Anti-nuclear campaign broadens
By Chris Spindler
SYDNEY — As the federal Labor government begins to feel the mass opposition to its weak opposition to the Chirac government's decision to resume nuclear testing, anti-nuclear campaigners are aiming for July 14, Bastille Day, as the central focus for action.
The Labor government has recalled the Australian ambassador to France for consultations. However, it has not stopped French companies from bidding for a $1 billion defence contract.
The union response is beginning to become a little more coordinated. The Maritime Union of Australia has called for rolling bans to be placed on French ships, and the ACTU has called for a mass action on Hiroshima Day, August 6. The NSW Labour Council is organising a demonstration on Bastille Day at 1pm.
Broad anti-nuclear coalitions are also hard at work organising peace demonstrations of the kind not seen since the anti-Gulf War movement. The Bastille Day demonstration is supported by a range of organisations including members of the Peace Squadron, People for Nuclear Disarmament, the Wayside Chapel, the Uniting Church, Resistance, Aksi — Indonesian Solidarity Action, Scientists Against Nuclear Arms, NSW National Union of Students, the Democratic Socialist Party, the Anti-Bases Campaign, the International Socialist Organisation, the NSW Greens and the Socialist Party, all of whom met on June 22 to discuss protest plans.
Earlier that day PND, Friends of the Earth, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Greenpeace called a press conference to declare their support for a Bastille Day demonstration. Organising meetings will take place every Wednesday at 7.30pm at the PND office, 499 Elizabeth St, Redfern.
There are many actions leading up to Bastille Day. The Peace Squadron is picketing French armament companies and is planning actions against French nuclear vessels that arrive as part of the Bastille Day celebrations. PND will target the Banque National de Paris. Resistance is organising a national petition campaign, as well as a film night and public meetings on July 1 and 21 (see page 31 for more details).
For more information about these events or to get involved, phone Cameron at PND on 319 4296 or Chris on 690 1977.