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Date: Wed, 28 Aug 1996 11:30:29 -0500
From: L-Soft list server at MIZZOU1 (1.8b) <LISTSERV@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>

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>>> Item number 8351, dated 96/08/26 23:23:40 -- ALL
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 1996 23:23:40 GMT
Reply-To: Rich Winkel <rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu>
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>
From: Rich Winkel <rich@pencil.math.missouri.edu>
Organization: PACH
Subject: Labor Protesters Storm Aussie Parliament

/** labr.global: 328.0 **/
** Topic: Labr Protesters Storm Aussie Parliament **
** Written 11:34 PM Aug 22, 1996 by labornews in cdp:labr.global **
From: Institute for Global Communications <labornews@igc.apc.org>
Subject: Labr Protesters Storm Aussie Parliament

Rioters Storm Parliament in Australia

Reuter, Monday 19 August 1996, 6:18 PM EDT

CANBERRA (Reuter- Rioters wielding sledgehammers and a battering ram stormed Australia's parliament Monday in protest against labor reforms and proposed budget cuts.

Hundreds of rioters smashed through glass doors at the front of the parliament and clashed with police in the public foyer in a confrontation lasting about two hours -- the worst violence ever experienced in the Australian parliament.

Despite riot shields, one police officer suffered burns to his face after a protester threw acid on him. A total of 60 police and protesters were injured in the scuffles and from broken glass, but police charged only four people.

Chanting Johnny, we're coming to get you, referring to Prime Minister John Howard, several protesters got within 110 yards of the prime minister's office.

Howard later said he would not be swayed by violence.

I want to make it very clear to those who are involved in that violence and to the Australian people that never under any circumstances will my government buckle to threats of physical violence or behavior of that kind, Howard told reporters.

In contrast, financial markets rallied on the eve of the conservative Liberal-National government's budget for the year to June 30, 1997 -- its first since coming to office in March and the first from a conservative administration in 14 years.

Finance analysts welcome the government's commitment to cut $3 billion from its maiden budget in a tough program aimed at gaining a budget surplus within two years.

But Aborigines, students, welfare groups and unions have slammed the cuts as racist and unjust and vowed to fight them.

Up to 15,000 unionists, Aborigines and students rallied outside Canberra's parliament Monday to protest against the budget cuts as thousands of other protesters staged demonstrations in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin.

Within an hour of the Canberra protest starting, demonstrators besieged the house, catching security forces off guard. Protesters broke down the doors of the parliament and surged inside, looting a small tourist shop and fighting police.

Australia's prime minister later condemned the rioting.

What occurred here today was un-Australian, it was ugly ..., Howard said. It is a very sad and unhappy day in the life of the Australian parliament, and those responsible for today's demonstration should feel utterly ashamed of themselves.

Australian Democrats leader Cheryl Kernot, whose party will play a key role in whether the budget passes parliament's upper house, said she could guarantee the protesters the spending cuts would receive close scrutiny to ensure they were fair.

I don't think it (riotinghelps, Kernot told reporters.

I understand their anxiety -- there's massive anxiety out there over the budget, whether they'll have a job, let alone what conditions they'll be working under, she said.

But there was no such anxiety in the Australian financial world, with markets surging Monday ahead of Treasurer Peter Costello's Tuesday night announcement of the budget.