Archive article from The Socialist Issue 273
After The Bali Bombings
Australians say "no military solution"
THE HORRIFIC bombings at the nightclubs in Bali have left up to 300 Australians dead, the biggest toll since the Vietnam War. The victims were overwhelmingly young people, mainly working-class youth on end of season football tours or once-in-a-lifetime holidays.
Steve Jolly, Socialist Party, Australia
Other casualties include the Indonesian nightclub staff who died and were injured. The local tourist industry will be wrecked, probably forever, after these attacks. Tens of thousands of Indonesian workers will be left unemployed without any social security.
Australia is in collective shock. The world events that many ordinary people thought themselves immune from have now caught up with them.
John Howard's right-wing Federal government will try and use the attacks to bolster its support for Bush's war on Iraq. Right-wing extremists will try and whip up racism with attacks on local Muslims and even anti-Iraq war activists.
However the mood amongst ordinary people is not the same as it was in the US after the 11 September attacks last year.
News of the bombings reached most Australians on the Sunday morning, yet that afternoon - 13 October - 35,000 marched in Melbourne against a war on Iraq.
The massive crowd honoured the Bali dead with a minute's silence, agreeing with speakers who explained that there was no military solution to the social problems that breed support for terrorism.
The Socialist Party in Australia argues that Howard's blind support for Bush's 'war on terrorism' and the upcoming war on Iraq, makes ordinary people targets for terrorist retaliation.
We must support those workers, students and poor farmers in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Indonesia who are fighting against imperialist domination of their countries and for a democratic, secular and socialist future.
We reject the idea that the only option is either US domination or the ideas of Islamic fundamentalism. We stand for democratic socialism and the rights of all nations and peoples to self-determination
Anti-War Mood Is Growing In The USA
ON 6 October, the national day of action called by the Not In Our Name project, 7,000 people from Seattle protested the US war plans. It was a youthful crowd, many working class and middle class families, mostly white.
The enormous turnout with very little organising is a testament to how many people are opposed to this war. There are many doubts on many Americans' part about whether this war is a good idea. And it's not just a Seattle thing because similar-sized protests happened in major cities all around the country that day.
81 people wanted more information on Socialist Alternative, (the Socialist Party's US counterpart) 14 checking the "I-want-to-join" box on our sign-up sheets. We sold a ton of papers and literature to people looking for information on the war.
We exchanged contact information with students from all around the area so that we can organise a city-wide student walk-out the day after the US starts bombing Iraq (outside the no-fly zones). By Ramy
THE NEW York Socialist Alternative branch participated on 6 October in the largest anti-war rally in NYC since the Gulf war in 1991. Up to 20,000 joined the Not In Our Name demo.
This is a clear sign of a larger anti-war movement developing against possible actions into Iraq by the Bush administration compared to the war in Afghanistan following the terrorist attacks on 9/11. And coupled to domestic issues like the corporate scandals the 26 October demo in Washington DC against the war could be one of the largest anti-war demos in recent history.
We had two stalls with placards against the war and one reading 'Money for jobs and education and not war'.
A teacher joined Socialist Alternative and 71 people wanted more information from us. 219 copies of our paper, Justice, were sold. By Eljeer
AROUND 1,500 protested at the downtown federal building in Minneapolis on 13 October. According to long-time anti-war organisers, this is the biggest turn-out in years.
150 students from the University of Minnesota marched from the campus to the downtown protest, a 30 minute walk away. Socialist Alternative members played a key role in building the student turn-out.
Socialist Alternative members are building for a big campus demonstration on 24 October, aimed at developing a united effort of existing anti-war activists and integrating the many unorganised into concrete activities. By Ty