Iraq: 15 February – Austria – 30,000 in Vienna shakes establishment parties

15 February. No to war in Iraq. cwi reports from around the world. Austria.

30,000 in Vienna shakes establishment parties

The Vienna anti-war demo saw at least 30,000 people marching. Given the relative low importance of Austria in international relations, this is a huge number; despite the weak programme of the broad anti-war-alliance.

For a majority of the protesters the war aims of the ruling elite around Bush and Blair are clear: oil and prestige. The Socialist Left Party (CWI) and SWI (the International Socialist Resistance) took part as an important part of the protests. Our call for school student strike action got an excellent response, after a young comrade of both the ISR and SLP spoke. He is an elected school student representative.

The demo took place in the background of talks of the Greens and the Tories to form a coalition government, which broke down the day after. Maybe the threat of a growing movement on the streets has partly stopped the Green leadership going into government. Tory leader Schüssel has made clear that integration into a military alliance with all consequences is a strategic task for the Austrian ruling elite.

The SLP/SWI contingent was had 30 comrades wearing red bin-bags with posters on them. ISR comrades from Salzburg und Lower Austria attended the contingent. We sold 163 papers and collected 1060 Euro for the fighting fund.

The task is now to develop the movement and to campaign in the unions against possible military transport through the country and for international solidarity in general.

We support the call for regular anti-war demos every Friday and will prepare for significant activities on ’Day X’, which still looms as a big threat for the world.

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February 2003