Isolate apartheid Israel, protesters say on 37th continuous week of protest for Palestine

June 25, 2024
palestine protest in melbourne
For 37 weeks, protests have been held every weekend in response to Israel's genocide in Gaza. Photo: Jordan AK

For the 37th consecutive week protesters took to the streets around the country on June 22–23 to protest Labor’s complicity in Israel being able to continue its genocide in Gaza for nine months.

As Israel continued its attacks on desperate people waiting for humanitarian aid and, sickeningly, to use some dead Palestinians as trophies, pressure is mounting on the West to end its complicity in Israel's genocide.


palestine protest in Sydney
The protest in Gadigal Country/Sydney was passionate and determined. Photo: Pip Hinman

In Gadigal Country/Sydney on June 23, a doctor who recently returned from Gaza gave a harrowing account of his time trying to save children on the operating table from dying.

He said it was virtually impossible given the non-existent supplies, including anesthesia.

He also said he had written to the Prime Minister and received no response. Foreign minister Penny Wong sent back a form letter which did not acknowledge his original letter’s questions about Australia’s complicity in the Gaza genocide.


nurses and midwives protest for palestine
Healthcare workers joined the Gadigal Country/Sydney rally. Photo: Pip Hinman

A member of Labor for Palestine, Louisa Romanous, urged the crowd to continue to resist Labor’s complicity in this war.

While the protest was smaller in size, it was as loud and determined and as previous ones, sitting down in the CBD intersections several times.


palestine protest in melbourne
Weekly protests in Naarm/Melbourne continue to draw large crowds despite police repression. Photo: Jordan AK

Chloe DS reports that the weekly protest in Naarm/Melbourne again faced police repression. For the third week in a row, they blocked the sound truck, that is used as a stage for speakers, from parking at the State Library.

Instead, the truck had to park on the corner of Swanston and Lonsdale Streets, with thousands occupying the busy intersection to be able to hear the speeches.


ceasefire now
Ceasefire now! Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Jordan AK

Muayad Ali, from Free Palestine Melbourne, said: “It is clear to us that the Labor party has chosen to be on the wrong side of history.

“We all need to ask about their integrity ... we cannot live with a government that has stood with Israel while it carries out a genocide for over nine months.”

Prue Stevenson, a disability rights activist and artist, spoke about the importance of linking the Palestinian struggle to struggles for social justice for everyone.

“Palestinian resistance is the same as fighting for us all to exist,” she said, adding, “intersectional friendship is resistance”.


palestine protest in melbourne
Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Chloe DS

Drawing connections with other instances of imperialist plunder and violence, Palestinian-Australian student and activist Nada told the crowd that what we are witnessing in Palestine is nothing new.

“We know of the mass graves on which we stand and build here in Australia.

“We know Australia's brutal history of Blak genocide ... we saw the atrocity of the so-called ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq, leaving millions dead ... the duplicity of the West in Syria leaving millions dead, dispossessed and still living in refugee camps ... Sudan, Haiti, Kanaky and so many places around the world are play things for imperialism.”

Nada also addressed the false accusation that pro-Palestinian voices are antisemitic.

“It has become more apparent than ever that the weaponisation of Jewish identity and vilification of the Arab world have become incentives to justify the heinous crimes that have been imposed on the Palestinian people.”


Healthcare workers protest outside the ministry of health
Healthcare workers protest outside the Ministry of Health in Sydney. Photo: Nurses and Midwives for Palestine

Meanwhile, healthcare workers rallied outside the Ministry of Health on June 20 in Gadigal Country/Sydney to demand an end to the genocide. The rally was organised by Nurses and Midwives for Palestine.

Protesters held signs that said “Hospitals not a target” and speakers highlighted the killing of healthcare workers in Gaza by Israel. 


palestine protest in perth
Boorloo/Perth. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha

Alex Salmon reports that the World Refugee Day rally in Boorloo/Perth on June 22 focused on support for Palestine About 400 people attended. 


socialist alliance at perth protest
Socialist Alliance members at the Boorloo/Perth protest for Gaza ahead of the Ecosocialism 2024 conference over June 28–30.

Susan Price reported that about 100 people rallied and marched in solidarity with the people of Gaza on June 22 in Surfers Paradise at Kombumerri/Gold Coast.


gold coast rally for gaza
Kombumerri/Gold Coast. Photo: Susan Price

Singer-songwriter David Rovics, who is about to start his Australian tour with Kamala Emanuel, sang songs for Palestine before the march began.


David Rovics and Kamala Emanuel
David Rovics and Kamala Emanuel perform ahead of their national tour. Photo: Susan Price

Protesters heard about a petition, currently with Gold Coast City Council's governance committee, calling for its sister city relationship with the Israeli city of Netanya to be withdrawn.

Parts of Netanya were known as the village of Umm Khalid prior to 1948, when the village was occupied by Israel, blockaded and its residents forced to leave. 

Through the previous week, anti-war protesters, determined to be heard, took their message to MPs offices.


gold coast rally for gaza
Kombumerri/Gold Coast. Photo: Susan Price

Residents gathered outside the office of Ross Vasta in Quandamooka Country/Wynnum in Queensland. Vasta, the federal Liberal-National MP for Bonner, visited Israel in July last year.

“He knows first-hand what apartheid looks like and he’s more than happy to stay silent while Israel commits genocide and ethnic cleansing against the people of Palestine,” Kale, a pro-Palestine protester said on June 17.

“It wasn’t surprising that Vasta and his team decided to work from home yesterday.”


Melbourne palestine rally
Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Jordan AK

Jordan AK reported that on the morning of June 20, activists in Naarm protested outside the “Mission Critical: The business of AUKUS” conference, hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce.

The snap action, called by the No AUKUS Coalition Vic, demanded an end to the deepening militarisation, under the AUKUS pact, which includes billions spent on nuclear-powered submarines and the $900+ million deal with Elbit Systems.

Protesters called for an end to arms deals with Israel, saying public money must be spent on the housing, cost-of-living, education and healthcare crises.


Inner West for Palestine
Raised hands in favour of the Inner West Council divesting from companies that support Israel at the Inner West for Palestine mass meeting. Photo: Rachel Evans

Rachel Evans reports that that a community meeting in Sydney’s Inner West on June 23 discussed plans to get more councils to join the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement to isolate apartheid Israel.


town hall city of sydney palestine protest
A speak-out for Palestine outside Sydney Town Hall ahead of the City of Sydney council meeting. Photo: City of Sydney for Palestine

The next day, activists from City of Sydney for Palestine, working with City of Sydney Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore, managed to get that council to start the process.

A motion to investigate banning suppliers and investments from companies involved in weapons, or that are complicit in human rights abuses in Palestine, including in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories, was passed by a majority of councillors in one of the largest councils on June 24.

The United Nations reminded the West on June 20 that states and companies must end arms transfers to Israel immediately or risk responsibility for human rights violations. 

It called again on countries to “cease the sale, transfer and diversion of arms, munitions and other military equipment to Israel, arms manufacturers supplying Israel — including BAE Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Oshkosh, Rheinmetall AG, Rolls-Royce Power Systems, RTX, and ThyssenKrupp”.

It said this including ending “transfers, even if they are executed under existing export licenses”.


Socialist alliance members in sydney
Gadigal Country/Sydney. Photo: Pip Hinman


Perth rally for Palestine
Boorloo/Perth. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha


Melbourne palestine rally
Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Jordan AK


Melbourne palestine rally
Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Jordan AK


Sydney protest for Palestine
Gadigal Country/Sydney. Photo: Pip Hinman

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