Over 300 people gathered in the Adelaide suburb of Joslin in South Australia on Tuesday to protest the opening of a controversial Chinese consulate in the suburb.
The protest, organised by the East Turkistan Australian Association, was joined by several groups, including Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghur Muslims, and the Tibetan Buddhist communities. Hong Kongers, Vietnamese, Joslin residents, politicians, and representatives of Australian farmers and industries impacted by Beijing’s trade restrictions also attended the protest.
Rex Patrick, an independent South Australian Senator, spoke at the protest to criticise the Chinese regime for human rights violations, imprisonment of Australian journalists in China, and its trade retaliation and cyber-attacks on Australia.
He also took aim at South Australian Premier Steven Marshall for attending the opening.
“We have the premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall, rolling out the red carpet in circumstances where it’s just simply inappropriate. He’s actually sleeping with the enemy,” Patrick said.
Fugitive Hong Kong Legislator Calls for Australia to Stick to Universal Values
Ted Hui, a former Hong Kong legislator, now settled in Adelaide in exile, also spoke at the protest and called for the Australian government to stick to its values of democracy and freedom.
“We want to send a very clear signal to the Chinese embassy, and for the officials working inside that they are not welcome,” Hui said.
“And we want [the] Australian government to really act on this, instead of a sense of sending them a warm welcome. The Australian government should be sending them contemplations and criticisms because they are human rights violators,” he said.
Greens Politician Speaks About Forced Organ Harvesting
Tammy Franks, a state Greens politician in South Australia’s Upper House, spoke to the rally about the Chinese regime’s crimes paying particular attention to the CCP state-sanctioned crime of forced organ harvesting by the Chinese regime, which the China Tribunal found to mainly target Falun Gong practitioners.
“I sat on a state Parliament committee that looked into organ harvesting. I heard from members of the South Australian community who had family members, who were imprisoned, who had their organs harvested,” Franks said.
Franks also criticised the premier for attending the event.
“Because money talks louder than common human decency and human rights, and I’m so sorry for that,” she said. “We deserve better from our government in here.”
Concerns Over the Consulate’s Size and Security Issues
A local resident, who The Epoch Times has agreed to keep anonymous over concerns regarding their safety, also raised the issue of the consulate’s excessive size and the security risks it may pose.
“This is the largest in Australia. How can South Australia, which is the fifth smallest city in all of Australia, have the largest consulate service in Australia?” the resident said, noting that many of the residents didn’t know that the consulate was being built.
“We have the submarines and the vet defence coming up in South Australia, and we’ve got the biggest oil community living in South Australia,” the resident said. “And we believe this is the reason why the consulate has been brought in South Australia; to keep an eye on us, to make sure that we don’t speak up, make sure that they know who we are, where we are, and how we act.”
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall spoke at the consulate’s opening but avoided meeting with the protesters, who were station on Fifth Avenue, by entering via Fourth Avenue, The Australian reported.