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Dunedin Anti-War Rally - Friday 6pm Octagon

While the the U.S. government continues in its preparations for a "global crusade against terrorism", all around the world people have begun to mobilise in opposition to the war and the mounting racist attacks against Arabs and Muslims. The attempt by George W. Bush to turn the terrible tragedy of September 11 into a war in which thousands more innocent people will be killed has ignited widespread anger, anger which will only grow as the government tries to cynically exploit the situation by rushing through new legislation aimed at punishing dissent and curtailing civil liberties.

Here in Aotearoa our government is promising to give full military support - including ground troops - to help fight what President Bush has described as a war against "thousands of terorists in more than 60 countries". However, the list of organisations being targeted shows that governments are using the opportunity to crack down not on "terrorists" but on opponents of their own rule - which renders somewhat puzzling Helen Clark's assertion that the U.S. "was not proposing a knee-jerk reaction".

Already people have begun to organise teach-ins, vigils and protests to call for opposition to the war. In Wellington last week hundreds turned out for a march on parliament, while 60-70 people attended a rally in Dunedin despite a total lack of advertising for the event. This Friday a further rally is planned at 6pm in the Octagon, where there will be an open mic as well as music and a petition for people to sign. It is intended that this will be kept up every Friday until either the crisis is averted or the war is stopped.

In the 1960s and '70s a mass movement succeeded in halting the U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. Today we desperately need to build such a movement again. And the best way to do this is by organising rallies, marches and occupations - involving as many people as possible in collective struggle.

International Socialist Organisation of Aotearoa/New Zealand www.isonz.homestead.com email isonz@hotmail.com ph. (03) 472 7473

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