Media statement: Justice for Palestine, Brisbane. August 24, 2011.
A protest in support of Palestinian rights will be held in Brisbane on Saturday August 27 as part of the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against apartheid Israel.
The protest will gather in South Brisbane with a march to the Israeli owned Max Brenner chocolate store. The global chain of stores is owned by Israel’s second largest food company, the Strauss Group, which boasts of its support for the Israeli military occupation forces.
According to Justice for Palestine activist, Kathy Newnam, “The protest will seek to highlight the reality of life in Palestine under military occupation. It will combat the lies and misinformation and the continual mantra by politicians and the corporate media about the supposed need for “balance”.
“Just look at what is happening in Gaza right now. Israel has launched a bombing campaign that has killed at least 20 people in the past week. Israel claims that this brutality is a response to an attack on a bus which killed eight Israelis. The corporate media repeats this claim uncritically under the guise of “balance” despite the fact that Israel is carrying out a brutal form of collective punishment that is completely illegal under international law.
“There is no such thing as balance under apartheid and colonial occupation. One has to take sides and there are only two choices – to side with the oppressor and thus support the suffering of the Palestinian people or to side with the oppressed and do what you can to support their resistance.
“The BDS Movement is about bringing pressure to bear on Israel until it complies with international law. Saturday’s BDS protest will support the demands of the BDS Movement:
- For an end to the occupation of all Arab lands and the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall that Israel continues to build in defiance of international law. The 810 km wall is part of the ongoing theft and colonisation of Palestinian land. When completed the wall and its associated system of check-points and Israeli setter-only roads will annex some 46% of the West Bank, isolating communities into Bantustans, ghettos and “military zones”.
- For equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel by ending the system of apartheid laws that limit Palestinian rights to political participation, land, housing, education, diversity of culture, language and religion and due process.
- For the right of return for all Palestinian refugees. There are 5 million Palestinian refugees throughout the world – the highest number of refugees from any single country. Many generations of people have been forced to live their entire lives in refugee camps since the brutal expulsion of 750,000 Palestinian people from their homes and land in 1948.
“These are the issues that Saturday’s protest will be highlighting – this is the reality of occupation, colonisation and apartheid. That is why the likes of Kevin Rudd, Michael Danby and the Murdoch media are so intent on spreading lies about the BDS Movement – they do not want people to know the truth about Israel’s brutality.
“When people know the truth then they will support the BDS Movement, just as people in Australia supported the boycotts and sanctions against apartheid South Africa. As people realise the truth, they will see that foregoing an expensive hot chocolate is a very small sacrifice to make in order to show their support for the struggle against occupation and apartheid.
“We are confident that this will be another important step in building support for the Palestinian call for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against apartheid Israel”.
Boycott apartheid Israel. Boycott Max Brenner.
Peaceful protest: Sat August 27. Gather at 1pm in park on cnr Merivale/Glenelg St for a march to Max Brenner store at South Bank
For more information or comment, phone 0400 720 757 (Kathy) or 0401 586 923 (Hamish).