INVITE YOU TO A PUBLIC MEETING
AID TO GAZA
7.30pm, Tuesday 9 June
Oxford Town Hall
Drivers who participated in the Viva Palestina aid convoy to Gaza will be telling us about their experience of travelling to Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid in the aftermath of the Israeli onslaught earlier this year.
We will also hear about the ongoing importance of this work in the face of the continuing blockade of Gaza and the long term effects of the war.
Palestine: Aid convoy breaks Gaza siege
13 March 2009
After 8000 km on the road with 100 vehicles and 500 volunteers, the passage of the Viva Palestina convoy into Gaza City brought out thousands of jubilant Palestinians to celebrate the latest breakthrough against Israeli oppression.
The Viva Palestina convoy, carrying much needed humanitarian aid, was organised by volunteer solidarity activists from Britain. The activists appealed for donations to assist the people of Gaza, who are not only facing the task of rebuilding after Israel’s devastating recent war but are still subjected to a near total siege.
The campaign raised more than £1 million worth of aid to be sent to Gaza in order to break the Israeli-imposed siege and help counter the humanitarian crisis.
The convoy had left London on February 14, running into its fair share of setbacks on its way. Its significance was written on the faces of the thousands of Palestinians that celebrated the convoy’s eventual arrival in Gaza.
As 25-year-old high school teacher and convoy member from Birmingham, Iftikhar Hussein, told AlArabiya.net on March 8, before embarking on the last leg of the journey, “Gaza has broken into many British homes and has touched many British hearts”.
The convoy is a sign of the growing international support for the long-suffering Palestinian people who, in Gaza, continue to suffer low-intensity Israeli military attacks — even after most media networks have packed up and gone home.
As British MP for the anti-war Respect party and convoy member George Galloway explained at a Gaza City reception on March 9: “We travelled many miles but the joy in our hearts as we entered this land of heroes, were embraced by heroes, is difficult to put into words.
“We watched the agony, the pain, the tears of the Palestinian people under bombardment for 22 days and nights.
“We demonstrated in our hundreds of thousands in London, in Manchester, in Birmingham, in Glasgow, in Edinburgh. We clashed with the police outside the Israeli embassy in London night after night after night.
“But we decided this was not enough, our hearts were broken for you and we decided that when our children ask us, what did you do Daddy when this crime was being committed, that we would be able to say that we gave every breath that god gave us to try to come to the rescue of the Palestinian people.”
Galloway explained that, unlike most of the world’s governments who refuse to recognise the democratically-elected Hamas-led Palestinian government, the convoy respected Palestinian sovereignty.
“We have brought with us many vehicles, much equipment, much medicine”, he said, “and we will hand it to Ismail Haniyeh, the elected prime minister of Palestine”.
For full article and additional information see Viva Palestina website