Shoeless in Cairo
by Mary Hughes-Thompson, part of the GFM convoy that has been trying to get into Gaza.
01 January 2010
In about an hour the Gaza Freedom Marchers in Cairo will be meeting in Tahrir Square to celebrate the beginning of 2010. January 1st will be the fifth day of my hunger strike.
All around us we saw other small groups receiving the same reception. After sitting on a bench in front of the Nile Hilton for half an hour, with half a dozen police standing close and trying to persuade us to continue walking away, we suddenly saw a surge of people crossing the street a few yards from us, and we quickly rushed to join them. Free Gaza signs appeared, chants of “Free Gaza” were heard. Passengers in cars and buses gave us a wave and a smile. We were immediately encircled by several hundred policemen who placed barriers around us and began to push us more tightly together. We tried to keep space around Hedy, as we were pushed and squeezed. I feared my ribs would be crushed as I was squeezed tighter and closer to people around me. A few people fell or tried to sit in the middle of the circle and the police went after them.
This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence/police brutality and should only be viewed by a mature audience.
Egyptian police beat Gaza peace activists
SEVEN protestors were injured as Egyptian plain clothes police turned violent at a Cairo street demonstration organised by peace activists. Nearly a thousand Gaza Freedom Marchers, representing 42 different nationalities, brought the Egyptian capital to a standstill at one point when they sat down on a main road in Tahrir Square. The surprise demonstration took Cairo police by surprise after they blockaded a hotel nearby where nearly 30 of the GFM were staying. Around 700 maintained their sit-in for 20 minutes until police reinforcements arrived to remove the defiant peace activists who were chanting: “We want to march to Gaza.” Mick Napier, the chair of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: “The police used excessive force and at one stage several female protestors were punched and kicked. A couple had their hijabs ripped away from their head. “Many of us were taken aback by the naked aggression of the police as this was a non-violent protest. Around 1400 of us arrived in Cairo a few days ago to go to Gaza but a travel ban was imposed and we’ve been stuck in the capital.”
Gaza Freedom March in Israel
International, Israeli, and Palestinian activists demonstrate around Gaza against Israeli imposed siege
For months international, Israeli, and Palestinian activists have been planning the Gaza Freedom March. Organizers hoped an international delegation of 1300 activists from around the world would break the siege on Gaza by marching through Gaza to the northern border and through the Erez crossing, join the Israeli march. The Real News attended the Israeli side of the protest, and though the Egyptian government prevented the activists from entering Gaza, hundreds gathered to raise awareness of the desperate situation in Gaza a year after Operation Cast Lead.
More footage from the recent march from Times Square to the Israeli Mission in New York City with an introduction from Head Roc.
Jews United Against Zionism
A speech given at the recent action in Times Square in solidarity with the people of Gaza by Rabbi Weisman of “Jews United Against Zionism.” You can check them out:www.nkusa.org