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Report from IPSC meeting in Maynooth featuring Derek Graham & Ramzi Kysia of the Free Gaza Movement

category kildare | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Tuesday October 13, 2009 22:49author by Freda H - IPSC (pers cap)author email info at ipsc dot ie Report this post to the editors

Tonight, 13th Oct. 2009, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) NUI Maynooth branch hosted a public meeting with Free Gaza Movement Directors Derek Graham and Ramzi Kysia. The event was very well attended by both students and academic staff.


Hassan Ould Moctar, IPSC NUIM Branch President chaired the meeting. Introducing the meeting he stated that the IPSC is a broad-based national organisation who campaign for justice for the Palestinian people through political lobbying at both national and EU level, grass roots activism and promoting the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

Derek Graham is an Irish activist who has been living in Cyprus for the last four years where he became a member of the Free Gaza Movement. He has since been a crew member on many successful and unsuccessful voyages to Gaza. Recently, in May/June 2009 he and other international activists were kidnapped by Israeli commandos in Gaza waters. Irish Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire was also amongst those taken at gunpoint to an Israeli detention centre were they were held for over a week before being deported.

Ramzi Kysia is an Arab-American writer and organiser. He was co-coordinator of the Iraq Peace Team in Baghdad in 2002-2003, an international effort to draw attention to the human consequences of war in Iraq. He currently serves on the board of directors for the international Free Gaza Movement, and is in Ireland to help support work being done to organize an "Irish Boat" as part of an international flotilla to break the Israeli siege of Gaza. For more information about this initiative, please see

Derek also stated the “We are aiming for crossparty representation on the next Irish boat.”
The Irish Boat is due to arrive in Gaza in January and will have a number of Irish politicians, musicians, journalists and activists on board. It will carry aid to the beleaguered Gaza strip.

Both Derek and Ramzi spoke of the awful conditions they had witnessed in Gaza and of the complicity of the international community through its inaction towards the ongoing siege of Gaza. They both referred to Israeli breeches of the terms of Article 2 of the Euro Med Agreement through its unjust occupation of Palestine and siege of Gaza.

Ramzi likened the situation in Palestine to that of Apartheid South Africa and stressed that change in that situation came directly from individuals mobilising and putting pressure on their governments.

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. Theirs were the first international boats to journey to Gaza since 1967.

The Free Gaza Movement wants to break the siege of Gaza. They 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.

When asked about the safety of their voyages given the many Israeli attempts to destroy their boats and halt their missions Ramzi said, “The only protection our ships have is the conscience of the world”. He stressed the need for an Irish media campaign behind this mission in order to safeguard the crew.

IPSC and Amnesty activists based in NUI Maynooth stressed how pro-Palestinian the university is stating that the university president had visited Palestine and many founder members of the IPSC were among the academic staff in the college.

Hassan Ould Moctar, IPSC Branch president closed the meeting by speaking of the moral obligation we all have to get help to end the suffering of the Palestinian people and stressing that no matter how small your action, collectively we can all make a difference.

Derek and Ramzi, along with Caoimhe Butterly, will be speaking in Dublin on Tuesday October 20th in the Central Hotel at 7.30pm. Full details are here:

If you are interested in getting involved in either campaign please contact or see and

Related Link:



author by Fintan Lanepublication date Tue Oct 13, 2009 23:12Report this post to the editors

Sounds like an excellent meeting. Well done to the IPSC and all those involved! Great also to see an IPSC branch in NUI Maynooth - there should be an active branch in every university and college in Ireland.

author by DonalÓF- fee nuimpublication date Wed Oct 14, 2009 13:55Report this post to the editors

glad to hear it went well, the IPSC have a real presence on the campus already and we're only a few weeks into the semester. Fair play to Hassan and the others on the work they've put in.The talk late last year, with the speakers from t he University in Nablus packed out the rooms above the Student Union offices, so there is obviously interest on campus. Nice to see things like this going on in a University that got a bit politically quiet for a while!

author by TD - Free Palestine Campaignpublication date Wed Oct 14, 2009 14:20Report this post to the editors

To celebrate the October 2, 1869 birthday of Mohandas Gandhi, on 2-10-2009, organised by Quaker activist, Richard Kimball, Galway Interfaith Alliance hosted a public discussion in the Menlo Park Hotel on peace in a violence-ridden world , guest speakers were Denis Halliday and activist with the Gaza Free Movement; Ramzi Kysia.

Caption: Ramzi Kysia & Denis Halliday : Galway Interfaith Alliance

author by TD - Free Palestine Campaignpublication date Wed Oct 14, 2009 14:48Report this post to the editors

On the eve of the Lisbon referendum at an information stall manned by activists with the Irish Friends of Palestine Against Lisbon campaign group, the views of Derek Graham and Ramzi Kysia were sought on the abject collusion of the EU with Israel and the turning of the blind eye to that rogue state's many and egregious war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Caption: Ramzi Kysia & Derek Graham interviewed in Shop Street, Galway

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