Auckland march for Jerusalem: the ‘heart of Palestine’

9 Dec

Nearly 400 Aucklanders, from a wide variety of backgrounds,  joined in an impromptu rally and march today for Free Jerusalem – ‘the heart of Palestine.’

The protest was called by the NZ Palestine Solidarity Network in urgent response to US president Donald Trump’s proclamation that the US considers Jerusalem to be the ‘capital of Israel’ and to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv. 

After short, passionate speeches by justice campaigners, union leaders and spokespersons from the local Palestinian community, the rally unanimously endorsed a resolution to “demand the NZ Government strongly oppose the US president’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel”, and as an act of sanction, “shut down the Israeli embassy in Wellington”.

Mike Treen, National Director of the Unite Union, told the crowd that his union moved a motion supporting Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) to sever ties with Israel, which was passed by the CTU.

One protester, Ricardo, reflected on today’s march: “There’s something awesome about communities that are often ‘invisibilised’ by mainstream politics coming together and making their voices heard.

Members of the Palestinian community in Aotearoa (and supporters) came out to protest against Trump appointing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The demands were clear: For the Government to shut down its Israeli embassy and for the Government to openly and strongly condemn the Trump’s administration for these actions that are already a fanning the flames of conflict.

I have always held a lot of solidarity with Palestinians, having grown up by the US/Mexico border, another example of border imperialism that has displaced and dispossessed many. I hope one day we can fully dismantle these institutions that continue to divide us.”

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