Melbourne rallies to the call for peace

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Posted by Tiglath from ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 at 9:18PM :

In Reply to: LARGEST PROTEST IN WORLD HISTORY. posted by Stella from ? ( on Friday, February 14, 2003 at 1:44PM :

I was at this protest yesterday and it was huge. I have never seen so many people gathered in the one place at the same time before.
Adressing them was an Iraqi lady from the Victorian Peace Network who spoke boldly and openly about the real casuses of the coming war.
She was followed by a 17 year-old Kurdish girl who addressed a 150,000 crowd and brought tears to the eyes of many onlookers as she described the death of her grandmother due to the sanctions against Iraq.
I compare that to our Assyrian teenagers and even people who are so shy that they don't wish to even say hello on an Assyrian radio program for fear that a relative or friend might hear them.

"No blood for oil!" we chanted.

Perhaps as an Assyrian I should've chanted....."The squeeky wheel gets the oil!"


Melbourne rallies to the call for peace
February 15 2003
By Andra Jackson

Picture: AAP
Thousands march in Melbourne during yesterday's rally.

More than 100,000 people - believed to be Melbourne's largest peace rally - marched through the city yesterday to protest against a war on Iraq.

Police spokeswoman Senior Constable Julie-Anne Newman said the demonstration was "so big" that it was difficult to estimate the size of the crowd.

But she said it was "in excess of 100,000".

The rally started at 5pm outside the State Library and finished at Federation Square, clogging city streets for more than three hours.

At 5.45pm Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown said organisers had advised him the crowd was between 100,000-200,000, with more still arriving.



In 1970, at the height of the anti-Vietnam War movement, an estimated 100,000 sat down in Collins Street in what was regarded as the city's biggest peace rally.

The convenor of the anti-Vietnam war marches, Dr Jim Cairns, joined yesterday's rally and passed organisers a note of solidarity. Former State Labor MP and founder of the Save Our Sons movement, Jean McLean, said last night's rally was definitely larger than the Vietnam marches she helped organise.

Organiser Damien Lawson said: "As far as the eye can see, I can see people all the way up Swanston Street to the north and up the other end of Swanston Street I can see people coming this way. The protest is enormous. This protest is huge."

The rally was the first of seven to be held around Australia, with six others scheduled for the weekend.

Senator Brown called on Prime Minister John Howard to bring back Australian ships that have already left for the Persian Gulf.

"Turn the ships around, bring our 2000 Australians good and true home," he said.

"This is President Bush's war, this is Tony Blair's war, but this is not Australia's war," he said.

Democrat senator Natasha Stott Despoja told the rally that America was the greatest possessor of weapons of mass destruction and the only country to use nuclear weapons during a war.

"We know war is bloodshed. It is not the answer."

Former Midnight Oil singer and president of the Australian Conservation Foundation Peter Garrett said: "I'm proud of my fellow Australians for coming out on the street and expressing themselves tonight."

-- Tiglath
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