I was delighted to support yesterday's march organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign in protest at the Israeli government's actions against Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Despite the poor weather there was a great turnout and I felt proud to stand with them in the face of the violence with their people are be subjected to. The following is a copy of the speech I made outside the GPO:
SPEECH MADE OUTSIDE GPO AT IRELAND PALESTINE SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN MARCH SAT 8/7/06
Ladies and Gentleman, as Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin I am delighted to be here to today to support the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
As Deputy Lord Mayor I believe that the ambition of public representatives should not be to wear chains of office, but to break chains of bondage, and that is why I am here to show solidarity with the Palestine people.
Dublin is a major international capital and so its civic leaders have a responsibility to make statements on matters of grave injustice no matter where they occur, be they in the Developing World, in Iraq or in Palestine.
The homepage of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign features a quote from Martin Luther King saying: ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’.
What is happening in Gaza over the past few weeks is a grave injustice and indeed an outrage. That is why today the people of Dublin stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza and the people of Palestine.
I believe that Israel is using the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit as an excuse to wreak terror on the Palestinian people.
Israel’s targeting of the civilian infrastructure of Gaza such as bridges and Gaza’s main power station has meant that 860,000 Gazans are without running water or electricity, and Gaza faces a severe environmental and humanitarian crisis.
As a schoolteacher I find the violence that the Israeli’s are exacting on children absolutely disgusting.
Perhaps even more serious is Israel’s capture of half the democratically elected Palestinian government and a quarter of the parliament. Democrats across the world must display their outrage at these events.
· Today we are here to put pressure on the Irish Government to Stop boycotting Palestine’s democratically elected Hamass government.
· We are calling on the Israeli government to listen to the family of Gilad Shalit as they call for the hostilities to end.
· And we must also call for the Gilad Shalit to be returned to his family.
The cause of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign is just. The people of Dublin Stand with you today.