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Wellington Peace March – 11am March 22 Civic Sq.



Phones: 382-8129 972-3298 (Don) 387-2662 (Richard)

Press Release Sunday, 16 March, 2003

The imminent threat of a war on Iraq will bring people onto the streets of Wellington once again on Saturday, March 22 to say "Stop the War - U.S Out of Iraq". Gather at Civic Square, 11:00 am, and march through Parliament Grounds (12:00 noon) to the U.S. Embassy (12:30). The event is sponsored by Peace Action Wellington as part of a National Day of Action in Aotearoa / New Zealand.

PAW spokesperson, Richard Keller, says, "This is a way to keep the momentum going after 10 million people marched for peace world wide on February 15, the largest globally co-ordinated peace march ever." Thousands paraded for peace in Wellington on that occasion.

More individuals, unions, churches, and even governments world wide have taken heart from that giant turnout and are more openly expressing their opposition to a war.

The importance of people power grows as the United States case for war unravels. The U.S. lurches from one justification to another. Iraq looks less like a threat and more like a victim. Images of blood, body parts, and cities in rubble come to mind with the published U.S. plans to strike with 3000 cruise missiles in a 48 hour period.

When the U.S. recently announced plans for a post-invasion military occupation of Iraq, dumping their previously preferred Iraqi leader in exile, Ahmed Chalabi, head of the Iraqi National Congress, their claim of wanting to establish democracy in Iraq falls away in the eyes of world leaders. The U.S. desire for regional and global power through control of oil becomes more visible all the while. Only the collapse of the United Nations Security Council through threats and inducements will see many other than Britain and Australia join the U.S. in this unjustified war.

Whether the bombing and invasion has begun or not by March 22, this is an "all out on the streets" event with an unprecedented opportunity to influence events. Peace Action Wellington demands P.M. Helen Clark stop giving material support to the war build up, ordering the frigate, the Orion and the SAS troops home, and invites her to bring the family to the streets of Wellington and join those who are concerned and outraged at what is unfolding in the Middle East.


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