The Guardian September 6, 2000


S11 Melbourne: Protest to resist capitalism

From September 9-13 people from all over Australia will unite in 
Melbourne for the biggest demonstrations against Global Capital ever seen 
in this country. There will be vigils, rallies, marches, seminars, dinners 
and many other activities during the anti-World Economic Forum campaign 
over the five days.

On the Monday September 11, delegates to the World Economic Forum (WEF) 
will come face to face with protesters at Crown Casino.

President of the Communist Party of Australia, Dr Hannah Middleton, 
explains: "The World Economic Forum, whose meeting in Melbourne we hope to 
close down, brings together the rich, industrialised world's economic 
leaders.

"The fate of the capitalist system they defend and of millions of the 
world's poor and the dispossessed depends on the outcome of their 
deliberations."

Andrew Lennox is a student at Sydney Institute of Technology, working with 
peace, environmental, world hunger and human rights organisations. He spoke 
to The Guardian before leaving for Melbourne.

"The frustrating thing is that each time you put your sweat and tears into 
a campaign, you realise that your struggle is only one amongst the 
thousands that are taking place all over the world.

"It took awhile, but finally I realised that there is ultimately only one 
major issue  global capital's exploitation of the people and resources on 
this planet.

"Finally those responsible are all gathered together under one roof. The 
polluters, the killers, the exploiters. The corporations that cut down 
rainforests, dispossess native people from their lands, and manufacture 
guns that end up in the hands of children.

"At Seattle, both inside and outside the conference, the workers and the 
poor stood up and said, `We will no longer submit to your dictates.'

"I'm going to S11 to let them know their time is coming to an end, and that 
the struggle will continue until we have freedom, socialism, and peace", Mr 
Lennox explained.

"The S11 protests in Melbourne presented me with an opportunity to make my 
voice heard at the very root of the problem"

Gabi Wynhausen, an organiser in a white collar union also going to 
Melbourne, spoke to The Guardian.

"I became excited about S11 as soon as I heard about it about three months 
ago. As a `union person', I am pretty offended and disgusted by the way 
that most of the companies who make up the WEF treat their workers.

"Obviously, there are other concerns with the way these companies operate, 
but for me personally, the point is about labour receiving fair wages and a 
bit of dignity and respect in the workplace", said Ms Wynhausen.

"My ideal vision for the s11 protests is that it is huge and peaceful  
even fun. In fact I'll be trying my best to initiate the world's biggest 
conga line; to see over 10,000 people conga lining around the Crown Casino 
would make me very happy indeed."

Dr Middleton, when asked why she was going to Melbourne, said there were 
two reasons.

"First, as a communist, I am going to resist capitalism and globalisation; 
I am going to fight in the class war.

"The global capitalist system is engaged in economic, political and 
military expansion, intense class exploitation and uninhibited class 
warfare and is having a devastating impact on jobs, democratic rights, 
human and environmental security.

"It also depends on us, the people in Melbourne insisting on our right to 
defend the vulnerable, the poor, the marginalised, and all those who create 
wealth yet carry the wealthy on their backs.

"My second reason is that in order to challenge and replace corporate power 
and corporate greed, we have to create a powerful, united force in this 
country.

"Being at S11 will contribute to building this as well as giving us some 
practice in challenging the system.

"We will have to be involved in thousands of these kinds of actions in 
order to change our society. 

"All the different campaign strands that thousands of Australians are 
working in have to be linked to form a united national political alliance, 
a unity built through and in shared campaigns and actions.

"Only this sort of powerful force will be strong enough to win and make 
secure gains for the people under capitalism and then go to change the 
economic and political system and start building a socialist Australia", Dr 
Middleton concluded.

If you can't get to Melbourne, then you can still show your support by 
writing to daily and local newspapers and ringing in to talkback radio.

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