‘Die-in’ protest against Irish Government silence on Gaza

Thursday, July 31, 2014 from Gaza Action Ireland

Gaza protesters march through Grafton Street

HUNDREDS of protesters, chanting “Boycott Israel”, noisily marched the length of Dublin’s Grafton Street this evening [[THURS]] on their way to a ‘die-in’ at Leinster House to oppose the Irish Government’s inaction over Gaza.

Up to 500 people had earlier heard speeches from doctors and members of the Palestinian community outside the Department of Foreign Affairs on St Stephen’s Green.

The doctors called on the Irish Government to take a firm stand against Israeli attacks on medical workers, hospitals and ambulances in Gaza.

“In my professional opinion, the ongoing attacks on medics in Gaza clearly constitute a war crime that cannot be justified and warrant immediate referral to the International Criminal Court,” Prof Damian McCormack, a surgeon at the Mater hospital, said. “I call on our government to demand an apology from the Israeli ambassador or to expel him.

“Further I call on all medical bodies and colleagues in Ireland to publicly condemn these attacks,” McCormack added.

Israel’s increasingly savage assault on Gaza has seen 1,400 people killed in just over three weeks, with many thousands wounded and close to 200,000 displaced. The UN reports that its relief operations are close to breaking point, and Israel has repeatedly targeted schools that were being used as shelter for people with nowhere else to hide.

At Leinster House there were further speeches and hundreds of protesters lay down as if dead, holding sheets of people bearing the names of those killed in Gaza, while part of a list of the victims was read aloud.

Nyssan Deeb, a Palestinian who lives in Dublin, said the daily litany of horrors from Gaza was heartbreaking. “I look at the pictures of children and I see my own child,” she said.

“When Charlie Flanagan went to the Seanad today and spoke mealy-mouthed words of half-hearted, allegedly balanced condemnation, he wasn’t speaking for the Irish people, who know the difference between the occupier and the occupied, between the oppressor and the oppressed,” Gaza Action Ireland (GAI) member and journalist Harry Browne said.

“Israeli war crimes in Gaza, and the long occupation that lies behind those crimes, are enabled by western governments like our own. Its military research is funded by the EU, sometimes with Irish partners. Its products are in our shops,” he said.

“We share the responsibility for Israel’s actions, and with tools like the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions, we potentially have the leverage to help stop them,” Browne added.

This evening’s demonstration was called by GAI, with the support of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Sadaka and the Palestinian community in Ireland.

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Gaza Action Ireland, which grew out of the Irish Ship to Gaza initiative, is a solidarity group that organises civil-society contacts between Ireland and Palestinians in the Gaza strip. It is responsible for the Windows Into Gaza art exhibition that is currently touring Ireland, and it is planning to bring a team of young footballers from Gaza to play here. In addition to artists and sports clubs, it has also forged links with fishermen, journalists, human-rights activists and providers of emergency services.

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