Subject: LL: GLW Articles on One Nation Protests

Background: CAR claim a Hanson supporter assaulted one of their marshalls and discuss preparations for protest at Geelong meeting.

From: (postgrad student)
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 10:54:36 +0000 (AES)
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Word Matches: CAR

Rally against One Nation in Werribee
By Paul Miller

MELBOURNE -- Around 700 protesters organised by Campaign Against Racism rallied outside the Werribee West Family Centre on July 14 to protest against Pauline Hanson's One Nation party launch.

Since the large rally at Dandenong on July 8, the media have been exaggerating the violence at that rally, and as a result the turnout at Werribee was smaller.

After the Dandenong rally, CAR decided that it would supply marshals to prevent confrontations that would give the media an excuse to claim that violent incidents had been created by anti-Hanson protesters. CAR also adopted a position of a peaceful attitude towards Hanson supporters.

At one stage a Hanson supporter went out into the crowd and tried to gain access to the speaking platform. She also assaulted one of CAR's marshals. Apart from this incident, the rest of the night went smoothly.

There was a great feeling, a somewhat carnival atmosphere. The rally was able to get the message across -- that migrants and the Aborigines are not at fault for our economic woes; that the two major parties in Australia are at fault.

The speakers stressed that non-violent but militant demonstrations are the only way to build a vibrant anti-racism struggle.

On Hanson's trail
By Helen Cunningham

GEELONG -- The battle continued against the growth of Pauline Hanson's One Nation party in Geelong on July 18.

Organised by the Geelong People for Multiculturalism and Democracy (GPMD), a protest rally outside the One Nation cocktail party and dinner drew 1000 people. Many locals attended to observe the protest. Around 100 Hanson supporters attended the dinner.

GPMD established a platform at the rear of the rally. Speakers included Aboriginal activist Allan Browning, Leigh Hubbard from the Victorian Trades Hall Council and Bridget Riggs from Campaign Against Racism. Multicultural entertainment was also provided, helping protesters brave the freezing conditions for up to seven hours.

Browning told the crowd, "Aboriginal people will never support a woman like Hanson". Australia must "knock down the walls", not put up barriers between people, as One Nation is attempting to do, he said.

Riggs told the rally, "If we cut immigration tomorrow, unemployment levels will not be affected. Australians will not be fooled. Immigration doesn't cause unemployment."

As Hanson's supporters arrived and left, the protesters jeered and chanted, "Say it loud, say it clear: Racists are not welcome here". A large police presence separated the protesters and Hanson's supporters. Blinding lights were erected by the police and focused on the protesters.

The only violence occurred when 14-year-old Ben Fitzgerald was struck on the back of the head by a police officer after he spoke on the platform against Hanson.

Vilma, a Filipina at the rally, told Green Left Weekly of her concerns about Hanson's ideas: "I grew up in the Philippines under the dictatorship of Marcos, and I know from first-hand experience what atrocities happen to people in a country ruled by a grossly selfish dictatorship". She explained that she does not want to see that happen in Australia.

Campaign Against Racism spokesperson Maurice Sibelle concluded, "This was a well-organised, peaceful and successful protest. The organisers were able to explain what was wrong with Hanson and provide an opportunity for people to show their opposition to her ideas. I hope we have many more rallies like that."


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