Free Palestine Geelong joined the celebration of culture and multiculturalism at the 42nd annual Pako Festa on Saturday 24 February 2024 and the overwhelming support from the community and the organisers, reveals the heart and solidarity the Geelong community feels towards Palestinians.

The Pako Festa is Victoria’s largest free multi-arts and cultural festival organised by Cultura and designed by and in support of the diverse cultures that create the rich fabric of this region.

It only seemed right for Free Palestine Geelong to join the festival as a small but important step torecognise the resilience of Palestinians and to walk in solidarity with the people of Palestine as they try to preserver their lives and their culture.

Free Palestine Geelong joined 80 other multicultural groups at the street parade, along Pakington Street to loud cheering and clapping from the Geelong community. Some people in the crowd felt so moved they joined the contingent and the group swelled to double its numbers.

It was also heartening to see the organisers, Cultura see the importance of Palestine being represented at the festival and clearing an initial hurdle to help it happen.

A Palestinian refugee who lives in the West Bank and has been closely following actions in Geelong had this to say:

“The street parade was great! The Geelong communities support for the Palestinian people and our cause makes us feel integrated into humanity during a time when we are being drastically dehumanised. Politicians need to stop being hypocrites.”

Free Palestine Geelong continue to demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire, the Australian Government to reinstate UNRWA’s funding and cease weapon supply to Israel while the International Court of Justice is making an adjudication on genocide.

Quotes from the Geelong Community
“As a 50 year old I’ve seen my fair share of inaction. But you guys made it happen today and it was such a powerful display of solidarity for peace”

Just like the Bringing Back Love events last weekend where children designed and built Palestinian themed kites and families gathered at a picnic to watch them fly. This event brought the Geelong community together to share a message of solidarity, hope and peace.

Free Palestine Geelong were honoured to be part of Victoria’s largest free multi-arts and cultural festival the PakoFesta today. The Geelong community made it loud and clear that they welcomed the representation and showed that this community cares about Palestinians, their culture and stand in solidarity.