Fwd [GLW}: Military `consultation' attract protest

Alan Bradley alanb at SPAMelf.brisnet.org.au
Sun Aug 6 06:52:24 MDT 2000


The following article is from the current issue of Green Left Weekly
(http://www.greenleft.org.au).

Military `consultation' attract protest
BY ADAM BAKER

BRISBANE -- “There will always be arguments for spending in other areas,
but we have to make sure we are making the correct decision”, said Prime
Minister John Howard from a large video screen at the beginning of a
“public consultation” on military spending here on August 1. The
presentation lauded the efforts of the Australian Defence Forces over the
last century.

The “consultation” was one in a series through which the government is
attempting to present its planned increase in defence spending as having
public support. The meeting, overwhelmingly made up of men in suits, many
with military insignia, and chaired by former Liberal leader Andrew Peacock
and former Labor senator Stephen Loosely, was not intended to take into
account any opposing views.

Nevertheless, the 30 protesters who picketed and then attended the meeting
strongly disagreed with the way in which the ADF was presented and opposed
any attempt to increase defence spending. Some protesters interrupted the
meeting with calls for spending on education and health, instead of
warfare.

One protester was arrested and the remaining protesters were ejected.

The picket of the meeting, which was held in the Long Room of Customs
House, was organised by the Brisbane S11 Alliance. The S11 Alliance is
organising actions in conjunction with the demonstrations planned for the
World Economic Forum, happening in Melbourne from September 11-13. The
Alliance argues that the interests agitating for an increase in defence
spending are the same as those supporting the neo-liberal agenda of the
World Economic Forum.






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