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Issue #1647      July 16, 2014

WA “Block Supply in July” rally

On a cold and wet winter’s day on July 6 more than 200 people did not let the weather deter them from protesting against Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his government’s austere anti-people budget. The rally was organised by March Australia Perth and similar rallies took place around Australia including Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and regional centres around Australia.


In Perth, Curtin University Student Guild Education Vice President Miranda Wood spoke of the “Rule for the Rich” agenda of the Abbott government where ordinary Australians will be asked to choose between medical and hospital care or a week’s food and other bills.

Alex Bainbridge from March Australia Perth echoed what many in the crowd and around Australia feel: “We are living at a time when the government brings out an outrage every week if not every day.”

Bainbridge acknowledged that independent MP from Tasmania Andrew Wilkie was one of the few parliamentarians who had responded to his constituency by voting against the budget in its entirety. The measures proposed by the budget hit the working class, poor, the vulnerable of our society and reward the rich and fund those parts of the state apparatus that keep the ruling class in power.

The measures announced by the Abbott government through its first federal budget so heightened the antagonisms between the haves and the have-nots in our society that for Bainbridge it amounted to “a declaration of class warfare …that will destroy our lives and our livelihoods.”

Claudia from Refugee Rights Action Network pointed out that the people threatening our lifestyle were not the refugees but the government behind the racist policy that allows what amounts to piracy to occur with the boarding of asylum seeker vessels on the high seas.

Claudia concluded by saying that to lock up refugees is not only hard on refugees but is also illegal. The secrecy with which it is being done is eroding our democracy.

Rachel Siewart, Greens Senator for Western Australia, told the rally that PM Tony Abbott had miscalculated if he thought he could implement the most austere budget ever without resistance from the Australian people whom it adversely affected.

Unlike Tasmanian MHR for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, the Greens would not block the budget but sought to, “knock off the budget and its supply Bills one bill at a time”. It was an interesting irony commented Siewart, that the Abbott government can say that there is a budget emergency when the facts do not support this assertion.

Further rallies are planned for late August against the budget and the Abbott government’s attacks on the working class, its brazen promotion and support of imperialism and domestic capital, and the diminution of the rights of the poor, weak and vulnerable in our society.

Next article – Seven years on, Intervention under attack

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