Melbourne mobilises against war

Issue 

BY
GRAHAM MATTHEWS

MELBOURNE — Recent emergency actions against war in Iraq show the
depth of anger against the Australian government’s decision to back the
impending war against Iraq.

On January 19, more than 150 people joined a hastily convened demonstration
outside the US consulate in solidarity with US protesters marching on Washington.
A speak-out against the war was staged and numerous activists spoke of
their opposition to war and Australian involvement.

Socialist Alliance member Lenny Colton, a former US army reservist,
told of his collaboration with former US army personnel against war in
Europe. He sported a t-shirt with a US flag with the word “burn” written
across it.

A further 80 people answered an emergency call for a rally outside Victorian
state parliament against the Australian government’s decision to commit
troops to the US Persian Gulf build-up. Called by the Socialist Alliance
with less than 24 hours notice, the action attracted activists from groups
as diverse as Labor for Refugees members and those from the Medical Association
for the Prevention of War (MAPW) and the Greens.

Pamela Curr from the Greens spoke passionately about the federal government’s
betrayal of trust in committing troops against the wishes of the vast majority
of Australians. Curr called on activists to mobilise every day to help
build the February 14 rally against war.

Peter Johnston representing the Socialist Alliance chaired the rally,
saying: “As working people, we have the power to stop this war. We have
power in numbers.”

From Green Left Weekly, January 29, 2003.

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