BY NICK EVERETT
SYDNEY More than 8000 people rallied in Sydney's Town Hall Square on April 6 to demand an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
Protesters carrying placards, banners and Palestinian flags poured out of the square and onto George Street. The two-hour march went first to the US consulate and then to Israel's consulate.
As people filled the full width of George Street and footpaths on either side, the crowd chanted Free, free Palestine! Out, out Israel! and Justice, yes; occupation, no. Israeli troops have got to go!.
Before the march set off, the protesters were addressed by Palestinian community representative Susan Nasar, Greens NSW MP Lee Rhiannon, Andrew Ferguson, NSW secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU). Federal Labor MPs Laurie Ferguson and Anthony Albanese also spoke.
On the evening of April 5, a public meeting on the war against Palestine, attended by 90 people, was held in Trades Hall. It was organised by the Network Opposing War and Racism (NOWAR). Palestinian activists Jamal Baoud and Sari Kassis, Keysar Trad from the Lebanese Muslim Association, CFMEU organiser Jodie Coleman and Victor Briz, a visiting trade unionist from the 250,000-strong Solidarity of Philippines Workers (BMP) trade union federation addressed the meeting.
Briz expressed the solidarity felt by Philippines workers who themselves are confronting military intervention by US armed forces. Briz explained that he worked in an Israel-owned textile factory and that Israeli business interests in the Philippines would be the target of industrial action as part of the BMP solidarity campaign with Palestine.
The meeting resolved to organise a rally in Sydney on April 19 as part of an Asia-Pacific regional day of action. The rally will take place at 5pm at Town Hall Square and march to the US consulate. An organising meeting for the protest will be at 6.30pm, April 10. Phone 9690 1977 for details.
From Green Left Weekly, April 10, 2002.
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