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Rafah Massacre, Apartheid Wall and Iraq Tortures Spark Protests

imc uk features | 23.05.2004 11:55 | Anti-militarism | Palestine | Repression | World

There is an emergency situation right now in the Gaza Strip and the town of Rafah [feature on], in particular, with scenes that bring to mind Israel's invasion of Jenin and Nablus in the spring of 2002... Last weekend, 116 homes were destroyed, making over a thousand people homeless []. Hundreds more are slated for destruction. [Indymedia Israel, Rafah Today, Electronic Intifada].

Add to this the ongoing trouble in Iraq, where revelations of torture abound, and there was real appetite for action as various groups around the UK called actions. The combination of the weeks' war crimes and media coverage brought people out in abundance, some of whom were protesting for the first time.


The previous weekend, Palestine Solidarity Campaign held its annual Nakba (Catastrophe) Day rally in Tragalgar Sq [Photo's: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 ] at which several speakers called on people to attend the Stop the War/End the Torture demonstration last Saturday morning [Reports & photo's: 1 | 2 ], which then, in turn, built the protest against the Rafah Massacre outside Downing Street, which resulted in a sit down on Whitehall. [Reports & pictures 1 | 2 ].

During the week, George Bush Snr played an ill-timed visit to raise party funds for his son [report]. The weekly picket at Marks & Spencer on Oxford Street was this week swelled by a large number of new faces [Report; pictures: 1 | 2] whilst there have been daily gatherings alongside Brian Hawe in Parliament Square.

Around the UK:

There were other protests over the past week in cities across the country:

Large flag from previous weeks demo. Rumour has it the police ripped it badly.
Large flag from previous weeks demo. Rumour has it the police ripped it badly.

Other links: [Petition to Stop US Military Aid to Israel | Calls for action: ISM, Sat. 22 May | More background, links and interviews | Amnesty International statement on Rafah killings ]

Some of the corporate media's reports [ AP | Guardian | Al Jazeera | Independant ].

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