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S26 Australia

S26 actions around Australia


S26 MelbourneMELBOURNE - More than 600 people braved a wet, cold day to attend a solidarity action here with the Prague demonstrations against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The action was called by the S11 Alliance and was one of many across the country held on September 26.

Speakers noted the increasing inability of world leaders to implement austerity measures without a backlash. Everybody agreed that the S11 protests had contributed to this new mood of resistance. The crowd chanted "Who won at S11? We Did! Who'll win at S26? We Will!".

Michelle O'Neil from the Fairwear campaign implored people to remain active against Nike and other exploitative companies. Lynda Waldron from the Reclaim the Night collective spoke about the feminisation of poverty. Representatives of the Democratic Socialist Party and International Socialist Organisation also spoke.

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In Canberra, reports Keara Courtney, those involved in organising S11 have held several meetings since to organise actions. Despite torrential rain on September 26, 20 people turned out for a solidarity action with the Prague demonstrations against the IMF and World Bank.

That evening 25 people attended the Green Left Weekly public forum on the S11 protests in Melbourne. Canberra Resistance organiser Ruth Ratcliffe and Indra Esguerra from community radio 2XX, both activists in the Canberra S11 Alliance, spoke.

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Sean Martin-Iverson from Perth reports that 20 people held a solidarity action in the Hay Street Mall on Tuesday September 26 in solidarity with the Prague protests. The action, organised by the Perth S11 Alliance, demanded the abolition of the World Bank and IMF, the cancellation of all Third World debt, the reversal of policies that attack labour rights and promote privatisation, and dictate cutbacks to welfare and social spending.

The Perth S11 Alliance is organising a public seminar on October 28 to discuss the significance of the Melbourne S11 protests.

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In Sydney, Sean Healy reports that 100 protesters gathered outside the Nike store on George Street to show their solidarity with the Prague demonstrations.

S26 SidneyThe crowd then marched to the Olympic Games live site in Martin Place, past the headquarters of the Reserve Bank of Australia, before proceeding to the Domain, where they formed the giant letters, "S26".

Police were notable only for their absence until the demonstration arrived at Prime Minister John Howard's office near Circular Quay. Within minutes of their arrival, demonstrators found themselves almost outnumbered by aggressive police officers. As marchers proceeded to First Fleet Park, police insisted on placing a moving cordon of officers between the protest and the street.

A spokesperson for the organising group, CACTUS, the Campaign Against Corporate Tyranny in Unity and Solidarity, described the incident as "the most bizarre, hilarious and at the same time heavy-handed instance of policing I've seen in a long time".

[For analysis of the S11 protests and information about the S26 events in Prague, visit http://www.greenleft.org.au/globalaction.]

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