The right to protest in Australia for Palestine

This really shouldn’t even be a story. Of course, the Zionist lobby (who should be called the Israeli propagandist lobby) don’t think Palestinians should be heard at all. Here’s Vic Alhadeff, a paid lobbyist who simply repeats everything spoken by the Netanyahu government (anti-intellectualism has a new name), condemning Sydney-siders who want to commemorate the Nakba:

As Australians, we should not be importing overseas conflicts onto the streets of Sydney. … But there is a tragedy today, and it is that when the Jewish world accepted the State of Israel as decreed by the UN 64 years ago, the Arab world did not do the same. If it had, we would be celebrating a state of Palestine today which was 64 years old, just as Israel is.… Isn’t it time we all moved on and explored ways to advance peace instead of dwelling on the past?

The offensiveness of such a statement is clear. I suppose he wouldn’t mind if non-Jews tell Jews to stop dwelling on the Holocaust and just move on? As if.

Here’s the full story in today’s Daily Telegraph:

A bid to stop a pro-Palestinian demonstration was rejected by a Supreme Court justice because it should be treated just like Anzac Day or Australia Day.

In allowing last night’s Sydney CBD march to go ahead, Justice Christine Adamson said freedom of speech and history was more important than the risk of commuters being inconvenienced.

Police had sought a court order to stop the demonstration, held to mark Nakba Day, when Palestinians were dispossessed from areas that now form part of the state of Israel, from going ahead.

Authorities had objected because the march, involving about 200 people, had been due to start at Sydney Town Hall at 5.30pm, when the area is “frequented by tens of thousands of commuters”.

After an urgent hearing on Monday night, Justice Adamson published her reasons yesterday, saying freedom of speech trumped commuter disruption – and the event could not be moved to another day because of its historical significance.

“Nakba Day ought to be regarded as a day which, like Anzac Day, Christmas Day or Australia Day, is referable to a particular date which is not movable,” she said in her judgment. “I do not regard it as reasonable to expect persons commemorating a particular date to defer or bring forward its commemoration so that it can be commemorated on a weekend. The date is the product of history.”

The police argued in court that because the protest was likely to result in “significant interference with commuters’ passage home” it may lead to “frustration and unintended outbreaks of violence”.

Justice Adamson noted that inconvenience was likely to be experienced, saying “if one’s purpose were to disrupt commuter traffic, one could hardly choose a better time or place”, but said to refuse the protest “would be inhibiting … the right to freedom of expression and assembly”.

“It will present a significant challenge to police officers to keep the peace and ensure the public assembly does not cause a breach of the peace or that the consequences of any such breaches is minimised,” she said. “Public facilities are to be shared. It is the nature of a protest that others will be affected and their routines will be interrupted.”

In its submission to the court, the al-Nakba planning committee, which changed the time of the march to 7pm to minimise disruption, highlighted other protests that had been staged near Town Hall.

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