Using red paint and rollers, two protesters daubed the words 'no war' on the spine of the tallest sail of Sydney Opera House on the morning of 18 March 2003. The protest followed Australian prime minister John Howard's announcement that he was supplying 2,000 troops to the US-led invasion of Iraq.
The protest, one of thousands across the world, is another demonstration of the level of anti-war feeling held by ordinary people. Members of the public shouted 'murderer' as Howard made his announcement to MPs in Canberra.
British astronomer Dr Will Saunders and Australian environmental campaigner David Burgess were arrested by police but later released on bail. Burgess commented that the majority of Australians were against the war. Saunders, later re-arrested under the Migration Act, stated that the act was nothing compared to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. The incident was seen as an embarrassment to Opera House staff, who had stepped up their security because of fears of a terrorist attack. The sails are now to be guarded 24 hours a day.
Music & Vision has received a certain amount of criticism of late for 'ignoring the war', but we will try to report items that relate directly to classical music. Basil Ramsey's editorial Sing for peace expresses our wish of love for all mankind.
Posted: 27 March 2003
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