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Home | Friday 11th June 2010 | Issue 726

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The sole remaining ship of the ill-fated Freedom Flotilla (see SchNEWS 725), the MV Rachel Corrie, was stormed by Israeli commandos last Saturday (5th). With the peace activists on board detained, the ship was towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod. Four times, the crew on board had refused to accede to Israeli demands to divert to Ashdod and the ship was just a day’s sailing away from Gaza when it was hijacked. With the world watching, this time commandos refrained from the sort of all-out assault that left nine on the Mavi Marmara dead and no one was harmed. On Sunday (6th), five Irish activists were released and returned home.

On Saturday (5th), 20,000 people marched through central London in protest against Israel’s brutal attack on the Flotilla and the continuing siege of Gaza. Over the last week there have been local demonstrations around the country, with hundreds marching in Bradford, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cambridge and Brighton. On Wednesday, around 30 people blockaded financiers of the occupation Lloyds Bank in Broadmead Shopping Centre in Bristol, shutting it down. The group then moved off and established a blockade at the bottom of the M32 motorway. The crowd were then attacked by police and one person was arrested.

Further Bristolian reaction had been seen last Monday in the form of a rage-fuelled rampage targeting financial supporters of the occupation for some extreme redevelopment. An estate agents, Tory office, Territorial Army HQ and an HSBC all had windows smashed, while the HSBC also had some interior design work, with red paint liberally sloshed about.

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