Regime change starts at home: Greens

March 18, 2003 - Greens (WA) MLC Robin Chapple has condemned Prime Minister John Howard's decision to follow George Bush into an illegal attack on the people of Iraq.

“George Bush whistled and John Howard followed. I am utterly disgusted at the contempt this shows for the people of Iraq, the Australian public, and for the United Nations and for the whole framework of international law which has been built since 1945.'

“While I am in the electorate today, my colleagues in State Parliament will stage a walkout this afternoon in protest at Australian involvement in this illegal and unjustifiable war.'

The last few months have seen an extraordinary mobilisation around the world as people from all walks of life express their opposition to war as the solution to political problems. The opposition, beginning with the traditional peace movement, soon reached deep into the Australian electorate, with rallies in all capital cities but also regional centres such as Esperance, Broome, Geraldton and Albany among others. Mr Chapple predicted that this opposition would step up radically if the bombing actually began.

“Mr Howard has exposed his Government, and the Australian Defence Forces, to the potential for future war crimes prosecutions. He has put the Australian Defence Force in an impossible position, and I will maintain full support for these young men and women as individuals. I urge Howard once again, to reconsider the course he has embarked on.'

“Nothing I have said implies support for Saddam Hussein's brutal regime.

Mr Chapple promised to help build the movement for Peace throughout the Mining and Pastoral electorate.

“I am determined that this move must cost the Prime Minister his job. One way or another, regime change must now come to Australia.'

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