The Guardian May 14, 2003


The war against Iraqi people is not over

The following is the text of the speech made by Dr Hannah Middleton a 
Co-convenor, Walk Against the War Coalition at the May Day rally in 
Sydney.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq was and is wrong, illegal and immoral. 
The US-led invasion has killed and injured many thousands of Iraqi people. 
It has destroyed basic services which were already badly damaged by war and 
over a decade of punitive sanctions.

Today the Iraqi people face shortages of water and food, hospitals 
overflowing and without medicines, water or electricity, and the on-going 
danger of death and injury.

War has brought US military occupation, not stability and democracy. 
Occupation is not liberation  and this is an occupation in which US 
soldiers did not control the looters but do shoot political protesters. The 
presence of hundreds of thousands of US troops is a huge barrier to the 
Iraqi people's right to decide their own future. Only the Iraqi people can 
create democracy in Iraq.

The foreign troops also directly threaten other Middle Eastern countries.

The Walk Against the War Coalition demands: End the occupation! Troops out 
now!

The "Coalition of the killing" bombed Baghdad's water supply. It is not yet 
restored, but it is being privatised. A US corporation will reap the 
profits from the Iraqi people's need for water.

There is a sickening carve up of the spoils of war in Iraq between 
competing, mainly US, corporations. It is called "reconstruction" but in 
reality it is nothing more than colonial plunder.

We demand: Iraqi control of Iraq's resources!

There is evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq  but they are 
not Iraqi weapons.

The US forces have been using depleted uranium munitions in the invasion. 
These were also employed in the 1991 Gulf War, leaving a legacy of 
horrifying cancers among both Iraqi civilians and US troops. The Bush 
administration has taught the world a terrible lesson  countries must 
develop weapons of mass destruction as a deterrent to protect themselves 
from a US pre-emptive strike.

There will be proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, a terrible new 
arms race which will gobble up desperately needed resources and threaten 
the survival of this planet.

There are already more than 26,000 nuclear weapons in our world. The US 
military budget is now over $US437 billion every year. This is larger than 
Australian economy. Yet global poverty and inequality are getting worse.

We demand the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction! The Bush 
administration is using its overwhelming military force to win global 
domination, to seize power so that it can privatize the economies of all 
countries and inflict on people everywhere the blessings of 'free market' 
corporate capitalism.

Bush and his advisers speak of "endless war". Iraq is an early victim. The 
Palestinian people have been fighting and suffering for decades. Who is 
next? Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, Libya.

We demand: No more wars of aggression!

We reject the Howard Government's support for the Bush's doctrine of 
"preventive war".

We reject the Government's support for the US spy base at Pine Gap which 
was so crucial for the US attack on Iraq.

And let's not forget that Australian workers at Pine Gap have been on 
strike twice this year already because they are paid substantially less 
than Americans at Pine Gap who do exactly the same job.

We condemn the Howard Government for trampling on our democratic rights by 
defying the will of the great majority of the people of this country who 
were opposed to war against Iraq.

We condemn the Government for its attacks on our civil liberties under the 
guise of "security" and "fighting terrorism".

We will resist all moves by the Howard Government to make us pay for this 
illegal, immoral and barbaric war.

We will not permit our Medicare cards to be taken from us, we will not 
allow our public hospitals and public schools to be starved of funds while 
the Federal Government's war spending spirals into billions upon billions 
of workers dollars.

On May Day, we say: We don't need new wars and an arms race; we don't need 
transnational corporation dominance.

We need, we demand, we will fight for workers rights, global justice and 
peace.

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