Anti-war activists have again called for the Australian troops to get out of Afghanistan as a second Australian soldier this month was killed there.
The death, on October 25, of the second Australian SAS soldier in Afghanistan this month, Matthew Locke, in the province of Oruzgan in southern Afghanistan, has again focused attention on the hidden military occupation that has bipartisan support in Australia. David Pearce was killed in the same province by Taliban forces on October 8.
On September 26, the NSW Greens called for an independent public inquiry into the actions of the NSW police during the APEC protests earlier in the month. It was voted down by the two major parties, as well as the Christian Democrats and the Shooters Party.
Protesters defiance of the APEC security crackdown was clear from early on the morning of September 8 when the NSW police drove their shiny new $600,000 black water cannon, with sirens blazing, past us at Sydney Town Hall. We whistled, gave it the finger, and continued preparing for the biggest anti-war protest in Sydney in more than a year.
The following speech was delivered by Pip Hinman, a member of Sydneys Stop the War Coalition and the Socialist Alliance, to the September 8 Stop Bush protest in Sydney.
In a major victory for protesters who defied police attempts to prevent a peaceful protest against US Vice-President Dick Cheney from taking to the streets in February, all seven activists who have so far faced court have had wins. These activists faced charges including resisting arrest, obstruction of police and assault.
Radio shock jock Alan Jones has done it again: he’s inciting the police to violently repress peaceful protesters who want to rally when US President George Bush comes to Sydney for APEC.
Anti-war activist Anna Samson was given the third degree by customs when she arrived back in Australia on August 22 following a work-related visit to Malaysia. This stands in contrast to APEC officials who are being escorted through customs without having to even pass through quarantine.
Amid an unprecedented security hype in the lead-up to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, organisers of the Stop Bush/Make Howard History protest on September 8 are expecting thousands of anti-war, environment and workers rights activists to take to Sydneys streets to give US President George Bush the kind of welcome he deserves. Green Left Weeklys Pip Hinman spoke to Stop Bush Coalition spokesperson and Stop the War Coalition activist Alex Bainbridge.