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Anti-Israel Rally at Max Brenner, Parramatta

So, yesterday afternoon, a couple of my colleagues started talking about the news that there's going to be a rally in front of Max Brenner at Parramatta Westfield in the evening, which will cause traffic delays as the street will be blocked and the buses will be detoured. Some anti-Israel related rally blah blah blah... Most of us were not very interested about the rally except for the fact that their trip home might get delayed.

Meanwhile, I was thinking the protest will be a great opportunity for me to take some photos to document the event. "Yes Scott Kim! You are going to be a photo journalist tonight!" I talked to myself and rushed home to get my cameras.

My cultural background is way too far from understanding Israel vs Palestine situation. I only know very brief history of the region and until yesterday all the fights between them was for the news on TV. It was really interesting to witness those activists very close with my own eyes.

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Plenty of police presence at Max Brenner makes the place feel so much safer than any other times I have been there.
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This is a chocolate store in the end, the place for dopamine overdosed people, a.k.a lovers. Who cares about Israel or Palestine?
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There were not that many people in fact. Various newspaper says about 150 people gathered. Various people from Palestine Action Group and the Socialist Alternative were quitely listening to the speakers. Time to time all shouted anti-Israel slogans, but nothing felt radical to me.
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Thankfully I coulnd't find any signs that include the message of removing people head from their body. The people were young and maintained rather cheerful atmosphere during the protest.
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I was very impressed by the clothing that the girls were wearing. Especially the big round hijabs covering their head. They look very beautiful and fashionable to me. A great example of modernizing old custom to up-to-date I believe. It looks good, a wearer feels safe and you can avoid doing your hair every morning. How great is that? Of course if you don't want to wear it, you live in a free country to do.
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The rally was so peaceful that the reporter from Channel 10 looked even bored.
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Human Rights Monitor here! Good to have you mate!
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So all the speeches were done, then it was time to march to the chocolate store. Definitely not for chocolate this time.
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The Max Brenner were well guarded by the police force, then I found this grandfather who wrapped himself with the Australian flag. According to Channel 9 news, he is 73-year old grandfather, who declined to give his name. He was there to protest against the demonstration targeting Max Brenner.
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The only thing made me really curious was the choice of Australian flag to protest against the anti-Israel demonstration. Shouldn't it be the Israel flag instead?
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So there were also the people against the demonstration at Max Brenner. Separated by the police line they yelled enough to each other, although the didn't listen to. At least if you are on Max Brenner side, you can have a nice cup of tea and a chocolate while yelling.
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So the protest at the store was done, going back to the squre. But again, what on earth the Australian flag swinging in the background here?
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Some people might say that why the Australians should deal with the conflicts in other land? Why Australian tax money being wasted on this? Like the grandfather told to Channel 9. "We've established a viable, happy country here and these people don't respect us." The question is who are these people and who are us? Happy country here? I'm pretty sure he didn't mean 'happy' for Australian aborigines. 
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To me everyone at the place were Australian and they barely look different to me. Some believe all asians look the same, likewise some races (to me) look the same. I barely can distinguish one from another.

One thing the Australians, especially some of white Australians should understand is that this country already includes many many people from various cultural backgrounds and when they migrate, both of good and bad parts of history come together and it eventually gets mingled into the melting pot throughout the several generations. The same reason why Australia celebrates Queen's birthday until now on the land of aborigines.
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The point is that this rally is a domestic issue. These are people in the same country who believe the occupation of Israel is not right, and so decided to do protest in front of Max Brenner. So called 'these people' at the square are the same people who don't get respected according to the grandfather. That's why I think it's really stupid to wear the Australian flag in front of Australians who protest against Israel.
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In the end it was a peaceful rally with no violence at all. Everyone followed the rules no matter which side you are on. Police guided the crowd wisely and people did the right thing. It's really glad to see people can raise their voice freely. Now that's the best part of being in Australia, isn't it?
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All the images were taken with X100. I used auto ISO setting with max 6400 and min 1/40 shutter speed.

Thanks for visiting.

All the images were published under the "Creative Commons" licence.


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