A series of rallies has started in the Mountains calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Organisers said the first rally was held on Sunday November 12 and attracted about 150-200 people, including Federal MP for Macquarie Susan Templeman and Greens Councillor Brent Hoare.
A second rally was held on Sunday November 19 with half the crowd from the first. Organisers say they will continue to call for a cease fire, holding rallies at the same time on the same day.
A spokesperson for the group, Jess Steele from Blackheath, said it was Mountains residents "showing solidarity with Palestine".
"The last couple of months have highlighted the ongoing disaster in Gaza, with actions and reactions creating even more unlivable conditions for residents. Millions of people across the world are responding with loud and clear calls for an immediate ceasefire."
Ms Steele said the Blue Mountains Friends of Palestine was formed to empower the local community to advocate for the rights and interests of Palestinians.
"We've created a space for different parts of the community to come together and peacefully call for a ceasefire. In partnership with a wide range of political parties, individuals and local businesses, we are organising marches, and opportunities for the community to come together to advocate and share the load we are feeling at this time," she said.
The group met at the old Katoomba Library and then marched up Katoomba Street and rallied in front of The Carrington Hotel.
One of the rally organisers, Georgia Kia, said: "The rally was supported by local members of Socialist Alliance and the Greens, as well as local businesses. It included speakers from those organisations plus the Blue Mountains Peace Collective, a young Palestinian-Australian speaker, and MP Susan Templeman".
"We have had strong backing and response from the Blue Mountains community," she added.
Strong applause met the reading of the Merri-Bek (Canterbury-Bankstown) council motion, asking that the Federal Government act on demanding a ceasefire and that the Palestinian flag be flown until such an outcome.
A young second-generation Australian Palestinian spoke about her respect for her elders both here and in Gaza.
"I am deeply appreciative to see all this local support," she said, receiving equally warm applause. Having never met a local Palestinian herself, she was moved to meet others from the Blue Mountains at the rally.
Macquarie MP Susan Templeman, spoke about the "role Australia has to support an end to the dreadful conflict ... and the role Australia can play in achieving a durable peace".
"Australia does have a role in that, in working with the international community as the Canterbury Bankstown [council] statement said: to work with the international community quickly and urgently to end the humanitarian crisis. That has to be our first priority".
"We stand here knowing that the bombing has to stop, that the violence has to stop.".
Another event will be held on Wednesday November 22 - Craftivism for Palestine - at 5-7pm at Lyttleton Stores in Lawson. Guests are asked to bring sheets, cardboard and other supplies to make signs and banners for upcoming marches. No bookings required.
And a Mothers for Peace Pray for Palestine will be held at 10am, on Saturday November 25 at Wentworth Falls Lake. All are welcome to join this non-denominational event.
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