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Support for Palestinians on New Year's Eve

Written by: Ned K. on 3 January 2024


(Above: original photo by Asbjorn Kanck)

On New Year's Eve 2023 in Adelaide, thousands of people gathered at Elder Park on the banks of the city's Karrawirra Pari ("River Torrens" is the colonial name) to see in the New Year. 

At the same time, thousands more walked across the footbridge of Karrawirra Pari on their way to watch the Big Bash cricket game.

These two events occur every year, but this year was different. 

As people walked to both events they were greeted by over 300 people walking along the river bank path and over the footbridge carrying flags and banners in memory of the Palestinians in Gaza who had been killed by Israeli Defence Force missiles, bombs and gunfire since 7 October 2023. 

The Palestinian supporters were led along the path and over the bridge by a Palestinian woman read out the names of individuals killed and a short summary of their lives cut short.

The action organized by Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA) was deliberately a solemn protest with the wording on banners and placards "doing the talking".

The response from the people crossing the bridge on their way to the cricket was more than the organizers of the action could have wished for. People going to the cricket made comments such as "good on you", "we support you" to several stopping and clapping to how their support.

Perhaps people connected this peaceful action with the pro-Palestinian stand taken by opening batter for Australian cricket men's Test team Usman Khawaja?

Actions in support of the Palestinian people both in the Israeli Occupied Territories of Gaza and the West Bank and all round the world have varied. Even the most desperate, violent actions by some individuals or groups have their root cause in the colonial occupation of Palestinian lands through the establishment of the Zionist state of Israel.

Even the Zionist leaders are aware of this. For example, Avraham Burg, the former head of the Knesset and former head of the Jewish Agency, wrote "Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centers of Israel escapism. They consign themselves to Allah in our places of recreation, because their own lives are torture. They spill their own blood in our restaurants in order to ruin our appetites, because they have children and parents at home who are hungry and humiliated." (from Conversations With Tariq Ali)

There was a pre-colonialism time when Palestinians lived together peacefully. Some were Moslem, some Christian, some Jewish but no Zionists backed by colonial or imperialist powers.

As one Palestinian said at the New Year's Eve action, Palestinians whatever their faith are going to stay on their land.


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