By Sarah Cunningham and Tim E. Stewart
BRISBANE â Around 600 people rallied against One Nation in King George Square on July 4. The rally heard speakers from Aboriginal organisations, trade unions, migrant groups and socialist parties.
Speakers included Claire Moore, Qld secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union; Jeannie Mok from Australian Communities Against Racial Discrimination; Dr Ho Tran from the Vietnamese Community; Jack Lin from the Chinese Community Forum; and Adrian Skerrit from the International Socialists.
Les Malezer from the Foundation for Aboriginal and Islander Research Action (FAIRA) and a member of the National Indigenous Working Party pointed out that since One Nation has 11 seats in Queensland's parliament, its racism is going to be subsidised by taxpayers to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Graham Matthews from the Democratic Socialists said it was vital that a radical political opposition to One Nation's racism and the Labor and Liberal parties' austerity be built. Many people who voted for One Nation were rejecting the policies of Liberal and Labor governments. They thought they were opposing the privatisation of Telstra and the introduction of the GST. They were protesting against unemployment. To defeat One Nation, the left has to take up the issues the racists are opportunistically exploiting.
The rally marched through the city streets to Parliament House, doubling in size on the way. Among the activities announced on the day were a rally in Ipswich's city centre on July 19, organised by the Ipswich Anti-racism Campaign; a march against racism and for land rights organised by the Democratic Socialists, in West End at noon, July 25; and a high school walkout called by Resistance on July 28, to coincide with a noon rally outside the first sitting of Queensland Parliament organised by FAIRA.