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Gaza Freedom March reminds the world of Israel’s continuing atrocities

January 3, 2010

Over the past week, protestors around the world have joined their voices to mark the anniversary of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which left 1,400 Palestinians and thirteen Israelis dead a year ago. As Israel’s deadliest attack on Palestinians to date, the 22-day assault not only killed and maimed innocent men, women and children—it further destroyed Gaza’s infrastructure and reduced hundreds of family homes to rubble. A continuing Israeli blockade of Gaza has prevented Gazans from rebuilding their homes, accessing needed medical care, resuming livelihoods, and having enough to eat.

More than 1,000 people from 42 countries met in Cairo, Egypt for the Gaza Freedom March. Robert Naiman, policy director of Just Foreign Policy reported in the Huffington Post:

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered on both sides of the Israeli-Gazan border on Thursday to mark a year since Israel’s three-week war in Gaza, and to call for an end to the blockade of the area imposed by Israel and Egypt. About 85 of the several hundred demonstrators inside Gaza were foreigners, part of a group of more than 1,000 who arrived in Cairo in hopes of entering the territory but who were stopped by the Egyptian authorities. After days of negotiation, Egypt permitted a small delegation to cross the normally closed border at the southern Gazan city of Rafah. Hundreds of us – confined to Cairo – protested against the Israeli/Egyptian blockade where we were. Our protests in Cairo were front-page news in the Egyptian press – and were reported in the U.S. as well.

Actions in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom March that have reported back include:

  • West Bank, Gaza 1-1-2010 More than 150 local activists protested in al-Masara and the neighboring villages against the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements south of Bethlehem. The Israeli army fired tear gas and sound bombs. A child, hit by a sound bomb, was carried away while soldiers were still shooting. Several protestors suffered gas inhalation, and other injuries were reported. View  video covergage.
  • San Francisco, California 12-31-09 Five hundred supporters of breaking the siege on Gaza marched across the Golden Gate bridge .
  • Erez, Israel 12-31-09 Organized by Israeli peace activists, some 1000 protesters called on Israel to lift the ongoing blockade of Palestinians in Gaza.
  • Bethlehem, West Bank 12-31-09 A Vigil for the Children of Gaza next to the Nativity Church. Young children read the names of all the Gazan children murdered in last years massacre, while others climbed a tree and hung the names of those lost from the branches.
  • Tulkarm, Gaza 12-31-09 A solidarity demonstration stopped by Palestinian Authority Policespoke out against the siege and Israel’s 11 chemical factories, which were forbidden to operate in Israel because of the environmental and health problems that they caused.
  • Ramallah, West Bank 12-31-09 More than 250 Palestinians rallied in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom March.
  • Boston, Massachussetts 12-31-09 More than 300 people held an evening candlelight vigil and marched through the streets of Boston.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota 12-31-09 Marchers chanted the words, “   “throughout several blocks of Minneapolis skyways.
  • Eugene, Oregon 12-31-2009 Al-Nakba Awareness Project
  • Adelaide, Australia 12-31-2009 Vigil at the busy intersection on New Year’s eve
  • Washington DC 12-30-2009 Code Pink Vigil for Gaza
  • Bernard, Iowa 12-29-2009
  • Honolulu, Hawaii 12-29-2009 Clergy, vets, and Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and secular peace activists stood along a busy boulevard in front of the Federal Building in downtown Honolulu during rush hour with signs and banners.
  • Bern, Germany 12-27-2009 Candlelight vigil on Bundesplatz
  • Gainesville, Florida 12-27-2009 Activists hit the mall to raise wearing shirts that spelled out “Free Gaza.” They walked slowly and solemnly through the post-holiday sale rush, handing out literature, engaging interested shoppers and leaving boycott information at kiosks selling Ahava products.
  • Seattle, Washington 12-27-2009 Un-forget the forgotten of Gaza, a silent procession throughout downtown Seattle, handed out several hundred leaflets and read poetry.
  • Seoul, South Korea 12-27-2009 Rally denouncing Israel in front of the Israeli embassy
  • New York City, New York 12-27-2009 More than 850 people joined a rally for Gaza: Arab-Americans, antiwar and social justice groups, and veterans.
  • Providence , Rhode Island 12-31-2009
  • Denver, Colorado 12-31-09 More than 100 people participated in an afternoon march, solidarity vigil and an evening march to the state capital.
  • Blue Hill, Maine 12-30-2009 People marched through town with a banner, flags, kites and drums. The banner remains displayed at the Iraq War Dead Memorial on Main Street.
  • Portland, Oregon 12-30-2009 Supporters from area Palestine solidarity groups, Green Party and peace activists held a two-hour vigil in downtown Portland.
  • White Plains, New York 12-30-2009 People gathered at the Metro-North train station with banners, signs, and leaflets during rush hour.
  • Rochester, Minnesota 12-29-2009 Vigil on the main street of the city during rush hour.
  • Phoenix, Arizona 12-29-2009  People came together to view the film “Occupation 101”, followed by speakers.
  • Belfast, Ireland 12-28-2009 Candlelit vigil outside Belfast City Hall to draw attention to the continuing illegal Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
  • Marseille, France 12-27-2009 Manif Gaza Marseille
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 12-27-2009 People gathered to view the film, “Sling Shot Hip Hop.”
  • Sydney, Australia 12-27-2009 Gaza Freedom Vigil to remember all those killed in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza one year ago.
  • Chicago, Illinois 12-27-2009 People with Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago gathered to read aloud the names of the women and children killed during Operation Cast Lead.
  • Redwood City, California 12-27-2009 Forum on Gaza/Palestine held a presentation and postcard signing calling on Congress to end the siege.
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada 12-27-2009  More than 1000 Gaza Freedom Marchers took over the streets of Toronto, marching from the Israeli embassy to Dundas Square.
  • Rotterdam, Netherlands 12-27-2009 Rotterdam for Gaza, a platform of political parties, and human rights, religious and migrant organizations   made an appeal to the government to endorse de Goldstone report and to demand the end of siege.
  • Woodstock, New York 12-20-2009 Rally for the Gaza Freedom March
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