Indymedia Ireland

Bogside kicks off week of solidarity with Iraq & Palestine

by Shane OCurry - Pat Finucane Centre / Bloody Sunday Week End Committee Wednesday, Jan 26 2005, 1:11pm
pfc@iol.ie address: www.serve.com/pfc

Activists paint wall as Free Derry welcomes Iraqi and Palestinian speakers.

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Community activists paint the Palestinian colours onto Free Derry Wall, an internationally recognised symbol of popular resistance to imperialism, in preparation for two panel discussions. The first, scheduled for this thursday evening and entitled "from the Bogside to Basra" will feature Dr Abdul Al-Jibouri, an Iraqi scientist living in Derry, as well as Eddy Cherry, a former British soldier and war resister. The second, to be held on Saturday, entitled "At a Cross Roads", is a comparative discussion about the road blocks on the road maps to peace in Palestine and Ireland respectively. The speakers are Dr Jamal Zahalka, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) and Mitchel McLaughlin, MLA, chairperson of Sinn Féin. (details of both events below )

"From Bogside to Basra": A Panel Discussion with;
Eddy Cherry, a former British Soldier, stationed in Derry in the early 90’s and now a leading member of ‘Ex Soldiers Against The War’,
Dr Abdul Al-Jibouri an Iraqi scientist, living in Derry
Paul O’Connor, Coordinator of The Pat Finucane Centre, Derry.

7.00 - 8.30 pm at The Gasyard Centre Thursday 27 Jan, followed by screening of Divine Intervention (see programme)

We have often heard British media coverage of the war in Iraq refer to the superiority of the British Army to the task (when compared with the US Army) “because of their unique experience in Northern Ireland.” This tells us how effective the mainstream media’s reporting of the British Army’s role here has been in airbrushing out, or putting to one side, the many incidents that reveal them as an oppressive occupying power as opposed to the peacekeeping force they portrayed themselves as being.

So it is fitting, as they again cast themselves as peacekeepers in Iraq, cynically exploiting that ‘unique experience’ here, that the city that suffered Bloody Sunday should use our experience of occupation to critically reflect on what we’ve learned and use this to both better understand the plight of the peoples of Iraq and what we can do to support them here. Clearly for example, recent revelations of what the British Army have been at inside detention centres in Basra, has strong echoes of Palace Barracks, Belfast in the early 1970’s.

To focus the discussion through the lens of Bloody Sunday and Fallujah where 13 civilians where shot dead by US Paratroopers at a peaceful protest on 30th April 2003 This event will open with a short 15 minute documentary on ‘The Siege of Fallujah’. This will be followed by three contrasting perspectives from our guest speakers before being opened up to the floor.

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"At A Cross Roads"

Palestine & Ireland - Road Maps & Road Blocks to Peace

Venue: Calgach Centre
Date: Saturday 29th January 05
Time: 7.30pm

Speaker from Palestine: Dr Jamal Zahalka.

Dr Zahalka is a Palestinian MP who sits in the Israeli Knesset.

Dr Zahalka has been centrally involved in the struggle for truth and justice around Israel’s own Bloody Sunday against the Palestinian people.

As Palestinians living inside Israel came out onto the streets in support of their comrades staging of a second intifada in the occupied territories, the Israeli police force opened fire shooting 13 people dead. Since that day in October 2000 Jamal Zahalka has been working closely with the families of the dead in their efforts to take a legal case against the Israeli police force and its government.

Dr Zahalka will speak on life as a Palestinian living inside Israel, on Israel’s murderous occupation of Palestinian land and its ruthless response to Palestinian resistance through its intifada. He will also speak on the current situation and the future direction for the peace process following the tragic death of President Arafat and the election of Mahmoud Abbas as the new leader of the Palestinian people.

Also speaking will be Mitchel McLaughlin, MLA, Chairperson of Sinn Féin.

for a full timetable of week's events see:


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