Since Israel commenced military attacks against the Gaza Strip on 27 December 2008, international civil society has mobilised against these war crimes. Groups with differing political, religious and ethnic backgrounds have been gathering in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Gaza and in protest of Israel’s attacks.
Worldwide during the last week, activists organized pickets and demonstrations with participants numbering from a dozen to more than ten thousand. In London the numbers reached 50.000.
On Saturday, 3 January 2009, exactly one week after the Israeli air assaults began, demonstrations took place all throughout Europe.
In Amsterdan on that day, a demonstration was attended by ten thousand people. Representatives from different political parties, solidarity and social justice activists and people from Holland’s two primary immigrant groups (from Turkey and Morocco) marched in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Since the Israeli attacks began, there have been four big demonstrations in Holland. Different organization joined forces in a Platform that calls upon the Dutch government to act against Israel and demand Israel to stop the attacks and the occupation of Palestine. The demonstrations took place in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and in The Hague.
In Copenhagen, 2000 – 3000 activists protested in front of the Danish Parliament to protest Israel’s attacks on Gaza and to demand the Danish government pressure Israel to immediately halt its military aggression. As in other European cities, the demonstration was arranged by different organizations and parties.
The Alternative Information Center (AIC) talked with some of the participants. One of them, a journalist student from Copenhagen, said he was demonstrating to show his dissatisfaction with Israel’s bombings in one of the most overcrowded areas in the world, resulting in a huge number of civilian causalities. Other demonstrators commented that criticism of the Israeli attacks on Gaza should be followed up with information about Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. “We need more pamphlets, information stalls and a clearer long-term strategy,” they noted.
From the beginning of Israel’s attacks, different groups in the United Staes have demonstrated their rejection of Israel’s war crimes. The 28 December 2008, the organization Neturei Karta, a group of anti – Zionist Orthodox Jews, together with other organizations, demonstrated in New York. More than 1500 people marched in protest of the bombing and massacre in Gaza – Orthodox Jews, Palestinians and solidarity activists were marching together. On 30 December, hundreds of people demonstrated near the United Nations in New York.
In Washington DC, a coalition of organizations and activists is planning a demonstration for Saturday, 10 January 2009, which will be held near the White House. Buses are being organised to bring activists from across the East Coast, Midwest and South to the join the demonstration.