Egypt’s shameful ban on freedom marchers

Laura Durkay reports from Cairo on the efforts of the Gaza Freedom Marchers to show their solidarity with Palestine—and the crackdown by Egyptian authorities.

Socialist Worker, January 4, 2010

Participants in the Gaza Freedom March call for an end to the siege at a Cairo protest (Mike Connolly)Participants in the Gaza Freedom March call for an end to the siege at a Cairo protest (Mike Connolly)

IN THE last week of 2009, 1,360 activists from 43 countries converged on Cairo for the Gaza Freedom March. We intended to enter Gaza through the Rafah crossing, controlled by Egypt, for a display of mass international solidarity with the Palestinian people on the one-year anniversary of Israel’s punishing attack that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and injured thousands more.

Organizers in the U.S., Gaza and around the world spent the past six months planning a December 31 march of Palestinians and internationals to the Eretz crossing with Israel, in the north of the Gaza Strip–plus two days of meetings and trips to the areas of Gaza most heavily damaged by Israel’s attack. Many people were calling it the largest-ever gathering of international solidarity activists in Palestine.

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