Six months of protest: Australian workers and young people denounce Israel’s genocide and Labor government

Sunday marked six months of continuous mass protest in Australia’s major cities against Israel’s genocidal war on the Palestinian people in Gaza. For the 26th successive week, workers and young people turned out in their thousands, voicing their opposition to not just the Zionist regime, but its imperialist backers worldwide, including the Australian federal Labor government, led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Part of the Sydney rally on April 7, 2024

Attendance has dropped markedly from the tens or even hundreds of thousands regularly marching late last year in Melbourne and Sydney, to several thousand in each of these cities, and in Brisbane, last weekend.

But this does not reflect any wavering of popular support for the people of Palestine, opposition to the Labor-backed genocide, or determination to fight. Rather, the reduced crowds are a direct product of the politically bankrupt line of the rally speakers and organisers, who continue to promote illusions that imperialist governments can be persuaded to abandon their support for Zionism through protest and petitions alone.

This approach has been further confirmed as a dead end by the hypocritical and insincere response of the Labor government to Israel’s murder of seven aid workers last week, including Australian Lalzawmi Frankcom. Despite their phony professions of “anger,” “shock” and “concern,” Australian imperialism continues to stand full-square behind the Netanyahu regime.

Socialist Equality Party members again attended the rallies Sunday, speaking with workers and young people and explaining that to end the genocide in Gaza and the broader drive towards a third world war, an international revolutionary movement must be built. This will require a socialist perspective aimed at tearing down the capitalist profit system, the source of war, genocide and inequality.


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At the Melbourne rally, Neil, a firefighter, spoke about Israel’s state murder of World Central Kitchen aid workers: “I think it’s obvious that it was targeted, because it is a means to an end—now we have all the aid agencies pulling back their support because they can’t put their members at risk. The outcome of that is less food aid getting in than what was before, which was already insufficient. It’s disgusting.

“To think it was a mistake is ludicrous. It’s a very modern, up-to-date, well-armed army that the Israelis have, [including] AI drones which have more intelligence than we do at picking their targets.”

Neil explained that he, like many other Irish people, has supported the Palestinian cause, “going back decades. Because we were a country that was under occupation of colonial forces, we understand the implication of that and not having your own state, not having your own voice.”

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Kirrakee said Israel’s genocide was “setting a terrifying precedent for what the future could look like if we don’t resist, so that’s why I am here. We have to keep working in every capacity to try and stop it.”

“When this first started, I was saying to my friend, ‘I can’t believe I am looking at this, it’s the worst thing I have ever seen in my life.’ And as it’s rolled on it just gets worse and worse.”


She explained that, as an Aboriginal person, she had always “had solidarity with Palestinian people, because of colonial oppression.”

Kirrakee said the Labor government was “pathetic, disgusting, and spineless. There’s no integrity whatsoever behind Albanese’s words. Penny Wong has no empathy—to put your career before human life is terrifying to me.”

Asked why she thought the Labor government was supporting the genocide, Kirrakee said: “It’s colonialism, it’s based on money, and capitalistic hegemony.”