Saturday, 25 September 2010

Kia Ora Gaza - Breaking the siege of Palestine

The Kia Ora Gaza team and the entire Viva Palestina 5 convoy continues its way through Europe. Daily reports are featuring on the Kia Ora Gaza website.

I thought the following summary by Omar Hameed as Socialist Aotearoa was particularly pertinent.

It’s sickening to watch the Delhi Commonwealth games descends into utter shambles and absurdity with pampered athletes moaning about their (obviously unclean) accomodation in a country where the population of people living in slums is set to be 93.06 million next year.

23 times the population of Aotearoa living in
houses without access to drinking water, toilets or drainage and yet the major story is that the building dust hasn’t been cleaned out of the bathrooms. For many Indians it would be nice just to have a bathroom.

On the other hand one Kiwi team we should be all cheering for is the Kia Ora Gaza crew, trekking their way across Europe on the way to break the siege of Palestine. With nearly $90k of their $100k target raised these activists have strengthened and demonstrated the support for the Palestinian people in this country.

As Chris Van Ryn, one of the activists on board the convoy described life on the road,
It’s hard. It’s stressful. It’s uncomfortable.

And it’s so worth doing.

We’re here to do a job, not have a party. Our focus is to supply aid to suffering people in Gaza and break the globally condemned Israeli siege. That’s the thread binding our convoy together. For a month we put aside our own needs for the much greater needs of oppressed Palestinians.

The closer we get to Gaza, the stronger our feeling for the one-and-a-half million people imprisoned on that small strip of land. We feel their plight.
Hundreds of determined people being supported by thousands of ordinary people around the world, united in their determination to rebuild international co-operation and solidarity between people through hard work and shared physical hardship. You won't find it at the Commonwealth games but you will find it with the courageous volunteers on the road to Palestine. This is one team to keep an eye on this spring.

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