M1 protesters: 'Palestine must be free'
BY ALISON DELLIT
SYDNEY — Organisers of the April 19 pro-Palestinian protest are supporting
planned protests on May 1, arguing that defence of Palestine and demands
on Israel to withdraw from the Occupied Territories be a central part of
the struggle against corporate greed.
“May 1 is an international day of workers' solidarity”, Nikolai Haddad
from Friends of Palestine and the Palestine Human Rights Campaign told
Green Left Weekly. “It is important that workers, and international
liberation movements, support the Palestinian struggle at the moment. We
are a seeing a massacre of the Palestinians — not a war on terror, but
a war against the Palestinians and their aspirations for statehood.”
M1 protest organisers have decided to make solidarity with Palestine
a central focus of the unity march, planned to begin at noon outside the
World Bank office in Martin Place.
“Solidarity with Palestine will lead the unity rally”, said Sydney M1
Alliance member Melanie Sjoberg. “Many people understand that the oppression
of the Palestinians is connected to corporate greed.”
Haddad agreed. “The Israeli military-industrial complex is supported
by some of the largest, and most vile, multinationals because it is a vehicle
to keep capitalist and imperialist order in the region.”
Palestinian solidarity will be a focus of most M1 protests around the
country. In Brisbane, the Palestine Solidarity Committee is endorsing May
1 action as the next large pro-Palestine protest.
Perth M1 Alliance member Nikki Ulasowski said that the US and Australian
governments are “anything but impartial” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The US continues to fund the Israeli military”, she told GLW, and
“Prime Minister John Howard says Israel's slaughter is 'understandable'.”
Ali Kazak, leader of the Palestinian Delegation in Australia, will speak
at the Perth M1 protest, which is being supported by Unions WA.
Haddad argued that the Palestinian struggle is also a workers' struggle.
“A compliant Palestinian population is also a source of cheap labour for
the Israeli state”, he pointed out. That is why, he argued, the Israeli
army recently blew up the offices of the General Union of Palestinian Workers.
“This was a trade union organisation that could not possibly be seen
as anything like terrorism. The Israelis are not afraid of suicide bombers,
they are afraid of the unions, they are afraid of the intifada.”
For details of M1 protests in your city, see the notice on page 7.
From Green Left Weekly, April 24, 2002.
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