Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza received Syrian boost

22 December, 2009 — Viva Palestina

The international convoy carrying humanitarian aid from London to Gaza has swollen in size during its journey from Syria into Jordan. More than 400 people from around the world are now travelling on the convoy after volunteers from as far afield as Italy and Malaysia joined up in Damascus.

The amount of aid being carried in approximately 150 vehicles has also grown following donations of medical supplies and equipment received in Syria.

The convoy, organised by the charity Viva Palestina and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, received a huge welcome from Syrians and Syrian’s exiled Palestinian population as it passed through the country.

Flag waving people took to the streets to cheer on the convoy, while a number of official receptions were held, including one at the Syrian border as the convoy arrived from Turkey.

Kevin Ovenden, convoy organiser, said ‘the level of support has been tremendous, and I would like to thank Syria for welcoming us so warmly. Unlike in Britain and the United States, in Turkey and Syria, the issue of Palestine, the people, the civil society and the Government are as one.’

He added ‘However, the international nature of this convoy demonstrates the depth of popular support for the Palestinian people around the world, and more governments need to recognise this reality, including those in Britain and US.’

The convoy, which includes ambulances, trucks, vans and jeeps, has now entered Jordan and hopes to land in Egypt on Christmas day, following a ferry crossing at Aqaba.

It will attempt to break Israel’s illegal three and a half year blockade of Gaza on 27th December by passing through the Rafah crossing to deliver its cargo of medical, humanitarian and educational aid.

The date marks the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 3 week assault on Gaza which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead.

For further information on Viva Palestina or to make a donation visit

Press information from Alice Howard on Tel:07944 512 469 or via email

Alice Howard
Viva Palestina UK – Administration Manager
Tel: 07944 512 469

William A. Cook – A Christmas Remembrance

21 December, 2009 — Palestine Think Tank

“The white civilized man (is) the most ferocious animal on the face of the earth.” — (Herman Melville, 1840s)

buried-child-gaza.jpgIn 1841, Melville sailed aboard the Acushnet, a whaling vessel, on a three year trip to the South Seas. By July of 1842, Melville and a shipmate, Toby Greene, jumped ship revolting against the tyrannical powers that brutalized the crew by oppressing these men of many races. Having witnessed American warships firing their guns at naked islanders in the Marquesas, Tahiti, and Hawaii and watched “rapacious hordes of enlightened individuals” seizing the “depopulated land” from the natives, reducing them to starving “interlopers” in their own country, he realized that the superior white Christian civilization epitomized absolute savagery and that cannibals treated others with more humanity than these self-identified enlightened men. That understanding of the civilized white man struck me with its absoluteness, its certainty, its expressive force the moment I opened my file of little four year old Kaukab Al Dayah, whose tender face rests on top of the rubble of her home, an unsuspecting victim of white Zionist brutality that delivered her family a missile as a Christmas gift just over a year ago. (See Salaman, “The true Jew is the European Ashkenazi … of whitish appearance,” in Sand’s The Invention of the Jewish People). (To see the picture of Kaukab Al Dayah, google her name. Two sites have photos: Getty Images and Laweranceofcyberia).

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Two successful convoys spur flood of humanitarian assistance!

22 December, 2009 — Viva Palestina

George Galloway interview with Richard Hall at leading English Newspaper in the Middle-East – The Daily Star (Beirut)

BEIRUT: It was a typically cold London day in January earlier this year when, in front of thousands of people demonstrating against the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip, British MP George Galloway announced a convoy of aid would be travelling from London to Gaza under the banner “Viva Palestina.”

Almost a year later and after two successful convoys, 86 vehicles of all shapes and sizes are currently making their way through Turkey, hoping to deliver humanitarian aid to the population of the Gaza Strip.

The first Viva Palestina convoy made the journey in March this year, travelling by land to Italy where it crossed the Mediterranean by ferry to Greece. From there it made its way through Turkey, Syria, Jordan, finally entering Gaza at the Rafah border crossing in Egypt. The current convoy, dubbed “Return to Gaza,” will take the same route. The second convoy from the United States departed on July 4 this year, flying into Cairo before also crossing in Rafah.

Viva Palestina organizers aim to highlight the blockade’s damaging effect, while delivering much-needed aid to Gazans.

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‘US aided’ deadly Yemen raids

21 December, 2009

The US provided firepower and intelligence to help the Yemeni government launch a series of deadly raids against suspected al-Qaeda bases in the country, the New York Times has reported.

Barack Obama, the US president, approved the military and intelligence support after receiving a request from the Yemeni government, the newspaper reported late on Friday, citing officials familiar with the operations. Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Yemen, Mohamed Vall speaks to Yemenis about what they think of the development.

more about “‘US aided’ deadly Yemen raids“, posted with vodpod
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Bolivia Calls World Conference of Social Movements

21 December, 2009 — Climate and Capitalism

22 April, 2010: International Day of Mother Earth

CHUQUISACA, Bolivia, December 20 — Bolivian President Evo Morales announced today that a world conference of social movements is to take place in Bolivia, as a response to the failure of the 15th Summit on Climate Change, recently held in Copenhagen.

‘The problems of climate change are directly linked to the irrational development of industry,’ said the president at the celebrations for the 49th anniversary of the foundation of the Culpina municipality, in the region of Chuquisaca.

Morales said that he has requested technical and scientific arguments to support a large-scale international mobilization to defend the environment, especially water.

The meeting will take place on April 22, which is the International Day of Mother Earth.

‘It will be a great meeting where we’ll be able to come up with solutions for the problem of climate change,’ the leader said.

He regretted that the summit held in Copenhagen had concluded without reaching any important agreement. However, he noted that the event was an opportunity to break the hegemony of industrialized countries attending the gathering.

‘If we don’t make important decisions now, our children and the generations to come will be faced with serious problems,’ warned the president.

He pointed out that the Bolivian world conference of social movements will be aimed at finding options for guaranteeing food for the peoples, in view of the famine that is affecting different parts of the world.

(Granma, December 21, 2009)

Excellent News from Copenhagen By Daniel Tanuro

21 December, 2009 — Climate and CapitalismInternational Viewpoint, December 2009

More and more people understand that climate degradation is not the outcome of ‘human activity’ in general but of a mode of an unsustainable mode of production and consumption

We knew the United Nations summit in Copenhagen would not conclude with a new international treaty but a simple statement of intent – just one more. But the text adopted at the end of the meeting is worse than anything we could imagine: no quantified objectives for emissions reduction, no reference year for measuring them, no deadlines, no date!

The text included a vague promise of 100 million dollars yearly for adaptations in developing countries, but the formulas used and various comments lead us to fear that these will be loans administered by major financial institutions rather than true reparations paid by those responsible for the mess.

The document is totally incoherent. Heads of state and government recognize that ‘climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time’, but at the closing of the fifteenth conference of its kind, they are still incapable of taking the slightest concrete measure to meet this challenge. They admit – this is a first! – the need to remain ‘below 2°degrees’ temperature increase, hence the need for deep cuts in emissions ‘according to science, and as documented by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.’

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