Make 2010 The Year We End Israel's Blockade of Gaza
Since just days before Christmas, 2009, over 1300 citizens from 42 different countries have travelled to Cairo as a transit point to Gaza where they would join over 50,000 Palestinians on December 31 in a Gaza Freedom March to protest the continuing siege of Gaza. Conceived during Code Pink's delegation to the Gaza Strip after the Israeli Cast Lead incursion, the organizers envisioned a massive, peaceful nonviolent show of international solidarity with the Palestinian people. The had envisioned several days of commemoration of those who died during the winter attack, several days of bearing witness to the rubble, the unreconstructed homes, and the widespread destruction of the possibility of healthy daily life.
Women in Black, Melbourne, dedicates this vigil to the international Gaza Freedom Marchers, young and old, including 85-year old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, who have been stranded in Cairo, after the Egyptian government decided to block their transport. Like freedom marchers from other times and other struggles, they are helping each other to survive on the streets, in blockaded hotels, in the face of massive police presence. All we ask of you is to be aware that thousands of miles from here, ordinary people are risking their lives to end the suffering of the people of Gaza. Several days ago, thousands marched in Gaza and in Israel to the Israel-Gaza border, asking for an end to the blockade and renewed dedication to peace efforts. For first hand accounts of what is happening to the freedom marchers and their supporters, please go to Gazafreedommarch.org or to our website, Women in Black.org.au.
These people, ordinary citizens of Gaza, of Israel, of 40 other countries, want another kind of world where children do not play amidst the ruins of their homes, where young people have hopes for the future, where national hatreds to not reign supreme over international negotiations for peace. A new year, let us make it one that honors human life and all its joyous and complex possibilities.
We, the members of Women in Black, wish a happy and peaceful New Year for all.