Meeting defends free speech


On October 27 a public meeting at Brunswick Town Hall discussed "public space vs. market place".

University of Melbourne lecturer David Nichols discussed the design of modern shopping centres, which discouraged people from gathering in groups even for informal discussion.

Victorian branch secretary of the Rail Tram and Bus Union Trevor Dobbyn spoke of his experiences in the struggle for the right to march in Queensland in the 1970s — a struggle in which thousands were arrested.

Debbie Brennan from Radical Women spoke about the struggle for abortion rights in Victoria, and the attempts of the police and Melbourne City Council officers to repress pro-choice protesters.

Other speakers included Aboriginal activist Sharon Firebrace, Greens candidate for Melbourne Brian Walters. The meeting was chaired by the Freedom Socialist Party’s Alison Thorne.