A meeting of 80 anti-racist and anti-war activists, unionists, students and Greens MPs launched a protest alliance on July 25 to prepare for US President Donald Trump's potential visit to Australia in November.
The alliance wants to create a strong, broad-based opposition to Trump and the Australian government's invitation for him to visit. It appears Trump plans to visit after the APEC meeting in November in Papua New Guinea, possibly on November 19.
Simone White, a union activist who helped facilitate the meeting, said the newly-formed Unite Against Trump Alliance aims to unite Sydney against “all that Trump stands for”.
Greens MP David Shoebridge also facilitated the meeting. He said the protest would be aimed at showing the kind of world the majority supports: “a world free of war, racism, sexism and greed”.
“It's not just no to Trump, it's yes to peace and equality because these are the values Australians will rally around,” Shoebridge said.
Activist groups are beginning preparations to help make this protest bigger than the 15,000-strong Stop Bush protest at the Sydney APEC summit in 2007 against former president George W Bush.
Inspired by the “carnival of resistance” mobilisations in Britain and Scotland, the Sydney Stop the War Coalition's Hector Ramage said many people wanted to protest the Australia-US war alliance or, as foreign minister Julie Bishop recently put it, “our shared values”.
Those values include the deaths and displacement of millions of Afghans and Iraqis. Both countries have been destroyed by the West's invading forces and women's rights have been obliterated. At the same time, the fundamentalists, including the Taliban, are being rehabilitated.
“Just as Trump's visit to Britain recently sparked a broad protest, the same will happen here”, said Ramage.
“Our government’s subservient endorsement of all US foreign policy means endless deaths and the displacement of some of the poorest people in the world. Many of these same people are being denied a safe place to live by the fortress policies of the implicated powers including, shamefully, Australia.
“Australia's efforts to become a world leader in weapons manufacturing embody the same war-mongering impulse that Trump has predictably embraced.
“My generation has grown up in an Australia overwhelmingly supportive of unending US militarism, exemplified by the Coalition government’s recent failure to endorse the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, passed last year by the UN.
“So we, along with those who organised the 1999 and 2003 protests against Australian support for those invasions, will be making sure that our 'no more war' message is heard by Trump and Bishop,” said Ramage.
[The #UniteAgainstTrump protest is scheduled to take place on November 19 or when Trump visits Australia. For more information join the Unite Against Trump Facebook page.]