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    February - April 2003 | Melbourne protests against War on Iraq in 2003
Anti-war Sites:
ZNET Analysis
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NSW Walk against War

Medical Assoc. for the prevention of war -
Women for Peace (Australia)
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Green Left Weekly

Anarchist Age Weekly Review

Melbourne Indymedia

Information Clearing House

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South News

Workers OnLine from Labornet

Link: Mayday on the Web

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Make Love not war

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Selected as the Labour Website of the week (9 April 1998)
Leftist and "Progressive" Web Site of the Week: April 19 - April 25 1998

The War on the wharfies site Last Update: 26 October 1998
Radical Tradition - an Australasian History Page

Against Terrorism, Against War Melbourne Protests for Peace in 2003

Not in Our Name Banner

18 Mar 2003: John HoWARd, Prime Minister of Australia, has authorised Australian troops to invade Iraq with US forces. This is clearly a war of aggression, which the UN Security Council refuses to sanction.

The Invasion of Iraq

Daily vigil at American Consulate 553 St Kilda Road Melbourne, Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm, Women for Peace: No Weapons No Wars, in conjunction with the Moreland Peace Group.

Daily vigil outside State Library Swanston st Melbourne

Defence Plaza Picket Every Monday: 7.30am onwards. Defence Plaza, 661 Bourke st (Just up from Spencer St). Nonviolent weekly picket and campaign of civil disobedience organised by Direct Action Peace Network.

10 April - Slaughter, guilt, comfort and denial - Carmen Lawrence in Webdiary 9 April.
"Despite the thump and stutter of war, there is an eerie silence in Australia. So many people have all but stopped watching and listening to the incessant, if sanitised, coverage of the war. They've turned off the "militainment". They're not ringing or writing to their MPs. They've cut back their consumption to the necessities of life and zipped their purses. They're bunkered down like the poor wretches in Baghdad, many with their fingers in their ears and their eyes covered. It's as if they have decided to change the subject, to avert their eyes, pull the curtains and mind their own business."

8 April - Killing Civilians, the Immoral Face of War - Robert Fisk

Ali Ismaeel Abbas, 12

"The man opens the palms of his hands, the way Arabs do when they want to express impotence. "What can we do?" they always say, but the man is silent. But I'm glad. How, after all, could I ever tell him that Safa Karim must die for Sept. 11, for George Bush's fantasies and Tony Blair's moral certainty and for Paul Wolfowitz's dreams of "liberation" and for the "democracy" which we are blasting our way through these people's lives to create?". Or try explaining the need for war to ALI Ismaeel Abbas, 12, when a missile obliterated his home and most of his family, leaving him orphaned, badly burned - and blowing off both his arms.

4 April - Wailing children, the wounded, the dead: victims of the day cluster bombs rained on Babylon - Robert Fisk
"But something terrible happened around Hillah this week, something unforgivable and something contrary to international law. One hesitates, as I say, to talk of human rights in this land of torture but if the Americans and British don't watch out, they are likely to find themselves condemned for what they have always – and rightly – accused Iraq of: war crimes." Or read another report in the British Mirror

4 April - Use of Unconventional Weapons Will US Forces use Chemical or biological weapons in the battle of Baghdad and attribute it to Iraq?

24 March - Pictures of civilian casualties of the war Meet some of the recipients of the terrorism Australia has brought to Iraq.
The war in pictures (Warning: These depict the reality and horror of war) More Pictures

20 Mar 2003: Read Takver's Open Letter to John Howard

Print out a Peace Poster

It is time to make a stand against the warmongering of the greatest rogue state in the world, the United States of America. The U.S. has the largest stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction of any nation, including nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Its military industrial complex sells ingredients and technology for the production of weapons of mass production to numerous countries, including in the past to Iraq. The government of the United States refuses to sign or abide by international agreements including:

  • abandoning the Kyoto protocol on global warming
  • Scrapping the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty
  • the U.S. Senate refused to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
  • Walking away from enforcement of the 1972 treaty prohibiting biological weapons.
  • Only two countries in the world have refused to sign the Convention on the Rights of the Child -- Somalia and the United States.
  • refused to sign the convention banning anti-personnel landmines.
  • Voting against the establishment of the International Criminal Court, along with China, Israel, Libya, Iraq.

Source: TomPaine.common sense Journal

Declassified Documents Prove: US Planed And Executed Genocidal Acts Against The Iraqi People in 1991 by targeting water treatment plants which has resulted in more than half a million civilian deaths.

CIA analyst Stephen Pelletiere (ret. prof at the Army War College), exposes the Bush Cabal's motives and plans. Pelletiere was a senior analyst with the CIA for Iraq and Iran. He confirms that this war is about the control of oil, and that Iraq cannot be considered a military threat. He also exposes the lie that the Kurds of Halabja, in March 1988, were killed intentionally by the Iraqi military, but were civilian casualties arising from battles in which both Iran and Iraq used chemical weapons.(Two sixteen minute streaming videos.)

This is the country our Prime Minister, John Howard, wants us to follow to war! Who will profit from this war? The United States based Oil companies and the arms manufacturers.

John Howard says "have your beef with the Government, have your beef with me, do not have your beef with the men and women of the Australian Defence Force", and indeed that is the case. I say bring the troops home to avoid being killed, to avoid ingesting depleted uranium, a weapon of mass destruction which the US forces will use, to avoid being indicted for crimes against humanity. And when our military forces do come home, I will support adequate compensation and recognition of their medical conditions from Veterans Affairs.

In all, between 800,000 and one million Australians marched to stop the war on Iraq on the weekend of 14-16 February (see Melbourne Protests for Peace). Opinion polls continue to show a large majority opposed to Australia's involvement without UN authorisation.

Most people are aware of the nature of Saddam Hussein's regime, but does that justify a military invasion and occupation? There are many countries with brutal military regimes, none of which are being proposed for invasion and occupation. Invasion and occupation inflicts massive casualties on the civilian population. As the Iraqi regime is so brutal, perhaps we should also immediately grant any Iraqi refugees permanent residency visas.

On the question of biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, the US government sold Anthrax spores and base chemicals to the Iraq regime in the 1980s. If it is good enough to demand that Iraq's chemical and biological weapons be inspected and destroyed, surely it is good enough for the same to occurr with other countries, starting with the USA. It was Anthrax from its own stockpiles that was sent anonymously by post after September 11 2001, yet we do not see any rigid accountability of those stockpiles:

In the summer of 2001, the United States walked out of another international conference, this one on how to enforce the 1972 treaty prohibiting biological weapons. Everybody agreed there needed to be stronger inspections of potential sites where germ weapons could be produced -- what Washington is always accusing Iraq of hiding. But this time it wasn't the Iraqis, it was us -- the U.S. delegation walked out because they refused to accept international inspections of American production facilities which the United States demanded for everyone else.

Source: TomPaine.common sense Journal

The Bush government is full of hypocrisy. Just look at how the USA has used its veto on the security council in the last 30 years.

Iraq's oil fields are the second largest known reserves in the world. The war on Iraq is about oil and profits. George Bush and Cheney, and other cabinet members have backgrounds in the oil industry. But it is also ideologically driven. Many of them are also members of a right wing Think Tank called The Project for the New American Century. The invasion of Iraq is the first stage for American control of the Iraq oil fields and literally, world domination under a new socio-economic Pax Americana:

The Project for the New American Century seeks to establish what they call 'Pax Americana' across the globe. Essentially, their goal is to transform America, the sole remaining superpower, into a planetary empire by force of arms. A report released by PNAC in September of 2000 entitled 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' codifies this plan, which requires a massive increase in defense spending and the fighting of several major theater wars in order to establish American dominance. The first has been achieved in Bush's new budget plan, which calls for the exact dollar amount to be spent on defense that was requested by PNAC in 2000. Arrangements are underway for the fighting of the wars.

Blood Money by William Rivers Pitt - 27 February 2003 - Information Clearing House.

That the Australian Government is an accomplice in this immoral and avaricious invasion will come home to haunt us. The true Axis of evil are the Governments of the USA, Britain and Australia, who are imposing nothing less than corporate fascism on a world scale.

The State terrorism of Bush, Blair, Howard and Saddam Hussein must all be rejected. Brian Martin, an anarchist and nonviolence activist, has put forward A nonviolent plan to oust Saddam. Read his other writings on peace, war and nonviolence.

The time has come to say an emphatic NO TO WAR. But with the intransigence of our Governments, it means doing more than signing another petition, attending another rally, although these are necessary to do. It needs to be made clear that the profits of war will no longer be tolerated. No Business as Usual.

  • We need to up the stakes and initiate boycotts of products by those corporations which are part of the military industrial complex, or the oil companies that are backing George Bush.
  • We need to encouage those people in the defence forces to refuse to go, and support those who make this decision.
  • We need to directly impede the war effort where ever we can, by civil disobedience. Already in Italy people are blockading trains transporting equipment to US bases in Italy. In Ireland protests, including civil disobedient plowshares actions causing damage to military aircraft, have effectively stopped the use of Shannon Airport as a major refuelling stop for military aircraft. The Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior, has blockaded a UK military port for 6 days, before being seized.



The horrors of war are many, but at the level of the common folk there are no victors: it is the survivors who feel the human suffering and deprivation caused by the generals and politicians. It will be the families of the dead and injured in Iraq, as well as the US or Australia that will be forced to endure the ongoing consequences of war.

Killed in Battle by German artist Käthe Kollwitz, 1921.
(See Art: the Alternative Tradition)


Relevant Links:

This site is no longer active but remains as an archive of the Melbourne anti-war protests from February to April 2003 against the invasion of Iraq.

You can read an 80 page book as a PDF on the Antiwar/peace movement in Melbourne from 2001 to 2007: Against Terrorism, Against War. Melbourne Protests for Peace. (PDF 1.5MB)



  • Sun 13 April: Palm Sunday March
    What price war?

    Tens of thousands of people rallied at Treasury Gardens in Melbourne at 2pm, before marching to Federation Square, up Swanston Street, then Bourke Street to Parliament House and down Spring street back to Treasury Gardens. Half way through the march the heavens openned up and heavy rain soaked the peace march. The gutters running over, many people took refuge under the awnings on the footpath, while quite a few people continued on in the soaking rain. This march demonstrated there is still strong feelings on the morality of Australia's involvement in the invasion of Iraq.

  • Sat 29 March: March Against War
    What price war?

    Another reality check for Prime Minister John Howard. 40,000 people march against the war in Iraq in Melbourne. On Friday night 500 people hindered his attempt to attend a function in Camberwell.

  • Thur 27 March: Lawyers Against War
    Lawyers outside Supreme Court

    Several hundred lawyers and legal workers rallied against the war on Iraq. One banner said Make Law not War. Another report.

  • Wed 26 March: Youth Against War student strike
    University High Peace Corps

    About 3,000 students, predominantly from High School, rallied and marched against the war on Iraq, shouting slogans and chanting through the streets of Melbourne.

  • Sun 23 March: Parents, babies and toddlers for peace
    A toddler and her doll sends a message for peace

    About 150 parents with babies and toddlers gathered at the Government Offices in Casselden Place to stop the war, and argue for more money on child welfare not warfare, books not bombs and Medicare not Missiles.

  • Fri 21 March: Thousands rally in the rain and march against war in Melbourne | Indymedia

    Up to 20,000 people rallied in the rain at 5pm and marched to Parliament House.

  • Fri 21 March: Victorian unionists march against the war | Indymedia
    Workers against war

    Up to 10,000 unionists stopped work and marched against the war today in Melbourne.

  • Thu 20 March: 50,000 march when the missiles start landing
    How many kids did you kill today?

    With about 3 hours notice, up to 50,000 people marched in Melbourne in anger and protest at the start of war on Baghdad. Read Takver's open letter to John Howard.

  • Sun 16 March: Brunswick vigil for peace
    Peace Vigil at Brunswick Free Speech Memorial

    As part of a global vigil for peace involving at least 5955 vigils in 4000 cities or towns in 134 countries, Brunswick residents held at least two vigils for peace. The Vigil on Sydney Road had about 50 people actively participate on about 7 hours notice. In neighboring suburb of Northcote about 250 people held a candle light march and vigil.

  • Sat 15 March: Coburg local rally against war
    toddler protesting the war

    More than 100 people rallied and marched around the Coburg Shopping Precinct. In High Street Northcote 100+ people also rallied and marched, organised by the Darebin Anti-war Group.

  • Fri 14 March, 5pm: 'Stop their countdown to war' rally, Federation Square.
    Student protest

    Up to 400 people gathered at Federation Square on Friday afternoon to condemn Howard, Bush and Blair and their rush to war on Iraq.

  • 14 Mar 03 - Art Students stage protest | Indymedia
    Student protest

    70 Art students staged a protest along St Kilda Road.
  • 5 Mar 03 -
    Students march against war!

    Student protest

    About 4,000 predominently high school students rallied against war outside the State Library, then marched to Parliament House.

  • 22 Feb 03 -
    Moreland Peace Group anti-war march in Brunswick

    Moreland Peace Group

    About 300 people gathered at the Brunswick Town Hall for a rally and march against the U.S. led war on Iraq. The rally and march was organised by the newly formed Moreland Peace Group.

  • 21 Feb 03 -
    No war for Oil outside BP and Esso | Indymedia

    No Blood for Oil

    200 people gathered outside the offices of BP in Melbourne Central today (Friday 21 Feb) to protest the war on Iraq. They then marched through rain to the offices of Esso at Southbank.
    Organised by the Anti-War Action Collective,
    meetings 6.30pm Mondays at Trades Hall.

  • 14 Feb 2003 -
    Up to 250,000 march in Melbourne for Peace and Against war on Iraq

    Hundreds of thousands of people brought the centre of Melbourne to a standstill from 5pm to 7pm protesting against the War on Iraq. This is the largest demonstration Melbourne has ever seen and sends a powerful message to the Australian Government and to the United States and Britain about popular opposition to their warmongering on Iraq.
    Students banner: Make Love Not War

    Student banner Feb 14 rally

  • Sunday 13 October 2002



    13 Oct 2002 - 45,000 people marched for peace and against a US led invasion of Iraq in Melbourne on Sunday 13 October 2002.
    Photo via Indymedia Story

  • Index of protests (September-December 2001) in Melbourne following the Terrorist attack on the World Trade Center Buildings.

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