Image from sweejack on Flickr
Hundreds of Austinites, young and old, students and workers, gathered in front of the Capitol on Monday evening to demonstrate against the Israeli bombings in the Gaza strip. Here’s my report:
(Working on improving the audio quality, folks. Next time it’ll be better. Produced using a Zoom H2 and Audacity.)
Update: Here’s the transcript of the report, with links, below the jump.
As the Israeli military’s bombardement of the Gaza strip continues into its fifth day today, people around the world are taking to the streets to raise their voices in protest. Thousands have protested from Buenos Aires to Sydney to Chicago outside the offices of Barack Obama’s transition team, to London, Paris, Iraq, and across the Middle East. Here in Austin, Texas, about two hundred demonstrators met at the curb of Capitol building facing the downtown’s main avenue on Monday evening.
Naser Elzer is from the West Bank, where two Palestinian protesters were shot and killed by Israeli troops during a demonstration in solidarity with the Gaza strip on Monday. Elzher said the United States is the only country that can pressure Israel into ending the assault.
-Elzer quote 1-
The United States provides about $2 billion in aid to the Israeli government every year. And, according to the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli military is deploying a new US-built bunker-busting bomb in its airstrikes on Gaza this week. Elzer also said he felt frustrated with the major media’s portrayal of the conflict.
-Elzer quote 2-
The Guardian newspaper reports that 18 Israeli civilians have been killed by Qassam rockets fired into Israeli towns in the past eight years – 3 of those died in the past five days. The United Nations says 62 Palestinian civilians have died in Israeli bombings against Gaza in this latest attack – but that figure does not include any casualties of Palestinian adult men; they are all women and children. Hundreds more Palestinian civilians have been killed in Israeli shootings and airstrikes in the occupied territories in the past year.
As darkness began to fall and the chilly night air set in, the mass of protesters in front of the Capitol’s twenty-foot Christmas tree dwindled. But a dozen or so children of Palestinian families weren’t phazed at all – they kept singing and chanting more than two hours after the protest began. Drivers passing by noticed the excitement and honked their approval:
Organizers of the demonstration vowed to continue organizing against the Israeli war on Gaza.