Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Peace Group calls on Rochdale to support Gaza protests
Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group joined hundreds of demonstrators from across Greater Manchester outside the BBC on Oxford Road, Manchester on Tuesday evening (1 June 2010) to protest at Sunday night’s unprovoked attack by Israeli commandos on the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ carrying aid to the besieged people of Gaza. The demonstration was addressed by Linda Clair from Spotland who is chair of the Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign. She spoke of her deep sadness at the slaughter of at least 10 unarmed civilians including at least one British citizen by the Israeli soldiers. She expressed serious concern for the welfare of the 40 British citizens from the aid convoy who are still being detained in Israeli prisons and called on people to demand that the British government applies pressure to ensure their immediate release. Rochdale and Littleborough Peace Group joined in a minute's silence for the dead and in applauding the names of the British citizens seized by the Israelis.
On behalf of the Peace Group, Philip Gilligan said,
“The unprovoked killing of people taking aid to Gaza is a deeply shocking event. We must speak out about this atrocity and demand that the government takes effective action to ensure that Israel is held to account for its violations of international law. For far too long successive British governments have ignored Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. For three years Israel has imposed an illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip, creating a devastating humanitarian crisis for the 1.5 million Palestinians trapped there under Israeli military occupation. We need Rochdale’s newly elected MPs to reassure us that they have written to the Foreign Secretary insisting that he put pressure on Israel to end the illegal blockade of Gaza. We need them to ask the Foreign Secretary to immediately withdraw the British Ambassador from Tel Aviv; to institute an immediate two-way arms embargo between the UK and Israel; to call for a prompt, independent and international investigation into the Israeli attack and to press for the immediate suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
There must be an end to the siege of Gaza and freedom and justice for all Palestinians. We hope that many people from Rochdale will join the national demonstration called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign for Saturday 5 June 2010."
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