Pro-Palestine activists and supporters of civil liberties rallied at Melbourne's Magistrates Court on May 1 to defend the right to protest and defend the Max Brenner 19.
On July 1, 2011, the Victorian police attacked a peaceful pro-Palestine demonstration in Melbourne’s CBD. In one of the largest political arrests in a decade, 19 activists were arrested during a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) action against Israeli-owned Max Brenner store.
The chocolate chain is owned by the Israeli conglomerate ‘Strauss group’; a company that provides “care rations” for the Israeli military, including the Golani and the Givati brigades – two of the key Israeli military brigades involved in Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009, which killed more than 1300 Palestinians.
Speakers argued that the arrestees will be put on trial for their political activity. In a precedent setting case — these pro-Palestine activists will be fighting a variety of charges designed to criminalise dissent in Baillieu's Victoria.