The Students 4 Justice in Palestine Day of Protest
I’ve just come back from the Protest action aimed against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon & its systematic destruction of Palestine and its people, which was held in Aotea Square at 1pm. I was a spokesperson at the rally, and have printed my speech at the bottom of this post.
I’ve watched the protest movement in this country get bullied and knocked around by the cops of recent, but today there was a change. For the first time in a long time, the Cops were the ones who were pushed and frightened. I’m sure you will see the News and the anti-protest spin they will screen, and while I don’t support beating the Police up, I must admit there was some satisfaction to finally see the bullies get pushed back for once. Today there was a real anger at what America is allowing Israel to get away with in the Middle East, and peoples hero Simon Oosterman scaled the American consulate, pulled down the American flag and replaced it with the Palestinian flag. The Police went nuts, and there was an intense fight between Police and protestors as the Police attempted to arrest Simon, who managed to escape.
Today the protest movement pushed back. If unjustifiable events continue overseas, expect to see more anger on our streets. Oh and a note to the Police, the brutality you have managed to get away with over the last 2 years towards the protest movement will not be tolerated any longer. Today push came to shove, and you got shoved.
Here was what I had to say:
“I’m here today to say that what Israel is doing in Lebanon and Palestine is unacceptable. Self-defense is no justification for the military escalation Israel has embarked upon. Our critics will say that we don’t care about Israeli casualties, that is not true. I care deeply about any human being who is hurt, but I can not compare images of Israelis in air-conditioned, plush carpeted, leafy suburbs frightened by random missiles with the opposite images I see of a people living in poverty stricken rubble, in an environment so brutal that strapping a bomb to oneself and detonating it is preferable to the ritualistic humiliation of occupation. I can’t compare those two images and use it to justify Israeli action. It has become sadly apparent that the horrific experiences of the Jewish people during the holocaust has led to an aggressively paranoid culture where the abused has become the abuser. And throughout this the United States sits on the sideline giving tacit support, giving Israel the military hardware it uses to dominate the region and is led by George W Bush who is an evangelical fundamentalist Christian who believes in the rapture, who believes in the Book of Revelations, who believes he has a role in the war of Armageddon in Israel. It is time to use the anger we feel to fuel a voice that can cut through the mainstream babble and yell ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Stand strong people.”