The following text is taken from Melbourne Indymedia:
Stop the Israeli Apartheid Wall – Protest Report
by Christine, Monday November 10, 2003 at 01:07
As part of a global day of protest, Melbourne people gathered in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy at midday on Sunday Nov 9 to protest the Apartheid Wall being built by Israel in the occupied territories of Palestine
Fitzroy Peace Group and Women for Palestine held a lively action today at Fitzroy, erecting a wall across a footpath and issuing checkpoint permits to pedestrians.
The 9th of November is the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and has been called as an International Day of Protest against the wall being built in Israel’s occupied territories to confine and intimidate Palestinians.
A passionate line-up of speakers addressed the crowd. Ali Kazak, head of the General Palestinian Delegation in Australia described the hardships faced by ordinary Palestians because of the Wall and its violent defenders. The Palestinians, he said, want peace and would coexist peacefully with Israelis if 1967 borders were honoured and the settlers withdrew.
Tessa from the Fitzroy Peace Group affirmed the desire of the Palestinians to live peacefully with the Jews in Palestine, and led an enthusiastic chant calling for the wall to fall.
Jacob Grech from Friends of Palestine described the complicity of Australia in the current horrors perpetrated by Israel. The only two world leaders to visit Israel this year for the express purpose of pledging Australia’s support for Israel no matter what were John Howard and Simon Crean.
Pamela Curr, refugee spokesperson for the Greens, drew links between the Palestine issue and the plight of refugees. She told of the plight of a Palestinian refugee held in a detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. The Australian Government put him there, will not allow him into Australia as a refugee, and no other country will accept him because Israel will not let him back into Palestine and Egypt does not recognise him as a citizen.
[the reference is to Aladdin Sisalem – see http://www.petermartin.com.au/2011/08/reopening-manus.html and http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/05/31/1085855499159.html]
David Glanz, on behalf of the Socialist Alliance, said there were many Jews who now support the Palestinians and want peace. He described the relationship between the Israel-Palestine conflict and the Iraq war.
The crowd on the footpath were determined and outspoken in support of the speakers. One noisy Zionist attempted to disrupt the speech of Ali Kazak and it was towards him that the media attention was drawn.
After the speeches were over many people stayed behind to chat quietly and share insights.