Cities face major disruption as Gaza protests planned around country

Train stations, ports and parts of Australia’s biggest cities could be blockaded by widespread planned protests against the war in Gaza.

Apr 15, 2024, updated Apr 15, 2024
Protesters gather during a Pro-Palestine protest at the State Parliament of Victoria in Melbourne, Monday, April 15, 2024. (AAP Image/James Ross)

Protesters gather during a Pro-Palestine protest at the State Parliament of Victoria in Melbourne, Monday, April 15, 2024. (AAP Image/James Ross)

Pro-Palestine group A15 Action have called on supporters to block “the arteries of capitalism” as part of Monday’s planned extensive action.

“In each city, we will identify and blockade major choke points in the economy, focusing on points of production and circulation with the aim of causing the most economic impact,” a statement read.

“The global economy is complicit in genocide.

“There is a need to shift from symbolic actions to those that cause pain to the economy.”

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said officers would be pulled from regional stations and sent to protest sites to bolster resources.

“To be clear – we respect people’s right to protest when it is lawful and peaceful,” she said.

“However, there is no place for anyone wanting to deliberately disrupt and cause harm in our community.

“As we have seen during recent disruptive protests, it is too often innocent people caught up and unfairly impacted when roads and intersections are blocked.”

Mounted Branch, the Public Order Response Team, Search and Rescue, Highway Patrol and transit police will be involved in the response.

Free Palestine Melbourne have named Thales, which has links to Israeli Aerospace Industries, and oil giant BP as potential targets.

The West Gate Freeway, Hoddle Street, Thales premises and the main access point to Melbourne’s docks have been flagged as protest points.

AW Bell in Dandenong would also be a protest focus, A15 said.

Victorian Greens Leader Samantha Ratham joined more than 100 protesters at the state’s parliament.

“What we’re going to see today is what we’ve seen for months across the world with millions of people joining these marches,” she said.

“(This is what) happens when our governments don’t listen.”

More than 100 protesters gathered outside the Victorian Parliament on Monday morning. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)
In NSW, Premier Chris Minns said many resources were dealing with the aftermath of the Bondi Junction tragedy.

“People need to understand that you may lose more supporters for your cause than you gain as we direct police resources to the inquiry,” he told ABC News Breakfast.

“And the community itself is (trying) to come together after a terrible 48 hours”.

A15 Action have listed Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin and Canberra along with several regional hubs as potential protest locations.

The fresh protest comes days after Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the “pathway out of the endless cycle of violence” in the Middle East can only come with recognition of “a Palestinian state alongside the state of Israel”.

On October 7, Hamas – designated a terrorist group by the Australian government – launched an attack on Israel that killed 1200 people and led another 200 to be taken hostage.

In the months since, Israel has launched a ground offensive and bombing campaign on Gaza that has killed more than 33,000 people and displaced another 1.7 million, according to the local health ministry.

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