Melbourne school students are being urged to join a Greta Thunberg-style School Strike for Palestine.
Free Palestine Australia (FPA), a newly organised group of activists, advocates and community mobilisers, are calling on school students to stage a classroom walkout to join a rally at Flinders Street Station in the CBD on Thursday, November 16.
Shadow Minister for Early Childhood and Education Jess Wilson MP said, “The Allan Labor government must today take action in relation to the planned School Strike for Palestine.
“Political activists cannot be allowed to bring the current and extremely complex conflict in the Middle East into Victorian classrooms.
“The Premier and the Education Minister must instruct schools that this is not an approved nor endorsed reason for student absence.
“The recent displays of violence on Victorian streets, and targeted attacks towards Victoria’s Jewish community, reinforce the need for the government to prevent further harm and disunity from spreading in our schools.”
Allan told media on Tuesday: “Students are expected to be at school on that day and it’s my expectation that students will be in school on that day.”
Minister for NDIS and Government Services, Bill Shorten said, “Community leaders need to dial down some of the protests.
“As for kids not going to school, I think people need more knowledge than less.”
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich called on the state government to take action. “These guerrilla-style tactics cannot become the new normal in our state. Those attending the protest will not be told about the barbarities committed by Hamas,” he said.
Nationals Senator Matt Canavan told Sky News, “It used to be kids have a day off school to save the planet, now apparently it is to support Hamas and Palestine.”
Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council executive director Colin Rubenstein said, “Pro-Palestinian political activists should stay out of the nation’s classrooms. Victorian school kids don’t have a full understanding of Middle Eastern politics, and children should never be exploited, cynically manipulated and politicised in this way. Encouraging children to secretly leave school, where they should be, only makes this behaviour even more unacceptable.”