. The meeting agreed to organise a public forum on the right to protest.
Keysar Trad from the Islamic Friendship Society spoke on the need to constructively criticise the leaders of the "free world" and referred to the movement as the "conscience of this nation".
Also present at the meeting was Kirrillie Moore from the Redfern Legal Centre, who offered legal support to mistreated protests in the lead-up to and during the rally. James Goodman from Aid/Watch told the meeting about a conference on "free trade" that the foreign aid watchdog will be holding on September 4.
To find out more about the Stop Bush Coalition, endorse the protest or have someone from the Stop Bush Coalition address your community group, visit http://www.stopbush2007.org.