Thursday, December 31, 2009

Gaza Anniversary Demonstration in Cairo

It's December 31, the date of the Gaza Freedom March and its accompanying solidarity actions around the world. We are not in Gaza today as hoped but here in Cairo we are remembering the people of Gaza who endured three weeks of brutal Israeli attacks last year as well as the people of all of Palestine who endured 61 years and counting of colonization and occupation.

Barbara and I woke up this morning to the news that our hotel entrance was barricaded off by Egyptian police. Many people staying in our hotel had gotten out early to begin preparations for a large march towards Gaza starting out from central Cairo. Around 20 of us still stuck in the hotel organized a small solidarity protest on the sidewalk of our hotel. Our small group was tired of the focus on us rather than on the people of Palestine. One woman managed to get out of the hotel posing as an ordinary tourist and bought us poster boarders and large markers to make new signs with different messaging. We wanted to bring the focus back around to the roll of Israel and the US, not the Egyptian government and police who are just pawns.

Our new signs saying "Stop Israeli Aggression", "End US Support for Israel", "Israel + US: Let Us Go to Gaza!" "Arrest Netanyahu", "The Wall Must End" and "Down with Israeli Aggression & Apartheid" in English and Arabic were well received by passersby. We chanted things like "No, no Israel! Free, free Palestine!", "Israel, Open the Borders!", and "Free Gaza" in English in Arabic. (View photos)

It was an inspiration to be with such a committed group of solidarity activists from around the world.

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