Solidarity in the colour of the Palestinian flag

March 10, 2024
Marching for Palestine, March 9
Marching for Palestine, March 9. Photo: Kamala Emanuel

Protesters carried more than 100 Palestinian flags from Reddacliff Place over the Victoria Bridge on March 9.

Spread out and flanking both sides of the bridge, they unfurled a giant flag, at least 15 metres long, and chanted and waved the flags over the sides of the bridge for three quarters of an hour.

Prior to the march, protest organiser Phil Monsour said they were there to protest against the Brisbane City Council and its mayor, Adrian Schrinner, for complicity in genocide.

Referring to local, state and federal tiers of government, Monsour said: “Complicity in genocide sits at many levels.”

He described how, at the outset of Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza last October, the city council had lit up the city’s landmark Story Bridge in the colours of Israel’s flag and, as the genocide unfolded, Schrinner had repeatedly refused calls to express solidarity with Palestine.

Greens’ mayoral candidate and former Gabba ward councillor Jonathan Sriranganathan said that “the moral licence to commit genocide” which political leaders and public figures in countries like Australia provide “can’t be underestimated”.

“The [current] mayor’s official line is, 'I stand with Israel’ [and] it’s quoted as if he speaks for the 2.5 million of us. But we say, 'Free, free Palestine!’”

He urged protesters to support the campaign to shut down Ferra, which manufactures parts for Israel’s F-35 fighter jets at a factory in the Brisbane suburbs. “To them and the arms manufacturers, we say, get the fuck out of Brisbane!”


Carrying Palestinian flags
Carrying Palestinian flags. Photo: Kamala Emanuel

After occupying the bridge, the march continued to West End, where protesters occupied a key intersection for half an hour.

At the intersection Sam Woripa Watson said that the colony marked the town limits in its early years and that Boundary Street “was our appartheid wall”. “It reminds us that apartheid was first developed in Queensland,” they said.

Watson described the campaign to commemorate this history, in 2017, by painting the Aboriginal flag in the same intersection.

After repeatedly removing it, the council eventually stopped, and the flag remains there today – repainted by activists when it fades.


The Palestinian flag was repainted at the corner of Vulture and Boundary in West End
The Palestinian flag was repainted at the corner of Vulture and Boundary in West End. Photo: Kamala Emanuel

Referring to the solidarity between First Nations people and Palestinians, Watson said: “When you resist the colonisation of your land, we understand your struggle.”

They described Aboriginal people's support for the efforts to paint a Palestinian flag on the intersection next to the Aboriginal flag and criticised the council’s repeated effort to remove it.

Palestinian woman Remah Naji led the crowd in anti-colonial chants which bring the struggles together: “From the River to the Sea; Always was, Always will be!”

After the speakers, the giant flag that been featured at the intersection was furled, revealing the Palestinian flag painted again, next to the Aboriginal flag, on the road.

“Today, you’ve shown your solidarity in the colours of the Palestinian flag!” declared Monsour.


Boycott Apartheid Israel
Boycott Apartheid Israel. Photo: Kamala Emanuel


Phil Monsour
Phil Monsour. Photo: Kamala Emanuel

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