Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

CHOGM not welcome in Perth!

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The Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was held in Perth last weekend. This useless and outdated organisation has not made a meaningful decision for decades. It has no impact on anyone except for the huge expense that is burdened on tax payers.

The Queen attended to open the meeting and a welcoming ceremony for her cost a staggering $2 million. The police, army and secret police employed was overwhelming. Who knows how many millions of dollars they spent on the security budget despite the fact that there was no threat of any kind. The only arrests that were made were of a few workers who had crossed barriers to buy cigarettes!

The hypocrisy of discussing human rights at CHOGM is a cruel joke. This is especially when people like Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan President, had been invited. While Sri Lankan refugees are refused entry into Australia this war criminal is welcomed by the Australian government with open arms.

Even here in Australia, the Labor government has breached many human rights laws with their discriminatory refugee policies. The High Court decision against the Malaysia solution was in a small way evidence of this. At the same time there is nothing humane about the way that Indigenous people in Australia are treated. Health, education and employment standards for Indigenous people are amongst the worst in the entire world.

A demonstration was held against CHOGM on Friday October 28 at Forest Place in the Perth city centre. Over 1000 people attended with hundreds staying on to occupy part of the city centre until CHOGM was over. The clear message was that CHOGM represents the 1% of people who own and control society’s wealth – these people are not welcome in Perth! The other 99% want a more equal society where human rights are genuinely respected.

By Socialist Party reporters