Issue 531

News

BY
ALISON DELLIT
As the bombs rained down on Baghdad, the Socialist Alliance stepped
up its campaign against the war. The alliance is proposing a four-point
plan to undermine Australian participation in the war effort and to throw
out the

BY ALISON DELLIT
Protesters in many cities reacted to the events of March 18 — the announcement by PM John Howard that Australian troops had been committed to a war against Iraq, and US President George Bush's designed-to-fail ultimatum to Saddam

BY
GRAHAM MATTHEWS
& ANTHONY BENBOW
Militant unionists in Melbourne and Perth have offered a lead to
others by walking off the job to protest the war at union-organised rallies
following the beginning of the war.
In Perth,

BY ALISON
DELLIT
Just three hours after Washington announced the beginning of its
war against Iraq, Australians had flooded onto the streets in protests
marked by deep anger and determination. Green Left Weekly has received
reports from 25

BY GILLIAN DAVY
MELBOURNE — Applications for refugee status by some 1700 East Timorese people, who have been living in Australia for up to a decade, are being systematically rejected by the Refugee Review Tribunal. Unless the federal government

BY
ALISON DELLIT
After a week of emergency anti-war actions, tens of thousands of
Australians continued to protest on the March 22-23 weekend. Protests in
eight cities mobilised around 120,000 people. This included a whopping
30,000 on

BY AMY MCDONELL
ADELAIDE — On March 5, Adelaide's Kurdish community protested plans by Turkey to join the US in invading and occupying Northern Iraq (South Kurdistan). More than 100 people gathered at Victoria Square for a march to state

BY LEIGH HUGHES
The official beginning of the US-led war on Iraq was the catalyst for the abandonment of classrooms and the closure of several schools on March 20, as hundreds of students walked out in protest. In the following days, not only did

BY
MICHAEL DE WALL
SYDNEY — Just two days before Prime Minister John Howard officially
backed the US ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, residents of western Sydney
were among thousands of hopeful protesters gathering at anti-war rallies
on March

BY JIM MCILROY
BRISBANE — “There are now two superpowers in the world — the imperial
mafia [in Washington] and the anti-war and global justice movements worldwide”,
William Blum, US author, journalist and radical commentator and former
US

BY LISA MACDONALD
SYDNEY — On the eve of the March 22 NSW election, both Labor Premier Bob Carr and Liberal Party leader John Brogden pleaded with voters not to make the war on Iraq a state election issue.
However, the rapid growth of the

Blockies for peace
BY KAMALA EMANUEL
LAUNCESTON — When the war started, like many others, I just had to protest. I joined around 100 other furious people on the side of one of Launceston's busiest roads, calling on motorists to honk for peace.

BY
PIP HINMAN
SYDNEY — Protestors at the emergency rally on March 20 didn't miss
an opportunity to tell NSW Premier Bob Carr what they thought of his tame-cat
position on the Iraq war when they spotted his limousine stuck in traffic
near

World

BY RACHEL CORRIE
[The following are excerpts from an email to Rachel Corrie's family on February 7.]
I have been in Palestine for two weeks and one hour now, and I still have very few words to describe what I see... I don't know if many of the

RAFAH, Gaza
Strip — On March 16, Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old US volunteer with the
International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was murdered by the Israeli occupation
army.
Wearing a fluorescent orange jacket, Corrie was standing in the path

BY
NATASHA IZATT
& NORM DIXON
LONDON — Protest action swept Britain on March 20, in response to
the launch of the US-British war of conquest against Iraq. Tens of thousands
of school students spearheaded the militant demonstrations,

NEW YORK CITY — More than 250,000
people marched through the streets of New York City on March 22. The demonstration
was so big that as the first contingents arrived at the rallying point,
people were still leaving the start point 38 blocks

BY DOUG LORIMER
In a final public relations ploy before ordering a blitzkrieg-style invasion of Iraq on March 19, US President George Bush issued a prime-time ultimatum on March 17: "Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours.

BY JEFF SHANTZ
TORONTO — Sizeable demonstrations against the US attack on Iraq were held in cities across Canada on March 20. At least 5000 people in Toronto faced off with riot cops, mounted police and attack dogs. More than 400 took to the

BY
RAHUL MAHAJAN
The US government claims that the war against Iraq is necessary in
order to uphold international law. Yet, Iraq is threatening no country
with aggression and its violations of UN Security Council resolutions are
technical,

Prior to the war against Iraq, Americans heard very little from the corporate media about the most basic fact of war: people will be killed and civilian infrastructure will be destroyed, with devastating consequences long after the fighting stops.

Culture

MELBOURNE — A benefit production of Eve Ensler's groundbreaking, award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues — hailed as funny, poignant, intelligent and courageous — will dive into the mystery, humour, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement

Brother
By Liam Gerner
Order at <http://www.freshtrackproductions.com.au>
REVIEW BY JO ELLIS
ADELAIDE — Liam Gerner wrote his first song at the age of 12. Since
then, 19-year-old Gerner has developed into an accomplished

BY JACKIE ESMONDE
"I've always been a huge fan of horror movies. And I saw so many horror movies where there was that blonde girl who would always get herself killed. I started feeling bad for her. I thought, it's time she had a chance to 'take

NEW MEXICO, USA — On March 17, the day of US President George Bush's
televised announcement of the imminent US military attack on Iraq, Green
Left Weekly writer Bill Nevins was suspended from his teaching job
at Rio Rancho New Mexico public

WOLLONGONG — As the US, Britain and Australia attack Iraq, the band Inside Out have rallied for peace. They are a few of the voices that Prime Minister John Howard refers to as the "unconvinced mob".
"A Song of Peace", written by music teacher

General

BY LEIGH HUGHES
ADELAIDE — The first strike in the US-led war on Iraq was the catalyst for the abandonment of classrooms and the closure of several schools across Adelaide on March 20, as hundreds of students walked out in protest.
Students

As soon as the war began on March 20, more than one hundred people gathered spontaneously in Civic for a speakout, led by Resistance activist Erin Killion. This included many public servants, and over 20 high school students who immediately left

BY NIKKI ULASOWSKI
PERTH — On March 19, 2000 people attended an emergency anti-war protest called on four hours notice.
Anti-war sympathisers employed by the Perth City Council organised access to electrical power for the protest, and a

BY KAREN FLETCHER
30,000 people shut down the centre of Melbourne three hours after
the first cruise missiles were launched on Baghdad on Thursday. Victorian
Peace Network (VPN) volunteers told Green Left Weekly that many
of the peace

About 40 people gathered outside Federal MP Jackie Kelly's office in Penrith from 5pm the day war started. With signs that read "Disarm the USA, and Israel" and "No Blood for Oil", the peace vigil heard speakers from the Greens, the Socialist

BY TUONG VI PHAM
The Vietnamese government condemned the US-British attack on Iraq in a statement released on March 20. It stated: "The action constitutes a gross violation of the fundamental principles of international law, including the United

BY MARG PERROTT
WOLLONGONG — On March 21, 450 people turned out for an anti-war rally in the city mall. Speakers included, Michael Organ (Greens MP for Cunningham), Jennie George (Labor MP, Throsby), Terry Fox (ex-Catholic priest and activist for

BY MARCEL CAMERON
Hearing news that war had begun, more than 10,000 people jammed into Brisbane's King George Square in a 5pm emergency rally called by the Queensland Peace Network on March 20. At first the mood was sombre and reflective, but this

BY SHANE HOPKINSON
About 300 attended a protest in Mackay on March 22, and listened
to a range of speakers from the community including Laurie Horgan (secretary
of the Mackay
Branch of QCTU) and Tim Mulherin the state labour member, Green

BY DANI BARLEY
DETROIT — As word of the commencement of mis-named Operation Iraqi Freedom spread across the world, activists in the belly of the beast also took to the streets to voice their intense opposition to what they labelled an "unjust and

Those in the US, British and Australian governments and their mainstream media toadies who hoped the anti-war movement in the US and around the world would collapse following the launch of Washington's barbaric blitzkrieg against Iraq would be

BY ANTHONY BENBOW
PERTH — Within hours of Bush's declaration of war on March 18, people in Perth were protesting in their thousands. Protests continued throughout the week, culminating in a massive rally and march through central Perth on March

BY MARCE CAMERON
For the second time in two days, up to 10,000 people marched through the streets of Brisbane on March 22. The noon rally at King George Square drew a crowd of 5000 but people kept pouring in from all sides of the square even as the

BY KAMALA EMANUEL
LAUNCESTON — A defiant 300-400 people rallied and marched in Launceston on March 22 against war on Iraq, despite media attempts to portray protesting now the war has begun as futile. United Nations Association President Margaret

BY GRANT COLEMAN
WOLLONGONG — On March 20, 250 local high school, TAFE and university students joined an emergency student walkout in response to the beginning of the war on Iraq. The walkout was called by Wollongong Books not Bombs just two days

BY RAY FULCHER
MELBOURNE — Shortly after the bombing of Iraq began people started to gather at the State Library to protest against the start of the war. The protesters, organised by the Victorian Peace Network, heard from a range of speakers

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

BY SUSAN AUSTIN
On March 20, 200 people attended a protest and march the local navy base, where a mock "die-in" was held. This was very powerful, and organised by local group Peace by Peace. On the following day, at lunchtime, there was a rally in

BY EMMA MURPHY
ADELAIDE — On hearing US President George Bush's declaration of imminent war on March 18, 500 people flocked to Parliament House at 5pm. The spontaneous crowd was passionate, loud, and articulate in its outright rejection of the

BY MICHAEL DE WALL
SYDNEY — On March 16, 200 attended an anti-war rally in Mt Druitt organised by the Western Sydney Peace Group (WSPG).
The protest was remarkable for the social, cultural and political diversity of those present. WSPG Tim

Two thousand people gathered in Garema Place at lunch time for the second major emergency protest against the war on Iraq. Many workers took early lunch breaks to reach the protest, and students left schools and universities to attend.
Many

BY MARCEL CAMERON
Hearing news that war had begun, more than 10,000 people jammed into Brisbane's King George Square in a 5pm emergency rally called by the Queensland Peace Network on March 20. At first the mood was sombre and reflective, but this