7000 protest in Adelaide

April 2, 2003


Adelaide's student strike on March 26 saw thousands of high school students walk out of school to protest against war on Iraq. The following protest march, led by a huge banner demanding 'books not bombs', swelled to 7000 at its height and echoed anti-war chants throughout the streets of Adelaide.

Joined by other young people who were lining the route, the protest stopped outside the offices of foreign minister Alexander Downer and the Advertiser newspaper to protest against the pro-war positions of the government and of media magnate Rupert Murdoch. Socialist Alliance speaker Jo Ellis spoke of the need to "remove the warmongers of the world from our parliaments" and called on opposition parties in the senate to block supply to the May budget.

At one of the busiest intersections in Adelaide protesters lay their bodies down on the road to symbolise the deaths of Iraqi people. At the next intersection they formed a giant peace sign and chanted "Peace is not possible, war is not the answer" before marching to Elder Park.

At Elder Park state NUS Education officer Nat Enright condemned military spending and cutbacks to education. He argued for "education for liberation not world domination." Yasmine Ahmed from the Muslim Students' Association at Adelaide University highlighted the Australian government's persecution of Iraqis in detention centres. Resistance member Amy McDonell said "How can we expect young people to sit in class and pretend everything is 'normal' while out government participates in this mass slaughter? We will not be silent, we will not behave, we will not stop marching until the bombs stop falling." 60 students met after the rally to discuss anti-war actions on schools on April 2.

From Green Left Weekly, April 2, 2003.
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