Outside cinemas around the country, a new "parliament of the streets" is developing as people discuss and debate Michael Moore's new film, Fahrenheit 9/11. Cinemas have been packed out by people attending previews of what is fast becoming the must-see film of the year.
The controversy has been stoked by Moore's comments that he doesn't just want US President George Bush voted out of office, but hopes "the Australian people throw [PM John] Howard and his people out of office for participating" in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. BBC News reported on July 21 that Moore said Howard had "half a brain" for supporting Bush.
A July 24 screening of Fahrenheit 9/11 in Wollongong was jointly organised by Green Left Weekly, the South Coast Labour Council, the Greens, Socialist Alliance and NoWar. The 500 tickets sold out almost a week in advance.
Federal Greens MP Michael Organ, who attended the screening, told GLW: "It's important that the wide Australian community know what's going on in terms of the US regime and our subservient relationship with them. Howard and Bush are using the so-called 'war on terror' to take us down a path that is not in the best interests of the Australian or Iraqi people.
"It's a war for oil and we should be very suspicious of their agenda. [Fahrenheit 9/11] is showing people the truth about what's behind it all."
On July 19, the Socialist Alliance hosted packed-out screenings of more than 400 people in Sydney and more than 200 in Midland, in Perth's working-class eastern suburbs. Two days earlier, 300 people attended a Socialist Alliance screening in Perth, while more than 200 people watched the film in Brisbane on July 18. The Greens have also hosted packed-out screenings around the country.
Socialist Alliance activist Susan Austin told GLW that the film struck a chord with the 100 people who attended a Hobart screening on July 23. "Heaps of people commented on their way out that the film had inspired them to get involved in the movement against the occupation of Iraq."
From Green Left Weekly, July 28, 2004.
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