Australian rallies support Malaysian Bersih democracy movement

About 500 people took part in the Sydney Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28.

About 500 people took part in the Sydney part of the Global Bersih 3.0 actions, which were held in 85 cities outside Malaysia to coincide with a 250,000-300,000-strong mass mobilisation for free and fair elections in Malaysia on April 28.

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The Sydney Bersih 3.0 rally was addressed by Malaysian activists (from several generations): John Khoo, Jared Wong and Logann Mahadaven.

The crowd also heard speeches from Greens MP Jamie Parker, Labor MLC Lynda Voltz, Professor Clive Kessler, Ashfield Councillor Marc Rerceretnam (Greens), Dr Thiam Ang (President Chinese Australia Forum), Mark Goudkamp (Refugee Action Coalition) and Peter Boyle (Socialist Alliance).

William de Cruz, on the guitar, led several rounds of singing.

Global Bersih 3.0 actions also drew 1,250 in Melbourne, 400 in Perth, 150 in Adelaide and smaller, but equally spirited, crowds in Canberra and Hobart.

In Brisbane, about 150 people rallied despite the cold, wet conditions. Speakers called on the Malaysian community in Brisbane to continue the struggle and get involved.

After the rally, two banners were painted with the words "Bersih 3.0" and individual messages of solidarity to those in Malaysia struggling against the corrupt ruling coalition.

While the Global Bersih rallies in Australia and around the world proceeded peacefully, riot police attacked the Bersih protesters in the capital Kuala Lumpur using water cannon and teargas. There were nearly 500 arrests and some demonstrators were badly beaten up by police.

Video by GreenLeft TV.

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