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Protesters to rally at Geelong council meeting

November 27, 2023 9:39 am in by
Image: Pro-Palestine demonstrators took to the Little Malop St Mall on Saturday

Locals calling for a permanent ceasefire in the Middle East will rally outside this week’s meeting of Geelong Council to demand the councillors be allowed to publicly discuss the conflict.

The move follows a weekend demonstration in Geelong’s Little Malop Street Mall attended by hundreds of people who demanded an immediate stop to the fighting between Israel and Hamas.

Last week Geelong Broadcasters revealed City of Greater Geelong CEO Alison Wastie had gagged two councillors after they submitted a motion calling for a permanent truce.

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Yasar Ismat, from Free Palestine Geelong, said Ms Wastie’s decision was disappointing.

“We basically just want the council to allow the discussion about Palestine in the meetings,” he said.

“Our aim is to create awareness about the Palestine issue. Many people are not aware of what’s going on in Palestine and I think people need to know.

“The people of Palestine have been suffering injustices for the past 25 years. We just want the council to acknowledge that, and to encourage peace in the region. That’s all we want.”

Mr Ismat pointed out that the council had set a precedent when it expressed support for the people of Ukraine.

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“Good on them for doing that,” he said, “but we also want the City of Greater Geelong to do the same for the people of Palestine.”

Ms Wastie’s decision puts the city at odds with a number of other municipalities across Victoria and around Australia that have passed motions calling for a ceasefire.

Tomorrow’s council meeting wil be held at the Highton Bowls Club, at the corner of Roslyn and North Valley Roads.

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