Socialist Worker

British aid convoy heads for Palestine

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2220

Jim Nichol

Jim Nichol

The fifth Viva Palestina convoy from Britain left London on Saturday of last week. Hundreds of activists will join the convoy carrying medical aid to Gaza to beak the Israeli siege.

Activists from Britain and Ireland set off from London.Police only allowed a limited number of vehicles to gather—they included ambulances that will be used by medical workers in Gaza.

Tony Upton from Belfast told Socialist Worker, “The murder of the activists on the Mavi Marmara was a catalyst for turning activity from support to action. We raised money from ordinary people in north and west Belfast so we could come.”

Joe from Tipperary said, “We’ll stay on the road until the job is done—this is international solidarity.”

Human rights lawyer and socialist Jim Nichol joined the convoy. He told Socialist Worker, “Its remarkable—I always knew there was significant support for Gaza and the Palestinians among working class people. But I now understand this support is vast.

“It’s imperative socialists recognise that and work within this movement.”

Viva Palestina’s Kevin Ovenden, a survivor of the attack on the Mavi Marmara, said, “This will highlight Israel’s murderous siege of Gaza.

“Support is so widespread—last week the TUC strengthened its position on Palestine.”

George Galloway, founder of Viva Palestina, was there and is joining the convoy when it reaches Paris on Sunday.

He said, “In Gaza, a quiet massacre is happening—the people are besieged for voting for a government the US and Israel do not like.

“The blockade of goods has not been lifted. The only two products allowed into Gaza now that were not allowed in before are ketchup and mayonnaise.

“What was so dangerous about these products before?”

Richard Allday, from the Unite union and the Socialist Workers Party is also on the convoy.

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Tue 21 Sep 2010, 17:36 BST
Issue No. 2220
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