Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Gaza protesters - Justice at last?

This morning I was present outside the Courts of Justice in the Strand, together with Stop the War Coalition and Palestine Solidarity Campaign protesters, as well as Green Left comrades to support the hearing seeking to overturn the draconian sentences handed out to those young (mainly Muslim) demonstrators who protested outside the Israeli embassy in January last year against the Israeli attack on Gaza. It is widely regarded as a miscarriage of justice that they have been handed jail sentences of several years as a 'deterrent to others' for taking part in a demonstration and is seen as a blatant attempt to criminalise and silence the Muslim community.

Last night Channel 4 showed a programme which demonstrated that far from attacking the police, as was claimed, many of those arrested were in fact attacked by the police. http://gazademosupport.org.uk/articles/gaza-protesters-receive-met-police-payouts/

The result of the appeal is expected tonight and hopefully many of these sentences will be overturned and the young people returned to their families. It is also expected that if these appeals succeed that the other cases planned will also collapse. Further information here  http://gazademosupport.org.uk/

As an Irish person I recognise the similarity with the attempt to criminalise the Irish community in the 70s and 80s and regard this as a really serious miscarriage of justice.

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