29 March Melbourne
35,000 call on troops to be brought home
(ABC, March 29, 2003)
Anti-war protesters send PM 'reality' message
An estimated 30,000 anti-war protesters have attended a peace rally in Melbourne.
It was a day that saw members of the Greens, Democrats and Labor parties unite to send what they say is a "reality" message to the Australian Government.
Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said: "John Howard said yesterday that he thought people needed a reality check if they thought this was going to be a quick, short war. John Howard is the one that needs a reality check."
Federal Labor MP Lindsay Tanner says the Australian Government has betrayed its commitment to the international community by going to war with Iraq.
He told the crowd gathered at the State Library that the Howard Government should not have acted outside the United Nations.
"More than 50 years ago our nation made a solemn commitment to the remainder of the nations of the world by being a founder member of the United Nations that we would only participate in military action against another nation in self-defence or in accordance with a clear decision of the United Nations - that commitment is being betrayed," he said.
The crowd moved from the State Library chanting anti-war slogans before gathering at the treasury building, where an American flag was set alight.
PM, Libs targeted
On Friday, protesters staged an anti-war rally outside a function attended by Prime Minister John Howard in Melbourne's east.
About 400 protesters under heavy police guard rallied outside the Liberal Party dinner at the Camberwell Civic Centre for several hours.
There were minor clashes when some people threw themselves in front of cars and tried to break through police lines.
Mr Howard left the centre without incident.
© 2003 Australian Broadcasting Corporation