As part of the Global Day of Action for Gaza, members of the Industrial Workers of the World, along with thousands of community and trade unionists, took to the streets throughout Ireland. The demand was for an immediate end to the terror inflicted upon the population of Gaza by the Israeli state, as well as a St Patrick's day boycott of celebrations in Washington.
Demonstrations were held in Cork and Derry with one of the largest seen in Dublin, coordinated by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Committee and exceeding expected figures everywhere. Rallies in all of the locations heard each of the speakers condemn the horrific atrocities carried out by Israel as the death toll in both Gaza and the West Bank rapidly reaches an estimated 30,000.
Speakers commended South Africa for their legal action in bringing the Israeli regime before the International Court of Justice for genocide of the Palestinian people.
There was also a clear message from the platforms to Irish politicians in this election year to not travel to Washington for the annual Saint Patrick's day celebrations.
In Dublin, veteran Civil Rights activist Bernadette McAliskey was one of the speakers who didn’t mince her words when castigating local politicians thinking of going off shaking the blood-soaked hands of Joe Biden. Demanding a blanket boycott of St Patrick’s Day junkets to Washington, McAliskey rightly accused Biden of “enabling genocide”.
“Who in their right mind and conscience, on the national day of a country that freed itself from oppression, would go to America and give the bastard a bunch of fecking shamrocks?
“It is not much to ask. Weigh up the corpses of Gaza against a jolly in the United States.”
A spokesperson from the Industrial Workers of the World stated during protest in Derry: "Today’s global day of action has been one of the largest ever in solidarity with the people of Palestine. It's even more symbolic when you hear of thousands upon thousands of similar demonstrations taking place around the world at the same time to echo that call. It's equally symbolic knowing that we here in Derry are taking the same route as the original Civil Rights demonstration that weaved through the streets. People around us feel the importance of that connection of the past to today's fight for justice with the people of Palestine.
"The trade union involvement in the global day of action is vital to express our solidarity with the workers of Palestine and the call for an immediate ceasefire now. Workers have been deliberately targeted and executed by the Israeli regime, from healthcare workers and the very same hospitals that care for the wounded and injured to the very journalists who help bring the world the news of such atrocities. It is a deliberate and calculated targeting of an unarmed population.
"The labour movement, trade unionists, should be at the forefront of this struggle to help end the genocide, to help end the apartheid regime that has occupied and caused terror to the lives of workers across Palestine. Those who ignore the facts and remain silent are complicit. We support the calls from the Palestine Solidarity Committees in Ireland for a Boycott of the Whitehouse while atrocities are being funded and protected by Biden and his cronies. It is unacceptable that this can be allowed to happen at a time such as this.
"Over the coming weeks actions such as protests need to be increased. Also, the BDS movement needs all our support as we know how effective it has been when challenging the apartheid regime in South Africa. We are calling for an immediate ceasefire in Palestine."
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Images taken during Derry Palestine March and Rally 13th January 2024