Peace and diversity in Christmas parade

Wednesday, December 4, 2002 - 11:00

BY
KAMALA EMANUEL

LAUNCESTON — Amongst the usual tinsel, angels and reindeers of the
annual Christmas parade on November 30, there were a couple of floats that
carried a different message. “Peace on Earth, goodwill to all; no war on
Iraq; welcome refugees” read the lead banner of the Peace on Earth float.
A model of the globe was emblazoned with “Let's share this planet in peace”.

The 20 people who accompanied the float, carrying peace flags and a
giant peace symbol, delivered an anti-war message to the thousands of people
lined the streets.

The float was put together by No War on Iraq group, Tasmanians for Refugees
and the Launceston Peace Action Network. It was endorsed by the Tasmanian
Aboriginal Centre, the Socialist Alliance, the Bass Greens, the Australian
Democrats, Oxfam-Community Aid Abroad, the Launceston Human Rights Committee,
the National Union of Students, Tasmanian University Students Association
(Launceston campus) and the Tasmanian branch of Young Labor.

A replica of the SIEV-X was carried in the parade, with a banner commemorating
the 353 refugees who drowned when that boat sank on October 19, 2001. Another
float in the parade, which carried the message “Fruity Bits — celebrating
diversity in our community”, celebrated society's diversity of sexuality,
gender and ability.

From Green Left Weekly, December 4, 2002.

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From GLW issue 519