Monday, November 24, 2008
In the US, Thanksgiving Day is a traditionally a day of feasting and giving thanks to God. In the Gaza Strip in Palestine, bread is a staple food that people usually get fresh from a local bakery. This supply lasts only a day or two. This is not much different from the days when Jesus taught his followers the words: "Give us this day our daily bread."
Egypt and Israel have virtually cut off the flow of people, food, medicine, fuel, and other goods into and out of the Gaza Strip. With the financial, diplomatic, and military backing of the United States government, 1.5 million people are being subjected to collective punishment in violation of international law. On Saturday, November 22, 2008, the United Nations announced that half of Gaza's bakeries were closed due to lack of electricity, fuel, or grain. Remaining bakeries have begun grinding second-rate wheat, usually fed to farm animals and birds, due to grain shortages. Human wheat supplies ran out last weekend as Israeli and Egyptian border guards turned away truckloads of donated food and medication, according to Abd An-Nasser Al-Ajrami, the head of the Gaza Strip Society of Mill Owners.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year, many people will have the day off from work. On that day, you are invited to join members of the Middle East Task Force of Ann Arbor at the corner of Liberty and Main street in Ann Arbor from 3 PM until 5 PM as we nonviolently protest. We will draw attention to the siege of Gaza by holding signs in support of human rights in Palestine and by passing out leaflets (see attached and below).
When: Friday, November 28, 2008
Time: 3 PM to 5 PM
Where: Corner of Liberty and Main, Ann Arbor
Our children are in danger. ... it’s a real hell here. People are starving, in very bad condition, starving in darkness. And in silence. There is a kind of international silence towards what’s happening here. We need a real reaction from the international community to what is happening here, real action, not just words and statements.–Amjad Al Shawa, Director of the Palestine Network of NGOs in Gaza qtd. in "Gaza Strip: starving in darkness" by Kristen Ess. Palestine News Network. 11/19/08.
Last week we were unable to feed 60,000 of Gaza's neediest refugees due to our warehouses running out of food. UNRWA supplies half of Gaza's population of 1.5 million people with emergency rations, and 20,000 people are fed per day when there are adequate supplies.–John Ging, Director of UN Relief and Welfare Agency qtd. in "On Top of Humanitarian Disaster, A News Blackout" by Cherrie Heywood. Inter Press Service. 11/18/08.
The US-backed regimes of Israel and Egypt have sealed the Gaza Strip's borders. Most of the Gaza Strip is without power due to lack of fuel, and the United Nations has been forced to stop food distribution to those in need. The humanitarian situation is dire for the people in the Gaza Strip, most importantly the children. Gaza is home to 1.5 million Palestinians, 80% of whom are refugees denied by Israel the right to return to the homes from which they were expelled by the Zionist occupation in 1948.
Demand an End to the Siege of the Gaza Strip
and the Occupation of All of Palestine!
Organize Street Actions and Protests
Call/Write the Media and Your Congressional Representatives
Organize Community Meetings and Delegations
to Religious Leaders and Educators
Donate to Help the People in Gaza!
To contact your congressional representatives, go to http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home
To contact the media, go to http://newslink.org
To donate and help the people in the Gaza Strip, go to http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html and simply follow the instructions. Indicate that your donation is for the GAZA EMERGENCY FUND.
DON'T DELAY! TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!