Posted on Monday, 29 January
Communities all around Victoria have been taking the struggle for solidarity with Palestine to their local councils, as a way of challenging the appalling blanket of silence on Israel’s genocide from every level of government in Australia.
Grassroots campaigns are popping up everywhere to pressure local councils to pass motions to condemn Israel's genocide and raise the Palestinian flag above council buildings. These local campaigns have held community picnics and BBQs, gotten hundreds or thousands of signatures on petitions, and called local protests to pressure their councils.
Victorian Socialists members have been active participants in many of these campaigns. VS councillor Jorge Jorqera got the ball rolling in Maribyrnong. He led the charge in getting one of the first, and best, motions passed. This motion has become the gold standard which several other campaigns have used as a template. Jorge has since spoken at countless local rallies and organising meetings to help other communities do what we've done in the inner-west.
In Brimbank, Moonee Valley, Banyule and even Bendigo VS has helped initiate local campaigns and provided whatever resources we can to get them off the ground. In Darebin, VS members helped lead the charge against the appalling behaviour of the Greens when they did everything they could to stop a motion from being passed on the council. After a motion was passed against their best efforts, they then maneuvered to have the Palestinian flag taken down from the council building. We worked with community activists in Darebin to organise a protest of hundreds of people, again forcing the Greens to back down, tail between their legs.
The point is, we want to encourage our members and supporters to throw themselves into these lively grassroots campaigns wherever they are. If there is not a campaign already established in your council, there’s likely to be fertile ground for you to start one up. Please get in touch by replying to this email if you would like to get involved or need help in a local council campaign.