Protest at Israel’s bombardment of Gaza draws 3,000 to Government Buildings and embassy
No more than 100 originally expected on march as Palestinian casualty total continues to rise
Richard Boyd Barrett: “Israel is a terrorist state. The people of Gaza are victims of a terrorist state.” Photograph : Matt Kavanagh
The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which called the protest, said they had expected “50-100 people” to turn up at the Spire in O’Connell Street. So many came, they decided to march first to Leinster House and then the Israeli embassy in Ballsbridge.
They co-ordinated with gardaí before moving off. Carrying banners with “Free Palestine”, “One Palestinian child has been killed by Israel every three days for the past 13 years” and “Boycott apartheid Israel”, they chanted “Free, free Palestine” and “From the rivers to the sea, Palestine will be free”.
Present were public representatives, including TDs Mary Lou McDonald and Dessie Ellis, and MEP Lynn Boylan (all Sinn Féin); Joan Collins (United Left), Richard Boyd Barrett (People Before Profit);and councillors. Sinéad Ahern, chair of the Labour Party women’s group, was also there.
‘Terrorist state’Over 165 people have been killed by Israeli air strikes since“Operation Protective Edge” began on Tuesday.
At least 36 of the dead are children and over 1,000 have been wounded. Mr Boyd Barrett, addressing the crowd, said: “Israel is a terrorist state. The people of Gaza are victims of a terrorist state.” The Israeli “project” was to “cleanse” Gaza of Palestinians.
Martin O’Quigley, chair of the solidarity campaign, said Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan should be removed as he was a “committed supporter of Israeli”, while Dr Ahmed el-Habbash, a Palestinian living in Ireland, said: “This is a war on the Palestinian people. They are a people besieged in a concentration camp, 1.8 million people in a 300km square piece of land. Their land was occupied in 1948 and their land is now called Israel.”