Viva Palestina Convoy Stopped by Police

Urgent: Viva Palestina Convoy stopped by British Police

Yesterday the ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy taking vital humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip was stopped by the British Police under the ‘Anti-Terror’ legislation. Nine of its drivers were arrested.

Since Israel’s imposition of the horrific blockade upon the 1.5 million Gazans 18 months ago, life in Gaza has become virtual hell. The list of material banned by the Israeli occupation from entering Gaza is a clear example of the collective punishment being directed against the Palestinians; it includes cement for building homes, medicine for hospitals, and even stretches into preventing some children’s books from entering one of the poorest and densely populated areas on the face of the Earth.

This strangulation of the strip was then followed by an onslaught which has instantly catapulted Israel’s war into comparisons with some of the most horrific war crimes that modern history has ever seen. Since December 27th- the day in which Israel’s bombing began, and January 3rd the onset of the ground invasion; the rockets, soldiers, fighter jets and missiles of one of the world’s most advanced armies has reduced one of the most oppressed regions in the world to looking like what the BBC calls ‘an earthquake zone’. With over 1,300 dead, thousands more injured, 20,000 houses demolished, and hospitals, schools, and aid compounds attacked; it is little wonder that the President of the UN General Assembly has described Israel’s war as ‘genocidal’.

Weeks of war crimes have taken their toll on the brave Palestinian People. Over 400,000 are now without running water, and a further 100,000 are now facing existence without even a roof over their head. Hospitals – those that are still able to function – are bit by bit being forced to turn of their equipment and shut their wards.

The ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy, driving from London to Gaza, aims to take vital aid to ease the sufferings of those trapped in what increasingly resembles the World’s largest prison camp. Crammed full of essential items including hospital aid, blankets, tools, children’s clothes and water purification equipment and driven in 12 ambulances, donated minibuses and a fire engine, the convoy is over a mile long and will potentially be some of the first aid to reach Gaza. The convoy is a lifeline being rushed to an already desperate people.

The convoy was stopped on Friday 13th as it was driving along the M62. Nine of the drivers were arrested; six were then released, with the Police confiscating passports and driving licences. This disgusting attempt to stop aid reaching Gaza should be condemned and described for what it is: a desperate attempt on behalf of the British government to continue Israel’s policy of cutting of Gaza’s 1.5 million people from the outside world and reducing their civilisation to rubble. This scarcely hidden form of war is just as aggressive and costly to human life as Israel’s Merkava tanks and F16 jets, and should be opposed as such.

We urge all those who have supported our occupation of Manchester University campus, those who have marched for Gaza over the last few weeks, and all those who defend a People’s right to live in peace to protest the stopping of the ‘Viva Palestina’ convoy and demand that it be allowed to continue its journey to Palestine.

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5 Comments »

  1. abdul said

    why didnt we just send aid via the DEC appeal? it would show the BBC that we have defied them. also it would mean all aid would actualy get there rather than the scummy police getting in the way.

    also did we actually manage to get any of the university surplus goods on to the convoy in the end?

    Insh Allah

  2. […] also held some successful events yesterday. They have a chilling report on their blog about the Viva Palestina convey that was not only stopped by the police but had nine of it´s drivers arrested under terrorism […]

  3. Matt said

    Is this true? I can see no mention of it on the Viva Palestina website? If it is though it it truly shocking.

  4. Robin Ryder said

    I guess the writer above doesn’t mind an untruth getting in the way of “good story”.
    The convoy as such was not stopped.
    Nine drivers were not arrested.

    The truth is that three vehicles leaving Burnley to join the convoy were stopped for a while because some of the nine people in the three vans had been under surveillance for a while. Three people have been detained and the rest allowed to proceed.

    Sounds a bit different than the political wailing at the top of this page. . . . .

    The convoy is nothing more than a PR stunt, isn’t it – because it’s damn stupid way to get aid to Gaza. You’d have thought the organisers would have been grateful that the caravan wasn’t being manipulated by peeps with a more sinister agenda . . . . .

  5. Tom said

    @Robin.
    A PR stunt?
    Our government won’t send aid, BBC won’t air an appeal. ONE HUNDRED vehicles loaded with aid with another HUNDRED to join up in Egypt- I’d like to see you do better…

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