As pro-Palestine demonstrators stepped out in their hundreds at protests around Australia on Saturday, they proclaimed that they were on the right side of history, marching for justice and humanity.
Rallies were also staged in Perth, Hobart, and Brisbane as new information emerges from Gaza, which is currently experiencing a state of conflict. On Saturday, thousands of people marched through the central business district of Sydney, which was given the go-ahead by the police.
Protesters gathered outside of Sydney’s Town Hall yelled slogans such as “from river to sea, Palestine will be free” as well as “in our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians” as a sizeable police presence gazed on.
A campaigner by the name of Assala Sayara addressed the demonstration and said, “Today, we have come to tell the world that we stand on the right side of justice,” which was met with loud cheers from the crowd.
“We are taking a stand on the side of humanity.”
The organizer of the rally in Sydney, Fahad Ali, stated that an increasing number of Australians, including frontbench lawmakers Ed Husic and Anne Aly, were becoming aware of the gravity of the situation in Gaza.
Ali stated that the event’s organizers had collaborated extensively with the local law enforcement to ensure the event’s success.
In a statement that was published online, he added, “Last week, the premier of NSW was saying that there would never be another Palestine march in this state.” He was referring to comments made by the premier of NSW.
“We fought against that and won, so today we are looking forward to a really successful event that is going to be really wonderful,”
Islamic prayers were performed in the courtyard between Sydney Town Hall and St Andrews Cathedral before protestors proceeded loudly but peacefully from Town Hall to Belmore Park holding hundreds of Palestinian flags. Islamic prayers were held in the courtyard between Sydney Town Hall and St Andrews Cathedral.
The city of Sydney saw the deployment of more than 800 police officers. The police believed that up to 15,000 people were present at the rally; however, they did not register any arrests nor any injuries.
It was made clear to the demonstrators that the use of antisemitic slogans or chanting, as well as the burning of flags and the lighting of flares, would not be condoned.
“Israel is not acting in accordance with the rules. “It’s a disgrace,” she said to the reporters.
After films surfaced of a tiny group screaming antisemitic slogans within a rally at the Sydney Opera House, previous demonstrations were met with a significant police presence. This was done in response to the videos.
Since then, rallies have been held virtually without incident, with organizers all around the country cracking down on abusive comments to ensure that the focus remains on their primary message, which is that Palestine should be freed.
Banners stating “injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere” were carried by demonstrators at a rally that took place in Hobart. The demonstrators called for an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza. At a rally in Perth, speakers said things like, “Palestinians are not expendable; they are people who deserve life; they did not ask to live under occupation.”
On Sunday, there will be additional demonstrations in support of Palestine in both Melbourne and Adelaide. In addition, rallies have taken place in recent days all across the world, with significant gatherings taking place in Montreal, Athens, Barcelona, and Paris, among other cities.
While welcoming the commitment made by the Australian prime minister to donate $25 million to Jewish and Islamic communities impacted by the violence, Ali stated that the government needs to take immediate action to urge a ceasefire and to ensure that humanitarian help reaches civilians. Ali also stated that the government needed to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches people.
“We are facing a humanitarian crisis in Palestine – the scale of which we have never seen before,” he said. “This is something we have never seen before.”
“There is no way that we can absolve ourselves of responsibility when we have contributed to the formation of the circumstances that have resulted in this situation,” the speaker said.
On October 7, Hamas carried out an offensive over the border into Israel, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 people in Israel and the kidnapping of more than 150 more.
The mother and daughter duo known as Judith and Natalie Raanan, who had been held as hostages in the United States, were freed early on Saturday morning.
According to Palestinian officials, Israel’s response to the initial strike was to impose a siege on the 2.3 million people that lived in Gaza and to launch a bombing campaign that resulted in the deaths of more than 3,500 people, the wounding of another 12,000 people, and the displacement of approximately one million people.
People living in Gaza have no access to electricity or running water, and the limited fuel supplies that are used to power emergency generators are about to run out.
Since the 7th of October, more than 1650 Australians have left Israel and the regions that are now under Israeli occupation, and there are commercial flights available for those who still choose to return home.
However, the government has already said that there are 46 Australians now in Gaza, and it is uncertain whether or not they are safe.