Marches, picket lines and calls for boycott marked the global campaigns protesting Israeli brutality against Palestinians
By Prasanth R/ The Dawn News / May 16, 2018
People’s movements and organizations across the world rose in solidarity with Palestine on Tuesday and Wednesday in the aftermath of the massacre of nearly 60 protesters by Israeli armed forces. Marches and campaigns marked mobilizations across the world seeking an end to Israel’s oppressive colonization of Palestine over decades.
In Argentina, several thousand people marched towards the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires to protest the killings. In a statement, the Argentine Committee in Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which was one of the key organizers of the protest, demanded that Argentina sever diplomatic and commercial ties with Israel. It also criticised the media, noting that an occupation and a genocide was being termed a conflict. The Committee called on Argentinians to participate actively in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement on the lines of the global movement against apartheid South Africa.
In Venezuela, a protest was held in front of the US Embassy in Caracas. President Nicolas Maduro had earlier condemned Israeli violence, tweeting “Today, we are all Palestine. Their dead, injured and hopes are ours”.
The Social Movements of Alba “denounced the ongoing Nakba, the colonization and genocide of the Palestinian people”, as well as the governments of Israel and the United States for their role in it.
The Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America (OSPAAAL) denounced “the new and criminal Zionist massacre being endured by the defenseless Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip.” In a statement, OSPAAAL expressed its “unrestricted support to the just demand of the Palestinian people of the right to the return of the refugees, the end of the occupation and the legitimate right to the creation of the independent Palestinian State within the borders prior to 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
Trade unions were at the forefront of protests with its members taking part in mobilizations across the globe. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa was one of the key organizers of a picket line in front of the US Embassy in Johannesburg. A statement issued earlier termed the “decision by the U.S. to recognize Jerusalem [as] an act of extreme provocation against the people of Palestine.” Welcoming the decision of the South African government to recall the country’s ambassador to Israel, NUMSA demanded the “immediate expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from South Africa and that all trade ties between the two countries must be severed.”
The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) was an important participant in the demonstration in front of the Israeli Embassy in Athens. The International Trade Union Confederation also condemned the killing of Palestinians.
Protests were also held in various European and West Asian countries against the barbaric killings.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has called on people across the world to join the boycott of Hewlett Packard. “By providing computers to the Israeli military, that is presently running a carnage in Gaza, HP enables the illegal occupation of Palestine. HP maintains the racist population registry that is the basis for the ID card system,” a press release from BDS India noted. “HP maintains its spin-off, DXC Technology, in an illegal Jewish-only settlement in West Bank thus furthering the colonisation of occupied Palestinian territories,” the statement added. The petition regarding the boycott of HP can be found here.
In India, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation were among the parties that condemned the Israeli atrocities. A protest has been scheduled in front of Israeli embassy New Delhi on June 18. Protests were also held in other Indian cities such as Mumbai.
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn was among the key politicians across the globe to condemn the killings. Condemning the “slaughter”, he also criticized the response of governments in the west, including that of his own country, adding that the “West could “not turn a blind eye to such wanton disregard for international law”.