Gaza Freedom March Statement

The Gaza Freedom March has come to an end, but before the protesters dispersed they agreed on the following statement:

End Israeli Apartheid
Cairo Declaration
January 1, 2010

We, international delegates meeting in Cairo during the Gaza Freedom March 2009 in collective response to an initiative from the South African delegation, state:

In view of:

o Israel’s ongoing collective punishment of Palestinians through the illegal occupation and siege of Gaza;
o the illegal occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the continued construction of the illegal Apartheid Wall and settlements;
o the new Wall under construction by Egypt and the US which will tighten even further the siege of Gaza;
o the contempt for Palestinian democracy shown by Israel, the US, Canada, the EU and others after the Palestinian elections of 2006;
o the war crimes committed by Israel during the invasion of Gaza one year ago;
o the continuing discrimination and repression faced by Palestinians within Israel;
o and the continuing exile of millions of Palestinian refugees;
o all of which oppressive acts are based ultimately on the Zionist ideology which underpins Israel;
o in the knowledge that our own governments have given Israel direct economic, financial, military and diplomatic support and allowed it to behave with impunity;
o and mindful of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (2007)

We reaffirm our commitment to:

Palestinian Self-Determination
Ending the Occupation
Equal Rights for All within historic Palestine
The full Right of Return for Palestinian refugees

We therefore reaffirm our commitment to the United Palestinian call of July 2005 for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to compel Israel to comply with international law.

To that end, we call for and wish to help initiate a global mass, democratic anti-apartheid movement to work in full consultation with Palestinian civil society to implement the Palestinian call for BDS.

Mindful of the many strong similarities between apartheid Israel and the former apartheid regime in South Africa, we propose:

1) An international speaking tour in the first 6 months of 2010 by Palestinian and South African trade unionists and civil society activists, to be joined by trade unionists and activists committed to this programme within the countries toured, to take mass education on BDS directly to the trade union membership and wider public internationally;

2) Participation in the Israeli Apartheid Week in March 2010;

3) A systematic unified approach to the boycott of Israeli products, involving consumers, workers and their unions in the retail, warehousing, and transportation sectors;

4) Developing the Academic, Cultural and Sports boycott;

5) Campaigns to encourage divestment of trade union and other pension funds from companies directly implicated in the Occupation and/or the Israeli military industries;

6) Legal actions targeting the external recruitment of soldiers to serve in the Israeli military, and the prosecution of Israeli government war criminals; coordination of Citizen’s Arrest Bureaux to identify, campaign and seek to prosecute Israeli war criminals; support for the Goldstone Report and the implementation of its recommendations;

7) Campaigns against charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

We appeal to organisations and individuals committed to this declaration to sign it and work with us to make it a reality.

Please e-mail us at cairodec@gmail.com

Signed by:

(* Affiliation for identification purposes only.)

1. Hedy Epstein, Holocaust Survivor/ Women in Black*, USA
2. Nomthandazo Sikiti, Nehawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa
3. Zico Tamela, Satawu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa
4. Hlokoza Motau, Numsa, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Affiliate International Officer*, South Africa
5. George Mahlangu, Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) Campaigns Coordinator*, South Africa

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New Year, Same Shit?

Courtiers relaying gossip to the hoi polloi. Canada under its Neocons, who needs a parliament? The Genocidal Lusts of Imperial Elites

Tribal justice-

The Blackwater mercenaries who massacred 17 Iraqi civilians have been let off by a US judge because they gave evidence under duress – the threat of losing their jobs…Yet evidence given by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed during hundreds of torture sessions, including over a hundred sessions of waterboarding, is admissible in the US, torture apparently not being duress like the threat of losing your job.

The warfare in the Congo continues, Hillary Clinton’s words were just that, try to act surprised.

Hundreds of thousands of women, children and men are repeatedly raped and their bodies and lives destroyed and why?  Because “the minerals of the Congo continue to be exploited by the world”.  Basically because we don’t give a shit as long as we can continue to buy whatever we want to.

As I cooked my mother her dinner (tomato and garlic sauce with shallots and mushrooms on wholemeal spaghetti with some honey roasted carrots if you must know) I had the misfortune of seeing the ITV news (I’ll catch Who on the iplayer) and it would not be out of place in North Korea, the emotional masturbation over returned ‘hostage’ (POW) and the deaths of our troops in Afghanistan, no mention of Afghan deaths as far as I heard… or Iraqi. Anglophone tribalism shot through with nationalism conveyed simply enough 8 year olds can understand it is not, as far as I have checked, journalism.

So will it be the same shit, or has a decade of war on terror bullshit finally run out of credulous morons to con?

Juan Cole’s probably necessary but sounds a bit patronising Top Ten Good News Stories from the Muslim World in 2009 that You Never Heard About lists as number one-

1. A considerable proportion of the Iranian public resorted to concerted street and cultural protests against the stealing of the June presidential election by incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Crowds demanded popular sovereignty and democracy and condemned dictatorship. Among the largest demonstrations were held just last Sunday. It is the greatest political awakening in Iran for 30 years.

The regime want to hang onto power, not least because the brutality they have meted out they are afraid will come back on them if they are removed, they are in full on destroy opposition in all and any forms mode. Nevermind the soundbite ‘Green revolution’ this is a larger turmoil that is not about replacing one regime with one ‘more Western friendly’ as most imperially privileged observers witter on about incessantly (I think in most case they don’t even recognise their immense biases and assumptions), we should support moves for liberty and self determination while obstructing outside forces who seek to control Iran for their gain.

Gaza is now more besieged than ever in the face of the Freedom March and Viva Palestina Egypt has shown it will not demur from the conspirers in the collective torture being meted out to the Palestinians. There are people who talk about the ‘peace process’ well for that you have to stop warfare and that includes sieges, colonising , ethnic cleansing and apartheid laws, oddly they affect ignorance of many of those realities (which is necessary to believe there is a current actual ‘peace process’), all the oppressors agreeing to support Zionism is not a ‘peace process’.

I will not mourn CIA operatives killed by resistance forces in Afghanistan, the CIA murders and tortures people and is also likely involved in the heroin trade. No such sorrow is expressed for the civilians wiped out by remote control by video game playing young adults, that is a dynamic of tribalism and Imperial privilege that goes unchallenged. Our side to be mourned unquestionably the ‘other’, well not even worth thinking about. It is preferable that violent death does not happen but given the circumstances people have a right to self defence against invading and occupying forces. Although to be honest this is just as likely to be over a big drug deal as anything else. Meanwhile Obama is destroying evidence of war crimes Demolishing Bagram.