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Report from Support Gaza Stop Israel protest in Cork Saturday 10th Jan
anti-war / imperialism |
Saturday January 10, 2009 19:44 by Miriam
Big increase on numbers attending last week's demonstration
Approximately 1,200 people attended - it was a spirited protest with some very good speeches. Many joined the march as it made its way from Daunt Square down the length of Patrick Street, down Merchants Quay and then into Parnell Place where it halted near the CIE bus station - where bus drivers are organising a collection for the people of Gaza. Then there were a few more addresses and the march turned round and retraced its steps back to Daunt Square. So far as I am aware nobody from either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail was there - but good representation from Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Party, a Green Party councillor speaking for himself, Sinn Fein, Kathy Sinnott MEP. Representatives from Cork Muslim Community spoke as did Dr Hamid Abas, of the Deaprt of Micro Science at UCC - who is also Chair of the Cork Muslim Group. Present also was Humaira, Cahirperson of the Women of the World Group in Ireland.
Shoppers in Cork's main street, Patrick's Street, were once again halted in their tracks as the march wound its way by - many clearly supportive - and clapping or yelling their encouragement, with some joining us on the way. Drivers in the opposite lane were honking horns in support as many of the banner notices asked them to.
We loudly chanted slogans as we went along -led by members of Cork's Muslim Community and other groups:
Free Free Palestine!
Gaza, Gaza don't cry - Palestine will never die!
One-two-three--four, We don't want your bloody war!
Five-six-seven-eight, Israel's a terror state
IDF and Israel - out of Gaza NOW!
Israel's Appalling Lies
Aside from the politicians who spoke against Israel's actions, one of the march's main organisers James Bowen, Professor of Computer Science at UCC, (and founder member of the excellent Palestine Information with Provenance (PIWP) website) - made some important points and, as at last week's protest, was scathing about the performance of the mainstream media. He described how a More 4 journalist this week cornered Mark Ragav, one of Ehud Olmert's principal spokespeople and got him to admit on camera that Israel knew Hamas had not fired any rockets into Israel before it launched its attack - that it had been recorded in official Israeli documents and on one of its government websites. Further, he was able to show that, not only had Hamas not been firing rockets they had also been trying to prevent smaller grouups from doing so during the ceasefire. [strong]So the accusation that Hamas broke the ceasefire thus 'provoking' the Israeli attack, has now been admitted by one of Israel's top representatives to be completely invalid, founded on a proven lie - and yet the mainstream media juggernaut rolls on , spewing lies from Israel's script.[/strong]
Bowen also quoted Naomi Klein who has said in recent days that the situation is just like South Africa used to be - the only difference being that the holocaust is being used as an excuse.
A full scale boycott of Israeli products is being organised in Cork and throughout Ireland this week. Again, James Bowen called for 'a well organised and mannerly boycott' of shops to follow the march next week, which will involve protestors visiting shops known to carry Israeli products and asking them to stop or face peaceful protest on behalf of the people of Gaza. He said the protestors should do everything possible 'this side of the law' and said that it would be a serious disservice to Gazans if anyone was to break the law and bring the protest into disrepute.
What to boycott
A leaflet was in circulation expalining some of the products to be avoided. It reads:
"[strong]Tesco[/strong]: Loose red peppers, loose red grapefruit, Herbs; basil, coriander, chives, dill, mint.
Anything with the [strong]Jaffa[/strong] label on it. Bowen explained how the Jaffa label had once been owned by a Palestinian family who grew oranges in groves from which they had been expelled in 1948 - their home, their livelihood and even their own brand name were all stolen by Israelis. Jaffa oranges were famous for centuries before Israelis sucessfully colonised the Palestinian name along with the city of Yafa.
[strong]The Good Food Stores[/strong](Douglas Village shopping centre and The English Market)
Loose peppers, chillies herbs, lemon grass, dates (Medijoul), sweet potatoes
Also [strong]Dead Sea[/strong] skin care products, sold on a free standing stall in Tesco's store Paul Street, the Good Food Ship Dougland and the English Market are produce of Israel and can easily be boycotted.
[strong]Agrexco[/strong] export fruit and vegetables for sale all over Europe and the US under the trade name [strong]Carmel[/strong]. (Carmel is also the new name given by the Israelis to the Palestinian town/city of Haifa.) Much of Carmel's produce is grown on confiscated Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley, and the Israeli government owns 51% of the company.
Large chain stores such as [strong], M&S, Supervalu, Atlantic Homecare, Argos, B&Q, Woodies[/strong] continually sell Israeli produce. [strong]Fyffes[/strong] import and distribute Israeli fruit in Ireland.
Stock regularly changes in food stores and so to do suppliers. So as you shop pay close attention to the country of origina, printed either on the product or on the shelf.
The lists above are not complete, so as you shop quickly glance to see the country of origin. [STRONG]NB: barcodes ending in the numbers 729 mean the item is produce of Israel [/strong]
Also, mentioning to the store manager that you do not wish to consume Israeli produce could greatly assist in generating a strong boycott.
Your assistance is needed now. If you feel strongly about the situation in Gaza and the need to boycott, but you are unsure of what you as an individual can do here are some useful websites:
Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (www.ipsc.ie)
(End of leaflet)