Anti-war unionists support student protesters

Issue 

BY SUE BOLTON

MELBOURNE — The March 26 meeting of the Workers Against the War group voted to condemn the violence of the NSW police against student anti-war protesters in Sydney and offered to provide support in the form of marshals to students in Victoria if they felt their protests needed protection from similar attacks.

Some unions showed their support for the March 26 student anti-war rally in Melbourne by sending delegations.

Rank and file union members as well as officials have been meeting as Workers Against the War (WAW) for several weeks now with the aim being to build more support for the anti-war movement among workers.

One of the key focuses of the group has been to encourage workplace meetings to discuss the war on Iraq and to provide a speaker. A number of workplace meetings were organised in the lead-up to the Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC) lunchtime rally against the war on March 21.

A WAW leaflet was distributed at the March 29 anti-war rally in Melbourne calling on rally participants to organise meetings to discuss the war in their own workplaces and that WAW would be able to provide a speaker if needed.

As well as voting to support the students, the March 26 meeting of WAW voted to recommend to the next VTHC executive meeting that the VTHC organise an all-union delegates and activists meeting to discuss the war and anti-war activity, and that an anti-war speaker be invited to the April 9 VTHC delegates meeting to discuss the building industry royal commission.

Meetings of WAW are weekly on Wednesday nights at 6.30pm at the New Council Chambers, Victorian Trades Hall (enter from Victoria Parade). For more information ring Simon or Andrea on (03) 9386-5917.

From Green Left Weekly, April 9, 2003.
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