Demonstration In Sydney Against US Iraq War Plans

Published: Mon 30 Sep 2002 09:30 AM
Demonstration In Sydney Against US Iraq War Plans
Exclusive report by Syed Atiq ul Hassan, Sydney Australia
A huge demonstration and rally is passing through the George Street, Sydney CBD.
Sydney (Saturday, September 28, 2002, Tribune Media Network): Several hundred people turned out today, at downtown Sydney to condemn the US plans on war against Iraq and against the ongoing Israeli aggression against the people of Palestine. Many human rights organizations political parties and community groups including Australian Democrats, The Greens, Australian Socialist Alliance, Australian Human Rights, Communist Party of Australia, Sydney Network for Peace, Citizens Electoral Council of Australia, Palestine Human Rights Campaign, the Labor Party representative Meredith Brorgnan, NSW leader of Australian Democrats Dr. Arthur Chesterfield, Pakistan Community Services representative Surraya Hassan, PLO activist Sari Kassis, Genera Secretary NSW ecumenical Council Ray Williamson and many others attended this huge demonstration.
Women, children and youth from all over Sydney and suburban areas attended this remarkable demonstration. The protesters were holding placards, banners and chanting with sentiments as “No War against Iraq”, “Israel USA – how many kids killed today”, “No more blood for Oil”, “What we want justice and peace”, “Bush is a threat for world peace”. The Protesters were demanding the Australian and International community to force Israel to stop the current operation against the Palestinian leadership and the innocent people immediately. Few youths set alight the Israeli flag but immediately stopped by the organizers with the request that the demonstration was a peaceful rally and not organized for this type of agitation. Addressing to the demonstration, the Australian Labor Party representative Meredith Brorgnan, Democrats leader Arthur Chesterfield, Ray Williamson, Sally Taubit and Sari Kassiss commonly condemned the Bush aggression and unilateralism agenda against Iraq and they demanded to the Prime Minister Howard and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to represent the voice of the majority of Australians and should not serve the US agenda. Meredith, in her speech said, “54 percent Australians don’t war against Iraq at all, and 75 percent want the action if required should be taken according to the UN Security Council resolution”. She said that Prime Minister Howard and the Foreign Minister should take any action in the interest of the Australia not in the interest of America and the majority of Australians don’t want war, Australia is a peace loving country.

Gathering the views of the demonstrators; Qasem, a teenager replied, when asked why he came to this demonstration, “My cousins and uncles have been killed by Israeli army in Palestine, they were not terrorist, they were poor people… they even could afford to buy gun…, their remaining have no one to look after…, I want to request the Australian government to raise voice against Israeli terror against the poor people of Palestine… Another old man, Hammad said “Bush wants to control the world, he wants to control all the oil of the Arab Land, he has no interest in peace, Bush like his father likes war and terror not in peace… look what they did in Afghanistan, how many people they killed in Afghanistan but they could not find Osama and Mulla Omar…, this all Bush’s game to control the world… we all have to understand his agenda… I like Australia, all Australian are peaceful people… that why we want our government and prime minister also talk about peace not war…”
The people, in hundreds, chanted and waved flags left Town Hall at 12.30pm in a rally which went on all the way to George Street and ended at Belmore Park near Central Station Sydney.

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