The mass protests in Australia over the weekend, opposing Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza, have received minimal coverage in the press, despite involving more than 100,000 people.
In Brisbane, Dawood, a middle-aged worker originally from South Africa, said he had joined the rallies in the city for the past two weekends in order to oppose the Israeli attack on the people of Gaza.
He denounced all the governments of the imperialist powers that were backing the onslaught. “The Biden administration and the rest, I don’t support them at all, period, whether it is the USA , UK or France. France is one of the biggest aggressors. You look at the European Union. They are all involved. Imperialism is really on its way back.”
Dawood condemned Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor government as well. “Albanese or, at the end of the day, whoever comes into power, be it Liberal-National Party or Labor, or be it in the USA , UK , Australia or France, they are all going to follow the same road. They all follow the people who actually pay them. They are the stooges.”
Asked about the role of the trade unions in refusing to call industrial action to shut war supplies to Israel, he said, “The Palestine trade unions made the call for unionists to assist. I think that is a good idea, absolutely.”
Dawood spoke on the global opposition to the genocide in Gaza. “I am from South Africa, and I was in South Africa recently. They had some big rallies in Cape Town in support of the Palestinians.”
Alice said, “I’m a teacher, waitress and student as well, but I’m here today as a human being first. I am lucky to be born where I was born, to have an easy life compared to what we see going on right now. We are so far from Gaza and the only thing we can do is show up and support everyone who is suffering right now; it is a starting point.
“I believe that governments and politicians are looking at economic interests only—that part of the world is full of gas and oil—and they don’t care about anything or anyone else. They are indifferent because they don't see people, just numbers. And they don’t represent us, those who voted for them, either. That’s why we are here—to show that we are against what they are supporting and to say that they are not representing us.”
She added, “We are pro-life, as workers, as people. As workers, this is important, because we live in a society that is based on economics, so we have to play a role. There are so many Jews within this movement—many people from Israel are here, many people from everywhere—it is an international movement.”