The rally was part of the ongoing campaign for Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Max Brenner's parent company, the Israeli Strauss Group, donates care packages of chocolates to Israeli commandos of the Golani and Givati brigades.
Max Brenner stores have come under protests in Sydney and Melbourne. In 2011, 19 protesters were arrested for "besetting" the QV square store in Melbourne and for trespass in a public place. The charges were dismissed on July 23.
The rally heard from Ray Jackson, President of the Indigenous Social Justice assocation; Sylvia Hale, former Greens MLC; As’ad Awashra, a Palestinian student from Ramallah on exchange at the University of Sydney; Haskell Musry, member of Jews Against the Occupation; and Marlene Carrasco, Bankstown campus chair of the UWS student association.
|Marching to Max Brenner|
The protesters marched from Parramatta Town Hall to the Max Brenner store located in the nearby Westfields shopping centre, where they confronted around 30 counter-demonstrators who bore anti-Islam signs and Australian flags. Two male counter-demonstrators wore niqābs and dresses in an attempt to provoke the pro-Palestine protesters; however, there were no incidents of violence.
|Haskell Musry, Jews Against the Occupation|
Westfields' board member and co-founder Frank Lowy is a long-time supporter of Israel; he joined the Haganah, the Jewish militia in Palestine, in 1945. He served for 2 years before joining the Golani Brigade and participating in Al-Nakba, where he was wounded during the attack on Sajra. Lowy moved to Australia in 1952.
At the end of the demonstrations, a motion to call for a rally on Saturday 24 November was passed; an ad-hoc organising meeting was held to plan details of the rally, which will take place at Town Hall at 12 noon. For more info visit the Palestine Action Group's Facebook or website.
We recieved good coverage from Iran's Press TV; I haven't seen or heard the mainstream media coverage, but I've been told it was as atrocious as ever.