In February 2003 one million people took to the streets across Australia saying NO to a war in Iraq.
The people of the world knew this war was wrong.
The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia invaded Iraq anyway, initiating a war characterised by ferocious violence, a million refugees and a $3 billion cost to Australia.
Australia ended its deployment in Iraq in mid 2009 and America withdrew its entire military and closed down an of its 505 bases at the end of 2011.
Australian Defence Force chief Angus Houston said in 2009 that
“Australia could take great pride in the enduring contribution its troops had made to the future of Iraq.”
Now, a decade after the invasion, Iraq is still wracked by violence with many hundreds of thousands dead.
But the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia still insist that starting that war was the right thing to do. Just Peace is organising a forum to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the February 15th international day of protest against the war. We want to remind Queenslanders that 70,000 people marched in Brisbane alone on February 16th.
What galvanized Queenslanders into action on that day?
What was the effect of that action?
How has the antiwar movement maintained its focus and what is the future of our work?
“People Power” has had many dramatic successes over the years – the anti-Vietnam movement, the movement against damming the Franklin River, to the campaign against Work Choices.
While the Iraq protest failed to prevent that war, perhaps it sensitized the Australian people against more wars.
Let us see.
For more information contact Annette (Just Peace IPAN) on firstname.lastname@example.org or ph:0431597256