Sydney protests against the GST
BY ALANA KERR
SYDNEY — On the day the curtain was raised on the "new tax system", 200 people participated in a lively demonstration outside the Sydney Town Hall to protest against the impact the GST will have on workers and the poor.
Organisers of the July 1 demonstration, the Anti-GST Alliance, said, "The new tax system is designed to take the tax burden off the top end of town. After July 1, the wealthy will have to pay less for hospitals, schools, roads, defence and social security."
The ralliers heard from a broad range of community groups, including the NSW Public Service Association and the anti-corporate activist group CACTUS, and were entertained by some satirical performances from the Older Women's Network, before marching through the city to Prime Minister John Howard's office.
The Anti-GST Alliance bills itself as "a broad group that is not party-political", which was reflected in the composition of those attending the rally: the young and the old, seasoned activists and newcomers, members of a range of left groups including the Democratic Socialist Party, the Progressive Labor Party, the International Socialist Organisation and even Pauline Hanson supporters (who were not well received and were jeered by many).
Organisers of the rally want the action to be the first of many.