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Gaza Freedom March - Demand Accountability and an End to the Siege

December 8th, 2009

Almost one year ago, Israel unleashed “Operation Cast Lead” on the occupied Gaza Strip. Israel’s 22-day assault killed about 1,400 Palestinians, injured thousands more, and destroyed billions of dollars of Palestinian civilian infrastructure.

To this day, Israel maintains a comprehensive siege of the Gaza Strip, an illegal act of collective punishment targeting 1.5 million Palestinian civilians. The siege denies Palestinians adequate access to food, clean water, sanitation, electricity, and even school books and construction materials for rebuilding.

Unfortunately, the United States is complicit in Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip. During “Operation Cast Lead,” Israel misused U.S.
military aid to kill and injure Palestinian civilians. Congress has approved another

Click here to find a Gaza Freedom March event in your area

Click here for ideas on how to organize your own Gaza Freedom March solidarity event

Click here to register your Gaza Freedom March event

$2.775 billion in military aid to Israel for FY2010, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act. Last Month, the House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning the Goldstone Report, thereby undermining international efforts to hold Israel accountable for the human rights abuses and war crimes it committed before, during, and after “Operation Cast Lead.” And the Department of Energy just awarded a contract to Motorola Israel, whose bomb fuzes enabled some of the bombs Israel dropped on Palestinian civilians during “Operation Cast Lead.”

It’s our responsibility to end U.S. support for Israel’s human rights abuses and war crimes against Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip and elsewhere. Below are several ways to take action to end U.S. support for the siege of the Gaza Strip.

At our national conference in September, US Campaign member groups voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Gaza Freedom March. Now it’s time to step up and show our support with action.

The Gaza Freedom March will bring over 1,000 international human rights activists to the Gaza Strip to march side-by-side with Palestinians from the Rafah checkpoint in the south to the Erez checkpoint in the north of the Gaza Strip. The internationals participating in the Gaza Freedom March will convene in Cairo on December 27th, the day that “Operation Cast Lead” began one year ago, cross into the Gaza Strip on December 29th, and join with Palestinian activists to march the length of the Gaza Strip on December 31st.

The Gaza Freedom March will draw the attention of the whole world to Israel’s ongoing siege of and the precarious humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip. Even if you’re not able to participate in the Gaza Freedom March, there are still things you can do in your community to support its goals.

Plan an event in your area in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom March

Gaza Freedom Marchers have put out a call for solidarity actions between December 27th and January 1st. You can organize a march in your community or another event, such as a vigil, film screening, art exhibition, or teach-in, during these days of action. Click here for more action ideas or here to register your event so others can find it.

While we expect that the Gaza Freedom March events will be powerful expressions of our collective sorrow over last year’s attack on the Gaza Strip, we also know that one day of action won’t end Israel’s blockade or the U.S. support for Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians. There are many ways to link your Gaza Freedom March event to ongoing actions to end the siege of the Gaza Strip and bring a just and peaceful resolution to Israel’s military occupation and apartheid practices against Palestinians.

Connect your event to an ongoing campaign

One way to link your event to the struggle to end U.S. support for Israeli military occupation and apartheid in the Gaza Strip and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories is to become a Congressional District Coordinator (CDC) and invite participants in your event to future lobby meetings with your Members of Congress.

Members of Congress are currently scheduled to adjourn for their winter recess on December 18 and are expected to be in their home districts until January 11. During this winter recess, we are asking our CDC’s to set up constituent meetings with their Members of Congress to ask them to end U.S. support for Israel’s blockade of the occupied Gaza Strip. Click here to register as a Congressional District Coordinator or here to coordinate one round of meetings with your Members of Congress and we’ll help train and support you in setting up a meeting with your Members of Congress during the winter recess.

You can also connect your event to an ongoing boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign. While there are myriad corporations that profit from Israel’s occupation and apartheid practices and deserve to be boycotted and/or divested from, we suggest you plug into an already active campaign that we are organizing or supporting. Three popular BDS campaigns are:

  • Hang Up On Motorola: This campaign is working for accountability from Motorola, which profits by providing communications equipment to the Israeli military, “security” infrastructure to Israeli settlements, and products and services that normalize Israel’s settlement system. Click here to order a campaign kit to get your community involved in this boycott.

  • Stop Caterkiller: This campaign is working to stop Caterpillar from profiting from Israel’s home demolitions and apartheid wall. Caterpillar’s equipment was even mentioned over 25 times in the U.N. Goldstone Report on “Operation Cast Lead.” Join us in pressuring this U.S. corporation to end sales to Israel of equipment that it systematically uses to deny Palestinians their human rights. Click here to order a campaign kit to educate and activate your community.

  • Stolen Beauty: This campaign is focused on Ahava cosmetics, a corporation that is based in an Israeli settlement on Palestinian land in the West Bank. Not only is Ahava headquartered in an illegal settlement, it also literally sells stolen Palestinian resources from the Dead Sea. Click here for campaign ideas and resources.