Last week- 30 Dec 2008, there was a huge rally to show support to Gaza in Melbourne, but we were not there. I receive this news from my friend, so I put it here in order to share with others..
MELBOURNE RALLY BRINGS HUGE CROWD FOR GAZA
As Israel continued its bloody assault on Gaza, more than 3000 passionate and vocal Melbournians turned out today in support of the long suffering Palestinians. The rally that began at the steps of the Victorian State Library and ended after a short march to Federation Square saw an impressive collective of supporters.
Australians from all Middle Eastern backgrounds came in support. Hundreds of Australians who had no particular association other than humanity also turned out to demonstrate against Israel’s brutal attacks.
A number of members of Melbourne’s Jewish community also came to show their disgust.When PM Kevin Rudd said in late 2007 that support of Israel was “in his DNA” and the then US Presidential candidate Barak Obama said in June of this year that “those who threaten Israel threaten us” – it is an absolute then that the massacre in Gaza in an assault on every single Palestinian.
The indiscriminate attacks on Gaza that have claimed 350+ lives and injured over 1500 is without doubt directed to every Palestinian whether in Gaza, the West Bank or those expelled and now living in refugee camps in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Diaspora Palestinians are also victims of this belligerence.The people of Melbourne were very enthusiastic in their support for the suffering Palestinians in Gaza.
Dozens of Palestinian flags waved in the late afternoon sun as hundreds of others raised placards with the phrases “Save Gaza Now” & “Free Palestine” & “End The Siege” amongst many other slogans.The many speakers in who offered their thoughts and views on the calamity that Israel’s attempt to neutralize Gaza included Kim Bullimore, Michael Shaik, Mohammad Nimer, Edmond Melki, Sheikh Isa Musa, Tansim Samah, Taimor Hazou, Dr Richard Middleton, and Riyad Al Adassi who is visiting from Gaza’s.
Finally, Jody Betzin, from the Australian/Venezuelan Solidarity Network read a short speech received from the Venezuelan Embassy sent from President Hugo Chavez’s office. These speeches took place at the State Library and then at Federation Square.Marching the 1km from the State Library to Federation Square, the emotional crowd maintained a strong chant of “Free Free Palestine” and “Free Gaza” the entire journey.
A very special thank you to all those who donated with $1200 raised from our collection tins.Tuesday’s action was a joint initiative by Justice for Palestine and The Palestinian Community Association of Victoria. It was supported by Australians for Palestine, Women for Palestine, Australian- Muslim Palestine Committee, The Syrian Community of Victoria, The Lebanese Community of Victoria, The Iraqi Community of Victoria and FAMSY (Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth)