Because of the best efforts of the organisers for Hiroshima Day 2010 in Brisbane there were plenty of plastic seats in Brisbane Square, but only a few people turned up to answer the call in the Press Release.
Those that did attend heard:
- Darambal Elder (Rockhampton/Shoalwater Bay) – Jeanette Yow Yeh speak about the Uranium waste dump at Muckaty Station in the Northern Territory,
- Peter Simpson Electrical Trades Union (ETU) explain his union’s opposition to Uranium mining, and
- Adrian (a Buddhist) saying that he had a stall dedicated to peace.
A video called ‘When the dust settles’ was shown to explain the decision by the QLD ETU to take a stand against the expanding uranium mining and nuclear power industries in Australia and around the world.
There is a difficulty for the popular movements against uranium mining and for nuclear disarmament to find support from decision makers in parliament. The objectives of the Hiroshima Day rally are supported by one or two parliamentarians but they seem unable to mobilise support in their own parties against uranium mining, to support indigenous objection to their lands being used for the disposal of nuclear waste (eg at Muckaty Station in the NT) and to refuse nuclear war ships entry into Australian waters and into Qld ports.
This inability to mobilise was reflected in the small march around the central Brisbane city block on Hiroshima day in Brisbane. The small size of the march was despite it being unimpeded by police — unlike in 1978 when thousands were arrested for doing the same thing.
Under the leadership of Senator George Georges the extra-parliamentary democratic rights movement defeated the ban on street marches on Hiroshima Day, 5 August, 1979 when police finally granted permits in four provincial cities (though they still refused one in Brisbane). Four days later, however, a permit was granted for a Brisbane Nagasaki Day protest march.
The socialist movement is at weakest point in Australia at a time when the gap between rich and poor is growing, the greatest damage is being done to the environment and global conflict is spreading.
For more information on the Rally contact:
Rally for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament, Joan Shears: (07) 3358 9497
For more information or comment on Australia’s nuclear situation:
Friends of the Earth Brisbane Anti-Nuclear Collective,
Robin Taubenfeld: 0411 118 737
Thanks to the organisers, speakers and sound man on the day,