Approximately 20,000 people lined the streets of Sydney just 3 hours after war was officially declared on Thursday (March 20), demanding Australian troops be withdrawn immediately and Liberal Prime Minister Howard end his slavish support for the Bush war machine.
Day X. Australia.
Australia: 20,000 at Sydney protest three hours after war declared.
The Socialist Party’s petition calling on the Australian Council of Trade Unions to call and co-ordinate nation-wide stoppages and other industrial action against the war, were snapped up with many people taking copies to be filled in at their workplaces and educational institutions.
With the state election in New South Wales due this Saturday (March 22), it is anticipated that there will a huge increase in support for the Greens due to their anti-war stance, although the Labor Party, whose position has been ’no war without UN backing’, is expected to be comfortably returned to office.
Police on horses moved in at the end of the rally to clear the streets as protesters were reluctant to leave.
Despite the short notice, it is hoped that the next rally this coming Sunday will equal the unprecedented size of the February 16th one where over half a million people clogged Sydney’s streets in protest to the war and Liberal Prime Minister Howard’s war policies.