Thousands protest G20 Summit in Australia

November 14, 2014
Part of the People's March against the G20 Summit. Photo: Zeb Parkes.

About 2000 people gathered at Roma St Forum in Brisbane for the Peoples' March against the G20 Summit on November 15.

Aboriginal activists kicked off the speeches. Callum Clay Dixon said 'What is Australia? It is a colonial state based on genocide and dispossession.”

Multiple issues are being raised at the protest, including Aboriginal deaths in police custody, demand for action on climate change, support for renewable energy, and highlighting the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico, while the Mexican president is in town.

Protesters are also critical of the corporate agenda the G20 meeting is pushing.

Adrian Skerrit from BrisCAN and the Cloudland collective said: “Wealth doesn’t trickle down, it rushes up ... Think about the amount of money spent on the G20 and then think about the 15,000 people who lost their jobs in the [QLD] public sector. We should demand the resources of this wealthy country goes to those in need.

"The G20 forum is committed to shifting wealth from the majority of citizens to the incredibly rich. They will do globally what Queensland premier Campbell Newman and prime minister Tony Abbott are doing locally — sell public assets, outsource and cut social services.”

The Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy organised a week of events to coincide with the official summit. They wanted to highlight the issues still facing Aboriginal people under the slogan of “Decolonisation before profit” as well as presenting Aboriginal solutions to these problems.

Kooma man and Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy organiser Wayne Wharton said: “Today our kids are being removed at rates that dwarf the Stolen Generation, our people are imprisoned at five times that of blacks in apartheid South Africa, our people are still being murdered by police who get away unpunished, our young people have the world's highest suicide rate and our sacred lands and places are being destroyed and poisoned by mining.”
The embassy held a rally to stop Black deaths in custody on November 14.

About 200 people also participated in a three-day “peoples’ summit” to discuss how to transform society to a more just and sustainable one. Organised by the Brisbane Community Action Network, the summit was open to the public and included workshops, creative activities, education and action.

Brisbane Community Action Network

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Over 30 people attended a vigil from 11am to 11:30am on Saturday, 15th November, in solidarity with the march in Brisbane and with Armidale resident Colin Hargreaves, who's been on hungerstrike for 11 days in protest at the G20 inaction on climate change. After the vigil around 10 people marched through the Armidale mall and Centro.

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