Stop AUKUS, a danger to us all

September 16, 2023
Marking two years since AUKUS was suddenly announced. Photo: Peter Boyle

Anti-war protesters marked the second anniversary of the secretive Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) pact at Sydney Town Hall on September 15, chanting “No AUKUS! No war! This is what we’re fighting for!”

The rally, which attracted around 100 people, was organised by the Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition (SAAC). The new “Raucous Anti-AUKUS chorus” sang anti-war songs before speakers addressed the problems and solutions.

Miro Sandev from the New South Wales Teachers Federation noted the move by teacher unions across the country to boycott an AUKUS research project in the country’s schools.

He referred to the recent Australian Education Union federal executive resolution to “note with deep concern the recent launch by the Defence Department of a ‘Nuclear-Powered Propulsion Challenge’ in Australian schools, under the guise of providing students with opportunities in the area of STEM”.

Patricia, from the Filipino organisation Anakbayan, spoke against the recent joint Australian-Filipino naval patrols in the South China Sea aimed against China, saying the Filipino people did not want US bases back in their country.

Lil Beto from Wage Peace condemned Labor’s plan to expand Australia’s defence industry — aiming to make Australia one of the top 10 weapons exporters in the world. The huge investment required will take vital resources away from key social needs.

NSW Greens Senator David Shoebridge condemned the secrecy behind the AUKUS deal, which has not changed under Labor. “Australia has now become an advance base for US forces, aimed against China.”

Nick Deane from Marrickville Peace Group said everyone was shocked when the US invaded Iraq in 2003 and now that the US is seriously considering war against China, “we must unite to campaign against this disaster”.

Denis Doherty from the Anti-Bases Campaign Coalition said Australia has become a vassal of US power as “US bases are now everywhere in the country”.

Pip Hinman from the Sydney Stop the War Coalition said the lesson from Iraq is that one huge protest did not stop that war. But she said there are plenty of allies in the struggle against a new war on China, including Pacific Island nations, unions, First Nations peoples and many community groups.

[For more information visit Sydney Ant-AUKUS Coalition on Facebook and Instagram. SAAC is holding an anti-war conference on October 22.]

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