Thousands demand Australia stop supporting, arming genocidal Israel

February 26, 2024
Thousands are still joing weekly protests against Israel's genocidal assault on Gaza, which has cont
Thousands are still joing weekly protests against Israel's genocidal assault on Gaza, which has continued for five months. Photo: Peter Boyle

As Israel plans its ground assault on Rafah, where 1.5 million Palestinians are sheltering, tens of thousands joined protests across the country condemning Australia's support for Israel's genocidal assault, which includes supplying arms and military intelligence. 

Anger at Labor for not taking a clear stand against genocide was as strong as ever at the 22nd weekend march against against Israel’s genocide in Gaza in Gadigal/Sydney on February 25, reports Peter Boyle. As one placard read: “De-funding UNRWA = genocide”. 


Defunding UNRWA = Genocide
Protesters pointed out that Australia is complicit in the genocide of the Palestinian peoploe. Photo: Zebedee Parkes

Greens Senator David Shoebridge highlighted foreign minister Penny Wong’s brazen lying about Australia's arms exports to Israel.

“Without Australian parts Israeli fighter jets could not fly above Palestine, but Australia continues to send them, build them and produce them,” Shoebridge said.

“Foreign affairs official figures show more than $10 million in arms exports to Israel in the past five years and more than 350 weapons export permits granted. 

“These companies celebrate the fact they are sending armoured-steel for Israeli tanks and military vehicles, key parts for the Spike Missile that is killing Palestinian kids and critical components of the F-35 Fighter Jets.

“Then we get foreign affairs minister Penny Wong gaslighting Australia by saying there have been no weapons exports for the past 5 years, we are being lied to. It is time to hold this government to account.”

A protest was held outside the office of federal environment minister and Sydney MP Tanya Plibersek’s office in Redfern, Gadigal on February 23 pointing out that there is “no environmental justice under occupation”, report Jim McIlroy. 

Rally co-chair Jana Fayyad, Palestinian woman and organiser in the Palestine Justice Movement and Palestine Action Group, told the crowd: “Israel is making Gaza uninhabitable with its mass destruction. The Israeli government has manufactured an environmental disaster as well as a human one.

"The Israeli attack on Gaza has damaged at least 100,00 buildings, creating a massive quantity of greenhouse gases to boost global warming. The Israeli government has also granted huge gas exploration licences off the coast of Gaza," she said.

The rally was organised by City of Sydney for Palestine, Extinction Rebellion, Climate Activists for Palestine and the Muslim Collective. 


Heavy rain did not deter protesters from speaking out
Heavy rain did not deter protesters from speaking out against Israel's genocide outside environment minister Tanya Plibersek's office. Photo: Zebedee Parkes

Speakers encouraged people to join the ongoing picket outside Anthony Albanese's electorate office in Marrickville which has continued for more than two weeks. 


Adelaide protest for Palestine
Protesters called for an end to Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine. Photo: Renfrey Clarke

In the tenth fortnightly protest outside South Australia's Parliament House, Palestinians and supporters in Kaurna Yerta/Adelaide on February 25 called for an immediate end to the Israeli genocide against Gaza, reports Renfrey Clarke.

After listening to an inspiring speech from peace activist Helen Lawrie, demonstrators marched through the city centre.


Protesters said Andrew Charlton had broken his promise to represent the community
Protesters said Andrew Charlton had broken his promise to represent the community. Photo: Zebedee Parkes

Protesters gathered outside federal MP Andrew Charlton’s office in Parramatta on February 24 to demand the Labor politician speak out for Palestine, reports Zebedee Parkes.

Local community leaders and Imams who spoke at the rally recalled how Charlton was parachuted into the seat at the 2022 election and promised to represent the local community, including when speaking at mosques and cultural spaces — a promise he has now betrayed, they said.

Other speakers included representatives from Teachers for Palestine, Trade Unionists for Palestine and The Greens. The protest was organised by Vote 4 Palestine.

melbourne palestine rally

melbourne palestine rally
There was an electric atmosphere at the rally in Naarm/Melbourne. Photo: Chloe DS

There was another great show of solidarity on the streets of Naarm/Melbourne on February 25 as protesters demanded “Hands off Rafah!”, reports Chloe DS.  

Free Palestine Melbourne said on social media: “Marching to Parliament with urgency and in rage at the Zionist state’s imminent genocidal assault on Rafah. Hands off Rafah requires [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] yet the Victorian Government continues to defend its death profit partnership with the largest Israeli weapons manufacturer, Elbit Systems.”


Hobart rally for Palestine
nipaluna/Hobart rallies for Gaza. Photo: Philippa Skinner

The weekly rally for Palestine in nipaluna/Hobart on February 24 was addressed by two speakers, reports Philippa Skinner. 

Andrew Wilkie, Independent Member for Clarke, who recently returned from a trip to Britain to support Julian Assange’s High Court Appeal, spoke about the urgent need for a journalists to speak out against genocide.

He was followed by Irish Tasmanian Gerard O’Sullivan, who drew parallels between the history of Ireland and Palestine, and highlighted Irish-Palestinian solidarity. 

pilgrimage for peace

Walking 41km in solidarity with Gaza
The "Pilgrimage for Peace" walked 41km in solidarity with Gaza. Photo: Alex Salmon

A " Gaza Pilgrimage for Peace" was held in Boorloo/Perth on February 24, with people walking 31 kilometres — the distance from Gaza City to Rafah — from Sorrento to Walyalup/Fremantle, reports Alex Salmon. 

The solidarity pilgrimage was organised by Palestinian Christians in Australia, Friends of Palestine WA, Palestinian Community of Western Australia and Pastor and peace activist Jarrod McKenna. 


Children making placards at Rowan Park
Children making placards at Rowan Park, Meanjin/Brisbane. Photo: Justice for Palestine Magan-djin

In Meanjin/Brisbane, people marched on federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers' office on February 24, reports Alex Bainbridge.

The march began at Rowan park in Logan with a poster making activity for children and then delivered messages of protest to Chalmers' office.

In the same week, Students for Palestine organised a successful screening of Gaza Fights for Freedom on February 22 about the Great March of Return on February 22 at the University of Queensland and a disrupt the city event on February 23.

[To find out about the next protest actions for Palestine, check the Green Left calendar.]

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