Anti-nuclear demonstrators took to the streets of major Australian cities on Sunday (3 April) to protest against Federal government policy on the mining and export of uranium.
Anti-nuclear demonstrators took to the streets of major Australian cities on Sunday (3 April) to protest against Federal government policy on the mining and export of uranium. The demonstrations in four State capitals -- Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne -- were largely peaceful, but trouble broke out in Sydney when members of Australia's National Socialist Party tried to disrupt the march there.
SYNOPSIS: An estimated 10,000 people marched in Sydney to show their opposition to the government's decision to push on with its uranium mining and exporting policies. Recent papers by a Federal parliamentary research service estimate that Australia -- which has 20 percent of the world's uranium deposits -- could be producing almost nineteen and a half thousand tonnes by 1985.
Early on, apart from some disruption of downtown traffic, the Sydney demonstration was largely peaceful. In part, the environmentalists were protesting against potential damage to traditional Aboriginal areas if government plans go ahead. But violence broke out when members of Australia's National Socialist (Nazi) Party tried to intervene.
Their leader, Ross May, was at the centre of the scuffle as demonstrators tried to remove his Nazi-style uniform.
Police later said they had made only one arrest, and had escorted Mr. May away from the march for his own safety.
The nation-wide marches were among the largest displays of public disapproval of government policies since the anti-Vietnam protests of the 1960's. Last year, the Federal government lifted a four-year ban on the mining and export of uranium. This led then to similar demonstrations, and hundreds of arrests in Brisbane.