Anti-nuclear campaign takes off
By Chris Spindler
SYDNEY — A range of actions, including petitions, consumer boycotts, pickets and demonstrations are being planned in response to the French decision to resume nuclear testing in the Pacific.
Anger is also growing at the complicity of the Australian Labor government, in particular foreign minister Gareth Evans, who pushed for no moratorium on nuclear testing for at least a year in the recent Nuclear Test Ban Treaty negotiations.
The weak Australian government response to the French decision has been linked to the mining and export of uranium.
The socialist youth organisation Resistance has launched a petition campaign; more than 100 people an hour signed the petition on the streets last week. The petition demands an end to all nuclear testing, the banning of all nuclear weapons, support for the independence of East Timor and an end to the mining and export of uranium.
A picket will be held on June 23 at 1pm outside the French Consulate in Market Street, Sydney. Organisations sponsoring the action include most student associations, the Anti-Bases Coalition, Resistance, the International Socialists, Socialist Party of Australia, the Australian Peace Committee, Pax Christi and the Democratic Socialist Party.
Bastille Day on July 14 will also be a national focus for actions and demonstrations. Here, a broad coalition of peace, community and political groups is planning a demonstration at Town Hall Square.
People are being asked to send their protest to the French Embassy on (06) 216 0100; fax (06) 216 0127, or the French Consulate in Sydney on 261 5779; fax: 267 2467. Phone 690 1977 for copies of the petition and more information.