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Pro-Palestine supporters march through Brisbane CBD

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12 January 2024, Courier Mail, by Shaye Windsor

Hundreds of pro-Palestine supporters marched through Brisbane on Friday night to demand an end in the siege in Gaza.

Pro-Palestine supporters marched through Brisbane CBD on Friday night after rain and a burst water main delayed the start of the rally.

Hundreds gathered in King George Square to restart protests they said showed solidarity with Palestine and demanded and end to the siege on Gaza.

The last protest in Brisbane was December 23 last year for a “Gaza emergency Christmas sit in” after Pro-Palestine protesters crashed the Queensland Parliament Christmas tree lighting on November 30.

Friday’s rally was organised by groups, Brisbane Stands With Palestine and Students For Palestine QLD.

Before the speeches started a man rushed through the crowd doing a Seig Heil before protesters quickly chased him out of the square yelling “Nazi”.

Organisers demanded the Australian government cut ties with Israel.

Event speaker Taahaa Abu Ghazaleh, a 20-year-old Australian of Palestinian descent from Eight Mile Plains, said he was to march for Palestinians and ensure they were not silenced.

“To ensure that the people of Brisbane know that we will never stop we will never stop marching until something serious and something lasting happens, nothing temporary,” he said before the rally.

He refuted assertions the demonstration was anti Semitic saying supporting Palestine has nothing to do with the Jewish faith.

“It has to do with going against the idea of Zionism, which I don’t believe is part of the beautiful religion of Judaism,” he said.

With him was 15-year-old Tahseen Abu Ghazaleh from Stretton.

“I’m here to show solidarity with the Palestinian people, as I’m Palestinian and my people, you know, are dying from the genocide, and I think it should come to an immediate stop and ceasefire as quick as possible,” he said.

In Taahaa’s speech to the crowd he claimed Israel was committing genocide against Palestinians and highlighted South Africa’s genocide case against Israel in the International Court of Justice, which started on Friday.

He then quoted Nelson Mandela’s from a 1997 speech saying “we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.

Taahaa encouraged attendees to also show solidarity with Australia’s First Nations people before leading a chant of “free, free Palestine.”

Jewish Board of Deputies and director of the recently opened Queensland Holocaust Museum, Jason Steinberg claimed the rallies had a direct link with rising anti-Semitism in Brisbane.

“That’s the result of these protests, an increase in Jew hatred in our city,” he said in an interview on Friday afternoon.

He claimed a common chant at previous pro-Palestine rallies in Brisbane, “from the river to the see, Palestine will be free”, was “pure hatred” and a Hamas slogan.

“Free speech is a foundation of democracy in Australia but … we don’t think there’s a place in Queensland for people to be shouting that,” he said.

“If people in Brisbane want to see a ceasefire, they need to call on Hamas to free the hostages and lay down their weapons and then there’ll be a ceasefire.”

“That would be a better that would be a better thing to rally for.

Fridays rally began marching through the city just after 7pm, on a shorter route than planned due to the burst water main.

Escorted by police Marchers held red flags along with signs, Aboriginal and Palestinian flags from King George Square through the Queen St Mall

The march circled back to King George Square with while chanting “from the river to the sea Palestine will be free”, “Albanese you can’t hide, you support genocide”, and “rain, hail, storm or shine we will fight for Palestine”.

Organisers said the next protest in support of Palestine would be the January 21.

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Article source: Courier Mail/Shaye Windsor 12.1.2024

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000