End Occupation, End The Genocide!
As mass demonstrations on the streets took place, creating what seemed to be the only voice expressing outrage at the Zionist attacks and solidarity with the people of Palestine. The people of Ireland played its role in their opposition to the unfolding carnage.
In the capital hundreds marched to Government buildings as well as the Israeli Embassy to demand an immediate end to the genocide developing in front of our very eyes. Several humanitarian organisations working within the Gaza Strip warned from early on in the war that it was directly affecting vital aid supplies such as food, including medical aid to many hospitals on the brink of collapse as Israeli offensive continued.
Despite appeal's made for restraint, by various middle east countries, including the "United Nations" among others, it was nothing short of hypocrisy as the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown joined in on the chorus.
Just as the United State's positioned themselves discreetly with various diplomatic maneuvers which allowed the war on Gaza population to intensify, they too conspired just as British imperialism has, with Zionist terror operations throughout the years of Intifada, in particular with the continuing blockade of Gaza which has reduced the Palestinian population to near-starvation.
In London as in several other counties, violence flared as heavy police protection was given to the Embassies held by Israel. Such was the anger that in Derry, the US Military giant Raytheon, was dramatically brought to a stand still when there operations was disrupted as nine women from the Derry Anti-War Coalition occupied the building for several hours.
Following negotiations with the PSNI bringing the action to a close, the women told waiting supporters and the media that "We have taken this action in an effort to prevent or delay war crimes being committed by the Israeli Defence Forces in Gaza with the use of Raytheon weapons and to try to force a criminal investigation into the activities of the Raytheon company in Derry and elsewhere which, we believe, amount to complicity in war crimes.
Like millions of others, we have watched television pictures of innocent people being slaughtered since the Israeli assault on Gaza began on December 27th, and have wanted it to stop. But nobody with the power to make it stop seems willing to intervene to do so.
Lawyers and international human rights organisations have declared that the Israeli bombing and shelling of Gaza involves war crimes. The bombing of a UN-sponsored school on January 6th, killing at least 40 civilians, including children, has merely been the worst of these war crimes.
Raytheon's weaponry, one of Israel's main suppliers, has been used steadily in the attacks both on Gaza and Lebanon. The company is aware and doesn't care that its weapons are being used to commit war crimes.
The women's action was further highlighted when they entered along with a delegation from the DAWC a session of the Derry City Council for their lack of action in the matter.
They were informed that they had been dragging their feet by not ejecting the arms manufacture from the city, despite of evidence that the multinational arms company is one of the main suppliers of weapons to Israel, which was highlighted during the trail of the Raytheon Nine the year previously.
As peaceful protestors gathered in support of the nine women held up inside the Raytheon building, PSNI officers move in openly and aggressively attacking several people outside the building. Five were arrested while one woman, unconnected to the protest, and heavily pregnant was caught on camera being assaulted by a high ranking PSNI officer.
In Belfast and Cork as in a number of other towns and cities around the country, activists against the genocide in Palestine took other forms of direct action. Many entered supermarkets such as Marks and Spencer's, Tesco's and Sainsbury's lifting foods made in Israel and removing them from the shelves of the stores as part of a boycott campaign got underway.
As for our part here in Ireland, both North and South, as anti imperialists and anti war activists including the trade movement who unified to oppose the slaughter, we must continue to highlight all forms of Zionist aggression.
In doing so we must echo the call for focus minds on the core of the problem: the Israeli Occupation of Palestine, its failure to abide by international law and its continued takeover of Palestinian land.