Iraq: No to war – Australia – Melbourne kicks off anti-war weekend with huge protest

Media estimates put the number of anti-war demonstrators in central Melbourne today (14 February) at between 100,000 to 200,000. Organisers are quoted as saying the demonstration was well over the 200,000 mark.

No to war in Iraq. Anti-war movement in Australia

Melbourne kicks off anti-war weekend with huge protest

According to the BBC World Service online, "Around 150,000 people have taken to the streets of Melbourne to protest against possible war with Iraq, kicking off a weekend of marches around the world. "It is the biggest peace protest in Australia since anti-Vietnam War demonstrations 30 years ago.

"The Melbourne rally started with the sound of mock air raid sirens, symbolising air attacks on Baghdad, with participants carrying placards reading "No blood for oil", and "Don’t bomb Iraq".

"More protests are planned for this weekend around Australia, where Prime Minister John Howard is a staunch supporter of possible US intervention and has already committed 2,000 military personnel to the Gulf."

Australia was not the only place to protest today. The BBC added, "In Sarajevo, a city still scarred by Bosnia’s civil war of 1992-95, around 500 protesters marched on the US embassy to mark their opposition to the conflict."

CWI Online will publish anti-war demonstration reports from all around the world over the next couple of days, including eyewitness reports of the Melbourne, Sydney and Perth demonstrations, and today’s schools students’ strike, called by Youth Against the War, also in Melbourne.

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February 2003