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Leith & North: Please email any news items to: news@leithandnorth.org.uk Demonstration against the Israeli attack on Gaza Aid Flotilla: May 2010 People lined behind a banner "Freedom for Palestine" , waving Palestinian flags. The  National Galleries Mound Complex is in the background

Hundreds of demonstrators flocked to Edinburgh's Mound, in the late afternoon sun of Monday May 31st, to express horror at Israel's night raid on a flotilla bringing supplies to blockaded Gaza. After listening to speeches, the crowd decided to march to the Israeli owned Caledonian Hotel and to Bute House, the official residence of First Minister Alec Salmond.

The Edinburgh demonstration was one of others held throughout Scotland in Aberdeen, Banff, Dundee, Glasgow, Inverness, Moffat and Stirling. Another demonstration will be held on The Mound, Edinburgh, this coming Saturday, June 5th at 2.00pm

Table on Princes St, with row of people signing petitions and a  woman in a green tee shirt handing out "Boycott Israel" stickers Nabil in his wheelchair holding up a camcorder for Celtic supporters Left <<<: People queueing to sign petitions.
Right >>>:
Actor and activist Nabil Shaban interviewing young people.
The crowd were reminded that the attack took place in International Waters and heard how the flotilla was carrying supplies including food, crutches, nappies and the controversial cement (outlawed by the blockading Israeli Government. There were well supported calls on the UK and Scottish Governments to take strong action, including the expulsion of the Israeli Ambassador, and condemnation of the punishing three year old blockade of Gaza; the siege has been labeled as "Medieval" by the United Nations.

Individual citizens were urged to boycott Israeli goods and services including, Eden Springs, Veolia Water, and Edinburgh's Caledonian Hotel. They can also lobby their MP calling on the British Government to break relations with Israel and condemn the blockade of Gaza, and they can call on their MSPs to urge Alec Salmond to add Scotland's voice to condemnation of the attack.

Woman in sapphire  jogging top speaking through loud hailer Young women in head scarves with Palestinian flags Left <<<: Ann Henderson of  the STUC pledging STUC support, with Carl Abernethy and Kevin Connor.
Right >>>:
Young people proudly showing their support for Palestine.
The six aid ships were travelling from Cyprus, and were boarded in international waters. Israeli Commandos landed on the largest ship by descending on ropes from helicopters. Some of the awakened activists on board responded, and the fully equipped Commandos opened fire. It is believed that ten people, thought to be Turkish, have been killed

People of all ages listening to speeches as buses go along Princes St

Carl Abernethy, who last year, co-founded Free Gaza Scotland with Theresa McDermott of Pilrig, Leith, was one of the speakers at the rally on the Mound. Carl said Theresa could be aboard the Irish vessel MV Rachel Corrie, which is still at sea and may still try to reach Gaza. All the rest of the convoy was escorted to the Israeli port of Ashdod.

Carl went on: "The Israelis have claimed that some of the boats were carrying weapons for use by terrorists, but our boats were fully examined before we left port [in Cyprus,] and were found to be carrying aid supplies only.

"The boats were carrying items that are restricted under the Israeli blockade including crayons, jam, paints, as well as medicines and wheelchairs. They were also carrying several tons of concrete for the rebuilding, which is also restricted."

"End Israeli War Crimes" banner being organised  with buses behind, while man with loud hailer explains what is happening

^^^ Above: Unfurling the banner to march down Princes St

The demonstration continued with an impromptu march along Princes St (with the support of Lothian & Borders Police). Demonstrators greeted a coach load of visitors to the hotel, while Kevin Connor on the loud hailer explained why the crowd had gathered. The march continued round Charlotte Square to Bute House. Knocks on the door revealed that the First Minister was not in, and the crowd dispersed around 7.00pm to return to The Mound.

Man with loud hailer surrounded by people waving Palestinian flags with Edinburgh Castle in the background People waving Palestinian flags outside the entrance to the Caledonian Hotel Left <<<: Protesters outside the Israeli owned Caledonian Hotel
Right >>>: Protesters outside the Caledonian Hotel
"End Israeli War Crimes" banner being organised  with buses behind,  with marchers  coming into Charlotte Square

^^^ Above: The marchers enter Charlotte Square, heading for the First Minister's Official Residence

A young woman with pink and orange dreadlocks and  two longhaired men A Palestinian flag with the words "Freedom for Palestine" wedged in the door knocker with a  "Boycott Israeli Goods" sticker Left <<<: Young people standing outside Bute House
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A calling card for the First Minister on the door of the Bute House
Eight women in African dress singing, clapping and dancing led by a ninth woman facing them

^^^ Above: Kevin Connor of Scottish Palestine Solidarity campaign on the steps of Bute House, Charlotte Square, calling on First Minister, Alec Salmond, to take action against the Israeli Government..

Scotland's For Peace web site >>>
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign web site >>>
Family tell of anxious wait for news of Theresa McDermott: Evening News, June 1st >>>
Q & A: Israeli raid on aid flotilla: BBC News, June 1st >>>
Justice & Peace Scotland >>>