About 20 activists from the IAWM, supported by members of the IPSC and others, carried out a surprise peaceful blockade of the Israeli Embassy from 7.30am this morning. This is the sixth time that the Embassy has been blockaded since the nine Turkish peace activists were murdered by Israeli commandos on 31 May.
Activists arrived to find a solitary Garda who enquired what was going on. When activists told him of their intention to blockade the Embassy and prevent the Israeli Ambassador from entering he expressed surprise that a bulletin to that effect had not been issued!! He quickly called for Garda reinforcements.
The activists covered all the entrances to the Embassy with colourful banners, look-alike military watch towers, placards, and Palestinian flags. The main entrance was completely closed off by the activists who stood in front of it. There was huge solidarity from passing motorists who beeped their horns in support. A German tourist stopped to offer support and made a big donation to the movement. Some neighbours came to join the protest.
At about 9.30am the Garda moved protesters back from the rear basement entrance and erected barricades. The signal of the mobile phones of activists were mysteriously jammed for at least fifteen minutes around this time. Two black cars then sneaked up the back lane and in through this entrance. Cllr. Richard Boyd Barrett, Chair of the IAWM, attempted to protest at the cars by walking through the gap to the side of the barricade. He was forced back by four members of the Garda. The activists mobile phones then mysteriously worked again.
Cllr. Boyd Barrett later said:
"It is disappointing that the Irish Government waste so many Garda resources protecting the Israeli Ambassador. This flies in the face of the Government claims to sympathise with the Palestinian cause. The Irish Anti War Movement intend to continue with these blockade protests as it is clear that support from passers-by and motorists that the vast majority of Irish people support the Palestinian cause. We are happy to cause inconvenience to the Israeli Ambassador as a protest against what the Israeli State is doing in Palestinian with its continued ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and the illegal siege of Gaza."
The IAWM calls for: