MELBOURNE – Vietnamese community members rallied in Melbourne on Saturday, to protest against the Taiwanese steel company Formosa – the same company that caused a devastating chemical spill off Vietnam’s central coast.
Organised by the Vietnamese Community in Australia – Victorian Chapter, the rally was a counterpart to similar demonstrations happening in the United States.
On Saturday, about 300 people gathered on the steps of Victorian Parliament.
They held banners in English and Vietnamese as well as Australian flags and yellow flags representing the former Republic of Vietnam.
The protesters took turns to speak, shouting slogans against Vietnam’s communist government, demanding the closure of Formosa and condemning China’s presence in the contested Paracel and Spratly islands.
Meanwhile in Vietnam, thousands of protestors took to the streets on Sunday to voice their anger at the how the toxic spill was handled.
Various media outlets reported demonstrations across the country, including in the provinces of Nghe An and Ha Tinh.
However, news website Vietnam Right Now reported that smaller gatherings in Ho Chi Minh City were quickly broken up by police.
It also reported that officials in Hanoi managed to prevent activists from assembling in the city after a call for a rally was posted on social media.
– TiVi Tuan-san