Thousands of protesters have come out in support of Palestine in a series of rallies held across the country on Sunday.
In Sydney’s CBD, NSW Police estimate about 6500 people flooded Hyde Park before supporters marched around the surrounding streets for the ninth consecutive week. A police spokesman said attendees were “pretty well-behaved,” and said there were no arrests and no incidents.
Attendees waved the green, red and white Palestinian flag, and held signs denouncing the violence on the Gaza Strip. One man held a placard of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with the words: The Butcher of Gaza.
Coinciding with International Human Rights Day, the event was organised by Palestine Action Group Sydney, and endorsed by the United Australian Palestinian Workers, Socialists Alliance and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).
The group are calling on Israeli government to end the attack on Palestinian communities on the Gaza Strip, implement a ceasefire, and release Palestinian political prisoners.
Palestine Action Group Sydney organiser Dalia marked the group’s ninth weekly rally said Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese needed to call for a ceasefire.
“We have been coming out to these rallies for nine weeks now. For over two months, we have been consistent and united and unequivocal with one voice, calling for an immediate, permanent ceasefire, calling for an end to the illegal occupation,” she said.
“Our question to you Mr Albanese … Where are you?
“How many more infants need to be pulled out of the rubble till you condemn Israel?”
She pleaded with attendees to call the office of Mr Albanese, and the office of Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong “every single day,” until officials called for a ceasefire.
In Melbourne, Victoria Police estimate about 5000 people attended the rally at the State Library. Authorities also reported no arrests and no incidents.
Another rally has also been organised at Sydney’s Town Hall on Monday, in a joint event by
Palestine Action Group Sydney, Trade Unionists for Palestine and Jews Against the Occupation Australia.
Attendees will call on the City of Sydney Council to pass a ‘Ceasefire Now’ motion at its 5pm council meeting, with about 107 slated to attend.
The motion will be moved by Greens councillor Sylvie Elsmore on Monday.