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Student walk-out and national day of protest: call to action and website

Posted by Stuart Munckton

A new website for the student walkouts and national day of protest against Bush and Howard during APEC on September 5, initiated by Resistance but organised by open committees across the country:

http://www.walkout2stopbush.org.au

It includes details of actions in each city, how to get involved, endorsements, and resources such as leaflets and posters. The call for the walkouts and day of action is below.

George Bush is not welcome here!
No more blood for oil. Troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan

Organising is underway for demonstrations during the Asia Pacific forum on Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which PM John Howard is hosting in Sydney on September 8-9 and which US President George Bush and other world "leaders" will be attending. The Stop Bush Coalition in Sydney is organising a protest convergence for September 8, aiming to draw people onto the streets to protest against the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. The protest will also call for urgent action to stop environmental destruction and for the defence of workers' rights.

We think that young people need a voice of our own. Democracy is not about waiting to go to the ballot box every three years. The real challenge we face is to convince more people that apart from getting rid of Howard, the only guarantee of any lasting social change is through the actions of workers, students, and others, working together to create and defend our democratic rights. This is particularly important in the lead up to APEC, in the context of special police powers and a scare campaign in the media as an attempt to intimidate people against protesting, students and young people can help to inspire others to take action.

Young people in this country have played an important role in changing public opinion. It was young people that were amongst the first to protest the racist policies of Pauline Hanson with high school walkouts against racism, and in 2003, tens of thousands of students walked out of class to oppose the invasion of Iraq in the Books Not Bombs student strikes. Last year high-school students marched again in a national day of student action in response to Howard's attacks on workers rights.

We have proved it in practice that when we stand up and take action together, at our universities, high schools, TAFEs, workplaces and in the streets, we can make a difference. Resistance wants to join with others to co-ordinate a national day of student and youth day of action in the lead-up to APEC. Students are already organising a student strike on high schools and universities in Wollongong and Sydney. Recently, a Howard government minister, Brendon Nelson, has admitted something that we have always known - oil was a central reason to invade Iraq. The invasion has cost the lives of at least 650,000 Iraqi people at a cost of over US$1 billion per week to maintain the occupation. The demand for fossil fuels, the main cause of global warming, is on the rise, oil supplies are becoming increasingly scarce. This war for oil is a global crisis.

The APEC energy minsters summit in May reaffirmed the central role of fossil fuels in their energy mix and especially the need to secure oil resources into the future. Bush and Howard plan to use the APEC summit to "forge a new international agreement" without mandatory targets. We know from previous APEC summits that they are in the business of finding new and improved ways to suck more wealth from the world's
poor through securing bilateral trade agreements which disadvantage poorer nations, while at the same impact badly on working people's rights.

It is up to us to challenge Bush and Howard's profit-driven agenda. To endorse the student day of action or to get in touch with others to help organise an action in your city call Brianna on (02) 9690 1220 or email pike.brianna@gmail.com or call Simon on 0438 297 552

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