by Sasha Uzunov

Merri-bek City Council, which changed its name because of British colonialism, has ruled out demolishing the Coburg Basketball Stadium, a symbol of American “Cultural Imperialism” in the Melbourne, Australian, municipality.

Merri-bek Mayor, Cr Adam Pulford, of the Australian Greens Party, was contacted for a response over whether the Council would demolish the Coburg Basketball Stadium.

The Mayor issued a statement via an official email:

“In response to your enquiry, the 2022 name change to Merri-bek has no impact at all on Council’s support for community recreation facilities, and Council has no further comment to make on this.”

The Coburg Basketball Stadium is owned by the Merri-bek council but managed by a third party. Merri-bek was known as Moreland until 2022. It is a municipality to the north of Melbourne and includes the suburbs of Coburg, Brunswick and others.

Alternate Comms posed the question over the Stadium to both current Mayor Cr Pulford and ex Mayor Mark Riley, also of the Australian Greens:

“Merri-bek Council changed its name from Moreland in 2022 because of an association with “British colonialism” and slavery in Jamaica, which is not in Australia.

“If Merri-bek Council has a political ban on “Britishness” why is there no political ban on “Americaness” in Merri-bek? The US has a nasty colonial legacy of its own – the extermination of native Americans and the keeping of African slaves. In 1833 the British Empire (including Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc) through peaceful parliamentary vote in London, Westminster, outlawed slavery globally whilst the US stubbornly refused to get rid of slavery until the US Civil War forced it to in 1863.

“The US sport of Basketball is seen as a symbol of US cultural imperialism/nationalism in Australia. In fact, the US State Department openly boasts of using Basketball to promote its foreign policy agenda.

My question to you both is: Why are you not demolishing the Coburg Basketball Stadium, which is a symbol of US cultural imperialism/nationalism?”

More on US Sports Diplomacy in Australia at this link: