Attendance at pro-Palestine rallies around the nation is surging as images of violence in the Middle East reverberate through Australian communities.
Chants for liberty, justice and an end to apartheid are ringing through capital cities as Australians who support a free Palestine unite.
Thousands marched through the Sydney CBD on Saturday after police green-lit the event, and many more were set to attend events in Perth, Hobart and Brisbane as more information emerges from conflict-stricken Gaza.
Sydney protest organiser Fahad Ali said more Australians – including frontbench politicians Ed Husic and Anne Aly – were recognising the gravity of the situation in Gaza.
Mr Ali said organisers had worked closely with police to make sure the event was successful.
Thousands of supporters of Palestine marched through the Sydney CBD on Saturday after police green-lit the event
Sydney protest organiser Fahad Ali said more Australians – including frontbench politicians Ed Husic and Anne Aly – were recognising the gravity of the situation in Gaza
Previous protests had been met with a heavy police presence after videos emerged of a small group chanting anti-Semitic slogans within a rally at the Sydney Opera House
‘Last week, the premier of NSW was saying that there would never be another Palestine march in this state,’ he said in a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
‘We fought against that and we won, so today we’re looking forward to a really successful, really wonderful event.’
Last week, NSW Premier Chris Minns called off an upcoming Free Palestine rally in Sydney after hundreds of protesters caused chaos outside the Opera House.
Minns said organisers had already shown they were not peaceful based on the wild scenes just days earlier, during which protesters chanted ‘gas the Jews’ and ‘f*** the Jews’.
Marchers on Saturday walked from Sydney’s Town Hall to Belmore Park.
Previous protests had been met with a heavy police presence after videos emerged of a small group chanting anti-Semitic slogans within a rally at the Sydney Opera House.
Marchers in Sydney on Saturday walked from Town Hall to Belmore Park
Thousands of people have joined a march in Sydney in support of Palestine.
Michelle Burton from Jews Against Occupation told the crowd people of Gaza have the right to seek sanctuary in their homes.
Burton called for a ceasefire and end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
Newtown Greens MP Jenny Leong said the lighting of the Opera House in blue and white was disgraceful.
She said Israel was waging genocidal war against Palestinians and denounced the prime minister and premier for their support of Israel.
Rallies since have been relatively uneventful with organisers around the country clamping down on hateful comments to ensure the focus remains on their key message: free Palestine.
More pro-Palestine protests will take place in Melbourne and Adelaide on Sunday.
The prime minister has provided $25 million to Jewish and Islamic communities affected by the conflict, and while Mr Ali welcomed the move, he said the government needed to take immediate action to urge a ceasefire, and that humanitarian aid reaches civilians.
More pro-Palestine supporters are set to attend events in Perth, Hobart and Brisbane this weekend
More pro-Palestine protests will take place in Melbourne and Adelaide on Sunday
‘We’re faced with a humanitarian crisis in Palestine – the scale of which we have never seen before,’ he said.
‘It cannot be the case that we wash our hands of responsibility, when we have played a part in creating the conditions that have led up to this.’
Refugee Council of Australia CEO Paul Power called on the government to work towards a peaceful resolution and to address the dire situation in Gaza.
Hamas conducted a cross-border attack on October 7 that killed more than 1400 people in Israel and led to more than 150 being taken hostage.
On Saturday morning, two hostages from the United States, mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan, were released.
Israel retaliated to the initial attack by laying siege to the 2.3 million people living in Gaza and unleashing a bombing campaign that left more than 3500 dead, another 12,000 wounded and roughly one million displaced, according to Palestinian officials.
Gazan civilians have no power, water is scarce and the dwindling fuel sources used for emergency generators are running out.
Refugee Council of Australia CEO Paul Power called on the government to work towards a peaceful resolution and to address the dire situation in Gaza
More than a dozen pro-Palestine rallies are going ahead in and around Sydney.
More than 1650 Australians have left Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories since October 7 and commercial flights are available for others who wish to return home.
The foreign affairs department is in contact with registered Australians about departure options.
But the government has previously said there are 46 Australians in Gaza whose safety remains unknown.