A regional report of the marches courtesy of the Public Service Association.


Newcastle

I attended the anti-war rally on Saturday, along with an estimated 18,000 others. The rally began at Civic Park where a number of eloquent speakers from various religious, political, union & other organisations addressed the crowd.

The march then progressed through the heart of Newcastle along closed streets to Pacific Park, where more speeches were delivered.

Although the crowd was very large for a regional centre, the organisation of the day was excellent - the march moved in one direction, the sound quality at both parks was excellent, and the speakers were varied & interesting. It was a great event! (Jane Frances, Fisheries)

Estimates of numbers include 18,000 to 20,000 (NSW Police), 20,000 (Newcastle Herald) and 4,000 (ABC Radio)! [ABC later said 18,000 - LC]

There was a very large contingent of PSA/SPSF members and their families at the rally.

Hunter Peace Forum's next meeting is 4pm Monday 24 February at Trades Hall. (Bil Ferguson, PSA)

Forster

"A friend went to the 500 strong march in Forster on Sunday." (Steve O'Brien, TAFE)

Broken Hill

"My mother tells me that there was a march in Broken Hill but I have no numbers" (Steve O'Brien, TAFE)

Wagga Wagga

"..about 1,000 marched in Wagga Wagga ..

"Cootamundra Liberal Party branch president Arthur Schofield told the gathering John Howard was in contempt of all that the Liberal Party stood for.

"Our decisions on defence, our relationships with the rest of the world must be made in Canberra for Australia's benefit, not in Washington for America's benefit," he said. (ABC News, Riverina)

The Daily Advertiser says 450-800 . . . The paper did say it was the largest protest of its type Wagga has seen in many years... (Peter Hood, PSA)

Tathra

". . . an estimated 1,500 people attended a peace rally . ." (ABC News Bega)

Bega

". . . a free open-air peace concert in Bega's Littleton Gardens .. drew 400 people. (ABC Bega)

Canberra

"Police estimate up to 10,000 people met at Garema Place to protest against going to war with Iraq.

Catholic Bishop Pat Power says he was surprised by the depth of feeling against war. (ABC Canberra)

Armidale

"Armidale came to a virtual standstill at the weekend for the biggest protest rally ever seen in the city. A crowd estimated by police at about 5,000 marched through the business area demanding there be no war with Iraq. The protesters, young and old and carrying placards and signs, chanted as they marched through the business area. (ABC News, Tamworth)

Byron Bay & Lismore

Across the region people marched in the streets, prayed, meditated and sang in an effort to make their statements for peace heard. At Byron Bay, more than 2,000 people attended a march and rally while in Lismore nearly 5,000 people marched through the central business district. (ABC News, Lismore)

North Coast

From the Great Lakes to Bellingen people gathered in peaceful protest - organisers of the Bellingen march say they were amazed by the turnout of more than 3,000 - more than the town's population.

In Nambucca more than 1,000 people took part in a rally and march. In the Great Lakes there were 700-anti war protesters, in Kempsey 300 and there was also a rally at Taree.

Spokesman for the Bellingen rally Tim Cadman said . . ". perhaps the most interesting speech was from Vietnam veteran Bob McCloud who's recently sent his war medals back to the Prime Minister,"

"He was saying that a lot of embassies around the world have really paid a lot of attention to the Australian people and their opposition to this war. It's really helping them strengthen their determination to make sure that we don't go into another killing fields in Iraq." (ABC News, Coffs Harbour)

The Women's March today was also a great success despite the heavy rain. Up to 5000 women under umbrella's marched for peace,denouncing war anddenouncing the disgracefulslurs that have been uttered by the Prime Minister against this broad representative peace movement.