Activists joined a global day of action against war on Iran, initiated in the United States by the United National Antiwar Coalition. One hundred people took part in Sydney on January 25.
The protest took place on the eve of mobilisations to mark the beginning of the colonial dispossession of First Nation’s peoples.
Nick Dean of Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN) said: “IPAN understands all too well that the independent and peaceful nation we seek cannot be achieved without resolving past injustices and reaching a harmonious relationship between the First Australians”.
Deane said the US’ assassination of General Qassem Soleimani was not only a crime, it was also a “brazen violation of Iraqi national sovereignty” that was dragging the world into war in the Middle East.
“What is becoming clear is that ordinary people will no longer tolerate the war-mongering that is now such a feature of our times. There is, I believe, a growing realisation that the old ways of resolving differences – by resort to the extreme violence of war – are outdated and redundant. People the world over understand that war is never the resolution, whatever the problem.
“This is especially true now as we enter the climate crisis, evidenced by the ongoing bushfire tragedy. War is a driver of climate change, and climate change brings with it an increased risk of war.”
The rally heard from Pip Hinman from the Socialist Alliance, John Hallam from People for Nuclear Disarmament, Peter Murphy from Sydney Peace & Justice Coalition, Dr Alison Broinowski, a former diplomat, David Shoebridge, Greens NSW MLC, Khaled Ghassan, a Palestinian activist, former first secretary to the Australian Embassy in Iran Richard Broinowski and Hector Ramage from the Stop the War Coalition.
Speakers called on the federal Coalition government to bring the HMAS Toowoomba back from the Persian Gulf, for all Australian forces in Iraq to be brought home and for the US bases in Australia to be closed.