The Guardian March 24, 2004


"All troops out of Iraq!"

The "superpower of the people" was in action around the world 
on March 20 against the invasion and occupation of Iraq. 
Demonstrations took place in all Australian capital cities.

Around 500 people gathered in Adelaide on the steps of the 
South Australian Parliament House. Mike Khizam of NOWAR told the 
rally about Australia's role in advancing the interests of "the 
world's sole remaining superpower" before introducing the guest 
speakers.

Ruth Russell spoke about her memories of the horror of the 
bombing and invasion of Iraq during the time she spent in that 
country as a human shield last year.

She has been encouraged by the outrage of the people around world 
at the lies used to justify the war.

Former Office of National Assessment (ONA) analyst Andrew Wilke 
commented on politicisation and intimidation in the intelligence 
agencies and the public service in general.

He referred to the treatment last week of Australian Federal 
Police Commissioner Mike Keelty as an example of the pressures 
used by Howard and his cronies to have their political agenda 
backed up by nominally independent agencies.

Five hundred marched through Perth streets recording their 
continued opposition to the war on Iraq.

Their banners called for "All troops out of Iraq". Others 
declared for "Medicare not warfare". The banner on the platform 
called for "Regime Change at Home".

Speakers condemned the war that was launched under cover of lies 
about weapons of mass destruction and allegations that Iraq was 
helping terrorism. Tens of thousands have died as a result.

The spokesperson for Refugee Rights Action Network demanded the 
closure of the refugee camp. Scott Ludlam of the Fremantle Anti-
Nuclear Group said the US Empire was based on a network of bases 
and that we must demand our government get rid of the US bases in 
Australia.

Labor MLC Ruth Webber praised the Spanish people who used their 
votes to reject violence.

In Melbourne around 3000 people rallied to hear speakers, 
including Terry Hicks, the father of Guantanamo Bay prisoner 
David Hicks

In Sydney around 2000 people marched displaying John 
Howard as a war criminal. The action began with a vigil and 
collection for medical aid for Iraq at the Sydney Town Hall, 
followed by a community memorial service and a march and rally at 
Hyde Park.

Speakers included John Pilger, Andrew Wilkie and Greens Senator 
Kerry Nettle.

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