No More Hiroshimas Coalition formed
By Ray Fulcher
MELBOURNE — The French Consulate was the scene of a lively 800-strong protest on June 24. The rally, called by the newly formed No More Hiroshimas Coalition, demanded an end to French nuclear testing in the Pacific and a ban on the mining and export of Australian uranium.
Tricia Caswell, from the Australian Conservation Foundation, called for a boycott of French goods and said that the Australian government's response so far was not good enough. She pointed out that the opposition had "taken a stronger stand" than the federal Labor government. She said that the government should "stop the export of uranium — today".
Leigh Hubbard, Victorian Trades Hall Council secretary, pledged the support of the trade union movement in the campaign to stop the tests. He pointed to the bans on refuelling two French aircraft, initiated by the Transport Workers Union, as the type of action the union movement could take.
Chanting "nuclear testing — not acceptable", "uranium mining — not acceptable" and "export Evans, not uranium", the rally marched to the Uranium Information Centre. Calls to kick the US bases out, due to their role in the nuclear war machine, and for a nuclear free and independent Pacific were well received. The rally then proceeded to the US consulate "just to let them know that they'd better not resume testing", as one rally organiser put it.
The coalition is planning more rallies and is encouraging people to get involved in the open organising meetings; the next is on July 2 at 2pm at the Lincoln Hotel. To contact the coalition, phone 9663 3677.