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Minnesota protests Israeli killings of activists bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza

By staff |
June 1, 2010
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Protesters line the streets to condemn Israeli killings on Freedom Flotilla ship
Protesters line the streets to condemn Israeli killings on Freedom Flotilla ship. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Meredith Aby speaking at protest
Meredith Aby speaking at protest.

Minneapolis, MN - More than 200 people gathered here, June 1, at the office of U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, to protest the Israeli murders of pro-Palestine activists who were bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Speaking to the crowd, Meredith Aby of the Anti-War Committee said, “We are here today to protest the outrageous acts of the Israeli military on Monday, May 31 to the Freedom Flotilla which was trying to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. Israeli commandos boarded the ships in international waters and killed at least ten people for the ‘crime’ of trying to bring humanitarian aid to Palestinians.”

Aby continued, “The Freedom Flotilla was a convoy of six ships carrying 700 activists, political leaders and journalists from over 20 countries. They were taking around 10,000 tons of basic aid, including food, educational supplies, medicines and construction material to break the brutal and illegal Israeli blockade on Gaza.”

Activists who were trying to bring humanitarian aid were taken hostage by the Israeli government. Some of them have been released and they are speaking out against their attack. Their reports include the following information:

  • They used concussion grenades, sound bombs and pellets against the ships. People were attacked by the Israeli navy by plastic bullets, electric shocks and physical attacks.
  • Mihalis Grigoropoulos from Greece told Aljazeera, “We did not resist at all, we couldn't even if we had wanted to. What could we have done against the commandos who climbed aboard? The only thing some people tried was to delay them from getting to the bridge, forming a human shield. They were fired upon with plastic bullets and were stunned with electric devices.”
  • Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Israeli parliament, was on board the Miva Marmara, the ship that was the scene of a confrontation between activists and Israeli soldiers. That clash left at least ten people dead. She told CNN: "They started beating people. My head was smashed against the ground and they stepped on my head. They later cuffed me and put a bag over my head. They did that to everybody."

Groups organizing the rally urged an end to all U.S. aid to Israel. They stated, “Israel's criminal actions cannot be permitted to continue. The United States directly supports Israeli atrocities with billions of dollars of military and economic aid every year. All of our Senators and Congressional representatives have supported this aid. This must stop. We call for an immediate end to U.S. ties to Israel. Specifically as people in Minnesota, we call for an end to Minnesota economic ties and financial support of Israel's atrocities.”

The protest was organized by the Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Women Against Military Madness, the Anti-War Committee, International Jewish anti-Zionist Network - Twin Cities, Minnesota Break the Bonds, and Teachers Against Occupation.