With so much attention on the Climate March, I don’t want to forget our action at City Hall, on 10 Sept, the first fall session of the City Council. Why City Council? Well you will recall, Mayor DiBlasio has stated that his job includes “defending Israel.” Many members of the City Council likewise supported Israel’s actions during the recent massive bombings in Gaza. And neither the Mayor nor Council Members have said or done anything to recognize the rights of Palestinians, the illegal occupation of Israel in the West Bank and the disastrous consequences of the Gaza blockage by Israel on the population.
There was a good Granny turnout; an excellent flyer done by Ann; and the “Representations” of the 577+ children who died in Gaza during this latest Israeli siege. Not to be forgotten are the 3000+ children wounded and the over 1400 orphaned. And the women and other civilians who died were wounded, lost loved ones or made homeless.
There were many good, positive, and supportive individual discussions. It seemed that many of those who stopped to chat were concerned and upset about the terrible loss of life during this conflict, especially innocent civilians and children. That Palestinians have rights, not respected and no real solution in sight was likewise expressed. Palestinians are no longer “invisible” to the public. Several of those we spoke with thought our representations of the young victims made a creative action and thanked us. Others voiced surprise and concern about the continued US funding for Israel ($3.1 billion in Military funding for just 2014, and $100’s of billions over the years.)
US Taxpayers give Israel $9.9 million a day for WEAPONRY, much of it used during this fifty day attack as well as to maintain the occupation — this was a shocking statistic to many. As expected, there were several vocal objections to what we were doing; but fewer than in previous actions. Overall, this was a good action.
A word about the “Representations” of the children: Making these “Representations” was itself a process: reviewing the lists of dead to select those below age 18. Going through the names was heartbreaking to see whole families gone…..and the names of 3, 4, even 5 or 6 or more children with the same last name. Entire families! To ensure we correctly identified boys and girls, checks of names were done via internet. While we did it as a group, these were solemn sessions.
We will continue to say “End the Occupation/End the Gaza Blockade.” It is time we move our Government to recognize its duty to ensure that the rights of Palestinians are as respected and implemented as those of others.
– Marty Rajandran, text and photos
For the Granny Peace Brigade
More photos by Bud Korotzer: The Little Dolls of Gaza’s Dead Children