[Belfast] Rally: Stop the Slaughter in Gaza – Lift the Siege Now (ICTU-NI)
STOP THE SLAUGHTER IN GAZA! – LIFT THE SIEGE NOW!
ICTU DEMANDS AN IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE !
Demonstration – Belfast City Hall, 3pm Saturday 19 July 2014.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is adding its voice to the chorus of demands from Humanitarian organisations, the Churches, political parties and civil society groups for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
Already, over 200 residents have been killed the open-air prison which Gaza has become. The advanced weaponry of the Israeli Defence Forces and Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ have made the rockets of Hamas even more pointless and futile. Israel has the entire population of the Gaza strip at its mercy – and it is showing no mercy at all.
The present military siege of Gaza is an escalation of the blockade under which innocent civilians have been suffering for years. Now that the military regime in Egypt has abandoned them, the people of Gaza have no allies left in the region.
It follows that there is a moral imperative on all people of good will in this society to show their support for the people of Gaza and stand up to bullies and those who make excuses for their thuggery.
For many years, the trade union movement has taken a principled and consistent stand for peace and a democratic settlement in the Middle East. Only last month, we stood with the ethnic minorities of Northern Ireland against racist bullies, just as we have been standing up to sectarian bullies in the workplaces of Northern Ireland. In that spirit, we do so yet again – standing up for the victims of Israeli rockets and the irresponsible actions of the Hamas leadership.
The NI Committee of the ICTU are hosting a rally at Belfast City Hall at 3pm on Saturday 19th July 2014.
Everybody is welcome to come and show their support for the people of Gaza.
The ICTU’s view on the current crisis in Gaza was forcefully expressed last week in a letter from ICTU General secretary David Begg to the new Irish Minister for foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan TD :
“The tiny enclave of Gaza has been under a draconian siege since 2005 when Israel transferred its settlers from Gaza to the West Bank. Israel continues its air, sea and land blockade of the people of Gaza, crushing the economy and creating a humanitarian catastrophe.”
In his letter, Mr Begg also called on the Irish government and the international community to take action to defend Gaza’s 1.8 million people :
1. Summons Israel’s Ambassador to Ireland and demand an immediate cessation of Israeli bombing and shelling of Gaza.
2. Knowing that the people of Gaza have been protected by the presence in Gaza of world leaders in the past, we request that the Irish Government take a lead here and that you make every effort to go to Gaza in the coming days.
3. Support Palestinian calls for immediate United Nations intervention to provide protection for civilians across the West Bank and Gaza from Israeli army and settler attacks.
4. Press the EU to help broker and implement a full ceasefire agreement, which includes an end to the blockade of Gaza and the free movement of people and goods.
5. Fulfil our obligations as one of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 under Article 1; i.e., to respect and to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances, and our obligation under Article 146 to prosecute persons alleged to commit grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The full letter is here on the congress website.