76 years since the Nakba, protesters say 'Free, free Palestine'

May 16, 2024
The Nakba rally in Gadigal/Sydney on May 15. Photo: Zebedee Parkes

On the 76th anniversary of the Nakba (“Catastrophe” in Arabic) on May 15, larger-than-usual pro-Palestine protests were organised in many cities across Australia.

The Nakba in 1948 refers to when Zionist terrorists began the mass displacement of Palestinians from their homeland to build the apartheid colonial settler state that they named Israel.

Free Palestine Geelong organised a silent candle walk though Djilang/Geelong’s restaurant district. It concluded at the steps of City Hall, where candles where placed to form the word GAZA by about 100 people.

Tim Gooden reports that Palestinian poems were read and stories from Gaza given by Dr Nasser Duhair.


Dr Nasser Duhair read poems at City Hall. Photo: Tim Gooden

Demonstrators in Gadigal/Sydney gathered in Sydney Town Hall Square, Peter Boyle reports. After hearing several speeches — including from one from Nakba survivor, Dr Muhammad Khaled Abu Mahmoud — the crowd held a spirited march through the streets of the CBD.

Jacob Andrewartha reports from Naarm/Melbourne on four protests called to mark Nakba.

Hundreds of students and staff at the Gaza solidarity encampment at the University of Melbourne rallied and then marched from the South Lawn to the Arts West Building.


Students rename Arts West Building at Melbourne Uni to Mamoud's Hall. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha

Protesters began to occupy the building, which has been renamed “Mahmoud’s Hall” after a 25-year-old Gazan, who was murdered by an Israeli air strike last October 20.

Mahmoud had been awarded an Australia Awards Scholarship and had wanted to study a Master of International Relations at the university.

Students say they will occupy the building until the university breaks ties with Israel.

The fifth student strike by Students for Palestine, with support from Unionists for Palestine, mobilised hundreds of people at the RMIT encampment. They marched to the Melbourne Central shopping centre, which they occupied.


Students and workers occupy Melbourne Central Shopping Centre. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha

Demonstrators also gathered at the steps of Victorian Parliament. First Nations author Tony Birch called out Israel’s narrative about its foundation, saying, “No history can justify the atrocities that Israel is committing today”.

The Victorian Greens MPs had called on Victorian Labor to cut ties with Elbit Systems and the debate that ensured was broadcast live the Parliament steps.

The motion was voted down by the Liberals and Labor.


Protesters gather to watch the parliamentary debate. Photo: Jacob Andrewartha

Chloe DS reports that in response to threats by Deakin University management to shut down the Gaza Solidarity encampment, am emergency rally mobilised more than 150 people to defend the encampment.


Students and staff gather at the Deakin Gaza Solidarity encampment. Photo: Chloe DS


Gadigal/Sydney. Photo: Peter Boyle


Nakba rally in Gadigal/Sydney. Photo: Peter Boyle


Gadigal/Sydney. Photo: Zebedee Parkes

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