A Powerful global Movement for Justice
By Mehreen Faruqi, Greens NSW Senator
Australians have watched on in horror at Israel’s genocide on Gaza. More than 25,000 people have been massacred in the last 100 days, over 11,000 of these are children, and thousands more are still unaccounted for.
This scale of violence, death, and destruction is almost incomprehensible.
All the while the Labor government has stubbornly refused to even call for a permanent ceasefire. Foreign Minister Penny Wong completed a hollow tour of the occupied territories, while providing political cover for Israel’s atrocities.
Labor’s words and actions amount to nothing more than hypocrisy and doublespeak. Shamefully, they have shielded Israel and backed the invasion of Gaza.
But in the face of abject horror, people across the globe are uniting in the world’s biggest movement for justice and for a free Palestine. People are awake to the decades of violence, occupation and gross human rights abuse of Palestinians by Israel.
In Australia, there’s been protests every weekend since Israel’s bombing and invasion of Gaza began, with tens of thousands of people marching each and every weekend.
At rallies, masses demand that Labor condemn Israel’s war crimes and genocide. Outside the office of Prime Minister Albanese, courageous mothers and families call for a free Palestine. Healthcare workers continue gathering for vigils. Students and young people take to the streets in force. Within workplaces, individuals fight back against censorship and pressure to be silent. In the media, staff push back against double standards and the disgraceful treatment of journalists of colour. Online, the swell is colossal.
Just this week, protestors in Melbourne successfully picketed to stop Israeli ZIM ships for 4 days straight, contending with excessive use of police force. It speaks volumes that in this country it is more likely for police to violently disrupt a peaceful protest than for our Government to demand that Israel stop their invasion of Gaza.
Excessive force to protect profits. Platitudes for the millions under siege in Gaza.
But we can see that this is part of something much bigger.
Across continents, in different languages and cultures, in numbers never before seen, a single call for justice, to stop the genocide of Palestinians, and to end the occupation and apartheid.
In London, we’ve seen over 300,000 people in one rally.
In Washington DC. 400,000 marched on the capital.
From Malaysia, Morocco to Madrid, Melbourne and Sydney - millions of people have stood together and demanded a ceasefire.
In South and North America, Africa and Europe, Asia and Pacific, throughout the Middle East - everywhere- even in Israel - there have been calls for a ceasefire.
Humanitarian organisations are sounding the alarm at the desperate situation in Gaza, amidst lack of access for aid and no safety for aid workers.
Labor has had ample opportunity to show some courage, call out Israel’s war crimes and publicly support South Africa’s genocide case against Israel in the International Court of Justice, but they have failed every single time..
This is why our movement for justice is so important. Together, we are powerful and we cannot be ignored. And I am so proud of the Greens for leading the push for a free Palestine in parliament. We have been front and centre of this movement as allies and supporters.
Our government continues to give Israel political cover, support through weapons and financial aid. We can stop them.
We have seen the rise of boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, protests against sending military aid to Israel, and protests against the way Gaza has been covered in our media. These campaigns are important. They helped end apartheid in South Africa, and they can work again for Palestine.
Power to everyone doing whatever they can to stop the massacres and end the occupation and apartheid, when our Government refuses to budge. We all know that there must be a permanent ceasefire now.
We must keep pushing the Labor government to show some guts.
We will rally, boycott and blockade until Palestine is free.
This movement is growing and gathering momentum.
The people’s voice is growing louder. Louder than the world has ever seen. We will not stop talking about Palestine.