This week in history: Dick Gregory denied visa


On September 4, 1970, the Australian government, acting on the advice of ASIO, denied an entry visa to Dick Gregory, a famous African-American comedian and social activist who was outspoken in his opposition to the US war in Vietnam. Gregory went on a number of hunger strikes in protest against the war, and was also well-known as a civil rights campaigner.

In more recent times, Gregory has campaigned against poor nutrition and drug and alcohol abuse in African-American communities. In 2005, at a civil rights rally marking the 40th anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Gregory said of the US: "It is the most dishonest, ungodly, unspiritual nation that ever existed in the history of the planet. As we talk now, America is 5% of the world's population and consumes 96% of the world's hard drugs".

From Green Left Weekly, August 31, 2005.
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