BY MATT EGAN
In Lismore, with two hours notice, five hundred people rallied against the attack on Baghdad on March 20. Sister Margaret Mazzer began the event by singing a prayer for peace.
Rally chairperson Tom Flanagan observed that if the millions of people who rallied worldwide on February 15 and 16 had stopped the war before it began it would have marked an enormous step forward for humanity. "We didn't succeed this time, but this must be the goal of the anti-war movement, a world in which horrific and unjust wars are stopped before they begin."
Socialist Alliance member Nick Fredman argued that since John Howard had escalated the situation by committing Australian troops to the war on Iraq, the Australian people needed to escalate their response. He called on workers to walk off the job on March 26 to join the Books Not Bombs rally in Lismore on that day. "Strike action by workers can force this government to back down", Fredman concluded.
Greens candidate John Corkill pointed out that truth is the first casualty in war and warned people to steel themselves for the media barrage. John Jessup from the No War on Iraq group, a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War called on the younger generation to step forward and meet the challenge posed by the current war, and urged them to come out in big numbers on March 26.
From Green Left Weekly, March 26, 2003.
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