3.1.09

Free (free) Palestine

Right, this’ll be a quick one because The Untouchables is on Film4 in seven minutes.

Exactly one week ago, I added ‘Attend a protest’ to my to-do list for 2009. I didn’t know what protest I would be attending or when (I gave myself a deadline of 31 Dec 2009) but I knew I wanted to go to one. It may be a weird thing to have on a to-do list but I had never been to a protest before and wanted to experience the energy and excitement felt by a collective who was making a stand for something it believed in.


A few days after the post, I learnt about the Gaza demonstration in London and decided to attend. I have to say, even this cynical young Londoner was amazed. The turnout was brilliant and the passion and intensity among the crowd was electric. I went there naively expecting a majority of brown faces but there was such a wide mixture of people. The Israel-Palestine conflict is seen by many as a Jews vs. Muslims issue but, even though there were a few people shouting “Allahu Akbar”, religion didn’t become the issue as Muslims, Christians, Atheists and even Jews marched side by side to protest the Israeli attacks on Gaza.


A number of people threw shoes at the gates of Downing Street in tribute to Muntadar al-Zaidi* and there was a scary moment when a bunch of protesters set fire to a banner a few feet away but things calmed down pretty quickly. All in all, it was a very worthwhile way to spend an afternoon. In fact, I may have to stop myself from attending more in case it becomes a sort of Tyler-Durden-group-therapy** kind of addiction.


Kia


* If you haven’t already, do upload a picture to
www.thankyouforthrowingyourshoe.com. It’s a collection of images of people all across the world (including yours truly) holding up their shoe in tribute to Muntadar al-Zaidi.

** Technically a Jack-group-therapy kind of addiction if you’re the type that does technical.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Kia,

    I went to the protest as well and I agree, it was really inspiring to see so many different faces standing up for a common cause.

    As an aside, I love the little references you sometimes use but don't really explain (i.e. Tyler Durden, Stewie, etc).

    Take care,

    Shabana

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  2. I'll be attending a protest this Saturday around this issue too. It's always exciting going to a protest as it's an opportunity for people to unite and rally and show they care about human dignity.

    I encourage everyone to get involved in any cause that promotes self-determination and human rights. :-)

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