Growing movement against war in the NT

Issue 

BY SIBYLLE KACZOREK

DARWIN — On November 30, 300 people rallied and marched against the looming US-led war on Iraq. In Alice Springs, 100 people also rallied.

Col Friel, a veteran human rights and environmental activist, told the crowd that the US wants the Middle East's energy resources and raw materials. “As the world's population increases and its oil consumption increases, those who control the world's scarce resources control the world's economies”, he said.

Melanie Ross, representing the NT Greens, pointed out that the propaganda pushed by the Australian government and the corporate media about Iraq's production of weapons of mass destruction is dishonest. She noted that UN inspectors had disarmed Iraq before 1998. For the US, Ross explained, “regime change does not mean democracy, it will simply mean a more cooperative dictator”.

Ryk Molon, speaking for the Socialist Alliance, noted the hypocrisy of the ALP's willingness to support a UN-endorsed war against Iraq. “The civilian casualties or the devastation brought upon Iraq will not be any less just because the war is UN-sanctioned", Molon said.

Jamie Robertson, representing the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, stated that “it is the workers who die, it is their families that suffer, that is why we are here today to represent workers of the world”.

Cindy Watson highlighted the plight of the West Papuan people. Iman Kondai from the Darwin mosque also spoke. Ray Hayes from the NOWAR committee, which organised the action, spoke about the terrorism of poverty: “Every single day in the world, 35,000 children under the age of four die from malnutrition. Since September 11, 2001, until today, 15,645,000 children have died of malnutrition.”

The NOWAR committee has called for an action on the first day of the bombing of Iraq, at 5.30pm in Raintree Park in Darwin.

From Green Left Weekly, December 11, 2002.
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