Another giant march adds to pressure on Australian government to join Gaza ceasefire calls

November 20, 2023
Lead banner in Gadi/Sydney, November 19
Lead banner in Gadi/Sydney, November 19. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Tens of thousands of people marched on November 19 in Gadi/Sydney in the sixth straight week of solidarity rallies for Palestine.

The marchers condemned the Australian and the US governments for supporting the far-right Netanyahu government of Israel in its genocide in Gaza.

Twelve year old Jayda Shadid made a passionate call on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to push for a ceasefire.

“I'm here today because the adults in power have failed,” she said.

“Children like me should be catching waves at the beach, playing cricket in the back yard, having a childhood, not being blown to pieces every ten minutes.”

She called on the government to stop supporting the Israeli regime that is “killing innocent children” and she called for boycotts against companies linked to funding weapons to Israel.


Bombing children is not self defence, Gadi/Sydney
Bombing children is not self defence, Gadi/Sydney. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

She called on Anthony Albanese to say “two simple words: ‘Ceasefire now’”. “Don't wait for [the Americans] to give the okay signal,” she said.

Similarly in Naarm/Melbourne, Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi mocked Albanese's refusal to make the call.

“Take a trip back into your past, and when you come to that junction where you dropped off your guts, pick them up, dust them off, come back here and call for a ceasefire,” she said.

This week's rallies were bolstered by the appearance of United Nations Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese at the National Press Club.

“The right of self-defence can be invoked when a state is threatened by another state,” she said.

Israel cannot claim the right to self defence against a threat that emanates from the territory it occupies, she added.


Naarm/Melbourne Free Palestine rally
Naarm/Melbourne Free Palestine rally. Photo: Chloe DS

Renfrey Clarke reports from Kaurna Yerta/Adelaide that one speaker observed that “this is the fourth protest we’ve held, and they keep getting bigger”.

Three thousand demonstrators gathered outside South Australia's Parliament House on November 19 to condemn Israel’s continuing assault on Gaza.

Mike Khizam from Australian Friends of Palestine addressed the rally, as did members of the Palestinian-Australian community, student and youth representatives, and Tammy Franks, South Australian Greens MP.

A large array of stuffed toys on the steps, provided a poignant symbol of the number of children who have died since Israel started its war. After the rally, the protesters marched through the city centre to Hindmarsh Square.


Kaurna Yerta/Adelaide rally, November 19
Kaurna Yerta/Adelaide rally, November 19. Photo: Renfrey Clarke

In Katoomba, 60 people attended a Palestinian solidarity action. The Blue Mountains Friends of Palestine are planning weekly actions at 12 noon on Sundays at the Old Library.


Friends of Palestine Blue Mountains rally
Friends of Palestine Blue Mountains rally.

Jacob Andrewartha reports from Naarm/Melbourne that 20,000 people marched on November 19. Julian Assange's father, John Shipton was one of the featured speakers.

Andrewartha told Green Left that increasing numbers of activists are making deep commitments to supporting pro-Palestine actions.

Sam Wainwright reported from Boorloo/Perth that Ballardong Nyoongar man Desmond Blurton and Hiba Farra from the Australian Palestine Advocacy Network were among the speakers at a well attended rally on November 19.

A small contingent of Jews standing in solidarity with Palestine joined the rally as an identified group for the first time.


This Jew stands with Palestine, Boorloo/Perth
This Jew stands with Palestine, Boorloo/Perth. Photo: Sam Wainwright

In Meanjin/Brisbane, health professionals led the march to highlight the slaughter by Israel of health workers in Gaza.

Stephen Enciso reports from Garramilla/Darwin reports that people have resumed weekly vigils outside the office of Luke Gosling, the federal member for Solomon. World Children’s Day (November 20) marks 43 days that Gosling has not called for a ceasefire.


Vigil outside Luke Gosling's office
Vigil outside Luke Gosling's office. Photo: Stephen Enciso

As well as huge weekly rallies, activists have been organising multiple smaller actions. These include a November 17 protest at the ABC in Gadi/Sydney calling for an end to biased reporting and the November 18 march to Peter Khalil’s electorate office in Wills in the northern suburbs of Naarm/Melbourne.

Wage Peace activists occupied Thales Australia head offices in Naarm/Melbourne on November 20 to protest the company’s role in abetting Israel’s war crimes.

“Thales is one of the richest weapons corporations in the world and they are manufacturing weapons and surveillance technology right here in Victoria while my people continue to be killed, aided by a complicit Australian government. We cannot sit around waiting for states or corporations to grow a conscience, we must disrupt business as usual” said Palestinian protester Yasmina.


Israel is a child killer, Naarm/Melbourne
Israel is a child killer, Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Chloe DS


Marching in Naarm/Melbourne
Marching in Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Chloe DS


Ceasefire now, Gadi/Sydney
Ceasefire now, Gadi/Sydney. Photo: Alex Bainbridge


Stop the genocide, Gadi/Sydney
Stop the genocide, Gadi/Sydney. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

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