Marching in Honolulu for the Children of Gaza

Fr. Damien copy

Starting out under the gaze of Fr. Damien.

Last week, for the third consecutive Tuesday, people in Honolulu gathered to protest the escalating assault on Gaza and its people, and in particular the horrific violence inflicted on innocent children. Repeatedly.

This time the protest started with a march from the state Capitol to the spot where the group had demonstrated the previous two weeks: the intersection of Ala Moana Boulevard and Atkinson. Others were already waiting there with signs calling for an end to US funding of the violence being unleashed by Israel. The popular reference is to US$3 billion to Israel in aid every year. But some reports suggest a much higher number.

This video was shot by award-winning University of Hawaii student film-maker, Erin Lau .

The walk, which took about an hour, allowed for conversation, punctuated by the steady beat of drums on a sound cart manned by Keli`i, Jerry and Brian. The chants were constant.

From the river to the sea. Palestine must be free.

So many questions, so much history, and a small, small effort at bearing witness.

How can those who revere the memory of the people of Warsaw, people who chose to fight and die with dignity rather than be subjected to military oppression, be unleashing this kind of violence in the ghetto that is Gaza?

Free Free, Palestine/ Occupation is a crime.

How is it possible to wage war on refugees?

Ali Musleh, a Palestinian from Jordan, now pursuing a Ph.D in political science at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, walks with me, telling me that about 75 percent of the people of Gaza are refugees. UNRWA says the Gaza strip is home to 1.5 million Palestinians, 1.1 million of whom are refugees.

“Daily life in Gaza is organized around the hope and dream of returning to the villages from which they were evicted,” says Ali. “The streets and neighborhoods of Gaza bear the names of places left behind, but never forgotten. Those recreated places are being destroyed again, along with the people that inhabit them. The Nakba continues.”

From the river to the sea/ Palestine must be free.

How is it possible for world leaders to look on with so few words of condemnation? To look the other way when Israel continues to arbitrarily confiscate land, divide communities, and deprive people of their livelihood?

Where is the indispensable nation’s outrage when missiles are rained down on a population that we are told is very, very young?

Kaya under tree

Little Kaya takes a breather from the protest march.

Free, Free Palestine/Occupation is a crime.

Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, Britain provides a searing, first-hand look at those children.

Gaza: Average age 17. A quarter of a million below the age of 10.

What have the children done to deserve this kind of indiscriminate, wanton punishment from one of the world’s strongest, most sophisticated military powers?

From the river to the sea/ Palestine must be free.

No war“When Israel issues a warning, they are designating a space for destruction. Those who remain in that space after the warning is issued are considered, in Israel’s words, ‘voluntary human shields,” Ali explains.

A recent example: Israeli strikes on a school in Beit Hanoun in Northern Gaza killed 15, including a mother and her year old baby. More than 200 were injured, many women and children, even as UN staff were trying to organize their evacuation.

How can international law get twisted so completely as to justify this kind of utter destruction of an already dispossessed, oppressed people?

TUESDAY AUGUST 5, 2014: Honolulu protests again

The people of Honolulu will gather again today Tuesday, Aug 5, for their fourth protest, at the intersection of Ala Moana and Atkinson, from 4 – 6 p.m. to continue to bear witness to the unfolding tragedy of Gaza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Gaza, I BLOG, Justice, Politics and Religion, Uncategorized

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