Nasser Mashni leads pro-Palestine march in Garramilla/Darwin

March 4, 2024
Rallying for Palestine on March 3. Photo: Stephen W Enciso

Nasser Mashni, President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, led a pro-Palestine solidarity march on March 3.

The protest was organised in the wake of Israel’s massacre of more than 100 hungry Palestinians as they tried to get flour from an aid truck southwest of Gaza City.

Israel has begun its looming offensive against Rafah, with fatal drone strikes over the last few days.

Mashni resisted the idea that Israelis and Palestinians were equally responsible for the continuing bloodshed. “Colonialists understand violence because that’s their language”, he said.


Nasser Mashini, President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, addressing the protest. Photo: Stephen W Enciso

“Absolutely Israelis and Zionists want to kill Palestinians. Palestinians do not want to kill Israelis. Indigenous folk do not want to kill colonisers. They just want to be acknowledged. They want treaty. They want their rights. They want restitution. They want racism to stop and decolonisation to start.”

More than 30,000 Palestinians have now been killed in Gaza since October 7. Gaza is the world’s most dangerous place to be a child.

Kulumbirigin Danggalaba Tiwi woman Mililma May challenged the establishment media’s tendency to emphasise the deaths of women and children as especially egregious in her Welcome to Country.

“When speaking about and witnessing genocide we are often shown images of children and women and men are often left out of this narrative,” May said.


Kulumbirigin Danggalaba Tiwi woman Mililma May addresses the protest. Photo: Stephen W Enciso

“It is the objective of the settler-colonial project to disempower, dehumanise and absolutely obliterate Indigenous men.”

May drew links between the colonial violence faced by Indigenous people in Australia and Palestine. In the coronial inquest into the death of Kumanjayi Walker, former constable Zachary Rolfe gave evidence about widespread racism in the Northern Territory (NT) Police Force.

“We are witnessing in plain evidence the racism and the deep horror that exists in the NT police, as across the colony,” May said.

“We live in the same states and under the same violence as Palestine. It just manifests itself in different ways.”

Mashni also emphasised the similarities faced by Indigenous people in Australia and Palestine.

“Zachary Rolfe is just a symptom of the disease of colonisation that speaks only violence,” he said.

Maintaining this violence in Palestine is the West’s continuing support for the military industrial complex.

Elbit Systems, Israel’s biggest arms company, supplies the Israeli military with most of its destructive technologies. Its products have historically been used against Palestinians.

In a bid to halt Israel’s relentless march towards genocide, more than 200 lawmakers from 13 countries that export weapons to Israel have united to commit to an arms embargo.

The Progressive International is calling for an immediate end to energy exports to Israel and its Western backers, an end to imports of Israeli energy, as well as divestment from Israeli energy projects.

Meanwhile, Elbit Systems won an Australian government contract, worth more than $900 million, to supply the Australian Defence Force, and the United States is providing Israel with US$14 billion for its war on Gaza.

May and Mashni pointed out that systemic white supremacy and imperialism need to be overcome. “This system relies on greed. It relies on deprivation of human rights and it relies on a lack of spirit,” May said.

“The day after the ceasefire is announced is the day our real work begins,” said Mashni. “We need to defeat Zionism. We need to defeat imperialism. We need to defeat colonialism and white supremacy, and we need to smash it and live our truth today, tomorrow and every day.”

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