An emergency protest organised by Sydney Stop the War Coalition, held as the US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Sydney on April 21, drew a range of networks concerned about old and new — possibly — nuclear wars.
Speakers included First Nations poet and activist Ken Canning, Gumbaynggirr woman poet Elizabeth Jarrett, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, Claude Mostowik from Pax Christi, Denis Doherty from the Australian Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition, Michael Thompson from the National Tertiary Education Union and Susan Price from the Refugee Action Coalition.
Messages of support were read from Independent MP Andrew Wilkie; former US veteran and now anti-war activist Vince Emanuele; and the UK Stop the War Coalition.
The rally demanded an end to the US-Australia war alliance. It called for all US bases in Australia to be closed, for the government to provide aid not bombs to poor countries and to welcome refugees.
“We have seen the devastating impact of the US’s permanent war in the Middle East, specifically on Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Pip Hinman, one of the organisers. “What has it achieved? There is no real democracy, women don’t have more rights and the ultra conservative terror groups such as ISIS have not been eliminated.
“If the major parties were simply sleep walking into another, potentially more dangerous war on Korea or China that would be bad enough,” said Bruce Knobloch another of the organisers.
“But worse is the fact that the Labor opposition is talking up the US-Australia alliance just as Donald Trump has launched missile attacks on Syria, dropped the biggest ever non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan and is now threatening North Korea.”
[Stay in touch with Sydney Stop the War Coalition at its Facebook page.]