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Solidarity with Gaza on second anniversary of Israeli aggression

Published Jan 5, 2011 4:08 PM

The movement in solidarity with the people of Gaza has grown rapidly since the Dec. 27, 2008, bombing and invasion of Gaza that killed 1,450 Palestinians, almost all civilians. The ongoing Israeli blockade of the 1.5 million people living in the small territory and the continued Israeli threats have accelerated this movement’s growth. Behind this development is not only the exposure of the crimes of the Israeli occupation regime, but also the courage of Palestinians both in Gaza and the West Back who keep on struggling against all odds.

Many meetings and other actions of solidarity are taking place in recognition of the two-year anniversary of the Israeli aggression. Such solidarity actions have grown in importance since the Israeli military continues to threaten a new invasion. Israeli planes aggressively attacked inside Gaza on Dec. 18, 24 and 25. Both the Israeli regime and Washington refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the Hamas government in Gaza, a government that clearly won the last election.

Many young people as well as older activists have organized aid delegations by land caravans and sea flotillas that bring material assistance to Gaza. Currently the Asian aid ship Salam, which started in India, is making its way toward Gaza, tracked by two Israeli warships. The growing understanding of the oppressive character of the Israeli state has also given rise to the struggle for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” against the regime there.

Among the solidarity actions is one where international human rights activist and former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark is leading a delegation that crossed into Gaza on Jan. 4. Among those with Clark are co-director of the International Action Center Sara Flounders. Egyptian and U.S. authorities stopped the delegation for more than 12 hours on the border before allowing it to proceed.

“We are part of an active global movement,” Flounders told Workers World, “but even more must be done. It is especially urgent at this time to speak out, write, demonstrate and take all kinds of actions in every possible way in defense of the still-blockaded territory of Gaza. That Israel outrageously continues to bomb and Israeli officials talk openly of a new offensive call for a determined response.”

Flounders also called attention to the solidarity activists in Minneapolis, Chicago and other Midwestern cities who the FBI has targeted. “The efforts by the U.S. government and its repressive forces to shut down solidarity with the heroic Palestinian struggle must be met by ever stronger solidarity actions.”

Meetings, protests scheduled

For three days the delegation will visit representatives of the Palestinian people in Gaza and will see the situation on the ground first hand.

Delegation members plan to speak at public meetings when they return to the U.S., which should be the second week of January, to help bring the truth about Gaza to the people here.

The first such meeting is scheduled for Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. at 55 W. 17th Street in New York City. This meeting will coincide with the release of the new book “Gaza: Symbol of Resistance.”

That meeting comes three days after a protest set for Jan. 9 in New York at 1 p.m. at 33rd Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan sponsored by Al-Awda NY — The Palestine Right to Return Coalition — and many other organizations, including the IAC.