People's Movement for Palestine demands end to Israeli occupation

Balairung Press – November 22, 2023
People's Movement for Palestine Independence rally in Yogyakarta – November 19, 2023 (Rezi-Bal)

Alfiana Rosyidah dan Fachriza Anugerah – Protesters from the People's Movement for Palestine Independence (GERAK Palestine) marched through the Jalan Malioboro shopping district towards the zero kilometre point in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Sunday afternoon, November 19.

As they marched they chanted "Free! Free! Palestine" while unfurling a banner reading "The Palestinian people have the right to fight against the invaders".

When they reached the zero kilometre point in front of the central post office, the demonstrators held speeches.

Several organisations took part in the action including the Yogyakarta  Indonesian Youth Front for Struggle (FPPI), the Indonesian Student Union (SMI) and the Papua Student Alliance (AMP).

In speeches, the demonstrators asserted that Israel is a colonialist and invited the public to support Palestine. "If you still have a spirit of humanity, you are entitled to stand here to defend Palestine!", exclaimed one of the protesters.

Beneath the intense heat of the sun, they not only gave speeches but also chanted songs that contained demands to end Israel's oppression against the Palestinian people.

Daniel, one of the protesters at the action, said that the purpose of the action was to show solidarity with the Palestinian people. This solidarity is needed because he sees that the Israeli attack on Palestine on October 7 has led to a prolonged conflict.

In addition to this, Daniel said he hopes the action can explain to those visiting the Malioboro area that the conflict in Palestine is not a dogmatic religious one. "Actually the conflict in Palestine is a form of colonialism carried out by Israel", he continued.

After hearing speeches from various organisations, the GERAK Palestine protesters closed the action by reading out a statement.

The group stated that the Israeli Zionists had invaded and colonised the Palestinian people. They also said that Zionist leader and Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has committed widespread crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide with Western imperialist support led by the United States.

"The imperialists and their lackeys have spread slander, misinformation and excuses as well as the silencing of, obstruction and persecution of groups and movements that are in solidarity with Palestine", said Darwish (not his real name) as the representative of the mass of action in the statement.

Furthermore, the protesters called on workers and all ordinary people to build solidarity on a huge scale to support the struggle for Palestinian national liberation from the Israeli Zionists and its allies.

They also fully supported the right of the Palestinian people to fight oppression and for the return to their land. In addition, they urged the Israeli Zionists to stop their aggression, both against Gaza and the West Bank. "Stop the blockade, imprisonment and arrest of the Palestinian people!", said Darwish.

In addition to this, the demonstrators also made demands of the Indonesian government. They demanded that the government cut all unofficial political and economic ties with Zionist Israel and other Zionist entities.

They urged the Indonesian government to express support for a one state solution, namely a democratic, just and independent Palestinian with the abolition of Zionist Israeli.

Darwish said, "We call on all progressive, populist and humanitarian elements to mobilise the masses through actions to oppose the Israeli Zionists and their allies".

In an interview, Daniel revealed that mass mobilisation and building solidarity was an effort that at the moment is most likely to be carried out by civil society.

Daniel said that these kinds of actions can increase public awareness of Israeli Zionist colonialism. He said he hopes that these kinds of actions will continue to be held with even larger numbers. "Hopefully the next action will be bigger", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "“Gerakan Rakyat untuk Kemerdekaan Palestina” Tuntut Israel Hentikan Penjajahan".]