Antiwar movement in Launceston defiant



LAUNCESTON — A defiant 300-400 people rallied and marched in Launceston on March 22 against war on Iraq, despite media attempts to portray protesting now the war has begun as futile. United Nations Association President Margaret Reynolds exhorted the rally to continue the struggle to shorten the duration of the war.

She launched a "shoes of shame" campaign, urging people to leave empty shoes symbolising the unseen victims of Howard's war, at the doors of Liberal party offices. Other speakers included Craig Cooper for the Democrats, Bob Bensemann for rally organisers No War on Iraq, Longford Baptist minister Geoff McKinnon, Jo Saunders, convenor of the Bass Greens and Kamala Emanuel speaking for the Socialist Alliance. There was a warm reception for the alliance's call for the Senate parties to block the budget, starving Howard of funds for war and forcing him to an early election. More than 150 people at the rally signed a petition to that effect.

No War on Iraq is organising a weekly vigil outside the museum on Wellington St, at 5pm on Fridays, and following the student strike on March 26, the next youth-led antiwar action in Launceston will be a rally for a world without war, 11.30am April 5 in Civic Square, organised by the Socialist Alliance and Resistance.

From Green Left Weekly, March 26, 2003.

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