Letter: Gaza protests - @70

  • (Updated )

Gil Scot-Heron - wiki image by mikael altemark

Gil Scot-Heron - wiki image by mikael altemark

Chris Rose, Director of the Amos Trust writes:

In 1975 Gil Scot-Heron sang these words about Johannesburg:

'We don't know for sure because the news we get
Is unreliable, man.
Well I hate it when the blood starts flowin',
But I'm glad to see resistance growin'.

They may not get the news but they need to know
We're on their side.
Now sometimes distance brings misunderstanding,
But deep in my heart I'm demanding:

I know that their strugglin' over there
Ain't gonna free me,
But we all need to be strugglin'
If we're gonna be free.'

The Israeli response to the protests in Gaza has been awful, tragic and not at all surprising. The footage of the civil rights movement, marking the 50 anniversary of Martin Luther King's death, is a powerful reminder of the courage and conviction shown by those who take part in non-violent acts of resistance against violent opposition.

I see that same courage and conviction in the people of Gaza walking up to the wall in non- violent protest knowing that they will face live fire from the Israeli soldiers.

The policies towards Gaza's population are inhumane. I have visited Gaza on a number of occasions and it is awful to go through the Israeli checkpoint and then along the sterile strip of land bordering it. I found it even more disturbing standing on the Israeli side at the end of Just Walk and hearing someone justify the prison walls they have created.

It is vital at this time that the people in Gaza feel our support for their efforts and that the international community hears this collective and growing outrage at the Israeli response.

Bethlehem Marathon

We have just come back from the Bethlehem Marathon. The Amos runners were incredible despite the 1-day heatwave on the day of the race that pushed temperatures into the mid 30's! There was the typical sense of chaos, excitement and celebration that always goes with this event and once again the stark reminder of the lack of freedom of movement as the runners ran alongside the Separation Wall.

As we met up with our friends and partners, I found myself re-living so much of the Walk. It was particularly good to meet Hamed Qawasmeh from HIRN, to watch the young people from Alrowwad perform and to see how the incredible new centre has come on. Lucy Talgieh from Wi'am also spoke with us about the situation faced by women in Palestine today.

Giro Dell Palestina May 4th - 6th

We head back to Palestine in four weeks for the 'Giro Della Palestina' ride which is a protest against the start of the Giro d' Italia being held In Israel. Hosting events such as these is Israel's attempt to 'airbrush away' the on-going occupation. The motif of our three-day ride is 'No all'occupazione.' As with Just Walk part of the aim is that all those who work for peace and justice can know that 'We are on their side'.


Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre, one of the key events in the Palestinian Nakba. To mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba we have joined together with Amnesty, PSC and others to support '@70 A Celebration of Contemporary Palestinian Culture' to be held at Rada.

On Wednesday 16th April the show will be preceded with a special feature on Amos and Just Walk from 6:30 pm. It would be great to see as many people as possible there. Tickets and further details can be found at here: www.rada.ac.uk/whats-on/other-events

Tags: Gaza, Amos Trust, Gil Scot-Heron, Bethlehem, Holy Land

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