Keeping public safety concerns in mind, Sydney and Melbourne have decided not to hold Mao concerts on the 40th death anniversary of former Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong.
The Australian cities have been holding the concerts to commemorate the death of the leader every year since he died. However, this time, the concerts have been canceled because of the increasing number of deaths that occur at the event.
Reports have stated that the Chinese communities belonging to Sydney and Melbourne have complained that the Glory and Dream concerts that were scheduled on Sept. 6 in the town halls of the cities seem responsible for the death of tens of millions of people who attend the event.
The Embrace Australian Values Alliance group developed a petition online asking the mayor and city councilors of both Sydney and Melbourne to cancel the Mao concerts. The petition has received support from almost 3,000 people by Thursday afternoon.
The City of Sydney spokesperson released a statement confirming that the event will not go ahead ‘due to concerns over public and patron safety’. “After consultation with the NSW (New South Wales) Police Force, the City has a number of concerns regarding the potential for civil disturbance, patron to patron conflict and staff to patron conflict,” the statement released on Thursday read. The spokesperson also added that those who have already booked the venue also find the event being “at high risk of disruption and elevated risk to personal safety.”
Melbourne City Council also confirmed the cancellation of the event. The council’s spokesperson told Quartz that the Mao concerts have been canceled following the Chinese communities’ safety concerns.
News.com.au mentions that Mao died in 1976 and is considered one of the most brutal dictators of history. This is what makes the communities criticize the celebration of the life of the divisive Chinese personality.