Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Sydney, Sunday 23 March, in yet another huge anti-war rally.
Day X. Australia.
Another huge rally in Sydney
Despite being much smaller than the massive rally of February 16 (which was an unprecedented half a million strong), the 23 March protest march, with an estimated 60-100,000 strong, was still much larger than many had expected, and certainly much larger than one television report which put the numbers present at only 30,000! With less than a week to organise and the inevitable initial mood of demoralisation felt by many people at the commencement of the invasion, today’s numbers were extremely heartening.
Distrust and outrage at the war coverage to date by the mass media is extremely widespread. Generally speaking, the level of political consciousness, not only on the streets, but also in the workplaces, has skyrocketed.
The mood overall at today’s rally was one of sympathy for the Iraqi masses, and anger and determination to carry on the fight to stop the war and bring the troops home.
People queued to sign the Socialist Party’s petition to the ACTU (Australia’s peak trade union body) calling upon them to organise nation-wide stoppages and further industrial action against the war. A further 500 copies of the petition (all we had) were taken away by people intending to take them into their own workplaces to be completed and returned. There was also anger and disappointment that the ACTU had not already called such action, and many expressed their gratitude to us for such an attempt to take the protests onto the next level as is undoubtedly needed.