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[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ] Peace rally clogs Melbourne Tens of thousands of peace protesters packed Melbourne's city streets in a show of strength against a US-led war in Iraq. It was the first in a series of planned peace protests across Australia this weekend, which will culminate in rallies on Sunday in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. The weekend protests in Australia coincide with anti-war rallies around the world. Touted as the biggest protest in Australia since the anti-Vietnam War marches of 30 years ago, today's Melbourne rally kicked off with mock air raid sirens to symbolise air attacks on Baghdad. Protesters gathered outside the State Library in Swanston Street, waving placards with slogans including: "No War for Oil", "Howard's End" and "Will the Pollies' Kids Go to War?" They were addressed by former Democrats leader Natasha Stott-Despoja and Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown. "It is an amazing scene here with you today in a show of solidarity to send a strong message to Prime Minister Howard and the Australian government that Australians don't want war," Senator Stott Despoja told the huge crowd. Senator Brown told protesters the possible war concerned United States president George W Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister John Howard. "But this war is not Australia's war," Senator Brown said. The protesters made their way down Swanston Street to Federation Square, where they were to be addressed by union and political leaders as well as rock singer and conservationist Peter Garrett. The event, organised by churches, peace and student groups and unions, will wind up with a 90-minute music concert. Police would not immediately put a figure on the size of the crowd, but organisers put it at up to 200,000. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk