The Blanket


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The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
- Hubert H. Humphrey




Free Palestine

Davy Carlin
Andersonstown News 28/03/2002


On Saturday evening March23rd a discussion took place in a venue in the back end of central Belfast. I joined Fatima el-Helow a survivor of the Sabra/Chatilla refugee camps massacres and Ismal Alhinti of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign on the platform which was chaired by a member of the Belfast branch of the anti war movement. Fatima gave a powerfully moving account of the massacre of her relatives and peoples, the rapes murders and excutions while also informing us of the ongoing slaugher of her people all of which was and is being done at the behest of Ariel Sharon now Israeli prime minister.

A one hundred strong audience was in attendance yet what was particulary visual was the amount of Palestinians and young persons who would barely have been born at the time of the slaughters.The representations of the groups, organisations and peoples who took part in the disscussion made it a varied and intense disscussion on Palestinians issues and its wider context within the'war on terror' with many ideas of practical solidarity raised which by and large gained unity of concenus from the peoples there.

One of the important aspects though which was not brought to the audiences attention is that Fatima had left Beirut recently and is seeking shelterin the UK.Why? Because she is one of the witnesses who was to testify at the Belgium courts against Ariel Sharon's massacres. So her journey for justice equality and freedom like the of her peoples continues. People at the meeting were in agreement on a boycott campaign of Isreali goods which already has won some small victories in England and Scotland. This combined with a national demonstration on April 27th in Dublin with buses from various groups coming from the North to coincide with demostrations around Scotland in solidarity with the Palestinians. Such events and solidarity are vital especially post Sept 11th which saw the reppression and racial profiling of many Muslims and Arabs in the United States and elsewhere due to the on ongoing 'war on terror'. Education and facts on 'the other side of the story' (the reality) is needed. Therefore, Mike Davies an authoritive figure on the LA Riots and well known author will take the platform at Queens Universities Peter Froggot Centre on Thursday the 28th at 7pm. Racial profiling and such methods are being used continually not only against Muslims and Arabs but against ethnic minority as a whole. So while solidarity for the Palestinains is vital, a concrete understanding of the so called 'war on terror' is needed to grasp the overall agenda of the powers that be.






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