VS to run Palestinian-Australian activist Reem Yunis in Dunkley by-election

Posted on Thursday, 8 February

We are excited to announce that Palestinian-Australian activist and socialist Reem Yunis will be the Victorian Socialists candidate for the Dunkley by-election, coming up on Saturday 2 March. Visit her campaign page here.

Both Labor and the Liberals have backed Israel’s genocidal assault on Gaza. With your help, we will wage a campaign in Dunkley that can hold them to account. A vote for Reem will send a message that instead of backing a mass slaughter of innocent people, the Australian government should take a stand against war and use its diplomatic power to push for justice for the Palestinians and a lasting peace.

In addition to campaigning on the question of Palestine, we will put forward a socialist vision of a society run in the interests of people, not profit. One that prioritises funding for childcare, schools, healthcare, housing and other essentials rather than wasting billions on weapons and war.

How you can help

DONATE - We want to mail a letter from Reem to all of the approximately 70,000 households in the Dunkley electorate. This will cost a significant amount. Every donation, even if just a small amount, will mean our campaign can reach more people.

VOLUNTEER - We want to staff polling booths with volunteers to hand out our how-to-vote cards and talk to voters, both during the 2 weeks of pre-polling from Monday 19 February and on election day Saturday 2 March. Even if you only have a few hours spare, every bit will help!

About Reem

You can read Reem’s full bio on our website here.

Reem's parents and grandparents were born in Palestine, on the West Bank, in a town called Beit Sahour, which is next to Bethlehem (Beit Lehem in Arabic). 

Reem grew up as part of the Palestinian diaspora in Kuwait and Jordan before migrating to Australia with her family in 1992.

In 2001 she began work as a teacher, a job she has now held for 24 years. She has been a member of and an activist in the Australian Education Union for all of the time she has spent working in public schools.

Reem has always been a fighter against imperialism and for the Palestinian cause. She participated in the mass marches against the Iraq War in 2003, and has been a prominent activist in all of the campaigns against Israel's many assaults on Gaza, against the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006, and in support of the BDS movement. 

And, of course, she has been a tireless fighter against the genocide being carried out against the Palestinians today, speaking to tens of thousands at one of the huge Palestine marches that have taken place almost every Sunday in Melbourne since October last year. You can see a short clip from Reem’s speech here.

Asked what inspires her to continue the struggle for a free Palestine, including running in this by-election, Reem said: “I don’t have the luxury not to be inspired. My grandparents died without seeing a liberated Palestine. My Mum and Dad died and were buried in the diaspora, outside of Palestine. My people are living in the diaspora, most of them, and the ones who are in Palestine are being robbed of water, resources, of every piece of land they sit on. We need to have hope and fight, because if we won’t fight for a free Palestine, who will?