Peaceful protests - violent world leaders

August 4, 2007

In an August 2 media release, Sydney branch of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) announced that it rejects "any suggested implication that demonstrating against the injustices of globalisation and war means support for violence". The MUA statement was made in response to a NSW police training video for the September APEC summit that featured footage of MUA officials participating in legal non-violent protests.

"To highlight our union and other concerned members of the community in this way is a disgrace and should not be tolerated in a democratic society. This is about linking legitimate protesters to terrorism and violence", MUA Sydney branch secretary Warren Smith said. "The real perpetrators of violence are among the participants of APEC who openly support the illegal war in Iraq. If they want to see real terrorists they should be showing film footage of George Bush. If they want to see violence they should be looking at the devastation of the war in Iraq."

Smith said that his union is "unashamedly" involving itself in the organisation of peaceful protests against the APEC summit. He called on the police hierarchy to make public the so-called training video that they have already displayed to business leaders.

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