Hundreds Of Students Rally In Melbourne And Adelaide To Protest Against Israel-Gaza War

Hundreds of high school students from Melbourne and Adelaide took to the streets on Thursday, participating in a school student strike calling for an immediate end to the Israel-Gaza War.

The Melbourne rally at Flinders Street Station drew a diverse crowd expressing their support for Palestine.

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Senior Liberal figures had voiced concerns, urging the state Labor government to prevent students from participating, fearing it could exacerbate divisions.

Despite warnings from Victorian Education Minister Ben Carroll, who highlighted the importance of students being in school, the rally garnered support from the Greens. 

The students, wielding signs with messages such as “We should all be in school, even the children of Gaza,” marched down Swanston Street to Melbourne Central.

Seventeen-year-old Layla, a participant in the rally, told ABC that it would be essential to include young voices in such a global issue. 

“Our education is important, but what’s happening in the world right now is really important for young people to understand,” she said.

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In Adelaide, approximately 100 students braved the rain to gather on the steps of South Australia’s parliament on North Terrace. 

Year 11 student Bibi Sediqi, said: “We’re here to speak up for our rights and for the people of Gaza who cannot speak up for their rights.”

Amidst the student-led demonstrations, concerns were raised by some Jewish community members, exemplified by a petition signed by thousands urging Premier Jacinta Allan to take a stronger stance against the protests. 

Some expressed distress over rising anti-Semitism linked to events in the Middle East.

Victoria Police reported an increase in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic incidents since the beginning of the Israel-Gaza War on October 7, with 164 reports, 60 investigations, and 15 arrests. 

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