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
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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