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Geelong Campaign Against the GST

Geelong residents are campaigning in the streets against the imposition of the Federal Government’s GST. The Stop the GST Committee distributed two petitions, one to address the current Federal Government and the other to call on the Federal Opposition to honour their 1998 electoral platform that there be no GST.

The petitions were delivered to representatives of the Federal Government and Opposition on 1 July. The response from people on the streets has been enlightening. People are talking about the gap between rich and poor increasing and that the real tax avoiders will pay even less tax because corporations get the largest tax breaks. Ordinary people, especially pensioners, will continue to pay proportionately more of their income on necessary living expenses than those people on high incomes.

The GST does not have to stay. The community campaign will develop alternatives to a GST. Progressive tax systems that have been developed tax people proportionately to their true income so that those with the highest incomes pay the most tax.

Therese Self
Geelong, Victoria

For further information call Therese on 0414 808 256

A Sorry Question of Racism & anti-Semitism

On 2 April this year, ugly racist graffiti and white supremacist slogans, reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States, appeared overnight in a children’s park opposite my home.

The factory brick wall bordering the park had a huge, extremely offensive message inscribed across the length in black and silver paint: “One day the world will know Hitler was right. Die nigga nigga die Jew scum,” heightened with odious symbols — a Star of David enclosed in a circle slashed diagonally and a swastika. The same symbols were repeated on park furniture, on the roadway, on fences and roller doors together with slogans “die gook, Jew cunt, niggas.”

This hideous stuff — certainly not mindless scribble but carefully devised bigotry by adult fascists — happened over the weekend when the Australian Prime Minister and his Minister for Aboriginal Affairs were busy denying there was ever a “stolen generation” of Indigenous children in the country. White supremacists obviously believed that their prejudice and hate were legitimised by such speeches.

I was so incensed, I telephoned the news desk of the Newcastle Herald which sent a reporter. Nothing appeared for two weeks. Then the Herald’s Weekend Magazine featured a double page spread, “Graffiti — Scars on Society.” Heading the feature was one of the photographs taken of the racist graffiti.

The article featured the launch of the Newcastle City Council “graffiti busting” program using a $25,000 State government funded graffiti cleaning machine designed to smarten-up NSW cities before the Olympics. The Herald bemoaned the high cost to business and property owners of mindless graffiti, but had not a word to say about racism!

I also wrote to the ten Hunter region Members of the State Parliament enclosing photographs of the graffiti and suggesting they get together to formulate a strategy to expose the perpetrators. Only four replied and all they did was refer the correspondence to my local member — who was one of the ten anyway — or to the NSW Premier.

Finally — after a letter and two telephone calls — the Newcastle City Council’s rapid response unit removed the offensive graffiti. But the establishment racism which fuelled the graffiti will not be erased by the pressurised foam nozzle of the expensive Graffiti Buster!

Kendall Lovett,
Maryville, New South Wales

Behind that tax on tampons

Dear Radical Women

It takes Balls to tax tampons!

I’ve plastered this around Hobart on those A4 sticky labels.

Hopefully it will make some people think.

Bob Holderness-Roddam
Austins Ferry, Tasmania

Dear Bob

Great to hear from you.

Radical Women thinks the sexist capitalist system — not men — is the problem.

We don’t agree that “It takes balls to tax tampons”— we believe that it takes big business to tax tampons. This is because capitalism profits from sexism, racism, homophobia, class exploitation, ageism and all other forms of oppression! The GST targets the whole working class — but hits on women the worst.

As a socialist feminist organisation, Radical Women welcomes men who stand with working class women in our struggle for an absolutely equal society. We reject biological determinism — so please cut the “balls” stuff.

Join us in fighting the capitalist system — for a socialist feminist future.

Debbie Brennan
Melbourne Organiser for Radical Women

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