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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/6/10

Blocking Freedom Marcher/Viva Palestina Aid to Gaza

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Others marked the occasion in Cairo by floating 1,400 candles on the Nile, remembering the number of Gazans killed in cold blood.


On December 28, a group of French activists from the solidarity group EuroPalestine took over the boulevard outside their Cairo Embassy, occupied the street with tents for four hours, blocked traffic, demanded buses to Gaza, and forced the French ambassador to negotiate on their behalf, or at least go through the motions as nothing he did helped.


They were confronted by dozens of armored police vehicles, hundreds of riot cops, water cannons ready if they resisted orders to disperse. They negotiated with the police, said they intended to stay, demanded buses to Gaza, and asked others to join them in peaceful solidarity.


Others staged a sit-in outside Cairo's UN building demanding the world body intervene on their behalf. They, too, were met by security forces while some of them negotiated with UN representatives asking for safe entry to Gaza for all 1,400 marchers. They were rejected even though the UN agreed to try to arrange a meeting with the Foreign Ministry's chief of staff to deliver their request to President Mubarak, Egypt's reigning despot since 1981, in league with Washington and Israel, and fully supportive of the siege, so expecting him to help is futile.


Most protestors dispersed at the end of the day, promising to return, while Holocaust survivor, Hedy Epstein, age 85, began a hunger strike (with dozen or more others) to protest, drinking only water and orange juice for energy. Concerned about her health, she ended it on New Year's eve, but vowed to continue her efforts to end the criminal siege.


On December 29, Egyptian security forces detained about 25 American citizens inside the US Embassy and another seven or eight outside the compound. They were seeking help to enter Gaza, but were met almost immediately in response, and according to Gael Murphy, one of the organizers, this action "suggests the American Embassy is responsible." Indeed so, as one word from inside and it would end, or perhaps never happen in the first place.


America, Israel, and Egypt, of course, are complicit in isolating Gaza. Washington and Tel Aviv jointly planned Operation Cast Lead and all other IDF conflicts, and the world community turns a blind eye to daily attacks, land seizures, torture, killings, targeted assassinations, and decades of these and other Israeli crimes and oppression against millions of Palestinian civilians.


After three days of vigils, protests, and determination to persist, the March Coordinating Committee and other contingents "flatly reject(ed) Egypt's (token) offer" to let 100 enter Gaza for 24 hours. All or no one they said as one step toward liberating 1.5 million Gazans. In fact, about 85 activists went, including Palestinians who had never seen family members there and wanted a chance.


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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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