As soon as the war began on March 20, more than one hundred people gathered spontaneously in Civic for a speakout, led by Resistance activist Erin Killion. This included many public servants, and over 20 high school students who immediately left school to protest the commencement of Bush's war.
At 5pm, 2000 people demonstrated outside the US Embassy for nearly two hours, hearing from Greens MP Michael Organ and Senator Bob Brown, radical historian and Socialist Alliance member Humphrey McQueen, high school students, and many activists who have been building the anti-war movement in recent months.
The mood was mixed — some people feeling depressed that we had not been able to prevent the launching of the war, others very frustrated and looking to what acts of civil disobedience may obtain an immediate response. But there was unity around one thing — absolute anger at Bush's war and Howard's support for it despite overwhelming opposition. There was also a strong commitment among those present to maintain the pressure, and to make the upcoming anti-war actions even bigger.
Later that evening more than 100 people attended a peace vigil in Queanbeyan.
From Green Left Weekly, March 26, 2003.
Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.