One hundred people marched in central Auckland yesterday in a show of solidarity with the people of Gaza, and to voice anger at the continued aggression by Israeli forces against defenseless women and children.
The march began in Aotea Square, and headed towards the US Consulate building on Customs St, where the Palestinian flag was raised in place of the US one.
John Minto from the Mana party headed the march, and spoke at the consulate. He was joined by Hone Fowler from Kia Ora Gaza, Joe Carolan from Socialist Aotearoa, Janfrie Wakim and Billy Hania from Palestinian Human Rights Campaign, and Faisal Al-Asaad and Hala Nasr from SJP. They called on the New Zealand Government to break its silence and speak out against the ongoing aerial strikes on civilians in Gaza, which have entered their third consecutive day, numbering over 77 air strikes. The protest concluded with a song “in our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians”
As Israel continues to escalate its bombing raids, the death toll has climbed to 40, with hundreds injured and over a million people left without power. The Prime Minister’s office has been bombed to the ground, as well as a police station and a textile factory. Re
ports from the Israeli army say 75,000 troops have been mobilised outside the Gazan border as it prepares for what could be a full scale ground invasion.
Yesterday, US President Barack Obama reiterated his support for Israel’s attacks in a telephone conversation with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. The European Union made similar statements.
Egyptian PM Hishan Qandeel, as well as Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem, visited Gaza within the last day to show support for the Palestinians, and to condemn the Israeli aggression. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi warned Israel about continuing its attacks, saying there will be a “high price to pay”.
If the situation escalates further this week we plan to call for another protest next Saturday 2pm at Aotea Square. Our hearts are with those in Palestine suffering under Israel’s continuing aggression.