The war against Iraqi people is not over
The following is the text of the speech made by Dr Hannah Middleton a Co-convenor, Walk Against the War Coalition at the May Day rally in Sydney. The invasion and occupation of Iraq was and is wrong, illegal and immoral. The US-led invasion has killed and injured many thousands of Iraqi people. It has destroyed basic services which were already badly damaged by war and over a decade of punitive sanctions. Today the Iraqi people face shortages of water and food, hospitals overflowing and without medicines, water or electricity, and the on-going danger of death and injury. War has brought US military occupation, not stability and democracy. Occupation is not liberation — and this is an occupation in which US soldiers did not control the looters but do shoot political protesters. The presence of hundreds of thousands of US troops is a huge barrier to the Iraqi people's right to decide their own future. Only the Iraqi people can create democracy in Iraq. The foreign troops also directly threaten other Middle Eastern countries. The Walk Against the War Coalition demands: End the occupation! Troops out now! The "Coalition of the killing" bombed Baghdad's water supply. It is not yet restored, but it is being privatised. A US corporation will reap the profits from the Iraqi people's need for water. There is a sickening carve up of the spoils of war in Iraq between competing, mainly US, corporations. It is called "reconstruction" but in reality it is nothing more than colonial plunder. We demand: Iraqi control of Iraq's resources! There is evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — but they are not Iraqi weapons. The US forces have been using depleted uranium munitions in the invasion. These were also employed in the 1991 Gulf War, leaving a legacy of horrifying cancers among both Iraqi civilians and US troops. The Bush administration has taught the world a terrible lesson — countries must develop weapons of mass destruction as a deterrent to protect themselves from a US pre-emptive strike. There will be proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, a terrible new arms race which will gobble up desperately needed resources and threaten the survival of this planet. There are already more than 26,000 nuclear weapons in our world. The US military budget is now over $US437 billion every year. This is larger than Australian economy. Yet global poverty and inequality are getting worse. We demand the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction! The Bush administration is using its overwhelming military force to win global domination, to seize power so that it can privatize the economies of all countries and inflict on people everywhere the blessings of 'free market' corporate capitalism. Bush and his advisers speak of "endless war". Iraq is an early victim. The Palestinian people have been fighting and suffering for decades. Who is next? Syria, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela, Libya. We demand: No more wars of aggression! We reject the Howard Government's support for the Bush's doctrine of "preventive war". We reject the Government's support for the US spy base at Pine Gap which was so crucial for the US attack on Iraq. And let's not forget that Australian workers at Pine Gap have been on strike twice this year already because they are paid substantially less than Americans at Pine Gap who do exactly the same job. We condemn the Howard Government for trampling on our democratic rights by defying the will of the great majority of the people of this country who were opposed to war against Iraq. We condemn the Government for its attacks on our civil liberties under the guise of "security" and "fighting terrorism". We will resist all moves by the Howard Government to make us pay for this illegal, immoral and barbaric war. We will not permit our Medicare cards to be taken from us, we will not allow our public hospitals and public schools to be starved of funds while the Federal Government's war spending spirals into billions upon billions of workers dollars. On May Day, we say: We don't need new wars and an arms race; we don't need transnational corporation dominance. We need, we demand, we will fight for workers rights, global justice and peace.