On May 8, 70 people from local groups joined with Socialist Alliance to march through Brunswick’s Barkly Square shopping centre, demanding management allow community stalls, including those held by the Socialist Alliance, to resume.
Protesters had a replica of the original cage that radical artist and Communist Party of Australia member Noel Counihan spoke from in the 1933 free speech battles in Brunswick. A speak-out was held in the shopping centre, defying police and security guards.
Former Liberty Victoria president, now Greens candidate for Melbourne, Brian Walters said markets used to be where people gathered to debate and exchange ideas. Shopping malls are the modern markets, but they are restricting free speech.
Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union state president Ralph Edwards said: “Free speech only exists as long as you defend it.”
Other speakers included Peter Riley from the Wednesday Action Group, David Nunn from High School for Coburg, Ellen Roberts from Climate Action Moreland, Greens state candidate for Brunswick Cyndi Dawes and Socialist Alliance federal candidate for Wills Trent Hawkins.