Socialist Alliance calls on NSW Premier Chris Minns to guarantee the right to protest for a free Palestine

October 14, 2023
Image: Palestine Action Group/Facebook

Socialist Alliance Sydney is calling on the NSW government to guarantee the right to protest for the Free Palestine rally on October 15.

NSW Labor and NSW Police are trying to intimidate Palestinian Australians and supporters from protesting Israel’s horrific attack on the 2.3 million inhabitants of Gaza.

Palestine Action Group (PAG) was told to cancel the rally and Acting NSW Police Commissioner Dave Hudson said he could “lock down the city”.

PAG is not cancelling the peaceful protest, which will call for an end to Israel’s war on Gaza, an end to its blockade of food, water, fuel and medical supplies, an end to Israel's occupation and for Australia to cut ties with apartheid Israel.

Socialist Alliance stands with PAG to defend the right to protest and take a stand with the people of Palestine who are resisting an assault of unprecedented proportions since the brutal occupation of Palestine began in 1948.

Since the rally was initially called, Israel announced it would begin a ground assault on Gaza and called for 1.1 million Gazans to evacuate. This is further evidence of another land grab by a vicious colonial settler occupying force.

We applaud the open letter calling on the NSW government to affirm the right to protest, released by the NSW Council for Civil Liberties and signed by the National Tertiary Education Union NSW Division, Amnesty International Australia, Australian Centre for International Justice, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Community Legal Centres Australia, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, Australian Democracy Network, Human Rights Law Centre and the Maritime Union of Australia Sydney Branch.

Socialist Alliance commends PAG’s reiteration that it stands against all forms of racism, including antisemitism and Islamophobia.

We note its statement that “Ours is a struggle against the state of Israel, not against Jewish people, many of whom oppose Zionism, and who have a long history of being part of our movement for a free Palestine”.

PAG has said anyone wishing to express antisemitic views is not welcome at its protests.

Socialist Alliance encourages everyone to attend Sunday’s protest and applauds the active participation of Jews Against the Occupation at Free Palestine rallies.

Any antisemitic or racist sentiments expressed at protests divide and weaken the movement, distracting attention away from the ultimate culprits — the state of Israel and Western governments.

In the victorious struggle against Apartheid South Africa, international solidarity was critical in crippling the regime. International solidarity for Palestine, now, is critical to stop the mass slaughter of Gazans and Israel’s land grab.

Join us on Sunday October 15 and at other protests to come.

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