Sunday, 18 January 2009

150 Bathonians demand Israeli ceasefire

Saturday the 17th of Jan saw over 150 people respond to a call by Bath Activist Network for an emergency 'Israel out of Gaza' protest. Starting at Bath Abbey, the protest moved of past Guildhall, before moving down Milsom street. During the demo, activists stopped at 3 corporate baddies who have been financially supporting Israeli war crimes. First came Starbucks, whose CEO, Joe Shultz has been given awards by the Israeli government for his financial supporg and also 'creating close ties between Israel and America (e.g ensuring more funding from the USA). Although activists did not blockade the store, it was effectivley shut by weight of numbers. Our next target was Lloyds TSB who have recently cancelled the bank account of InterPal, a charity set up to provide humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees. Activists entered the bank and leafletted customers and employees before inviting the manager out for a discussion. She refused, so talk turned to going in and talking to her, at which point Lloyds decided to lock their doors and close shop! From there, the protest moved through town and held a livley demo outside M&S, Israels biggest corporate partner in the UK, and a company who gets much of its veg for illegally occupied Palestinan land. The demo was a huge success and was loud colourful and angry throughout. The public were overwhelmingly supportive (aside from a few isolated voices). As the chants of 'Free, free Palestine' and 'occupation is a crime, Israel out of Palestine' rang through the streets of Bath, tens of thousands of others were doing the same in dozens of towns and cities accross the UK. If the attacks continue until next saturday, another demo is planned, starting at 12.30 at Abbey Courtyard. Bath Stop the war coalition also hold a weekly peace vigil from 11.30 to 12.30 outsde the Abbey every Saturday. Palestine needs our support, and on Saturday, Bath showed that we were not willing to let the Israeli genocide go unopposed.

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