Saturday, 26 July 2014

Wrecsam rallies in solidarity with Gaza and Palestine

Today's Wrecsam rally in solidarity with the people of Gaza was capped by a lively march around the town, which certainly made people think about the 1000 people killed over the past fortnight.
There were speeches from Adam Phillips as well as messages of support from Aled Roberts AM and Ian Lucas MP. But the undoubted highlight was Sami, a 12-year-old boy who spoke from the heart about the plight of other children being killed in Gaza. It moved many to tears.

 Here's my speech to the rally:
 "Imagine you live in a strip of desert half the size of Anglesey, except there's 1.2m people living there. Imagine you've been herded there from all parts of Wales, where your families have lived for generations. You've had to leave on pain of death, many of your communities were bulldozed and people massacred. Imagine you have lived in this strip of land for generations, waiting to return to your home. The refugee camp that is the Gaza Strip has become a home for your children, your grandchildren, their children.
  Around your neck you have a key, your front door key, that you've clung onto since 1948 when you last locked that door. You dream of returning home. But instead of returning home, the people who kicked you out now text you to say you've got 10 minutes to leave your home before it's destroyed. You shelter in the UN-run school - it gets bombed. You go to the hospital - it gets bombed. These are no accidents - the Israeli army is one of the largest in the world and has huge resources to spy and monitor on activity in the Gaza strip. It knows exactly where and who it is targetting. This is the context for Palestinian militants launching pathetically ineffectual rocket attacks on Israel - 15,000 launched, 9 people killed over six years. They are nine people too many but these attacks are the slingshots against a Goliath. A rock hurled at a tank.  We're reaching some kind of end game now in Palestine. The Israeli hawks want to end Palestinian resistance once and for all, rather than let it fester on in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. For decades they have turned the screw slowly on these communities.  I last visited Palestine about 8 years ago - just the West Bank because Gaza was out of bounds. Even then it was like an open prison and the West Bank was little better. Among the places i went to was Bethlehem, a place we're all familiar with. It's as far from Jerusalem as Wrexham is from Chester but it can take half a day to enter because of military checkpoints and roadblocks.  A huge 30'-high concrete wall has been put up to separate the Palestinian West Bank from Israel  - it looks and feels like a prison with turrets all along to monitor the "inmates". You enter Bethlehem through a narrow turnstile with armed Israeli soldiers ready with their guns. Our guide took us to the family home on a hillside overlooking the town - it had a fantastic view but he had to keep the shutters down because Jewish settlers regularly fired from across the valley at his home. They wanted him and his family out so they could continue the colonisation of the West Bank.  That screw has been turned for generations and, unless we play our part, it will end with annhilation of an entire people. 800 dead in the past 10 days alone - enough is enough.  My biggest frustration today is that we've been here before… six years ago people in Wrecsam mobilised against another Israeli invasion of Gaza. Nothing was learned by Israel because they don't play by normal rules.  So what can we do? Boycott. Apartheid beaten by international boycott and internal resistance. Tell our politicians we don't want trade with an apartheid state. No arms, no exports, no football, no Eurovision... These are what makes Israel believe it's normal. But it's not normal to herd a million people into a refugee camp and bomb them to bits...  Let's challenge our politicians to stop Israel killing children. We can make a difference by our campaigning and by our actions."

Next Saturday will see another much-larger demo at 2pm in Queen's Square. Please spread the word.


Paul Williams said...

Great speech Marc - and Adam too! Proud to be a part of the whole thing!

Anonymous said...

Why is Plaid adopting an anti Jewish/ Israeli stance ?
Forgotten the destruction of 6 million Jews , forgotten the attempts by 5 Arab armies i.e. Egypt Syria Jordan etc to extinguish the State of Israeli at birth Forgotten the fact that Hamas and other arab states do not recognise the fact that Israeli should exist
The deaths of the Palestine in Gaza is terrible and both sides must come to the Peace Table but it is not so one sided as your paint . Ps Israel is the only democracy in that part of the middle east !!

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

This is not a level playing field this 'war' is like tanks v pea shooters! Let's not mix our words Israel sponsors state terrorism and should be in the Axis of Evil. To oppose Israeli terrorism does not mean we support Arab terrorism.