Thousands demonstrate in Dublin against Israeli attack on Freedom Flotilla

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Over two thousand people took to the streets of Dublin last night to protest the bloody attack by the Israeli military on the Freedom flotilla to Gaza which left between 9 and 19 people dead and dozens injured. The assembled crowd heard that least five people from Ireland were now in an Israeli jail awaiting trial for refusing to co-operate with being deported from a country they had been brought to against their will, after their ships were hijacked by the heavily armed pirates of the IDF.

The assembled protesters which included a number of solidarity groups, unions branches and political organisations including the Workers Solidarity Movement marched from the Spire in O'Connell street to the Israeli embassy in Ballsbridge.  At the start and end of the march speakers from anti-war and solidarity groups addressed the crowd as well as the Irish TDs and Seanad member who were to take part in the fleet until diplomatic pressure exerted on Cyprus from Israel prevented them joining the ships.  Most moving however was the short speech from a woman whose husband was one of those now detained in Israel and whose children she said were unaware of what had happened to him and who thought he was simply on holiday.

Back in March the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) media officer Fintan Lane, who is now one of those awaiting a deportation trial in an Israeli jail, reported that "Freda Hughes, a prominent member of the IPSC, was aggressively questioned about her name and movements by an Israeli embassy staff member while walking on Northumberland Road" with the co-operation of a member of the Irish Gardai. This was in the aftermath of Mossad using Irish passports as part of their murder of a Hamas activist in Dubai. The call to expel the Israeli ambassador was made several times last night but in a reality where the Irish state instructs its police to co-operate with the Israeli security personnel in spying on Irish citizens it's hard to see the crocodile tears of government minister translating into action.

Another call made from the platform was for boycott action against CRH (the Irish-based building material group, formerly known as Cement-Roadstone Holdings).. CRH own a 25% stake in the Mashav Group which supplies the cement used in the construction of the apartheid wall which the IPSC describes as "8 metres high in places, encircles Palestinian towns and villages and cuts through some of the most fertile Palestinian agricultural lands." Another company associated with the Israeli war against the people of Palestine, Raytheon, was driven out of Derry by protests although 14 people are still being prosecuted by the northern state for their part in this campaign.

Protests also took place yesterday in Cork, Galway, Sligo, Belfast, Derry, Monaghan and Castlebar.



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