Indignant that media reports continuously refer to Israel's aggression as "self defence'', countless home-made placards carried pictures of dead, injured or dying children with messages like" Is this the terrorist you were looking for?''.
The protest gave expression to the genuine and passionate concerns of a community that establishment media and state and federal governments have done their best to terrorise and intimidate with "anti-terror'' laws and a cultivated culture of fear.
The rally was organised by the Australian Arabic Committee in Solidarity with the People of Lebanon and Palestine, supported by peace groups, unions and other community organisations.
Speakers included Shiite Islamic Council representative Kamel Moslemani, Lebanese community leader Abraham Constantine, Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali, Andrew Ferguson from the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Greens Senator Kerry Nettle, Pip Hinman from the Sydney Stop the War Coalition and Julia Irwin and Linda Burney from the ALP.
The march to the US Consulate, which took up both lanes of George Street and several blocks, was loud with Lebanese women and youth leading popular chants of "One, two, three, four, Stop bush stop the war'', "Down, down George Bush", and "Hey, hey Israel, how many kids have you killed today?'' and "Free Lebanon, Free Palestine, Israel out".
The crowd stayed on at the US consulate long after the speeches had ended, clearly happy with the community response.
Keysar Trad, from the Islamic Friendship Association, told Green Left Weekly that more rallies, and bigger ones, would be needed if Israel didn't pull back from its invasion of Lebanon.
[Submitted to Green Left Weekly.]
See http://www.greenleft.org.au for more reports from around the country.
Green Left Weekly