(Some of these pictures were posted to Melbourne Indymedia on the night of the protest:http://web-beta.archive.org/web/20050416025054/http://melbourne.indymedia.org/news/2005/03/89411_comment.php#89495. See also http://web-beta.archive.org/web/20070518021144/http://melbourne.indymedia.org/news/2005/03/89426_comment.php#89440. Checking news sites for reports of the rally I found only one as of midnight: the China Xinhua news agency had posted a brief account at about 11pm Melbourne time, giving the number present at about one thousand: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-03/18/content_2715167.htm)
Melbourne was a day or two ahead of the rest of the world with its protest to mark the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Numbers were well down on last year, not to mention the year before, but still topped the thousand mark.
It seems to be a regular feature when a rally is followed by a march that the numbers dwindle, sometimes very sharply as the march progresses.That certainly happened this evening, with fewer than two hundred finishing up at Federation Square.
The rally at the State Library was addressed by,amongst others, Lev Lafayette of Labor for Refugees, Kevin Bracken of the MUA, and Andrew Wilkie, for the Greens. There was plenty of music on the march, supplied by apparently indefatigable drummers, and Havana Palaver did their bit to warm the crowd up before the speeches. It was also a colourful protest, and not just because of the red flags …
Andrew Wilkie addressing the crowd: “Well, what a terrible, terrible mess we find ourselves in. Two years on and it’s now carved deep into history for all time that Australia was party to the unjustified and the illegal invasion of the sovereign state of Iraq for a set of official reasons every one of which has now been totally discredited…”: