Calls for boycott of Israel at Dublin protest

 

An estimated six hundred people participated in a demonstration against the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip which has cost over 1,200 lives since the violence started in December.

Artist Robert Ballagh addressed the crowd which assembled at the Central Bank at lunchtime. The demonstration, which was organised by the Irish anti-war movement, heard calls for an economic, political and cultural boycott of Israel.

The demonstration then marched up O'Connell St to Parnell St before returning to protest against shops stocking Israeli goods in Jervis St Shopping Centre.

Thousands of people gathered across Europe to demonstrate against the continuing Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Organisers of a rally in Birmingham said more than 5,000 people turned up, while the Metropolitan Police said 3,500 gathered in Trafalgar Square in central London.

An Israeli flag was set alight at the rally outside Birmingham’s Council House in Victoria Square.

In London, violence flared when young men clashed with police. One group were pictured kicking in the front window of a Starbucks coffee shop.

A police car had its rear window smashed. Many of the men wore scarves covering their faces.

Several thousand people protested in France and Italy. Some protesters burnt American and Israeli flags at the start of the Paris demonstration, one of several held around the world to protest against the Gaza violence.

Thousands marched through Rome, some holding banners with Nazi swastikas superimposed on the Star of David. Others carried pictures of Palestinian children killed since Israel launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

A large banner reading "Life, land and liberty for the Palestinian people" led the Rome demonstration.

In Paris, protesters smashed the windows of a McDonald's restaurant on the capital's rue de Rivoli, while cars and buildings were vandalised during another Gaza protest held in the Mediterranean city of Nice.

Police said 2,600 people took part in the Paris protest.

France is home to Europe's largest Muslim and Jewish minorities, and Israel's Gaza offensive has stirred up some tension between the two communities.

In Rome, as the demonstration passed the Colosseum, Muslims in the crowd bent in prayer before the ancient

monument.

Another demonstration took place in Assisi, the central Italian city where St. Francis was born.

The Vatican, meanwhile, announced that Pope Benedict had sent an unspecified amount of money from his personal

charity funds to help the tiny Catholic population in Gaza.

In Cairo, Egyptian police used batons to beat protesters who rallied against the Israeli offensive, witnesses said.

Additional reporting: PA, Reuters