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Thursday June 10, 2004 10:00 by Caoimhe
Irish Activist Begins 14-Day Hunger Strike In Appeal For C.R.H. To Divest From Israeli Companies And To Cease Complicity In Human Rights Violations
(FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE)
PRESS RELEASE-JUNE 10th,2004
IRISH ACTIVIST BEGINS 14-DAY HUNGER STRIKE IN APPEAL FOR C.R.H. TO DIVEST FROM ISRAELI COMPANIES AND TO CEASE COMPLICITY IN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Irish activist Caoimhe Butterly today began the first day of a two-week, water-only hunger strike outside of Cement Roadstone Holdings in Fitzwilliams Square. The hunger strike has been initiated in an attempt to focus attention on direct Irish complicity in the construction of the Apartheid Wall, which violates International Law and contributes to grave human rights violations of the Palestinian people. C.R.H. own a 25% stake in the Mashav Group, an Israeli holding company for Nesher Cement, who is the sole provider of cement in Israel.
Amnesty International recently stated that “ C.R.H., through it’s subsideries Mashav and Nesher is likely to be providing the raw material of the fence/wall..if so, it would contravene the U.N. norms on the responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with regard to Human Rights(2003).”
The Apartheid Wall, which is 8 meters high in some places is responsible for the de facto annexation of over 50% of Palestinian agricultural land. Although the Israeli Authorities attempt to sanitize it’s construction by referring to it as a “security” or “defensive” measure, it has been repeatedly condemned internationally as a land grab and further solidification of a system of apartheid. Close to 90% of the Wall is being built on Palestinian land inside the West Bank, not on the Green Line. It cuts off families and communities from each other, separates farmers from their land and cuts off Palestinians from their places of work, schools, health care facilities, places of worship etc. The Wall poses unprecedented restrictions on Palestinians’ movement within Occupied Palestine. Palestinian activists and farmers have also been killed or wounded while demonstrating against it’s construction .
Caoimhe Butterly states, “It is shameful that an Irish company should profit from anything that is as immoral ,unjust , and destructive as the construction of this Wall. This fast is being initiated as an attempt to pressure C.R.H. to divest from these companies. It is the only moral option.
At a time when the Israeli Occupation forces act with increasing impunity in their violent humiliation and brutalization of the Palestinian people, Irish civil society must take a stand. Despite International support for the suspension of the Trade Association agreements between the E.U. and Israel, the Irish government- in it’s term of presidency of the E.U.- has refused to get off the fence and endorse the growing calls for their suspension. In this vacuum of any dedication on the part of our government to advocate for genuine self-determination, and basic human rights, for Palestinians, companies such as C.R.H. continue to profit from the Occupation. Consumer boycotts and sanctions contributed greatly to the isolation of apartheid South Africa. 21st-century Israeli Apartheid must be isolated in the same manner and the courage of the growing popular resistance to the Wall , in Palestine, must be matched by an upping of the ante on the outside, too.”
Joining, visiting or supporting the fast are a number of activists and politicians which include Dennis Halliday, former humanitarian co-ordinator to Iraq, Tom Hyland, Senator David Norris and Nuria Mustafa.
There will be a constant, 24-hour presence- with candle-lit vigils at night, from the 10th - 24th of June.
For more information please contact Caoimhe Butterly at 087-213-4160 or at firstname.lastname@example.org