By Dave Holmes
MELBOURNE — Some 600 people rallied in front of the Brunswick Town Hall on March 5 to protest against racism and fascism. In recent months the heavily multicultural inner-city suburb has experienced instances of neo-nazi racist activity.
The Saturday demonstration was prompted by National Action's announced intention to hold a "white power" rally at the same time and place as a Brunswick Council-sponsored multicultural festival. In the event, the neo-nazis moved their action back a week and the protest went ahead without incident.
The demonstration was organised by the coalition group Brunswick Against the Nazis (BAN) and was widely endorsed by political and community groups. After hearing a number of speakers at the town hall, the protesters marched up Sydney Road to hold a brief meeting outside the offices of another ultraright group.
The ALP-dominated Brunswick Council distinguished itself by calling on both neo-nazis and anti-racist demonstrators to call off their actions and attend the multicultural festival instead!
The council has refused National Action a permit for its planned March 12 rally. Mayor Glenys Romanes was quoted as saying that counter-demonstrations only gave the neo-nazis the attention they craved and it was better to ignore them.
A police spokesperson went even further: he blamed the anti-nazi campaign for bringing the neo-nazis into Brunswick!
BAN has announced there will be another anti-nazi rally on Saturday, March 12, at 11am at the Brunswick Town Hall.