Magazine of the Socialist Party, Australian section of the CWI

Standing up for refugees

September fast news

Over 500 people attended a protest in Melbourne on Friday August 13 in support of refugee rights. The demonstration was called in the lead up to the election to speak out against the fear mongering which was promoted by both the major parties during the campaign.

Protesters were calling for the government to adhere to its responsibilities under international law, for an end to mandatory detention and for the closure of the inhumane detention centres. After a few speeches the rally made its way to the Melbourne Town Hall.

The Socialist Party has been campaigning on this issue for a number of months. We urge people to blame the system that creates war and refugees, not its victims. We oppose the major parties scapegoating asylum seekers and demand jobs, homes and services for all.

Rally for same-sex marriage rights

Thousands of people rallied across the country on Saturday August 14 as part of a National Day of Action in support of same-sex marriage. Demonstrations took place in all major cities and the day coincided with the International Day Against Homophobia. The Socialist Party participated in several of the actions including in Melbourne where we distributed hundreds of leaflets.

The Melbourne protest started at the State Library and after several speeches and musical performances marched up Collins Street to the steps of the Registry Office. At the Registry Office couples participated in exchanging marriage vows as part of a mass illegal same-sex wedding.

Despite the fact that the vast majority of Australians support equal marriage rights for same-sex couples neither major party supports amending the legislation. The struggle will continue with the next National Day of Action planned for late November.

By Jas Shepherd, Socialist Party Melbourne