|Takver's Soapbox | Melbourne 29 March 2003||www.takver.com|
40,000 people took to the streets of Melbourne today to voice their continuing opposition to the war in Iraq. The crowd stretched for several city blocks and filled Swanston St from kerb to kerb. It was 45 minutes from the start of the march before the last people left the State Library.
Saturday 29 March
Large crowds continue marching against war
Reality Check for John Howard
Lindsay Tanner, Labor Party Member for Melbourne, Kerry Nettle, NSW Greens Senator and Lyn Allison Australian Democrats Victorian Senator, spoke to the crowd outside the State Library.
As the march passed the building site next to the State Library several peace signs and one placard that read, "Bomb Iraq" were visible. This sign and two people with a USA flag were the only evidence of support for John Howard. They were ignored.
It was a diverse crowd united by its oppositon to the war. There were political groups: the Australian Democrats; anarchists; Labor Party, environmentalists and socialists. They mixed with older people, kids, students, babies in prams, couples, lots of dogs, and trade unionists to march down Swanston St. Many had made their own placards. Some were made of old sheets stuck together with duct tape, others were works of art. Some examples are:
- "Making peace takes brains and time and heart. The real winners in big wars are the arms makers!"
- "Alert, alarmed, ashamed, extremely ashamed of Australia"
- "No to all warmongers, Bush, Blair, Howard, + Hussein. We can't afford them"
One peace marcher carried a placard featuring John Howard dreaming of being knighted with bombing and rivers of blood in the background. He commented, "John Howard is a little man. He dreams of being knighted. He is relaxed and comfortable but the cost of this little man's dreams is rivers of blood."
A group of gay activists carried striking pink and black placards with humourous slogans. "Pretty and gay, not bombing all day." "underarm hair not Tony Blair." "Dykes on bikes not military strikes." The carnival atmosphere was reinforced by people in costume and a truck filled with musicians playing rock music, as well as lots of individual musicians throughout the march.
The march went down Swanston St and up Collins St to the Treasury Building A last reminder over the loudspeaker was an invitaton to come to the Palm Sunday rally and bring a friend. Sunday, April 13th, 2pm at the Treasury Gardens.
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