Hundreds of protesters descended on Sydney’s CBD with signs demanding an end to the ‘Israeli apartheid’ and a ‘cease-fire’ in Gaza, while several thousand gathered on the steps of Melbourne‘s State Library where retiring Greens senator Janet Rice led chants of ‘Free, Free Palestine!’.
In a show of force, more than 1,000 cops are on standby to deal with demonstrators after tense scenes erupted at a similar rally on Monday night as the Sydney Opera House was lit up in blue and white in a show of support for Israel.
Shocking footage from the event showed attendees chanting anti-Semitic slogans including ‘gas the Jews’ and ‘f*** Israel’ and throwing flares.
Police officers have swarmed to Hyde Park in the heart of Sydney to crackdown on an unauthorised pro-Palestine protest scheduled to kick off later today
Hundreds of protesters are expected to flock to the CBD on Sunday afternoon to rally against the renewed bloodshed in the Middle East after Hamas militants attacked Israel last week
Sunday’s protest was initially planned as a march through Sydney’s streets, starting at Town Hall, but was scrapped just days out in favour of a static demonstration after organisers failed to get the rally authorised.
Authorisation requires organisers to submit an application for approval at least seven days prior to the rally.
Protesters gathered from midday, carrying signs expressing solidarity and support for Palestinians.
‘Chris Minns wanted to ban Palestinian support – he picked the wrong fight, free Palestine,’ read one woman’s homemade sign.
NSW Police this week announced beefed-up security measures and ‘extraordinary powers’ after Premier Chris Minns vowed to clamp down on protest activity.
The powers, which allow police to search protesters without a reason and to arrest people who refuse to identify themselves, were introduced after the 2005 Cronulla riots.
Daily Mail Australia witnessed a huge police presence on Sunday afternoon, with mounted cops patrolling the streets.
Four men who were in a car flying Palestinian flags were pulled over and searched outside the Jewish synagogue by police on motorbikes before being let go.
A man waves a Palestine flag in central Sydney
NSW Police this week announced beefed-up security measures after Premier Chris Minns vowed to clamp down on protest activity
Event co-organiser Amal Naser said the decision to make the protest static was due to legal issues obtaining police protection.
‘We’ll be holding a static protest. We’re going to be out, loud and proud and we’re not going to bow down to the pressures that we’ve been experiencing from police and the premier,’ she said on Thursday.
‘We have full intention to march next week and every week after that as long as we need.’
Ms Naser said the demonstration was to show support for ‘what’s happening in Gaza right now’.
She said event organisers had been warned they were unlikely to get approval for future demonstrations, but would challenge those decisions in the Supreme Court.
Sunday’s protest was initially planned as a march through Sydney’s streets, starting at Town Hall, but was scrapped just days out in favour of a static demonstration after organisers failed to get the rally authorised
Mr Minns came under fire for failing to stop the heated protest on Monday as troubling photos emerged of demonstrators burning the Israeli flag.
Meanwhile, an Israeli supporter was arrested as he went to unfurl a blue and white flag, sparking widespread outrage.
‘I really want to make it clear to the Jewish community that I want to apologise to them specifically, on behalf of the government and myself as the premier of NSW,’ Mr Minns said.
Police on horses and bikes could be seen patrolling Hyde Park and standing outside the Jewish synagogue on Sunday.
A group of men holding a Palestinian flag arrived a short time later, standing in front of the officers as they held the cloth in silence.
While tense scene erupted outside the Sydney Opera house at a similar protest earlier week, Sunday’s protest began peacefully as NSW Police exerted their presence, with hundreds of officers stationed around the park.
Protesters stood in rows and bowed facing Mecca as they began the event with traditional Islamic prayers.
Event organizers called for Australia to cut ties with Israel.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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