A small group of supporters gathered at the Melbourne Magistrates’ court at lunchtime today to show support for an independent film maker appearing in court in Sydney to answer charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. For an account of the circumstances, see this posting on Sydney Indymedia -
As in previous years, activists from the FairWear anti-sweatshop campaign put on their Santa hats and treated shoppers to some slightly modified carols – in this case in the Bourke Street Mall, outside the old GPO building, next to the Myer store. The focus this year was children’s wear label Big by Fiona Scanlan. The Victorian Trades Union Choir and members of the (now defunct?) John Howard Ladies Auxiliary Fan Club boosted the numbers, and as usual, a few passers-by stopped to join in the fun.
For some past performances, see for example: http://melbourneprotests.bravehost.com/7dec01/7dec01.html http://melbourneprotests.bravehost.com/html/16dec04/16dec04.html,
There is video of the 2007 ‘service’ on EngageMedia:
(Note that the caption at the start of the video initially gave the date incorrectly as 13 December – this has now been corrected)
“Howard’s gone, we voted for change, now let’s bring all the troops home!” was the heading for a rally called by Melbourne-based Unity for Peace (http://www.unityforpeace.org/) to mark International Human Rights Day.
The event followed the traditional format of a rally at the State Library followed by a march through the city, in this case ending at the GPO in Bourke Street, which was crowded with shoppers and sightseers queueing to view the Myer windows …
- thus providing a good opportunity to spread the message.
Speakers at the State Library were introduced by David Glanz of Unity for Peace, and included representatives of the Greens and the Union movement, reflecting these groups’ vital role in the removal of the Howard Government, and Civil Rights Defence (http://www.civilrightsdefence.org/), reminding us of another area where the incoming administration has to be reminded of its responsibilities to freedom and democracy. Finally, Anita from the Alliance for Indigenous Self-Determination drew attention to Australia’s longest-standing war, the war on the original inhabitants, recently entered on a new phase with the sending of troops into the Northern Territory on the pretext of child-protection; she urged people to attend a public forum on the issue on Monday 10 Dec (the actual date of Human Rights Day) at the Melbourne Town Hall (http://uriohau.blogspot.com/2007/11/world-human-rights-day-public-forum.html) and also spoke of the current campaign by local activists to reclaim the old Victorian Aboriginal Health Service building in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
A similar rally was held in Sydney (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/12/09/2113724.htm) and the Sydney Morning Herald carried the Unity for Peace media release (http://news.smh.com.au/rally-today-to-bring-iraq-troops-home/20071209-1fw4.html), but the media were not much in evidence on the day.