Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Today: Peace Groups Solidarity Vigil for Gaza Freedom March in Albuquerque
From the Middle East Peace and Justice Alliance:
A dozen New Mexico peace groups are holding a vigil today in Albuquerque in solidarity with the Global Gaza Freedom March taking place in Egypt/Gaza from December 27-31, 2009. The purpose of the vigil is to mourn the loss of life and destruction of civic infrastructure as a result of the 2008/9 Israeli invasion, which resulted in the deaths of 348 Palestinian children, destroyed over 14,000 buildings including schools and mosques, and left 71,675 people homeless.
The Gaza Luminaria Vigil will take place on Tuesday, December 29, 2009, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM, in front of the federal court house on Lomas, between 3rd and 4th streets in downtown Albuquerque. Vigil sponsors include: Another Jewish Voice, Albuquerque; Another Jewish Voice, Santa Fe; Center for Action and Contemplation; the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel; CODE PINK; the Middle East Peace & Justice Alliance; Pax Christi; Stop the War Machine; United Nations Association; UNM Coalition for Peace & Justice in the Middle East; and Veterans for Peace.
The names of the children killed will be read at the vigil by Jewish and Palestinian American children.
Another purpose is to protest the continued Israeli blockade of Gaza that began in June of 2007. According to Rita Erickson, one of the vigil organizers, “Israel’s siege has prevented the reconstruction of Gaza, preventing the importation of building supplies, humanitarian aid, food, medical supplies, school books, and fuel.” Another organizer, Janice Hart of Another Jewish Voice, notes that “This kind of collective punishment is illegal under international law, particularly the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel continues to control all access to the Gaza Strip via the Mediterranean as well as overland via Israel and via Egypt through agreements with the Egyptian government.”
This vigil is one of scores being held throughout the world in solidarity with the Global Gaza Freedom March being held in Egypt/Gaza on December 27-31. Over 1400 people are attempting to cross into Gaza for the march, but according to Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, a march organizer, “the Egyptian authorities have blocked our participants’ freedom of movement and interfered with a peaceful commemoration of the dead,” Benjamin added that the Gaza Freedom March participants are continuing to urge the Egyptian government to allow them to proceed to Gaza.