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London Al Quds Day 2015 - Photo Video report
14 July 2015
Al Quds Day - the last friday of Ramadan - is an international day of the oppressed when people from all backgrounds and beliefs, from across the world - from Nigeria to China, from Cuba to South Africa, from Canada to Indonesia, come together united in solidarity with Palestine.
It was established 36 years ago on 16th August 1979, on the first Ramadan after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, that Imam Khomeini inaugurated Al-Quds Day, the last friday of Ramadan, as a day for solidarity with the oppressed in the world, in particular the oppressed of Palestine. He said: "Al Quds Day is the day for the weak and oppressed to confront the arrogant powers". Every year since that day, without exception, we have seen Al Quds Day demonstrations all around the world.
For more information on Al Quds Day:
Al Quds Day - Is it for you?
The London 2015 Al Quds Day was on 10th July 2015. Thousands of people, from all walks of life, from all faiths and none, from all ethnicities and cultures came together for the annual Al Quds Day in London. They came in coaches from different cities in the UK, some from as far as Scotland. United for Palestine they marched past the BBC chanting "BBC shame on you!.. BBC tell the truth!" and along some of London's busiest streets - down Regent Street past Oxford Street, along the way shaming the businesses that are complicit in Israel's colonisation and ethnic cleansing of Palestine. They marched on the US Embassy in London - the biggest financier and supporter of Israel's genocide of the Palestinians - for a rally. An excellent cross-section of speakers addressed the rally including a Sheikh and a Rabbi, activists from Inminds Palestinian Prisoners Campaign, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG), Stop the War Coalition, IHRC, Scottish PSC, Freedom Flotilla, and student associations. As is customary the rally commenced with a recitation of the Holy Quran and ended with Dua Wahda.
Video of all the speeches, as well as photos from the event, are included below.
VIDEO - Huge crowds chanting Palestine Free! Free!
Palestinian Child Prisoners Speech at Al Quds Day
VIDEO - Inminds Palestinian Prisoners Campaign speech by Sandra
I am from the Palestinian Prisoners Campaign, a campaign that was launched by Inminds 3 years ago, here, at Al Quds Day in 2012.
I want to talk to you about Palestinian child prisoners that are being caged in Israeli dungeons.
Last year Israel abducted 1266 Palestinian children - that's one child taken from their parents every 7 hours. Some of the children are as young as 12 years old. In the middle of the night the soldiers come and knock on your door, if you dont open the door they smash it down. Then they take all the children away for interrogation, shacked and blindfolded. With no reason given other than a general suspicion of stone throwing.
600 of the children were taken from Jerusalem alone, 40% of those young children were sexually assaulted by the Israeli soldiers during arrest or interrogation.
During interrogation 75% of Palestinian children detained by Israel are physically tortured.
Two companies operating in Britain that are fully complicit in these crimes against Palestinian child prisoners is the private security contractor G4S and the computer company Hewlett Packard. G4S secures Israel's prisons and interrogation centres, providing and maintaining perimeter defence systems, central command rooms and other essential security systems, where children are tortured and caged. Hewlett Packard provides the IT infrastructure, servers and software systems that enables Israel's torture dens and dungeons to stay operational. We regularly protest outside the headquarters of both these guilty companies in London and urge everyone to boycott them. Hewlett Packard, the printer company, is one company we all come in contact with and one we should all boycott.
I want to give one example of 5 boys we are campaigning for - the Hares Boys. In March 2013, in the early hours of the morning, the Israeli occupation forces raided the Palestinian village of Hares on the West Bank and abducted the children - 19 of them were violently tortured at Al Jalame Interrogation Centre in Israel for 3 weeks, caging them three floors below the surface in solitary 'hole in the ground' 1m by 2m cells. Their only escape being the interrogation chamber. To force confessions the children were beaten and sexual threats were made of dragging the female members of the boys families naked to the interrogation room. They forced confessions from five of the boys of "stone throwing" which carries a sentence of up to 20 years. Following their interrogation the five children, all 16 years old, were moved to Mediggo prison in Israel where they have been caged for over two years now without having been found guilty of crime.
We received a message from the mother of one of the boys - Ali Shamlawi, which I would like to read out:
"I am the mother of Ali Shamlawi who was abducted by the Israeli army about 27 months ago. He did not exceed 16 years of age when they took him, falsely accusing him of throwing stones. He was taken to Al Jalame interrogation centre, there he was subjected to the ugliest forms of torture and humiliation during the long hours of interrogation without a lawyer. He was deprived of food and drink and they did not let him to use the bathroom. For 21 days they tortured and threatened him, and caged him in a narrow and dirty cell in Al Jalame.
Then they transferred him to Megiddo prison and indicted him on 25 charges including 20 attempted murders! They produced 60 witnessed against my son, yet not one of them saw anyone throwing a stone!
My son has been deprived of his childhood and his studies and his family. They took him from my lap and deprived me of seeing him growing up. He is at the age that he needs me to look after him.
Israel commits the most heinous crimes against our children in prisons, assisted by the company G4S. I call upon G4S, in the name of humanity to stop helping Israel committing crimes against our children. They must know that our children are human beings and deserve to live in dignity and freedom, like all the other children in the world.
I believe in the innocence of my son, as I believe that the sun will shine no matter how long the night, and that injustice does not last.
Freedom to Palestine, freedom to our children, freedom for all the prisoners from Israeli jails.
Thank you to the peace activists around the world and to each of the calls for justice and peace."
signed Um Fadi, mother of Ali Shamlawi
We at the Palestinian Prisoners Campaign hold regular protest in solidarity with the prisoners and against the companies that are complicit in their torture and caging. But we need your help. If you can spare a couple of hours a month to stand up for Ali and other caged children, to be the voice of the tortured young souls languishing in those dark dungeons, we want to hear from you. I have a clip board and an empty sheet of paper, I will be standing under that 7m giant Palestinian flag pole. Come talk to me and give me your email address, even if you are not sure you can commit, its ok, we will keep you informed of our actions and when the time is right for you, perhaps you can join in.
Thank you Free Palestine!
I just want to finish with a personal story.
I am Palestinian, my father was born in Akka-Acre in 1927. He had a neighbour and a friend, called Kheiri Hubeishi; they would walk to school together, and spend some time after school playing, as children do, before walking back home together. As we all know, zionist-free serenity reigned in that time.
One morning, Kheiri tells my father: " Wadi, I can't play this afternoon, I have to go straight home after school; my grandfather, Jeddi, passed away last night.
My father replied: "Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss, Kheiri, when is the funeral? when are you going to church?" Kheiri looks up at him and says :"Wadi, we do not go to church, we are Muslim!".
I am recounting this story, because it represents the true Face of Palestine; it represents the true Nature of Palestine, it represents the true Spirit of Palestine,
And that spirit must be reflected in the struggle for its liberation - we must put aside sectarianism and unite for Palestine.
Long live that Spirit of unity.
Long live Palestine!
VIDEO - Protest reaches BBC
VIDEO - Mick Napier, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
VIDEO - Starts with recitation of Al Quran
VIDEO - Mohammed Araki, Association of Islamic Students
VIDEO - Mike Cushman Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG)
VIDEO - John Rees, Stop the War Coalition
VIDEO - Rabbi Shimon Keyes, Neturei Karta
VIDEO - Martin Lejeune, Freedom Flotilla to Palestine
VIDEO - Sheikh Gulam Hurr Shabbiri, Luton Masjid Ali
VIDEO - Rally Outside US Embassy
VIDEO - Massoud Shadjareh, IHRC director
VIDEO - Ends with Dua al Wahda (Prayer for Unity)
VIDEO - Al Quds Day March (courtesy Mr Alex Seymour)
Also Of Interest
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