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Mobilising Against The War on Iraq In Wellington
"We don't think that we count in the far end of the South Pacific, the bubble on the backside of Australia that hangs
onto the coat tails of Tony Blair and rubs its tongue in the orifices exhibited by George W. We can start here, we can
hold our head up amongst the community of nations. We can say we stand with the majority of the world's people and
governments, for indeed we do, in opposing this madness." - speaker at the Wellington anti-war rally.
On the 28th of September people around the world expressed their views about the much-hyped looming war on Iraq. In a
demo organised by Peace Action Wellington, about 180 people gathered in Cuba Mall to condemn the hypocrisy of George
Bush and Tony Blairs advance for war. Free food, flowers and info were given out.
The Wellington Carnival street band and the Brass Razoo Solidarity Band provided conscious music for the gathering. Sue
Kedgley, the first speaker, said "that rather than a humanitarian agenda, the real agenda was oil! If the US is worried
about what Iraq has in terms of weapons, chemical and biological, then they need look to inwards as it is U.S firms who
have supplied the Iraqi government over the years."
Robert Reid and Jill Ovens from the Alliance followed. Ovens agreed with a statement from Don Franks condemning the
silence from local trade unions, and urged all local union members to challenge their union's compliant silence. Ovens
also noted the hypocrisy of the NZ government, though Helen Clark is seen to some as a guardian of the peace by not
offering troops for an Iraqi assault, she is the one who sanctioned troops sent to Afghanistan.
Martin Hutt from the Iraqi medical alert support group called the sanctions on Iraq over the last 12 years themselves a
weapon of mass destruction. A member of the Assyrian Christian society followed this, and then Don Carson of the
Wellington Palestinian Committee. Carson said that the Israeli occupation of Palestine was intrinsically linked to any
conflicts in the region. The last speaker was Grant Brookes from Socialist worker, followed by an open mic session.