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Anti-U.S. Occupation Protest Faces Off With Police

Anti-U.S. Occupation Protest Faces Off With Police

Images by Selwyn Manning - Scoop co editor.

Scoop Report Auckland - A protest against the United States' occupation of Iraq and ANZ bank's involvement in Iraq banking led to a stand off between several hundred protesters and police in Auckland today (Saturday March 19 05).

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Around five people were arrested by police for allegedly blocking Queen Street - Auckland City's main street.

Protesters had gathered outside the ANZ Bank on Queen Street. Police took advantage of a split in the protest as one group moved on, planning to picket the U.S. Consulate at 23 Customs St East. A group that remained outside the ANZ Bank was confronted after a skirmish with a driver of a utility what was determined to drive through a group of protesters occupying the Queen Street thoroughfare.

Global Peace and Justice Auckland (GPJA) organized the march in conjunction with a Global Day of Action marking the second anniversary of military and economic occupation of Iraq.

GPJA said: the war in Iraq rages on despite the recent Iraqi election. The US and its allies refuse to end their military and economic occupation despite popular resistance and global protests. The brutality of occupation and the poverty induced by the “free-market” recolonization of Iraq generates growing resistance.

Protesters said: elite state interests in the UK and US and the multinational corporations they protect profit from the war and enhance their economic control. Meanwhile the Iraqi people pay the price in blood and poverty – with 100,000 dead and unemployment reaching 70%.

GPJA claims that the ANZ bank is making a killing in Iraq.

As a part of the consortium set up by the US occupation to manage the Trade Bank of Iraq, the ANZ plays a key role in promoting the interest of western business in Iraq. The consortium encourages the importation of products from the west to flood the Iraqi market, making Iraq dependent on outside business to the detriment of it’s own economy, a GPJA statement said.

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