Anti-war rally – 18 March

(Some of these pictures were posted to Melbourne Indymedia on the night of the protest: See also 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:

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 …

Havana Palav (band) warming up the crowd

Havana Palava warming up the crowd

The crowd at the State Library - or part of it

The crowd at the State Library – or part of it

Placard - Boring old farts demand troops out of Iraq  now

This placard was prominent throughout

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…”:
Andrew Wilkie speaking

Child chalking on pavement - Make Love not War

This little one was in no doubt about her message

Man in heavy make-up with placard - War is Boring

Another point of view

Banner of Moreland Peace Group

The Moreland Peace Group, obviously

T-short - John Howard, the turd that will not flush

Promoting the New International Bookshop, where the t-shirt can be bought

Cardboard cutout 'storm troopers'

These storm troopers popped up at intervals

Banner leading march - End the Lies

The head of the march

Two drummers on the march

The tireless drummers

Banner of Lesbian and Gay Solidarity

Lesbian and Gay Solidarity, closely followed by Havana Palava

Placard of 'US flag ' with skull and cross bones and letters 'DU'

A reminder of the Coalition’s use of depleted uranium

Protester wearing head of John Howard

HE was there, too

Young woman riding piggy-back wearing t-shirt -  No Iaqis died to fuel this bicycle

An anti-war bike advocate

At the Bourke/Swanston intersection

Chalking the outlines of bodies on the road outside Nike

Occupying the Flinders/Swanston intersection

The final stop – at the Flinders Street intersection, before moving on to Federation Square