Some 2,000 dock workers went on strike in Melbourne on Monday(4 July) to protest against alleged police brutality during an anti-nuclear demonstration the day before on Sunday (3 July).
Some 2,000 dock workers went on strike in Melbourne on Monday(4 July) to protest against alleged police brutality during an anti-nuclear demonstration the day before on Sunday (3 July). Melbourne docks came to a standstill as workers supported a 24-hour strike call from their union leader, who called the police action "unbelievably brutal and unnecessary". On sunday police arrested more than 30 of the anti-nuclear demonstrations who had burst through steel gates and tried to board the West German container ship, Columbus Australia, which was being loaded with partly processed Australian uranium are for the United States, Demonstrators said they were kicked and punched by police and deliberately trampled by mounted police horses. Victoria State officials have denied allegations of police brutality. The demonstration was reported to be most violent so far against moves to export Australian uranium.
For weeks demonstrators in several parts of Australia have been trying to stop exports of Australian nuclear fuels to Japanese power stations. Demonstrators were on Sydney Docks on June 23 hurling rubbish when the British"ACT 6" ship sailed with 200 tonnes of uranium oxide on board. The Australian Prime Minister, Macolm Fraser, said in Canberra on 4 July that the European Common Market had to allow Australian products easier access before its member nations could buy Australian uranium. Mr. Fraser said he felt the EEC had already done as much as it could in advance to deter Australia from bulking at selling uranium to the EEC. Mr. Fraser will announce later this month whether Australia will end a four-year ban on uranium mining and export.