On the steps of the State Library building in the centre of Melbourne about 100 people gathered to express their support of Palestine and the oppressed of the world. They shouted out a large number of anti-Israel slogans, professing to be against the oppressors of the world. Their key message “Be an enemy to the oppressors and a helper to the oppressed.” comes from the words uttered by Imam Ali who was the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. He ruled as the fourth caliph from 656 to 661, and was first Imam of Shia Islam from 632 to 661.
After migrating to Medina, he married Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah. Ali took part in the early caravan raids from Mecca and later in almost all the battles fought by the nascent Muslim community. He was appointed caliph in 656, after Caliph Uthman ibn Affan was assassinated. Ali’s reign saw civil wars and in 661, he was attacked and assassinated by a Kharijite while praying in the Great Mosque of Kufa.
These are the chants that were exclaimed in unison by the small throng of pro-Palestinian supporters during the rally:
ISRAEL – AN APARTHEID STATE
FREE FREE PALESTINE !!! FREE FREE GAZA !!!
DOWN DOWN ISRAEL !!!
ISRAEL TERRORISTS !!
FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA PALESTINE SHOULD BE FREE !! (Editorial note: this has changed from the oft uttered ‘From The River to the Sea Palestine Will Be Free’)
Below are a few videos that were filmed at the Al Quds rally in Melbourne. The first video gives the sense of the overall atmosphere, while the others provide the keynote speeches that were delivered.
The 2nd and 3rd videos cover the speeches given by two visitors from Britain.
At least 25 people were killed, and over 100 injured in two suicide attacks targeting Quds Day ceremony in the north western tribal city of Parachinar in Pakistan and the speakers in the 4th video addressed this event. They belligerently suggest that the Zionists are to blame for the attack which has been claimed by Jamaatul Ahrar, a splinter group of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
The 5th video shows a young pro-Palestinian activist from Melbourne University.
The last video is of an Anglican parish priest Father Dave who sympathises with the pro-Palestinian cause. Catch him on Al Quds Day in 2016.