31 December 2009: All along the idea for the Gaza Freedom March was that there would be a march inside Gaza once the delegation arrived, and a concurrent march to the Erez checkpoint on the Israeli side of the checkpoint. Although most of the Gaza Freedom March delegation did not go to Gaza from Cairo, the marches still took place. The photo above is the from the Erez checkpoint, and here is a report we just received about the Gaza march: [Read the report]
To mark a year to the war of Gaza and in the demand to remove the blockade from Gaza Strip
Thursday, 31 in December, opposite Erez Checkpoint
Prior to receiving the letter from a critical reader, I of course, was planning to see how the Western media were going to cover the Iran protests. The New York Times has moved her Iran correspondent from…Toronto to…New York City, to get closer to the story.
Happy New Year from Cairo
31 December 2009
This is our fifth day in Cairo and we invite you to read our blog with accounts of our days here. We are still trying to get reach Gaza and our wish for the new year will be for a better future filled with peace and justice for the Palestinian people.
Happy New Year, Barbara Lubin
Jamal Dajani from Erez
Several of their members were forcibly detained in hotels around Cairo, as well as violently forced into pens in Tahrir Square by Egyptian police and security forces.
Jerome Starkey In Kabul
“At around 1 am, three nights ago, some American troops with helicopters left Kabul and landed around 2km away from the village,” he told The Times. “The troops walked from the helicopters to the houses and, according to my investigation, they gathered all the students from two rooms, into one room, and opened fire.” Mr Wafa, a former governor of Helmand province, met President Karzai to discuss his findings yesterday. “I spoke to the local headmaster,” he said. “It’s impossible they were al-Qaeda. They were children, they were civilians, they were innocent. I condemn this attack.”
In a telephone interview last night, the headmaster said that the victims were asleep in three rooms when the troops arrived. “Seven students were in one room,” said Rahman Jan Ehsas. “A student and one guest were in another room, a guest room, and a farmer was asleep with his wife in a third building.
By Starhawk | Published: December 30, 2009
We’ve moved from the Old to the New Testament—from “Let my people go” to “Left Behind!” Woke up this morning sure my choice to stay was the right one, but deeply regretting it anyway. Lisa, who was also offered a seat, and I were talking ourselves into good political reasons to justify why we could have gone, when she got a call. Code Pink and the Steering Committee of the Gaza Freedom March had just issued a statement saying that they’d made a mistake, and that they were no longer supporting the busses going. The busses were loading a few blocks away, we were told the scene was chaotic and Lisa rushed down there to do damage control while I stayed to do the morning briefing
By all accounts, the scene was a madhouse. People were weeping on the busses, others were crying “Shame! Shame!” at those who boarded. Some were getting off the bus, then back on, then off again. Father Louis Vitale, the starwart priest from San Francisco who has been arrested hundreds of times doing civil disobedience actions, got on, got off, got on again, and finally got off for good. Lisa helped chill the situation out, and people ended by holding hands and remembering that we are in this for the same goals.
The Gazan coordinators, who originally said, ‘Come!” were now saying “Don’t come—it’s too divisive. Stay together. Several delegations has pulled their representatives out. And I guess the crowning blow for Code Pink was when the Foreign Office released a statement that was not only counter to their agreement but an outright lie—that the hundred on the busses were the only ‘good’’ and truly peaceful demonstrators and that the Foreign Office had selected them. In the end, one bus went.
By DPA, Ha’aretz, 31 December 2009Some 1,000 people, among them all of Israel’s Arab MKs and community leaders, gathered Thursday at the Israeli side of the Gaza border to express solidarity with the residents of Gaza, one year after Israel’s offensive there. MK Taleb A-Sana relayed Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s message to the Israeli side via a mobile phone.
During the rally, Israeli Arab MK Jamal Zahalka directed harsh criticism at Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who he said enjoys “classical music and killing children in Gaza.”
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain played down a report on Thursday that Iran masterminded the kidnapping in Iraq of a British man held hostage for more than 2-1/2 years, saying there was no firm evidence of direct Iranian involvement.
The Guardian newspaper said computer expert Peter Moore and his four bodyguards were snatched in an operation led by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The newspaper said its year-long investigation also found that Moore, who was released on Wednesday, and his guards were taken to Iran within a day of being kidnapped by militants in Baghdad in May 2007.