Aussies protest Israeli film festival
Pro-Palestinian activists have held a rally in Sydney to protest against the opening of the Israeli Film Festival in the Australian city.
Protester gathered near Sydney’s Palace Verona cinema on Thursday to show their solidarity with Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip who have been under Israeli attacks since July 8.
The protest came despite a ruling by the New South Wales Supreme Court, which said the rally at Palace Verona on Oxford Street, could not go ahead, citing concerns about traffic.
“We are mindful of the Supreme Court judgment, but the right to freedom of assembly is not something easily removed,” Nick Riemer, a spokesman for Sydney Staff for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel said.
The Israeli Film Festival is run by Australia Israel Cultural Exchange (AICE) which was established in 2002.
Damian Ridgwell, the founder of the Palestine Action Group Sydney which was the organizer of the protest, said AICE was a legitimate target of protest because of its support for Israel.
He added that three protest rallies since the start of the latest Israeli war on Gaza had attracted between 3,000 and 8,000 people in Sydney.
At least 2,075 Palestinians, including a large number of women and children, have lost their lives so far and some 10,300 others have suffered injuries in the Israeli aggression.
Nearly 400,000 Palestinian children are in immediate need of psychological help due to “catastrophic and tragic impact” of the Israeli war, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).