President Bush 'misunderestimates' Australian opposition to visit: Parliament Address an Insult to Democracy

October 16, 2003

The Stop the War Coalition thinks that US president Bush has 'misunderestimated' (to use a George Bush phrase) just how much opposition there will be when he visits Australia next week.

The United States President says he wants to thank the Prime Minister and Australian people for their support during the war against Iraq and the fight against terrorism.

"The war wasn't launched in our name. John Howard supported an illegal and immoral war against Iraq, against the wishes of the majority of Australian people. Now Bush wants further support for the occupation of Iraq, despite growing evidence that the war was based on lies", said spokesperson Brian Webb.

"George Bush infamously said (Nov6, 2000) that he had been 'misunderestimated'. We think he has 'misunderestimated' the level of opposition to the Iraq war here. Anti-war campaigners are planning large demonstrations before Bush arrives on October 22, and when he addresses parliament on October 23."

"Over one million people protested as part of global protests in February. These were the largest political demonstrations in Australian history. John Howard sent troops to Iraq knowing that he did not have the support of people here. It is yet another insult to democracy for Bush to now address parliament", said Webb.

Nick Everett, another spokesperson for Stop the War, said "Simon Crean says 'stand up'; we say stop Bush and join the anti-war protests.

"Hundreds of people are planning to go to Canberra to join the national protest outside Parliament before Bush speaks. We hope that anti-war MPs will join the protest at 9am and take the protest into the house as well-either by turning their backs on Bush when he speaks at 11.15am, or wearing a white armband, booing him or using some other symbol of opposition", said Everett.

Stop the War Coalition is organising a demonstration in Sydney at 5pm at Town Hall on October 22. Speakers include Harry Quick ALP MHR, Father Brian Gore, Green Senator Bob Brown and Democrats Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja.

CANBERRA RALLY 9am outside Parliament Thursday 23 October

For more information:

Brian Webb
Mob: 0425-347-634

Nick Everett
Mob: 0409-762-081