Gaza is now a 'graveyard for children': Palestine protests notch up 38th continuous week

July 3, 2024
Melbourne palestine rally
Protesters defied police harassment in Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Starkcosm

As Israel continues to bomb Gaza, breaking international law, Palestine protestors rallied across Australia for the 38th consecutive week.

UNICEF and other human rights organisations describe Gaza as a grave yard for thousands of children, with more children killed in Israel’s war than in global conflicts over the last four years.

The estimated numbers are staggering: 15,000 children killed, 4000 are thought to be trapped under rubble and 17,000 have been left unaccompanied. Many more thousands are suffering amputations and other shocking injuries.


Melbourne palestine rally
Nurses, midwives and carers for Palestine banner at the rally in Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Starkcosm

Elizabeth Bantas reports from Naarm/Melbourne that Palestine supporters on June 29 defied intense bursts of rain and police harassment.

“The Palestine solidarity movement continues to develop new methods of resistance, as the harassment and violence of the state increases.”

For weeks, police have tried to disrupt the protest, including by issuing fines to those organising the rally sound truck.

This time protesters split in two, after leaving the State Library, with one half taking the usual route back to the State Library and the other, after hearing speeches on Elizabeth Street, marching to Southbank via Flinders Street Station.

Some say the police are acting on orders from Victorian Labor, which like its counterparts across the states and federally, is coming under sustained pressure for its pro-Israel policy.

Brandon M reports that someone swung a punch at a rally-goer, and the minor altercation was defused without the police.


Melbourne palestine rally
'Israel is a terrorist state', Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Starkcosm

Stephen Langford reports from Gadigal Country/Sydney that the weekly rally on June 30 drew around 4000 people. They heard from hip hop group The Herd, who performed “Soul of my Soul”.


sydney palestine protest
Gadigal Country/Sydney. Photo: Palestine Action Group

Speakers demanded real government action to end Australia’s complicity in the genocide in Gaza. One urged people look into changing their super funds away from companies profiting from Israel’s illegal settlement building.

Many unionists took part including health workers, who stood proudly behind their “Health Workers for Palestine” banner, and the National Tertiary Education Union.


Nurses and midwives for palestine
Nurses and Midwives for Palestine at the rally in Gadigal Country/Sydney. Photo: Supplied

Brian Mahony reports from Gumbaynggirr/Belligen that three members of Gather for Gaza, with support from Gumbaynggirr Elders, walked 17 kilometre trek from the Bellingen River to the Lido in Urunga on June 30.

“On our long march we are carrying stories of loss and oppression of a people locked in a 48 kilometres open air prison, where Israel can simply turn off water and power and is dropping bombs on families sheltering in tents with impunity,” Gather for Gaza said.

It said the “From the River to the Sea; Palestine will be free” chant is a “freedom chant for a people who have endured 76 years of violent occupation” and the Prime Minister’s reinterpretation of it is wrong.


Pro-Palestine walk begins at Bellingen river
Pro-Palestine walk begins at Bellingen river. Photo: Brian Mahony

Gather for Gaza comprises business owners, teachers, nurses and social workers who oppose all forms of racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia.

The group said that in the months since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) genocide case, Israel has “not complied with orders to take immediate measures to enable urgently needed basic services and humanitarian aid”.

Gather for Gaza said “catastrophic conditions” for the people of Gaza meant that everyone needed to “raise awareness” about Palestinians in the occupied territories and “encourage people to join the movement”.


Bellingen Palestine action
Gumbaynggirr/Bellingen. Photo: Brian Mahony

Ian Curr reports that around 300 people attended the Justice for Palestine rally on June 30 in Magan-djin/Brisbane.

Brisbane City Council’s outsourced security has, for many months, been giving supporters and organisers a hard time, he said on Workers Bush Telegraph.

A young operations manager took photos of the way the PA equipment had been set up, claiming that it was “unsafe”. The person then called in the security guards. It took several attempts by someone from the organising committee to defuse the situation.


Photo: Justice for Palestine Magan-djin

Curr said the security manager did not even seem to know what the rally was about.

“For City Hall to stoop to bureaucratic measures like this showed a casual disregard of people’s main concerns — the plight of Palestinians being bombed by Israel.


Jews in solidarity with Palestine banner
Jews in solidarity with Palestine banner in Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Starkcosm

The rally on Kaurna Land/Adelaide organised by Australian Friends of Palestine Association and Adelaide Campaign Against Racism and Facism focussed on climate change.

Jordan Ellis reports that a member of Extinction Rebellion spoke about how the war and occupation is destroying Gaza along with the environment.

A study in January found that in the first 60 days since October 7, Israel’s aerial bombardment and invasion of Gaza released about 281,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent to burning at least 150,000 tons of coal.

Weeks into the bombing campaign, Israel awarded six companies 12 licences to explore natural gas fields off the coast of Gaza. Israel’s atrocities towards Palestinian land also includes using white phosphorus bombs, uprooting native olive trees and poisoning wells and soil.


Marching on Kaurna Land. Photo: @jordzy.ellis


Bellingen Palestine action
Gumbaynggirr/Bellingen. Photo: Brian Mahony


Sydney protest for Palestine
Gadigal Country/Sydney. Photo: Stephen Langford

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