The attack on a humanitarian aid convoy by Israel off the coast of the Gaza strip has caused outrage among some here in the Northland.
A group of protestors assembled outside the Duluth Federal Building to have their voices heard.
The protest is sponsored by the Northland Anti-War coalition and the Twin Ports Break the Bonds Campaign.
The United Nations reports that at least 10 civilians were killed when Israeli forces attacked the convoy. Many more were wounded.
Activists in Duluth say they are demonstrating in solidarity with protestors in the Middle East and around the world.
The U.N. says Israeli forces boarded a six-ship convoy, inbound towards Gaza. The purpose of the fleet was to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza and to break the Israeli blockade.
However, Israel attacked the fleet and protestors say they're outraged.
"As an activist for peace and social justice, I am shaken and hurt to the core by Israel's actions," said Carl Sack, an activist.
Protestors say they're asking the State of Minnesota to divest from financial bonds they have with Israel. Demonstrators are also calling upon the U.S. government to send a message in light of what happened.
They're asking the feds to stop sending aid to Israel.
by The Editor
CUNY Graduate Center Advocate
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.“
Israel’s unwarranted and outrageous attack upon the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip is another sad reminder that the leaders of Israel are determined to indefinitely continue and defend the punishing and illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip and the continued isolation of the West Bank, which has caused and continues to cause immense suffering and loss of life for the Palestinian people.
Deaf to the cries and condemnations of the international community, Israel has pursued a calculated policy of punishment and humiliation against the Palestinians, explicitly designed to create a permanent crisis in the region, thus further justifying Israel’s continued policy of separation and apartheid.
From the terrible 2008 Gaza Massacre to Monday’s premeditated assault upon the Mavi Marmara, Israel has sent a clear signal to the international community that it has no intentions of either abiding by international or humanitarian law, or of negotiating in good faith with the Palestinian people. Faced, like South Africa in the 1980’s, with a clear demographical disadvantage, Israel has chosen to isolate its minority population in a last ditch effort to maintain its implicitly racist policy of Zionist rule.
Because of this, it is now more important than ever, that the institutions responsible for supporting and abetting Israel’s continued aggressions against the Palestinians, including the City University of New York, be forced, at the very least, to end their investment in any company that aids in any way the blockade, isolation, and occupation of the Palestinian territories. Since Hampshire College’s successful and groundbreaking disinvestment in companies that support the occupation of Palestine in 2009, there has been a growing student disinvestment campaign, which has spread to universities across the nation from UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, to Columbia and NYU. This movement is dedicated to convincing their college and university budget and finance committees to rearrange their investment portfolios so as to disinvest from companies such as: United Technologies, which manufactures Blackhawk helicopters used by the Israeli military, General Electric, which supplies the propulsions systems for Apache helicopter gunships, also used by the Israeli Defense Forces, ITT Corporation, which provides night vision goggles to the Israeli military, Motorola, which is engaged in a $400 million project to provide radar systems for enhancing security at illegal West Bank settlements, Terex, which provides trucks for logistical support to the Israeli military, and Caterpillar, which provides many of the bulldozers and construction equipment used to build new settlements and to destroy Palestinian homes in the West Bank and Gaza.
Last March, The UC Berkeley Student Senate passed a resolution, supported in large part by the UC Berkeley Students for Justice in Palestine, (the resolution is reprinted below), urging the university to end all investments related to General Electric and United Technologies. The resolution passed the Student Senate but was callously vetoed by the Student Senate President Noah Stern. Currently UC Berkeley students are campaigning to overturn that veto, but UC President Mark Yudof, the same individual who recently raised UC tuition by 32%, has issued statements this month making it clear that the university policy supports disinvestment only in the case of genocide — a ridiculous and incredibly irresponsible high bar to set for taking action. While this may sound like a defeat, the resolution has gained steam and is being proposed at several other campuses in the UC system including UC San Diego and UC Riverside. It is time that the student government at CUNY including the Doctoral Students’ Council, The University Student Senate and the University Faculty Senate, took up the resolution as their own.
In the meantime, it will be imperative these next few weeks that those of us who care about the suffering and humiliation taking place in Gaza remain vocal and outspoken critics of Israel’s policy, and that we call on the US Government to unreservedly and critically condemn the attacks on the Mavi Marmara and the continued blockade of Gaza.
Click here to see the full version of the “Bill in Support of UC Disinvestment from War Crimes”