Over 100 people gathered in Market Square on Friday June 4 to protest the killing of 9 aid workers by Israeli armed forces at the end of May. A rally was held and people marched around the square chanting. The protest's official demands included the end of Israel's blockade of Gaza, an arms embargo on Israel and government backing for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
This protest followed on from a more spontaneous demonstration the day after the killings. Demonstrators held placards aloft during a concert that was taking place in the market square.
Israel's action against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla has had particular resonance in Nottingham because a Nottingham Trent University student, Tauqir 'Tox' Sharif, was onboard the stormed flotilla ship. After some days in an Israeli prison he is due to be back in Nottingham this week.
National feature: Israel kills 10+ on Free Gaza Flotilla taking aid to Gaza
Statement distributed by organisers of June 4 demo:
On Monday 31st of May in the early hours of the morning a ship carrying humanitarian aid was attacked by Israeli Defence Forces, in cold blood 10 pro-Palestinian activists were killed and 10s more injured. All those aboard the ship were civilians, unarmed and merely tried to defend themselves with what they had lying around the boat in the face of live ammunition.
The boat had been in international waters and had the intention of bring much needed aid to the Gaza strip, one of the most densely populated places on earth where 1.5 million people are being blockaded. ISRAEL HAD NO RIGHT TO BOARD THE SHIP!!!!The situation in the Gaza strip is terrible following a 3 year blockade and the actions of the IDF in operation cast lead where 1,400 people were murdered, including 400 children and where most of Gaza’s infrastructure was destroyed and 100,000s left homeless. The flotilla was bringing in much needed aid, denied to the Gazan people by Israel, and these men and women aboard the 700 strong flotilla should be commended as heroes not killed in cold blood.
Amongst the 700 people on board was a student from Nottingham Trent University, Tauqir Sharif, or as he known to all of us Tox, we have yet to hear from him, and the Israel government is refusing to give out any information on the dead or injured. We are all very worried about him!
We DEMAND the release of all the names of those who have been killed or injured.
We DEMAND the immediate release of all those who have now been detained by the Israeli Defence Force.
We DEMAND that the flotilla be allowed to take its aid to Gaza.
We DEMAND the immediate opening of all crossings into Gaza and an end to the blockade!
We DEMAND that British government takes serious action and expels the Israeli Ambassador from the UK and re-calls the British Ambassador from Israel.
We DEMAND an immediate arms embargo on Israel and full government backing to the BOYCOTT DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS movement.
ISRAEL HAS ONCE AGAIN GONE TOO FAR SO, WE CANNOT SIT BACK AND ALLOW THEM TO KEEP COMMITTING THESE ATROCITIES SO PLEASE COME AND JOIN US AT 5PM FRIDAY 4TH JUNE MARKET SQUARE NOTTINGHAM CITY CENTRE AND HAVE YOUR VOICES HEARD
We understand that many students may still have exams or may have just finished them but all that is needed is an hour of your time to really make a difference!
TAUQIR NEEDS YOU, ALL THE ACTIVISTS NEED YOU, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY PALESTINE NEEDS YOU.