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Global: Protests In Support of the Freedom Flotilla Continue

In the days following the Israel Defense Forces raid on the Mavi Marmara that left nine dead and numerous others wounded, the world has seen an outpouring of support for Gaza.  Several countries, including Turkey, Ecuador, and  South Africa, have recalled their ambassadors to Israel, while still others have called for investigations of the events by a neutral party.  Nicaragua went a step further, cutting off diplomatic ties with Israel.

At the same time, demonstrations have been taking place around the globe.  From Stockholm to São Paulo, activists and concerned citizens have taken to the streets to protest the violence and Israel's continuing blockade of Gaza.

In nearby Beirut, protesters were seen carrying Turkish flags in support of the Mavi Marmara.

Protestors in Beirut carried Turkish flags in support of the Mavi Marmara. Photo by Mokhtar Joundi.

Halfway around the world in Boston, American protestors gathered outside of the Israeli consulate, waving Palestinian flags and calling on President Obama to denounce Israel's actions.

Bostonians gathered outside the Israeli consulate. Photo by Anas Qtiesh.

Protesters in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia held an enormous Palestinian flag to show solidarity with Gaza.

Bulgarian protestors with an enormous Palestinian flag. Photo by Ruslan Trad.

New York City protesters filled bustling Times Square with Palestinian flags and signs of support.

NYC protesters carrying a sign that reads: "Israel kills civilians in self-defense." Photo by asterix611.

In London, rapper and poet Lowkey was at the lead of one demonstration, chanting “we are sick of it!” with other demonstrators. One blogger, Have a Good Time, writes of Lowkey's appearance:

Lowkey starts by reminding his British audience of their complicity in the Israeli attack on the Flotilla and the Israeli siege on Gaza. “We were there through our taxes: our taxes were in the bullets that were fired into our friends and our brothers and our sisters…our taxes were there, our Balfour Declaration was there.” But Lowkey transitions from this depressing reminder of complicity to a vision of solidarity. “When they drop white phosphorous bombs on Gaza, they drop white phosphorous bombs on us…we must express our solidarity with those people, because they are us.” We are not only the Freedom Flotilla: we are Gaza. In addition to knowing that we cause harm to befall Gaza, we also feel that harm as if it affects us.

The protest was recorded on video:

Global Voices author Raphael Tsavkko Garcia snapped photos of a protest in São Paulo, Brazil, which he posted on his blog along with a description of the protests.

Demonstrators in Sao Paulo wore t-shirts that read "I am Palestinian." Photo by Raphael Tsavkko Garcia.

O protesto em si foi breve, durou cerca de uma hora, mas os discursos foram enérgicos e emocionados. Gritos de “Israel Genocida”, “Israel Nazista” e “Palestina Livre” eram constantes e distribuímos muitos folhetos entre quem passava. Estes, aliás, em geral nos apoiava, acenando, comentando que era um absurdo a situação dos Palestinos e repudiando Israel e suas ações criminosas.
[…]
Foi um ato pequeno mas cheio de significado. Pelo menos algumas poucas pessoas mostraram seu desagrado, seu repúdio e deixaram claro que não tolerarão mais agressões.

The protest itself was brief, lasting about an hour, but the speeches were energetic and passionate. Cries of “Israel Genocidal”, “Israel Nazi” and “Free Palestine” were constant and we also distribute pamphlets among many passersby. These, Moreover, in general supported us, waving, commenting that it was an absurd situation of the Palestinians and repudiating Israel and their criminal actions.
[…]
It was a small act but full of meaning. At least a few people showed their displeasure, their outrage and made it clear that they will not tolerate further attacks.

Finally, Israel was not immune from criticism by its own citizens. In Tel Aviv, demonstrators held signs protesting the occupation. According to the photographer, one of the protesters was detained, as was a counter-protester.

Click on the image to view the original, and translations of the Hebrew signs. Photo by 'photos from zion'

Protesters gathered in the port city of Ashdod as well, despite reported police attempts to send them back to Tel Aviv.

Protesters line the beach in Ashdod. Photo by Mya Guarnieri.

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