readingpsc on Jan 6, 2010
Al Jazeera Wed 6 Jan 2010 @ 2000GMT: Al Jazeera reports on arrival of Viva Palestina Convoy, includes interview with George Galloway and report on earlier fatal clashes at the Rafah border.
Get News & Follow the convoy: http://readingpsc.org.uk/convoy
The Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza which left London on December 6th has been blocked from entering Egypt then held at the Jordanian port of Aqaba. The convoy, which is made up of more than 200+ vehicles, planned to reach Rafah on December 27th.
Viva Palestina Convoy Arrives in Gaza
h/t and thanks to William Bowles at Creative-i
Viva Palestina Update 30 December, 2009
30 December, 2009
[The Ed’s comment: The depressing state of affairs that has come about in Cairo precisely illustrates the bankrupt nature of the ‘left’ in the so-called developed world, which argues and scores points of one kind or another whilst the Zionists continue to kill with impunity! I am especially disappointed with Code Pink’s behaviour having applauded their imaginative work around the invasion/occupation of Iraq. When will we learn? Also, I’ve not formatted these email texts, just reordered them, putting Keith Hammond’s analysis first. The rest concerns assistance that some South African comrades need from their own government!]
From: Keith Hammond [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wed 30/12/2009 12:14
To: Nur Masalha
Subject: RE: ????? ?????: The Good out of the Misery Re: [middle_east_alum] First Report from Cairo: Freedom Marching in Circles While Winding Our Way to Gaza
The problem has been this :
On first arriving we had a legal ban placed on us. Europeans have organised on a basis where we do not take any notice of the law. Codepink have used those activities to put pressure on the Egyptian authorities.
The French for instance – around 300 – mobilised on the basis of resistance. The Spanish tried to get to al Arish in different ways. Similar actions were taken by others. Some of the activities in Cairo have been extremely high risk – for instance at the Journalist’s Syndicate. It was like World War III: riot police everywhere. Meetings have been bust up. Proprietors threatened. Hotel arrests. People being followed everywhere and so on and so on. Whilst the Codepink people have simply put pressure on the authorities to get all the right permission to press on in a tiny group.
The French who have had it very rough have not even had a visit from the Codepink. They have been demonised as though they were the extremists, dispupting things for everyone. I have spent a lot of time with the French and they are simply determined to expose the Egyptian role in this whole business.
What is going on right now is meetings, lots of wind and blaming the Codepink for a lot of the duplicity and betrayal. They have had hell of a job to get enough people to go with them and the Egyptians have exploited their compliance something terrible. So now the media here is full of this story about the moderate, reasonable Americans who are working in complete harmony with the Egyptians whilst the rest of us are extremist anarchists who disobey law as a matter of routine.
There has been no unity … How could there be … So what is happening now is people are finally coming around to a single position where we march en masse … Legal or no legal we make a stand and oppose the Egyptian authorities … It will be all or nothing. In the mean time there are loads on hunger strikes here. Different contingents are staying close to the collective as well as starving or fasting.
Many of us have been chased around, followed, questioned and Christ knows what until we are dizzy. We have made our way from one part of the city to the next and been hammered and shoved about until we are not of this world Nur. The intensity and pace has been relentless. Some groups like the French and the South Africans have been outstanding. Nothing frantic and nothing waffley … There are others who want to talk and talk … So really what has gone oon is not unusual. The usual suspects have come to the fore.
Codepink have set things back considerably. But everyone – in all the different groups – have made huge experiences. Some of this has to be thought through … and translated into new organisational insights. We have made invaluable experiences and it has been sooooo difficult at times. But there will no progress on Palestine until we expose places like this and build alliances with the local unions and so forth … And of course we must keep Palestinians safe. I am just hoping that there are not casualties in Gaza …
But there is no doubt that Mubarak must be shown to be the partner of Israel that he has shown himself to be. He has supported Israel way beyond anything that might have been expected … He has hammered us … done everything short of real jail and deportations. That will be next … things will now get even more fierce. There is everything still being fought out … Meetings everywhere …
Keith – exhausted but on my feet !!!
Activists reject Egypt’s Gaza offer
Al Jazeera English
30 Dec 2009
Members of an international group gathered in Cairo to protest against the siege of Gaza have rejected an Egyptian offer to allow 100 of them entry into the Palestinian territory.
Organisers of the Gaza Freedom March (GFM), which is comprised of 1,300 people from 42 different countries, declined the offer on Wednesday, saying “we refuse to whitewash the siege of Gaza”.
The Viva Palestina convoy, carrying 210 lorries full of humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, crossed into Syria on Tuesday after spending five days in Jordan, negotiating with the Egyptian consul there.
EXCLUSIVE…Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Speaks Out in Support of Gaza Freedom March, Blasts Israeli-Egyptian “Siege” of Gaza
In a Democracy Now! exclusive interview, British musician Roger Waters of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd speaks out about the Gaza Freedom March. “I actually would be very interested to hear what the President of the United States has to say about this nonviolent, democratic demonstration of ordinary people from forty-two countries all over the world,” says Waters. “They feel solidarity with their brothers and sisters, other human beings who are living in conditions that none of us would stand for, for a single second, in any of our countries.” [includes rush transcript]
Gaza Freedom March Protests Continue in Cairo, Organizers Say Egypt Offer to Allow 100 into Gaza Not Sufficient
Hundreds of activists with the Gaza Freedom March are staging continued demonstrations and sit-ins in Cairo to protest the Egyptian government’s refusal to allow them to cross the border into Gaza. Organizers say an offer by Egyptian authorities this morning to allow just 100 members of the group to go to Gaza was not sufficient. More than 1,300 people from over forty countries are in Cairo as part of the Gaza Freedom March. We go to Cairo to speak with Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada. [includes rush transcript]