Australia: Demonstrations

Over the weekend Australia became the scene of biggest anti-war demonstrations since Vietnam. An estimated crowd of 250,000 filled the centre of Sydney on Sunday, some 150,000 marched in Melbourne.

Adelaide and Brisbane had 100,000 participants each, with Leader of the Opposition Simon Crean addressing the crowd in Brisbane. Australians opposing the war claim the conflict is not relevant for their country and may produce significant casualties among the Australian military personnel in the Middle East.

Prime Minister John Howard assures the nation that Australian troops have not been committed to war at this stage. Nevertheless, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper says Australian F-18 bombers have already been included into the first wave of air attack starting the invasion. As for today, Australia deployed some 2,000 soldiers, sailors and Air Force personnel to the Arabian Gulf.

Henry L. Marconi PRAVDA.Ru Sydney