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March 29, 2004 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

End the Occupation!

The demonstrations around the world last week showed that the movement against war and occupation hasn’t gone away. The International Socialist Organisation was one of many groups organising the rally on March 20th in Wellington, and it was great to see the vibrancy and determination of those coming out on the streets to oppose Bush’s war for oil and empire.

One year on from the invasion of Iraq, we take no satisfaction in seeing that the anti-war movement was right: Bush and Blair based their justification of war on lies. Twelve months on there have been no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq (remember the claim Saddam could launch an attack in 45 minutes?) and the laughable suggestion that Hussein’s regime had links to Al Qaeda has been exposed for the sorry attempt to play on public outrage over September 11 that it was all along. Bush and Blair promised to “liberate” the Iraqi people but, if the scenes of desperation and suffering throughout the region are anything to go by, this is just another cruel excuse. The Iraqi resistance, far from being mere remnants of the old force, is fighting for justice and self-determination.

U.S. imperialism’s quest for oil and empire stretches throughout the world: from the toppling of the government in Haiti to America’s support for Israel’s war on the Palestinians. But, within the USA itself, people are organizing against Bush. Mass demonstrations in New York, San Fransisco and elsewhere exposed the depth of feeling the anti-war movement is inspiring and, crucially, military families and army veterans like Stan Goff are organizing and speaking out against the war.

As a club we’re involved in building the anti-war movement here in Wellington, and we also hold regular meetings on campus to discuss political and historical events. We hold these meetings to try and publicize against the lies and distortions of the right-wing and warmongers, as well as to try and build against New Zealand’s support for the so-called “war on terror” and to arm ourselves with the arguments our side needs to win. Look out for our posters and notices in Salient if you’re interested in getting involved or just want to find out what we’re about. We hold meetings on historical topics to learn from the great social movements of the past, and to better prepare for the challenges that will face the movement in the future.

We hold regular literature stalls in the Quad on Tuesdays: look out for our table. We have magazines and pamphlets we produce ourselves on a range of issues relevant to Aotearoa/New Zealand, as well as alternative media from socialists in Australia and the United States.

To get in touch with the International Socialists at Victoria email contact [at] or phone Shomi or Dougal on 385 8508 or 463 6818. Oh, and our website is


About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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