Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/294/13983
A Late Arrival To The Warmongers' Ball
ON THE night of 28 March, the Socialist Party (SP - CWI, Australia) led a 500-strong demonstration to a Liberal Party function where Prime Minister, John Howard, was guest speaker.
Socialist Party, Melbourne
The Howard government fully supports the war in Iraq and has sent 2,000 troops to assist the US and British forces' invasion. We tried to stop Howard getting to the event and the bravery of protesters meant it took three attempts by the Federal and State police for Howard to sit down (one hour late) for his meal!
The SP organised the PA system and speakers' list at the protest. Participants heard representatives of Greenpeace, the Greens, CFMEU (furniture trades union), Youth Against War, other left wing parties, as well as SP members. The SP's role in this event has increased our profile in the anti-war movement.
The rally got big TV and radio coverage, as well as being reported in The Herald-Sun, Melbourne's tabloid daily paper.
The next day, Saturday 29 March, over 30,000 people marched in Melbourne in the latest Victorian Peace Network rally (SP is an affiliate to the Network). We organised a truck for the Saturday rally, which was used as a stage for a live band. Many people were interested in joining our party.
Kazakhstan - Freedom of speech?
ANTI-WAR PROTESTERS in Kazakhstan burst into a television studio last week where the US ambassador was speaking about the war in Iraq.
The protesters, all CWI members, unfurled a 'No to war' banner which was seen by millions of viewers on three channels across the country. This bold protest, in the authoritarian state of President Nazabayev, who wholeheartedly supports the war, successfully reminded the public of widespread anti-war sentiment.
The television show is called 'Freedom of Speech'!
CWI pickets US Embasssy
MEMBERS OF the CWI and the youth organisation 'Young Guard' organised a protest against US aggression in Iraq on 21 March.
Andrei Grishin, Al mata, Kazakhstan
About 50 pickets turned up outside the US Embassy, which suddenly announced it was temporarily closed. After handing a petition to one of the Embassy staff, the protesters wearing red jackets with anti-war slogans moved on to the British Embassy.
Security guards said that the Embassy was shut and the guards began to push us off the pavement into oncoming traffic.
The guards were soon joined by their US counterparts who tried to ban the taking of photos and videos. They also tried to take films out of journalists' cameras. The guards, incidentally, are US and UK citizens.
At the time of writing, it is not clear whether action will be taken against the pickets although the government had announced the day before that the strictest measures (up to three days in prison) would be taken against anyone protesting without permission.
CWI members also joined Day X protests in Moscow, Russia, and in Kiev, in the Ukraine.
Spanish unions call general strike
THE PEOPLE of Spain are massively opposed to the war in Iraq. Reflecting this opposition the UGT, Spain's socialist trade union confederation - has called a two-hour general strike on Thursday 10 April.
A furious struggle is taking place in the CCOO - Workers' Commission - the Communist-led unions, who officially don't support the strike. 86% of the Madrid Regional Council of the CCOO has voted to support the strike.
Recent polls show 83% wholly opposed to the policy of Bush's government. Over 50% support the demand for the resignation of Spanish Prime Minister Aznar.
The crisis facing the Aznar government is shown in his own party - Partido Popular (PP). 13 PP councillors have resigned from the party in Andaluc'a in protest at the pro-war position of the government.
Visit the Committee for a Workers' International website for full details of international protests
In The Socialist 4 April 2003: