SEPTEMBER 8 — Alex Bainbridge, chairing the Stop Bush/Make Howard History anti-APEC rally told the gathered crowd that there were 10,000 people gathered at Sydney’s Town Hall. A contingent of hundreds of high school students arrived at Town Hall, chanting “Troops out now!”, while a contingent of hundreds of trade unionists arrived chanting “The workers united will never be defeated!”
Thousands of protesters from near and far gathered at Town Hall on September 8 to protest US President George Bush and PM John Howard.
Protesters march from Town Hall to Hyde Park in Sydney on September 8.
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.
After months of stalling and weeks of harassment, police this morning have escalated their intimidation of anti-APEC protesters. Following on the success of the student strikes against US President George Bush, which took place around Australia on Wednesday September 5, crowds are already gathering in Sydney. The main rally against war criminals Bush and PM John Howard will take place at Sydney’s Town Hall, at 10am. Green Left Weekly's Tony Iltis reports that the police water cannon is already on display, and the gathered activists have had motorcades of riot squad vehicles drive around them, sirens blaring.
Continuing their harassment, police have begun confiscating banner poles from activists at Town Hall and at the various convergence points. Alex Bainbridge, from the Stop Bush Coalition has told the media “We are not in a declared zone, and we do not intend to go anywhere near a declared zone, so by confiscating these poles, the police are actually breaking their own laws.” Under the new laws, police are able to confiscate poles of over one metre, within the “declared zones”. As an example of the politicised role the police a playing in these protests, a small, pro-Bush gathering, which is taking place closer to the “declared zone”, has not had its long banner poles confiscated.
Images: Despite a concerted campaign of intimidation by police, hundreds of Sydney students walked out of class in an impassioned protest against Australian Prime Minister John Howard and US President George Bush. [Full report to come.]
Despite a concerted campaign of intimidation by police, hundreds of Sydney students walked out of class in an impassioned protest against Australian Prime Minister John Howard and US President George Bush.
On August 28, 100 people met at the Newcastle Town Hall to protest against the Newcastle City Councils proposal to close Mayfields public swimming pool.
On August 25, 500 people braved unseasonal rainstorms to participate in a Walk against Warming rally for urgent action on climate change. The event was sponsored by the Queensland Conservation Council and other environment groups.
Victorian Labor Premier John Brumby said on August 21 that he will only extend his governments contracts with Yarra Trams and rail company Connex until the end of 2009, after which there will be a world-wide tender for private operators of Melbournes public transport systems.
The September 1 Daily Telegraph published the names and photographs of all but two of the 29 people who have been put on the NSW police commissioners list of people to be excluded from much of the Sydney CBD during the APEC summit, and who will even be banned from flying into or out of Sydney airport.
Victorias new Labor premier, John Brumby, has asked the Victorian Law Reform Commission to advise on how to reform abortion law. The commissions report is due in March 2008, after the federal election. The move came right before a private members bill was to be put to parliament by ALP member Candy Broad.
On August 29, 60 people attended a public meeting in Dulwich Hill to launch a sister-city relationship between the inner-west Sydney municipality of Marrickville and the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
On August 31, after booking a flight with Jetstar Airways, Duncan Meerding, a legally blind 20-year-old Hobart resident, phoned the airlines service centre to request assistance in navigating on and off the plane, in navigating the Sydney Airport Terminus and with baggage recovery.