Canberra Friday protest


Two thousand people gathered in Garema Place at lunch time for the second major emergency protest against the war on Iraq. Many workers took early lunch breaks to reach the protest, and students left schools and universities to attend.

Many different people were eager to share their fury at the US and Australian governments over the open microphone. Socialist Alliance activist and key organiser of the Convergence on Parliament James Vassilopoulos received a strong response from the crowd when he demanded that Howard "face the people", and called for mass pressure on the opposition parties to block supply and force and early election so the people can vote on the war.

Protesters then marched around the city, chanting loudly, and made a stop at the Defence Force recruitment centre before returning to Garema Place. One popular chant in addition to "No Blood for Oil, Bring the Troops Home!" was "Georgie, Georgie, Georgie, out! Out! Out! Tony, Tony, Tony, out! Out! Out! Johnny, Johnny, Johnny, out! Out! Out!"

Thousands of leaflets for the Convergence on Parliament were taken by demonstrators eager to publicise the weekend's anti-war protests.

From Green Left Weekly, March 26, 2003.

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