Proud to be Australian 

One Man's Web > Politics and Ethics > Iraq War > Proud to be Australian
Feb 18 2003

 On Sunday 16th February I saw an old couple who were so frail they looked like they could barely walk.  In Adelaide some 100,000 people marched against the government's headlong rush for war.  Not just ratbags, but ordinary Australians, many of whom said they had never been in a march before.

Prime Minister Howard is quoted as saying 

"The one constant in all the polls is that people think that Saddam Hussein has got dangerous weapons. They don't believe him and they think something ought to be done," he said.
"I don't think the mob, to use that vernacular, has quite made up its mind on this issue and it can't really make up its mind until we know what all the alternatives are."  
Link Live ABC Website Feb 18

He is also reported as saying, 

"This is not something where you read each opinion poll or you measure the number of people in demonstrations," he told the Seven Network's Sunday Sunrise program. Responding to the public rallies across Australia, Mr Howard said: "I don't know that you can measure public opinion just by the number of people who turn up at demonstrations."  Link Live at Feb 18

As Natasha Stott-Despotja, previous leader of the Australian Democrats said on Channel 10 news, "for a man who spent his life listening to opinion polls, its a funny time to stop listening." Simon Crean, the Federal Opposition leader,  says John Howard's references to protesters as "the mob" is contemptuous. "It goes to show how out of touch the Prime Minister is," he said. "It also goes to show how inconsistent he is, when they're agreeing with him they're mainstream, when they're against him they're the mob."  Link Live ABC Website Feb 18

Photos I took at the march follow: the page takes around 30 seconds to download.

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