Monday, December 28, 2009

Remembering Gaza

Today is our second day in Cairo and we are disappointed to tell you that we still do not have permission to go to Gaza. We came to Egypt with more than 1300 people from 42 countries hoping to march side-by-side with thousands of Gazans to draw the world's attention to the brutal siege of Gaza and to remind the world that though the bombs have stopped raining down, the war on the people of Gaza continues.

We are all working hard to keep up pressure on our governments and international bodies in the hopes of entering Gaza. But if we don't succeed we can still stand in solidarity with the people in Gaza marching on December 31 through the hundreds of actions happening around the world on that day. We hope you will join one.

We just returned to the hotel after spending the day protesting at the United Nations offices in Cairo. Hundreds of the Gaza Freedom March participants congregated at the UN building to ask for their assistance. Representatives from the march went inside to ask for help in getting all of us into Gaza along with the humanitarian supplies people have carried with them for the people of Gaza. We are still waiting for a response from members of the UN.

This afternoon we received word that 300 French participants who began a demonstration at their Embassy last night were still there and asking for people to come support. We went with a group of people from other nationalities to see them and show support for their action. It was a surprising but not unfamiliar sight. The Egyptian police officers (wearing riot gear) far outnumbered the protesters and had corralled them onto the sidewalk. And across the street were more than 38 large trucks carrying more police officers. Despite the situation the French activists are staying camped out until they get permission to go to Gaza. (Read more, View our photos)

We have to run now to meet with others and figure out our plans for tomorrow.

In the meantime we wanted to share with you this website marking the one year anniversary of Israel's brutal attacks in which 1,414 Palestinians, including 313 children, were murdered: Gaza Speaks: One Year On

More updates soon,
Barbara and Josie

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