Mark’s Iraq Speech: Melbourne

Mark Seymour’s peace speech as presented at a large peace rally in Melbourne.

Author: Mark Seymour (/Stuart Fenech).

Date: 14 February 2003.


Article Text

While the governments in America, Great Britain and Australia continue to impose a war on Iraq upon their citizens, public opinion remains divided. Here in Australia, some of the largest protests since the Vietnam war have taken place. Former Hunters and Collectors lead singer Mark Seymour was involved in one of the first protests of the last few days. On Valentines day, Friday the 14th of February 2003, more than 120,000 people marched through the streets of Melbourne rallying for peace. Mark Seymour joined Peter Garrett and ministers of parliament including Natasha Stott Despoja and Bob Brown in speaking out against the war. Exclusive to True Believers, Mark Seymour’s speech is reproduced below.


I’d just like to say a few words, before we play, about why we are here today in such overwhelming numbers.

United though we are in our opposition to this war, there are some basic facts we need to confront if we are serious about changing the direction our country is going in…

Not only is John Howard ignoring us but, sadly, he is also firmly convinced that he is right.

And despite all of his rhetoric about national obligation and duty, there are other simple truths you can guarantee.

If this war starts: There WILL BE massive loss of life. There WILL BE unbridled carnage. There WILL BE unimaginable suffering on the ground, and for the global community, the repercussions will be devastating. Terrorism will flourish.

So when John Howard tells us that we have a moral obligation to wage war on Saddam, we must ask John Howard, do we therefore have an obligation to slaughter hundreds and thousands of innocent Iraqi’s, men, women and children alike? Is this part of the war on Terror?

Of course it isn’t. Tell John Howard that we Australians are morally opposed to this war. And not only do WE have the courage of our convictions, but above all, WE know we are right!

We will fight tooth and nail to turn the political tide against John Howard. We will win the hearts and minds of our fellow Australians, and bring this government to its senses, or bring it to its knees!