Afghan, Iraqi events
SYDNEY — Around 60 people gathered in Parramatta Town Hall on March 8 for a "Women's rights are human rights" dinner organised by the worker-communist parties of Iraq and Iran. The next night, around 200 members of the Afghan community in Sydney, most of them refugees, packed into the Lidcombe Community Centre. The gathering heard speeches from half a dozen Afghan women about the horrendous situation of women in their country before, during and after Taliban rule, poetry readings, and greetings from the Democratic Socialist Party, the worker-communist parties of Iraq and Iran, and the Free the Refugees Campaign before dancing the night away to music which had been banned under Taliban rule.
Refugees ate their children...?
HOBART — On March 8, the Hobart International Women's Day Collective made a big, loud splash outside the immigration department offices. The collective began their street theatre, asking passers by, "Have you seen those refugees? They're going to take our women, and steal our jobs!".
Suddenly one activist threw a doll in the air and screamed, "baby overboard!" Puppets of Prime Minister John Howard and former defence minister Peter Reith appeared. The puppets decided that refugee children were not thrown overboard, because their parents had actually eaten them the day before.
Governor General Peter Hollingworth's image also made an appearance, saying: " They probably wanted to be eaten — you know what they're like at that age." The street theatre was followed by chanting, and leafleting about the government's policy of demonising refugees.
Greek Orthodox dinner
SYDNEY — Eighty women and people attended an International Women's Day meeting and dinner organised by the Greek community in Lakemba. The event was addressed by Naomi Steer from Australia for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Alison Peters from the NSW Labour Council and Lee Rhiannon from the NSW Greens.
From Green Left Weekly, March 13, 2002.
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