BY JACKIE LYNCH
MELBOURNE — Thousands of people cheered, chanted along, clapped and urged on the Peace Not War/Socialist Alliance contingent at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transexual Pride 2003 march on February 2.
Although crowds were down on previous years, at least 20,000 people joined in the celebration of all things queer on Fitzroy Street in St. Kilda.
Pride 2003 featured the theme of "Peace through diversity". The Peace Not War contingent, joined by members of Socialist Alternative and the Refugee Action Collective, was organised by the Socialist Alliance behind a banner reading, "Queer and proud and anti-war: Join the February 14 rally". Participants in the contingent handed out around 9000 leaflets for the February 14 anti-war rally.
The enthusiasm of the crowd for the anti-war message was such that several rally observers joined in, breaking from the sidelines to march and chant. People watching the march took piles of leaflets to hand out to those behind them. The biggest cheers of the day were reserved for the chant "Justice and equality, not sending troops overseas".
Following the march, a festival and party was held in the Catani Gardens during which Pride president Penny Macdonald announced details of the February 14 rally after a leading an "om" chant for peace.
From Green Left Weekly, February 12, 2003.
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