Riot police attack Britons in Gaza aid convoy by Terry Kirby

6 January, 2010 — Viva Palestina/

egypt-riot-police.jpgBritish members of a convoy of pro-Palestinian activists trying to take aid into Gaza have been injured in clashes with Egyptian riot police.

The violence in the port of Al Arish erupted after the activists staged a demonstration protesting at the refusal of the Egyptian authorities to allow the convoy of more than 250 vehicles into the Gaza strip.

Convoy members — about 50 of whom were British — claim plain clothes police officers threw stones at them while uniformed officers attacked with tear gas and batons.

More than 50 of the 520 people with the convoy were injured, 10 of whom required hospital treatment. Six were arrested, although they were due to be released today.

George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, condemned the Egyptian authorities as “brutal, arbitrary and capricious”. He said: “This is a dictatorship funded by the United States and Israel who are stopped aid getting into Gaza. The people who fought back last night would be hailed as heroes if this was happening in some other countries, like Burma.”

He also said most of the British convoy members were Muslims.

Alexandra Lort Phillips, 37, a youth worker from Enfield who took leave from her job to join the convoy, said there was a “lot of fear” in the port compound.

“I can’t see why you need several hundred riot people to attack a humanitarian convoy. We started getting pelted with stones by people in plain clothes, then the police started moving in, using tear gas and batons. People were quite severely beaten.”

This week convoy members staged noisy protests after Egyptian officials took away their passports and there was a lengthy delay in giving them back.

After negotiations overnight with Egyptian officials, all of those arrested were due to be released and the convoy was making its was towards the border crossing of Rafah, where it has been allowed 48 hours

inside Gaza to offload food and medical supplies.

Source: Evening Standard

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

Egypt police clash with Gaza aid convoy activists

6 January, 2010 — Viva Palestina

gaza-map3.jpgMore than 50 people have been hurt in clashes between Egyptian police and pro-Palestinian activists seeking to take a convoy of supplies to Gaza.

Protests reportedly broke out when Egyptian authorities at the port city of Al Arish ordered some lorries to go via an Israeli-controlled checkpoint.

British MP George Galloway, leading the convoy, told Reuters that Israel was likely to prevent them entering Gaza.

The activists want all the goods to be sent via Egypt’s Rafah crossing.

Some 520 people are travelling with the convoy. Reports suggest about 40 of them and 15 Egyptian police were injured in the clashes.

Reuters news agency quoted a security source saying that the police had used water cannon to force the activists to leave Al Arish harbour after they had occupied it in protest.

Mr Galloway, the sole MP for the Respect party in the British parliament, told Reuters: “It is completely unconscionable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza.”

Gaza is under a tight Israeli and Egyptian blockade, tightened since Hamas took over the strip in 2007.

The clashes follow an earlier row with the Egyptian authorities over what route the convoy should take to reach Egypt in the first place.

The convoy of nearly 200 trucks is carrying food and other relief supplies for Palestinians in Gaza.

Source: BBC News

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

Wikileaks News Archive 28 November – 21 December, 2010

6 January, 2010  —


Support Bradley Manning!

This page has gotten too big to update. I’m now posting links to all things Wiki as daily updates. To find them all select the Spies-R-Us category.

Below is a list of stories connected to the Wikileaks release of US diplomatic cables covering the period 28 November – 21 December, 2010. There may be some duplication due to cross-posting.

Wikileaks Mirrors: Wikileaks is currently mirrored on 2130 web sites

And don’t forget to support Wikileaks! Sign the petition: 697,808 have already signed!

Continue reading

Diaries: Live from Palestine By Dana Elborno: Unbreakable in Cairo

4 January, 2010 — Electronic Intifada

Though I have lived most of my life in and around Chicago, it has never been my complete home. My sisters and I were born as first-generation Palestinian-Americans coming from Kuwait and for this reason our lives in Chicago always felt temporary — we were only supposed to stay until the Gulf War was over, we finished school, the occupation ended, the siege was broken, etc. The only accepted rhetoric about our presence in America was and continues to be, “This is not our home, we are from Gaza.” The semantics of a Gazan home are lovely, but the only sense of Gaza I have is as fleeting as gusts of dust that blow off of old pictures. These faded images of a time and place that no longer exist leave us with nostalgia for memories we never even lived. It is the most porous of identities and I feel the gaps palpably.

For this reason — and maybe more so, for our political agenda — my older sister and I signed up for the Gaza Freedom March. Aside from the family history that draws us to Gaza, we are unwavering in our belief that the siege must end and the humanity of Palestinians in Gaza has been grossly disregarded throughout this whole catastrophe that began more than 60 years ago, and especially during Israel’s assault on Gaza last winter. The Gaza Freedom March gave us an outlet to voice these beliefs and mobilize with a global community of like-minded activists — almost 1,400 of them from over 40 countries.

When we made our way to Cairo, the march that was planned to take place side by side with Palestinians in Gaza quickly turned into a round of protests against the Egyptian government after they canceled our permits to travel to and enter the besieged territory. Our personal narrative quickly became overpowered by the political situation between Egypt, Israel, the Arab World and the “West.” We protested for four days straight. In contexts like these, all of us fighting for the freeing of Palestine are Palestinians. There was a beautiful strength in our numbers and diversity. We were empowered and united, fighting to go to Gaza together.

Continue reading

Reagan’s ghost: Starwars stops START By Eric Walberg

6 January, 2010 —

Hopes are fading that the historical treaty between the US and the Soviet Union will be renewed, observes Eric Walberg

Russian confidence that US President Barack Obama might represent a fundamental change in the direction of US foreign policy is fast eroding. Even pro-Western analyst Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Centre reflects, “The people who see Russia as a problem are still at the Pentagon,” and he predicts that even if Obama lasts another seven years, the Russians are coming to the conclusion that “he may not be able to withstand the pressures on him.”

The hope, as recently as a month ago was that a new version of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (SALT) might be successfully negotiated. But Obama’s two other surges — NATO’s expansion in Eastern Europe and the rush to implement the US missile defence system around the world — follow so closely the hawkish policies of his predecessors, that whatever “Atlantists” there might be in the Kremlin have been put on the defensive, so to speak.

To blame Russia for tripping up the START talks, given the facts on the ground, is nonsense. The writing for the present impasse was on the wall even before SALT I was signed. Anyone old enough can remember Reagan in the 1980s with schoolboy enthusiasm showing the media his Disneyesque coloured charts with US satellites zapping UFOs and unnamed enemy rockets.

Continue reading

Gaza aid Brits ‘beaten by police’

6 January, 2010 — Press Association

(UKPA) – 49 minutes ago

British members of a humanitarian convoy trying to take aid to Gaza were among dozens of people injured during clashes with Egyptian police.

Around 520 people were travelling with the 150 trucks full of supplies when clashes broke out Tuesday night at the port city of El Arish, near Gaza.

One of the members, Alexandra Lort-Phillips, 37, who works for Enfield Youth Offending Service in north London, said: “I have 42 people in my team, and out of those three Britons have been injured. There are head injuries, cuts.

“We started getting pelted with stones by people in plain clothes, then the police started moving in, using tear gas and batons. People were quite severely beaten.”

She said seven or eight of the convoy members had to be treated in hospital, and blamed “heavy-handed” policing of their group.

Protests reportedly broke out when Egyptian authorities at El Arish ordered some lorries to use an Israeli-controlled checkpoint.

The activists would prefer the goods to be transported via Egypt’s Rafah crossing.

British MP George Galloway, leading the convoy, said Israel is likely to prevent it entering Gaza.

He told Sky News: “It is completely unconscionable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza.”

Earlier this week convoy members staged noisy protests after Egyptian officials took away their passports and there was a lengthy delay in giving them back.

Copyright © 2010 The Press Association. All rights reserved.

MP George Galloway In Egyptian Police Riot

6 January, 2010 — James Jordan, Sky News Online

Controversial MP George Galloway has been involved in scuffles with Egyptian police as a group of pro-Palestinian activists tried to get a relief convoy into the Gaza Strip.

According to medics 55 people were injured after the 520 activists broke down the gate at the port in El-Arish to protest against an Egyptian decision to ship some of the goods through Israel.

They blocked the two entrances to the Sinai port with vehicles and clashed with police who used water cannon to control the protests.

A statement by one of the convoy leaders, Kevin Ovenden, on the Viva Palestina website said that their situation was at “crisis point”, after rioting broke out in the port.

Mr Galloway said:

“Together with myself and other leaders of the convoy we were in negotiations with the Egyptian authorities about their determination to remove more than 55 of our vehicles and send them to the Israeli checkpoint.

“We refused this because it is a breach of the agreement we reached in Akabar between the government of Egypt and the Turkish side and it completely unconsciounable that 25% of our convoy should go to Israel and never arrive in Gaza.

“Because nothing that ever goes to Israel, ever arrives in Gaza.”

The protests were sparked by an Egyptian decision to allow 139 vehicles to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing, about 30 miles from El-Arish, but requiring a remaining 59 vehicles to pass via Israel.

Talks in which Mr Galloway and a delegation of Turkish MPs sought to change the Egyptian’s minds proved unsuccessful.

The convoy of nearly 200 vehicles arrived in the Mediterranean town on Monday after a dispute with Cairo on the route.

Source: Sky News