Monday, January 26, 2009

A rising tide for Gaza

Sometimes when bombing stops the protests die down and the anger settles to a simmer, but for now at least there seems to be an admirable increase in the lengths people are prepared to go to show solidarity with the people of Gaza. This shows an understanding that killed by a missile or killed by starvation and poverty are still both killings.

Not only has there been a rash of university occupations but the BBC offices in Glasgow were occupied last night, followed by those in London earlier today. This new wave of protest has been sparked by the bizarre decision by the BBC that they know better than leading aid agencies whether Gaza is an appropriate place to deliver humanitarian assistance, something even the BBC's own journalists seem to be disputing.

On Saturday there was a demonstration outside the BBC headquarters at which the Green Party's own fashion icon Shahrar Ali delivered an excellent and impassioned speech (below). Disturbingly he also delivers an unexpected song for the crowd, no wonder they're angry. Mind you I'm all for shaking up the format a bit. Expect to see him next on Britain's Got Talent.

Let's make no mistake reports of these protests going out on Al Jazeera and other news channels, let alone the massive increase in profile for the aid campaign that the protests have enabled, are more than symbolic in nature. They are a small but meaningful spark of light in a darkening time.

Local spot: Check out the info on Cambridge uni's soup wars.


weggis said...

This is the first post on the subject I have seen which actually includes a link to the DEC appeal.

While criticising the BBC and glorifying the "impotent protests" referred to in your earlier post bloggers seem to have missed the opportunity to bypass the obstruction and for positive "direct action".

Maybe Daily you should make the link more explicit?

Jim Jay said...

Hi, well I've linked to Islamic relief before now (which, as it goes, was before the current row and before the rest of the left remembered they cared about this kind of relief operation).

i'm intending to slap the link up in the right hand column - but I'm always slow to get round to maintaining that bit of the site...

(oh and thanks for the best wishes before)

Raphael said...

"Just because you observe the niceties of Holocaust memorial day, does not mean that you have learnt the lessons of history"

The crowd: "yeahhh"

Maybe he would prefer them to boycott commemorations like the MCB? Surely, that's a better way of learning the lessons of history.

Or maybe an even better way to learn these lessons: watch al-rahma-tv