Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Third Sydney rally for Gaza

On Sunday 18th January Sydney held its third, and largest, rally in support of the people of Gaza.  At the Town Hall the crowd was addressed by, amongst others, Sheikh Taj al-din al-Hilaly, author and activist John Pilger and a speaker who likened the suffering in Gaza with that of Australia's aborigines. (For international readers I wish to point out that the Australian government does not have a policy of attacking its aboriginal citizens with phosphorous bombs, artillery, tanks, Apache attack helicopters or F16 fighter bombers.)

The best street theatre was provided by a costumed woman of mature years who brandished a roll of toilet paper upon which was printed the likeness of George Bush Jnr. As she unravelled it onlookers took the opportunity to despoil it in various creative ways. In amongst the Hizballah and Hamas flags were plenty of CFMEU banners and Greens Party placards, signalling a welcome Green presence, at last.

The procession wound its way through the city to Hyde Park for more speeches and the distraction of three young females and a young male of Middle Eastern appearance who waded through a fountain to attach a Palestinian flag and banner upon a civic statue. Members of the NSW police riot squad soon joined them there in what I took to be a spontaneous act of solidarity.

1 comment:

Caratacus said...

It was a great rally -- I estimated 5,000 plus -- possibly up to 10,000. While the current Australian government does not use White Phosphorus and so forth on indigeneous people, there is a well-documented history of earlier genocidal attacks on indigenous people in Australia such as the Myall Creek massacre and the genocide of Tasmanian Aborigines. I have a poem in the New Verse News which tries to imaginatively link the two situations:

White Phosphorus