Sidmouth residents join London demo against fighting in Gaza

PUBLISHED: 18:38 13 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:12 17 June 2010

TWELVE Sidmouth residents took part in a candle-lit vigil against current fighting in Gaza last Thursday before joining the 100,000 who took part in Saturday s London demonstrations. After the vigil outside Woolworths, £38 was donated for Medical Aid for

TWELVE Sidmouth residents took part in a candle-lit vigil against current fighting in Gaza last Thursday before joining the 100,000 who took part in Saturday's London demonstrations.

After the vigil outside Woolworths, £38 was donated for Medical Aid for Palestinians.

A spokesman for Sidmouth Campaign Against War (SCAW) said: "Local people can easily identify with the suffering people in Gaza, particularly when we put it in perspective."

The death toll is equivalent to eight or nine killed and 37 injured in Sidmouth alone over the past two weeks.

"Gaza is a coastal strip as long as Axmouth to Exmouth, stretching inland as far as Sidbury.

"In this area 1.5 million people, half of them children, are trapped in a cage being bombed and invaded by land, sea and air.

"Sidmouth people with friends in Israel told us they share the horror at what their government is doing."

They paid tribute to Israelis being imprisoned rather than be conscripted to fight.

A further vigil on Sidmouth High Street was planned for yesterday (Thursday).

Sidmouth resident Julie Shine was among the East Devon contingent during Saturday's demonstration.

She said: "It was freezing cold and it snowed on us! I met people from loads of different places, of all ages, races and religious persuasions.

"The protest was noisy, but peaceful. It started with a rally in Hyde Park with many speakers, including Annie Lennox and children's laureate Michael Rosen, who read a very moving poem he had written for the children of Gaza."

People were urged to write to their MPs calling for sanctions against Israel and banners urged them to boycott products from Israel.

Police were out in force to control the crowds and, said Julie, "there was a real fear that peaceful protesters might get trampled and crushed if they could not escape the mêlée."

Sidmouth resident, Robert Crick, unable to find his colleagues from Devon in the huge crowd, joined old friends marching under the Jews for Justice banner.

"We marched from Speakers' Corner through Bayswater and Kensington filling the roads for three hours.

"Just after I passed the rear entrance to the Israeli embassy I saw protestors throw shoes over the gates and symbolically set fire to a flag. Then the police retaliated and my section moved on and went home."

Sidmouth residents were joined 30 in Exeter to express anger at the fighting.


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