On Saturday last, May 22nd, a small but vocal group of people took to the streets of Drogheda to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The Drogheda gathering was just one of 23 protests, rallies and vigils being held around the country in response to the violence that has erupted in Gaza and the West Bank in recent weeks.
During the 11 days of violence, 284 people were killed in Gaza, 69 of who were children and 40 were women. Another 8,900 people were injured.
Although an official ceasefire was announced on the 21st of May 2021, the protest wanted to recognise that a ceasefire does not mean an end to the ongoing occupation and human rights violations. Palestinians are under attack every day from the violence and colonial oppression.
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The protesters in Drogheda chanted that Israel was an Apartheid State and that it is time for Ireland to take further action such as enacting the Occupied Territories Bill.
Chants continued throughout the afternoon of ‘Free, free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
The organiser of the event Stephanie Kirwan who visited the West Bank in 2017 on a human rights mission said that having witnessed daily life under (Israeli) occupation, “I know we cannot remain silent.”
“We need to use our voice to highlight what is happening in Palestine and lobby our government to take real action such as enacting the Occupied Territories Bill and impose targeted sanction on those involved in Israel’s crimes of apartheid” she said.