Call for Gaza ceasefire boosted by Auckland's International Women's Day

March 28, 2024

Call for Gaza ceasefire boosted by Auckland's International Women's Day

Protests for a ceasefire in Palestine continue to fill up Britomart with passionate supporters on International Womens Day. Photo: by Grace Symmans

International Women’s Day brought hundreds of protestors to Auckland CBD, with what is thought to be the largest rally in Aotearoa since the Israel-Gaza conflict began.

The importance of celebrating all women, especially those in the war, was a key characteristic of this week’s march.

Multiple speakers took to the stage in front of hundreds to deliver empowering and emotional speeches.

Among them, high-schooler Rahaf Ghouda, who is from Gaza, spoke to the crowd against the scarcity of support for Palestinian women.

Ghouda said that there were a lot more protestors than usual this week, which is significant to acknowledge the harsh realities of being a woman in Gaza.

Other speakers included Green Party co-leader Chloë Swarbrick, Te Otāne, Palestinian Youth Aotearoa and NZ Jewish group – Jews for a Free Palestine.

Swarbrick called on the NZ government to get more aid to Gaza, join South Africa in the international court of justice, expel the Israel ambassador, cease diplomatic relations with Israel and urgently create special visas for Palestinians to join their families in Aotearoa.

“The power that exists in this square today has the power to change the world,” said Swarbrick.

The weekly protest criticize Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his assault on Gaza and the West Bank.

Speakers called for a permanent ceasefire and demanded that the NZ government grant visas to Palestinian whanau.

Protestor Anna Shaw says that the protests won't cease until the attacks on Gaza stop.

"I think the crimes against Gaza are an atrocity, and the fact that our government isn't doing anything is a disgrace, particularly on International Women's Day.

"I plan to keep on going until our government takes action."

Protests for Palestine are happening every weekend in most major New Zealand cities.

According to the United Nations, at least 9,000 women have been killed by Israeli forces since October 7th (as of March 5th, 2024).

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