right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken
On Saturday evening March23rd a discussion took place in a venue in the back end of central Belfast. I joined Fatima el-Helow a survivor of the Sabra/Chatilla refugee camps massacres and Ismal Alhinti of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign on the platform which was chaired by a member of the Belfast branch of the anti war movement. Fatima gave a powerfully moving account of the massacre of her relatives and peoples, the rapes murders and excutions while also informing us of the ongoing slaugher of her people all of which was and is being done at the behest of Ariel Sharon now Israeli prime minister.
A one hundred strong audience was in attendance yet what was particulary visual was the amount of Palestinians and young persons who would barely have been born at the time of the slaughters.The representations of the groups, organisations and peoples who took part in the disscussion made it a varied and intense disscussion on Palestinians issues and its wider context within the'war on terror' with many ideas of practical solidarity raised which by and large gained unity of concenus from the peoples there.
of the important aspects though which was not brought to the
audiences attention is that Fatima had left Beirut recently
and is seeking shelterin the UK.Why? Because she is one of the
witnesses who was to testify at the Belgium courts against Ariel
Sharon's massacres. So her journey for justice equality and
freedom like the of her peoples continues. People at the meeting
were in agreement on a boycott campaign of Isreali goods which
already has won some small victories in England and Scotland.
This combined with a national demonstration on April 27th in
Dublin with buses from various groups coming from the North
to coincide with demostrations around Scotland in solidarity
with the Palestinians. Such events and solidarity are vital
especially post Sept 11th which saw the reppression and racial
profiling of many Muslims and Arabs in the United States and
elsewhere due to the on ongoing 'war on terror'. Education and
facts on 'the other side of the story' (the reality) is needed.
Therefore, Mike Davies an authoritive figure on the LA Riots
and well known author will take the platform at Queens Universities
Peter Froggot Centre on Thursday the 28th at 7pm. Racial profiling
and such methods are being used continually not only against
Muslims and Arabs but against ethnic minority as a whole. So
while solidarity for the Palestinains is vital, a concrete understanding
of the so called 'war on terror' is needed to grasp the overall
agenda of the powers that be.
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The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
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