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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4016..


DR FOSKEY (continuing):

Nonetheless, there are other voices. Amnesty International said:

General Pinochet's death should be a wake-up call for the authorities in Chile and governments everywhere, reminding them of the importance of speedy justice for human rights crimes, something Pinochet himself has now escaped.

I heard that Pinochet attributed human rights to Marxism—that he said that the concept was allied to Marxism. Human rights actually evolved from the small "l"liberal tradition.

We need to remember that there are a number of other people in the world who are currently escaping justice for their crimes. Marcos died without ever really having his crimes against his people addressed. President Suharto is another case. We have too many of these people around the world. It is to be hoped that the International Criminal Court is strengthened and that people like Pinochet are not protected by their own kind—by people who will also go down if these people are tried.

Your Rights at Work Rally

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (5.19): Today I would like to talk about the Your Rights at Work Rally which was held across Australia on 30 November. It was a resounding success for all workers in this country.

In spite of the Prime Minister's claim that it was poorly attended, and despite the stringent laws that he has put in place preventing all workers from leaving their workplaces without approved leave, under the threat of harsh fines, I am pleased to say that 279,000 workers attended rallies across Australia. Many more have indicated that they would have been there except for the proposed fines that they may have incurred by daring to attend.

In the ACT, over 4,000 workers, and their families and friends, attended the rally at Manuka Oval. The broadcast from the MCG was greeted with great interest and involvement by those at the oval. After the broadcast at Manuka concluded, all participants assembled outside the oval for a march to Parliament House. Most who attended the rally were able to be part of the march. ACT Assembly members and federal members of parliament took part in this march, which attracted much attention from the travelling public plus office workers along the way.

Once at Parliament House, the rally was joined by many of our federal Labor Party colleagues. The enthusiasm of the workers was hard to miss. The determination of all those attending the rally and the march was infectious. All left the day with a renewed determination to fight right up to and including the next election to ensure that we win this fight. It is going to be the fight of our lives, but we are all ready for it.

Unions were well represented across all sectors. There were ambulance workers, firemen, nurses, public servants, mothers with children in tow, and elderly folk now retired. In fact, people from all areas of the community thought that this was a sufficiently important issue to make an effort to attend.


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