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International Women's Day Auckland 8 March

International Women's Day Auckland 8 March

Around 700 people took part in a very spirited march for International Women's Day in Auckland. (TV 1 put the figure at nearly 1,000) The militant and loud crowd chanted 'UN, USA, no war, no way', 'Helen Clark, hands off Iraq!', 'US imperialist, number 1 terrorist!' all the way to the US consulate.

The event started with a rally at 12 noon. Speakers included Daphna (Anti-Capitalist Alliance) on capitalism, war and inequality; Rana, a Palestinian woman - on the struggle of the Palestinian people; Janet (DPB action group) - on war and poverty; a woman from the Ngawha prison protest; and Sarah - an organiser with Unite spoke about the struggle of beneficiaries. The speeches were critical of the government and condemned the war on Iraq. Between speeches the crowd chanted slogans. A leftish theatre group performed a hilarious skit, dishing out to Clark, Howard and Bush well-earned ridicule.

At the US Consulate a group of weapons inspectors - dressed in white overalls and masks - reported the results of their investigations on US weapons of mass destruction. These findings, printed on big posters, were pasted on the US consulate wall.

The inspectors and the crowd served an eviction notice saying:

We, the people of New Zealand, demonstrating against US terror-tactics, serve notice of eviction to the United States' Consulate. International Women's Day, March 8 2003'.

An open mike followed, and some marchers went on to a demonstration outside Whenuapai airbase to 'greet' the arrival of Australian PM John Howard.

The March 8 event in Auckland was very much in the tradition of International Women's Day, taking a stand for equality and liberation.

Daphna Whitmore

© Scoop Media

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