Sydney activists ready for big anti-war rally



SYDNEY — The 45,000-strong anti-war rally in Melbourne on October 14 has spurred anti-war groups here to unite to build the largest possible rally on November 30. A meeting of some 60 people on October 21 agreed to organise a “Walk against the War” to demand “No war on Iraq” and “No Australian involvement”.

The Sydney Palm Sunday Committee first suggested November 30 as the date for the next major anti-war mobilisation. The No War on Iraq group, which jointly organised the successful September 28 anti-war rally with the Palestinian Human Rights Network, and the Sydney Network for Peace, which organised the national protest at Pine Gap on October 4-5, have decided to support November 30 as the next major anti-war action.

The October 21 meeting was a joint meeting of delegates from the three anti-war groups, as well as many other organisations. Given the short notice, the large number of people who attended indicated the huge level of interest in opposing an attack on Iraq.

Other organisations represented included the Greens, the Socialist Alliance, the Italian Migrant Workers' Federation and their Families (FILEF), the Australian Peace Committee, Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific (ASAP), the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Labor for Refugees, the NSW Labor Council, Socialist Alternative, Resistance, the Progressive Labor Party, the Communist Party of Australia, the Uniting Church, Politics in the Pub, the International Socialist Organisation and the National Union of Students.

The meeting discussed the march route and recommended fees for affiliate organisations. Most discussion was around who should speak at the November 30 event. While these are yet to be finalised, it was agreed that the platform should reflect the breadth of the opposition to the war.

Peter Murphy, representing the Sydney Palm Sunday Committee, proposed a ban on speakers from political parties. Others argued that this would disqualify the Greens, the only political party to have won an election on an anti-war platform (in the Cunningham by-election), while the ALP, which has an ambiguous position on the war on Iraq, would be represented on the stage via the trade union spokesperson. The next meeting on October 28 will decide the speakers.

From Green Left Weekly, October 30, 2002.
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