This lot, targeting the city's Max Brenner franchise, were a mainly 20- and 30-something mix of students, the inevitable Greens (aka the Watermelons, "green on the outside and red within"), GetUp, and Justice for Palestine, plus some Muslim women in hijabs. A few Palestinian flags were carried.
What the so-called Justice for Palestine group demands is, in their own words (http://www.justiceforpalestinebrisbane.org/), "an end to the occupation of all Arab lands and the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall" plus " the right of return for all Palestinian refugees" [emphasis theirs]. The willful ignorance of the history of the conflict, any semblance of empathy for an Israeli population under constant attack from ruthless terrorists, any concession to the notion that the Israeli government has the right and obligation to defend its citizens, is of course entirely missing. The clear aim of "Justice for Palestine" - as of the entire BDS movement - is the eradication of the world's only Jewish State.
There's a video (I'll tell you where to see it, presently) of the squalid near-hysterical speech in that vein to the rag, tag and bobtail assemblage by one of those strident carbon copy far-left feminists (funny peculiar, that, isn't it?) who seem to be so much in evidence in Israel-bashing circles:
To quote Ari Heber, reporting for J-Wire, the protesters
'bleated their inane anti-Israel slogans as if in a street theater production of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.
A crowd of about 130 multicultural multifaith supporters rallied against the demonstrators drowning them out with jeers and generally positive messages.
Hot Chocolate, dancing and a sense of camaraderie made it an enjoyable afternoon.
In an email to the community this week Q[eensland] J[ewish] B[oard of] D [erputies ]President Jason Steinberg had asked supporters not to engage with the protesters and not to provoke them.
Many supporters at the protest felt that there was a need for the community to do something to challenge these protesters and not ignore them.
And who were those counter-protesters that had the BDSers on the run? They were an assortment of well-intentioned individuals ranging in age from teens to senior citizens, with input from members of the Australian Tea Party.In the time it took to order a hot chocolate the protesters gave up and moved on down the street claiming a “moral victory” over democracy and free thought.'
One of the architects of the counter-protest was a University of Queensland student, Danielle Keys, who is National Plan Campus Director for the Conservative Leadership Foundation, although the counter-protest was not linked to that organisation.
She has said:
"It is offensive and reminiscent of the 1930’s that a private business should come under attack because of either the origin of the business itself or the origin of the business’ owners.
In a liberal democracy like Australia where freedom of religion, freedom of association and free enterprise is embraced, it is very disturbing to me to consistently see the prejudiced and violent behaviour of groups like the Socialist Alliance.
To aggressively protest and blockade entrance to a private business because of its Israeli origin and association is intolerant and unacceptable." http://www.menzieshouse.com.au/2011/08/counter-protest-against-socialist-alternative-anti-semitic-thuggary-in-brisbane.htmlAnd of the good work on 27 August she comments:
It was amazing to see the Socialist Alliance and Justice for Palestine outnumbered and placed into a nice little contained area. There were stacks of people and in particular many young people out to stand up against the Socialist Alliance. Unlike in other cities, the Socialist Alliance were kept away from the Max Brenner store (as they would have had to get through 10 police officers and 70 regular Australians who were fed up). Max Brenner Southbank was really busy and business was booming for them. We had random people off the street so disgusted by the Socialist Alliance that they went and bought some chocolate then stood with us.
This rabble of socialist sycophants were chanting about Max Brenner’s support for genocide and how it has blood on it’s hands. I found this particularly disturbing as Jewish people have been systematically persecuted and subjected to genocidal attacks for thousands of years. The conduct of the Socialist Alliance yesterday made it clear their attachment to violent, aggressive and fundamentally anti-Semitic behaviour.
We responded with many different chants and songs, but I think one of the most amazing ones was when a Max Brenner staff member came up to join us before his shift started and chanted about how he loves the company he works for. I was happy to give that guy the megaphone for a welcome break… everyone’s vocal chords have taken a beating!
Anyone who was there would have seen how much fun it was. Everyone there was laughing, chanting, getting stuck into the SA, drinking hot chocolates and dancing around. The Socialist Alliance eventually walked away. Shamed into oblivion. They went and stood in a park somewhere continuing their little rant, where no one could hear them and no one could call them to account. This is unsurprising and indicative of their cowardice.
All fun and exciting times aside, there was a really powerful and beautiful element to this counter-protest movement. I was really humbled and overwhelmed by people from the Jewish community voicing their thanks for the support. It sounds insane but I never really thought of the Brisbane Jewish community when it came to organising this. I was so busy thinking of the political and ideological principles that I didn’t properly see how personally vilified and offended the Jewish community felt over this. They came out in force to stand up for Max Brenner and say no to Socialist Alliance abuses. I met so many wonderful Jewish people and I felt so touched when they said how surprised and happy they were to see non-Jewish people standing by them in an event like this....
As a young idealist and libertarian I got lost in the principled machinations of what is happening surrounding the BDS. What is really important for all people to remember is that there is a huge personal element to these things. Because ordinary Australians stood up and said no to the Socialist Alliance’s intolerance and hatred, the Jewish community has felt a level of support that I am not sure they felt was there before....
If there is an anti-Max Brenner protest in your own towns, I encourage you to gather your friends together and stage a counter-protest!'Says David Goodridge, of the Australian Tea Party:
The sight of fear and confusion in these extreme leftists eyes when they realised not only that they were outmatched in numbers but in passion….was priceless.
If our Jewish friends feel uncomfortable in standing up we will ! This is Australia ..protesting Jewish shops under false pretences about things they have obviously no influence over is 1930′s Germany ..NOT Australia.'And another comments:
"Yesterday was a real low point for Queensland as the Anti-Semitic socialist BDS campaigners turned their attention to the Brisbane Max Brenner outlet.
As a member of The Australian TEA Party, which as an organisation was influential in organising yesterdays counter protest, and as someone who has zero connections with Judaism or Israel, I must say it was was an absolute pleasure defending free enterprise and the rights of Israelis and Jews alike to go about their peaceful business without fear of persecution or hatred.
Yesterday's counter protest was the first time the socialist BDS campaigners had actually come up against any real opposition on street level, and we did most certainly take them by surprise. After a 30-40 minute loud hailer exchange, the Green/Socialist Alternative BDS protesters retreated to lick their figurative wounds and possibly reexamine there vile campaign which up until now has met little street level opposition.
What yesterday really demonstrated was the support for Israel and Jews from outside of the Jewish/Israeli community and it was a real privilege as an Australian TEA Party member to take part.
Despite yesterdays success, we must always remain mindful that the BDS has defacto support from the Jullia Gillard government as she voluntarily formed a coalition with the Australian Greens who at a NSW level openly support the BDS campaign and at a federal level refuse to support Sen. Ron Boswell’s motion condemning the BDS campaign.
Clearly this situation needs to change, and of course it will when this government either collapses or is voted out next election."Read (and see) more: http://www.jwire.com.au/news/brisbane-bds-demo-a-fizzler/18703/comment-page-1#comment-9439
As for the routed anti-Israel mob, they are furious, and even calling foul the slogan "Never Again!" raised by the protesters. Personally, I think it's entirely appropriate to use that slogan against those who would facililitate the destruction of the State of Israel. This is an extract (notice the disingenuous reference to "semites" in an attempt to wriggle out of the charge of being antisemitic, when as every honest person knows the term antisemitic was coined by Wilhelm Marr to refer not to Arab "semites" but specifically to antipathy towards Jews):
'As we assembled in the park with our 'Tear down the Apartheid Wall' banner intact we were confronted by a mix of Zionists, people mobilised by Max Brenner and University of Qld Liberal club. They were heavily supported by the Australian Patriotic Defence Movement (APDM), a fascist organistion here in Australia. With no irony they shouted slurs like 'racists' 'anti-semites'(curious because some of us are semites) and 'traitors'(to what, the Israeli flag they carried?). Some held up placards of the Australian Flag.'Read the angry-as-a disturbed-nest-of-hornets piece here (and see that video I refer to above): hat tip Shirlee http://workersbushtelegraph.com.au/2011/08/24/boycott-israel-protest-in-brisbane/
Update: See earlier footage of counter-protesters below, and for glimpses of them at the 27 August rally see http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/08/for-your-viewing-pleasure-pro-israel.html