Posted by Esperanza from 66-52-14-42.lsan.dial.netzero.com (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, February 08, 2003 at 3:47PM :
More than 700 women have posed nude in Australia in a mass protest against their country's support for possible military action against Iraq.
The naked demonstrators, aged 20 to 60, used their bodies to form the words "No war" on the side of a hill in Byron Bay, New South Wales.
Protesters said they would use aerial photographs of the stunt to publicise opposition to the government's policy on Iraq.
Australia has sent troops to the Gulf and approved the deployment of fighter planes in support of the US military build-up in the region.
The naked demonstration came on the same day as a similar protest in New York, where about 30 women stripped off in the snow to form the words "No Bush" - an irreverent reference to US President George W Bush.
The organiser of the Byron Bay protest, Grace Knight, said the women wanted Australian Prime Minister John Howard to recall forces from the Middle East.
"They're desperate to let our prime minister hear how very, very angry they are at what he's doing and how much they disagree with what's happening," she told Australian radio.
The protest came as Mr Howard set off for the United States for talks on the Iraq crisis with Mr Bush.
Australian opinion appears sharply divided over the country's role in the Iraq crisis.
There were angry public protests when Australia deployed its troops last month, while the Australian Senate on Wednesday passed an historic no-confidence motion against Mr Howard over his handling of the crisis.
Protests against Australian military involvement were also held on Saturday in the Australian states of New South Wales and Queensland.
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