Gaza Demonstrators Support Campaign http://gazademosupport.org.uk
Hundreds of thousands of people across the world demonstrated against Israel’s war crimes. Motivated by images of violent death and destruction, and a desire to express solidarity with the people of Gaza, British adults and children spontaneously gathered at the Israeli Embassy in London on December 2008 and January 2009 to demand justice and protest their own complicity in the massacre.
The police did not facilitate justice. Instead, they took names, addresses and photographs of as many demonstrators as possible, including children. Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) were deployed on these demonstrations, and people were physically blocked in by lines of police (kettled) and then refused the right to leave unless they gave their details and had their photograph taken for police files. These tactics are illegal under British law.
The police used the Territorial Support Group, equipped with balaclavas, helmets, riot shields and heavy batons, as well as dogs and horses to intimidate and control the demonstrators.
The police also used force against the demonstrators, including children and the elderly, who were pushed, hit, and refused freedom of movement. In many cases, the police physically assaulted demonstrators.
The Free Gaza Movement http://www.freegaza.org
Since August 2008, the Free Gaza Movement has sailed from Cyprus to the Gaza Strip on several successful voyages, bringing in international witnesses to see first hand the devastating effects of Israeli violence against the Palestinian people. Ours are the first international boats to journey to Gaza since 1967.
We are Italian, Irish, Canadian, Greek, Tunisian, German, Australian, American, English, Scottish, Danish, Israeli, and Palestinian. We are of all ages and backgrounds. We have years of experience volunteering in Gaza and the West Bank at the invitation of Palestinians. But now, because of the increasing stranglehold of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine, many of us find it almost impossible to enter Gaza, and an increasing number have been refused entry to Israel and the West Bank as well.
We want to break the siege of Gaza. We want to raise international awareness about the prison-like closure of the Gaza Strip and pressure the international community to review its sanctions policy and end its support for continued Israeli occupation. We want to uphold Palestine’s right to welcome internationals as visitors, human rights observers, humanitarian aid workers, journalists, or otherwise.
We have not and will not ask for Israel’s permission. It is our intent to overcome this brutal siege through civil resistance and non-violent direct action, and establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world.