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Scoop Images: CHOGM Protests Pass Peacefully

Scoop Images: CHOGM Protest Passes Peacefully

Indymedia Australia images and report of protests held this weekend at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Coolum, Australia.

Chogm protest passes peacefully

Over 200 activists protested peacefully outside CHOGM as global commonwealth leaders met inside the Coolum Hyatt Regency. Despite persistent rain, activists spoke about diverse issues of social justice, including Australia's treatment of refugees, the war on Afganistan, the bombing of Sudan and the establishment of nuclear industries in Queensland.

Jubilee held a memorial service in honour of the 7 million children who die due to poverty each year. Fr Brian Gore pointed out that while the west mourns the deaths of 5000 westerners, the death of millions of innocent children every year goes unnoticed. Refugee activists also pointed out the hypocrisy of the War on Terrorism, as more innocent Afgans have died in the bombing of Afganistan than died in the Twin Towers tragedy. They also question the validity of the arbitrary war on 'terror' given that the Bush administration has killed more innocents than the terrorists did, and that the definition of 'terror' is being abused for political gain and the suppression of dissent.

Prince Philip managed to insult yet another group of people while the validity of the monarchy and its institutions were called even further into question with the Peter Hollingsworth debacle.

Commentators also question whether the supposed commitment to human rights made by commonwealth member governments will mean anything in practice, given the popularity of 'Third Way' policies and the commitment to free trade above workers rights' and environmental protection.

CNN questioned the commitment of protestors after expected protestor numbers were not reached. However activists pointed out that it also signals a change in the direction of the social justice movement - that to a large extent the objective of bringing attention to the existence and content of elitist international institutions such as the WEF, the WTO, the IMF and CHOGM and the interrelationships between them has been achieved. Many activists are now focussing on building community based alternatives to our injust, corporatised world, through such forums as the Brisbane Social Forum and the World Social Forum.

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