‘Palestine is a feminist issue’, say thousands marching across the country

March 11, 2024
Protesters stood with the women of Gaza
More than 9000 women have been killed by Israel's genocidal assault on Gaza. Photo: Peter Boyle.

Tens of thousands joined rallies against Israel’s genocide in Gaza on March 9 and 10 across the country.

Australia is now the only country other than the United States not to restore funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) after Canada, the European Commission and Sweden decided to restore their aid. 

Australia was one of 16 countries to cut funding to the agency, the primary organisation delivering aid to Gaza, after Israel accused 12 UNRWA workers of involvement in the October 7 incursion.

Israel is yet to provide any evidence of UNRWA workers' involvement in the attack.

The rally in Gadigal/Sydney on March 10 reflected the anger at the Labor government refusing to restore UNRWA funding while continuing military exports to Israel, reports Peter Boyle. 

Palestinian activist Jana Fayyad pointed out “the silence of Western feminists” on International Women’s Day (IWD), asking: “Are you only progressive until Palestine?” 

No Palestinian had been asked to speak at the annual IWD rally the previous day.

“Save your corporate high teas, your bullshit speeches, your ridiculous and laughable social media posts on this International Women’s Day,” Fayyad said. 

She said Western feminists' silence on Israel’s slaughter of 9000 women and 15,000 children was “deafening”. 

She highlighted iconic Palestinian women “at the forefront of Palestinian liberation”, including Besan Helasa, Leila Khaled, Dr Amira al Assori, Hind Khoudary, Plestia Alaqad, Hanan Ashrawi and others. 

“On International Women’s Day we don’t think of Margaret Thatcher … or Hilary Clinton … we think of the women that we honour — the women in Gaza.” 

Gumbaynggirr Dunghutti Bundjalung woman Lizzie Jarrett expressed solidarity with Palestinians facing Israel’s bombs during Ramadan, which begins on March 11.

“When I think about your people back home in Palestine, how are they supposed to embrace Ramadan when there is nothing even to fast…

“They are fucking starving and being murdered and massacred in their holy month. My heart aches for you.” 


Palestinian solidarity at the International Women's Day march in Gadigal/Sydney. Photo: Peter Boyle
Solidarity with the women of Palestine at the International Women's Day march in Gadigal/Sydney. Photo: Peter Boyle

Palestine solidarity activists were determined to speak up about Palestine at the Gadigal IWD march on March 9, reports Peter Boyle.

They chanted “Free Palestine” and other slogans and held banners demanding an end to the genocide.

Paz Amanda Seir, from Families for Palestine, told Green Left: “There are 50,000 women in Gaza who are pregnant without any maternity care. There are women having babies by c-section without any anesthesia, no pain relief, no after care, no homes to go to… 

“There are 15,000 children dead, there are girls using tent scraps for sanitation, there are no toilets, no privacy. 

“This is a feminist issue. There are women in Palestine who have absolutely nothing, and the world has forgotten them.”


Palestine solidarity contingent at the International Women's Day march in Naarm/Melbourne.
Palestine solidarity contingent at the International Women's Day march in Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha

The IWD march in Naarm/Melbourne on March 7 featured a vibrant contingent for Palestine, stressing the links between Palestinian and women’s liberation, reported Jacob Andrewartha. 

Noura Mansour from the Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network told the rally that “Palestine is a feminist cause”.


'Silence on genocide is peak western feminism'
'Silence on genocide is peak western feminism'. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha

More than 100 Palestinian flags were carried over the Victoria Bridge in Meanjin/Brisbane on March 9, reports Kamala Emanuel.

Protesters unfurled a giant 15-metre long flag and waved flags over the sides of the bridge for almost an hour. 

They then marched to West End and occupied a key intersection for half an hour.

Protest organiser Phil Monsour said they were protesting the Brisbane City Council and Mayor Adrian Schrinner’s complicity in genocide.


'Stop arming Israel'.
'Stop arming Israel', Meanjin/Brisbane. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Alex Bainbridge reports that a few days earlier, on March 7, protesters blocked the road next to Queensland parliament as part of the campaign to #ShutDownFerra.

Ferra Engineering produces critical parts for the F-35 fighter jets used by Israel to commit genocide in Gaza, and is supported by the Queensland state government. 


Protesters shut down the Heat Treatment Australia facility for a whole day.
Protesters shut down the Heat Treatment Australia facility for a whole day. Photo: Jordan AK

Weapons manufacturers were also targeted in Naarm/Melbourne, as more than 100 people shut down the Heat Treatment Australia (HTA) factory in Campbellfield for an entire day on March 8, reported Jacob Andrewartha.

HTA provides crucial heat treatment for components of the &-35 fighter jets.

Nathalie Farah, who was part of the picket, told Green Left Radio on 3CR that they were informed at 5.30am that “no workers would be working at the workplace today”. 

She said protesters intend to continue “shutting down the facility until HTA burns its contracts with Israel”.


Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Gabriel Di Falco
Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Gabriel Di Falco

Thousands braved intense heat on March 10 to march through Naarm’s CBD for a free Palestine, reports Gabriel Di Falco.


Activists have decorated Albanese's office with Palestine solidarity messages.
Activists have decorated Albanese's office with Palestine solidarity messages. Photo: Peter Boyle

The 24/7 picket outside the electorate office of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Marrickville, Gadigal, has continued for four weeks, reports Aneesa Bhamjee.

Activists have braved heavy rain, heat and threats of New South Wales Police intervention and are determined to remain until the government ends its support for Israel. 

Albanese has refused to condemn Israel or demand a permanent ceasefire. 

Paz Amanda Seir told Green Left that Albanese has ignored the picket. “We are there as his constituents,” she said,  “yet we’ve received no recognition from him at all.”

Families for Palestine asked people to contact them on Instagram if they want to join the picket. 


Hundreds protested Israeli war criminal Doron Almog in Boorloo/Perth
Hundreds protested Israeli war criminal Doron Almog in Boorloo/Perth on March 8. Photo: Alex Salmon

More than 100 people protested outside the Boorloo/Perth Convention Centre where former Israeli major general Doron Almog, a war criminal, was speaking, reported Alex Salmon.

Almog’s war crimes included the demolition of 59 homes in Gaza — an act of collective punishment — and the murder of Palestinian civilians while he was a senior commander in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Rawan Arraf, Executive Director at the Australian Centre for International Justice, said: “The war crimes allegations against Almog are serious and credible.”


The crowd outside the Convention Centre where Almog was speaking.
The crowd outside the Convention Centre where Almog was speaking. Photo: Riley Breen

Socialist Alliance member Sam Wainwright told the rally the government should be “ashamed” of letting Almog into the country. He pointed to Labor's hypocrisy over its refusal to allow Palestinian resistance fighter Leila Khaled into the country to address the Ecosocialism 2024 conference.

Wainwright said Australia has sent more than 350 arms exports to Israel in the past five years. 

The protest, which was organised by Friends of Palestine WA and Students for Palestine, also condemned the complicity of the Australian government and other Western powers in Israel’s crimes.


About 500 people marched in Boorloo/Perth on March 10.
About 500 people marched in Boorloo/Perth on March 10. Photo: Alex Salmon

More than 500 people attended the weekend rally in Boorloo on March 10, with protesters banging pots and pans and demanding an end to Western support for Israel, reports Alex Salmon. 

Speakers said more than 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza since October 7, with two thirds of them women and children. They said Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s threatened ground invasion of Rafah could kill tens of thousands more.


'Stop the genocide', Kaurna Yerta/Adelaide.
'Stop the genocide', Kaurna Yerta/Adelaide. Photo: Jordan Ellis

Hundreds rallied for a permanent ceasefire at the South Australian State Parliament in Kaurna Yerta/Adelaide on March 10, reported Jordan Ellis.

Protests were held outside the WOMADelaide music festival from March 8–11 due to the inclusion of Ziggy Marley, the son of Bob Marley, who is a Zionist and who has held concerts to raise money for the Israeli Defence Forces, reports Tim Gooden.

The festival cancelled the performance of Palestinian music collective 47 Soul, claiming their performance may cause “safety concerns”.

Christa Christianity, chairperson of Australian Friends of Palestine Association, told Green Left that WOMADelaide is supposed to support “peace and love”.

“In the context of Israel perpetrating a genocide on Gaza, the oppression of the Palestinian people for 75 years, illegal occupation for 56 years and the siege on Gaza for 17 years it is totally inappropriate and wrong for WOMAD to welcome Ziggy Marley to Adelaide,” she said.


'Are you being complicit?', Meanjin/Brisbane.
'Are you being complicit?', Meanjin/Brisbane. Photo: Alex Bainbridge

Protests were held across the country in solidarity with journalist Antoinette Lattouf, who was unfairly sacked by the ABC in December, because of her support for Palestine, reports Alex Bainbridge.

Lattouf posted on X that the first day in court revealed that ABC managing director David Anderson was involved in her sacking and that the ABC was pressured by lobbyists.

Protests called for an end to the pro-genocide propaganda on the ABC and other mainstream media platforms.

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