Saturday last, May 22nd, marked ‘Global Day of Action in Solidarity with the Palestinian people’. Protests and vigils were organised across the country including Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Derry, Drogheda, and Navan. All were organised by the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC).
In Dublin, protestors marched from the Spire to the Israeli Embassy after growing calls to “expel the Israeli Ambassador to Ireland”. Palestine and Israel recently agreed to a ceasefire on the 20th of May, after 11 days of terror which killed 232 in Gaza, 12 in Israel and left 52,000 people displaced. However, on the 21st of May, a video emerged showing Israel has clearly broken the ceasefire arrangements after IDF troops stormed a Mosque in Al Aqsa targeting Palestinian worshippers with stun grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas.
Ireland has a history of expressing its solidarity with the Palestinian people, with many pointing out that The Troubles was a similar struggle.
The Meath branch of IPSC decided to organise a small vigil from 2-4pm for the Palestinian people beside Kennedy Plaza. Chair of the Meath branch, Moira Leydon, was thrilled with the support and the number of people who attended the vigil.
Leydon claimed that she contacted all 6 Meath TDs and all Navan Cllrs about the protest, but only Deputy Darren O’Rourke (Sinn Féin) and Cllr Eddie Fennessy (Sinn Féin) showed up. However, some members of Labour (Meath branch) attended and volunteered to give out leaflets.
There were chants to “boycott Israel”, “boycott Israeli goods”, “boycott apartheid”, “Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS)” and to “free Palestine”. Shoppers were encouraged to take informative leaflets to avoid buying Israeli products, such as HP, Moroccan Oil, Jaffa, Motorola, Eden and fruit and veg that are produced in Israel or have Israeli branding, as Navan Shopping Centre is on the opposite side of Kennedy Plaza.
Fennessy stated on a Facebook post: “for two weeks the Fascist State of Israel committed unspeakable acts of genocide against the Palestinian people. The indiscriminate bombing of Gaza and the Westbank killed over two hundred people, many of them women and children. Israeli state policies of ethnic cleansing, displacement and illegal settlements are crimes against humanity and must be stopped immediately”.
Leydon asserted that, “it is imminently clear that diplomatic ‘nudging’ of the intransigent Israeli Government is not working. Just as the international community with strong moral and political leadership from Ireland demonstrated its repugnance of apartheid in South Africa many decades ago, Ireland must now assume its responsibility to demonstrate its repugnance for the ongoing crime against humanity daily played out in Gaza, the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank, in East Jerusalem and right across Israeli society”.
Video of vigil: https://twitter.com/christineomg5/status/1396150490984067076?s=20