ABOUT 7000 MACEDONIANS PROTEST IN AUSTRALIA
Only four weeks before the November 24th federal elections, Macedonians from all over Australia were rallied by the “Descendants of Alexander the Great” organization to demonstrate in Canberra because of the decision of the Australian government to refer to the country with FYROM.
On October 28th, 2007 over 7,000 Macedonians from all over Australia came together in front of the Australian Parliament. Ten busloads came from Sydney, four from Melbourne, one from Brisbane, one from Newcastle, and two from Wollongong. Many flew while hundreds of others traveled by car.
They met in front of the old parliament building and then marched to the new (parliament building) and as the photographs show the place was filled to capacity as people waved red and yellow flags, yelled out slogans “We are Macedonians”, “Fifteen years of discrimination”, “How long will Australia be a pawn of Greece”, “We are the descendents of Alexander the Great”, “we want nothing from you, only the most basic human rights”, etc, and sang songs and chanted “Makedonia, Makedonia, Makedonia”.
Before the speeches began, a minute of silence was observed in tribute of Tose Proeski after which the national anthems were played.
Among the speakers included were Stevo Taskovski, Igor Aleksandrov and Aco Sapkar who had a stern message for the two biggest parties; “…the elections are only weeks away and if you don’t recognize the Republic of Macedonia by its constitutional name, you will lose the Macedonian vote”. Many candidates in those parties count on the Macedonian vote to be elected. Australian governments were also criticized for acquiescing to the Greek lobby in the past fifteen years. Australia is an example of what democracy should be but when it called the Macedonian community “Slavo-Macedonians” it not only defied its own constitution, it also broke the most basic human rights law of the United Nations.
Some were calling for similar demonstrations to be held in other major cities in Australia but nothing was decided. The meeting was a success thanks to the organizers and all the people who attended.
MD: Nice initiative! The demonstration went peacefully with songs, dances and many greetings by people who had not seen each other in a long time.