United LEFT

**working for unity in action of all the LEFT in the UK** (previously known as the RESPECT SUPPORTERS BLOG)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gaza Convoy 2009 - Viva Palestina

Viva Palestina Convoy - some of the team.

Viva Palestina Convoy update:

Mudasir Saeed sent a message to the members of Gaza Convoy 2009.
Subject: Day 8 - When the people lead, the leaders will follow

The mile-long convoy of 100 plus vehicles and 315 drivers and peace activists today drive through the Moroccan/Algerian border in what is supposed to be a low key event, but the significance of that small journey can not be over estimated. Today’s border crossing will be recorded in the history books.

Morocco and Algeria agreed to put aside their differences to open their land border for the first time in 15 years for the sake of Palestine.

This wonderful gesture is something Condaleezza Rice failed to persuade the neighbouring countries to do - her last attempt before the departure of George W Bush was made in September.

But the peace mission and genuine humanitarian nature of the Viva Palestina convoy has melted the hearts of those on both sides of this vital land border. Despite their difference both sides have stepped aside for their mutual love and affection for the people of Palestine and, in particular to show their solidarity to the people of Gaza.

It is an astonishing gesture and both countries are to be congratulated on this generous move.

Another fine example of when people lead, the leaders will follow.

****NEWS FLASH*******

21:00 GMT…Update from the A Team…..

The convoy have been at the Algerian Border since early this morning. There have been thorough thorough thorough oh and did i mention thorough checks made by customs!!!!!. Whilst on the phone to Naveed, the loud cheering by the Algerian people could be heard. Naveed reported that hundreds of Algerians have been waiting eagerly just outside the border since dawn to recieve the convoy, but the convoy has been continuously stalled by the police with different excuses given every hour. The drivers fear that they will be made to travel in the dark of night.

There is a growing suspician that the authorities want to minimise public exposure of the convoy, to avoid public pressure on its government to provide humanitarian aid to the palestinians. It appears that the Moroccan Government may have shared this motive, when they provided a police escort to the convoy. At first the drivers felt that the police escort was a novelty. But the police avoided the planned original route in Morocco where rallies had been organised such as that in Casablanca.

Despite the interventions of certain governments and the lack of interest by the mainstream media, it is encouraging to see that people know and seek the truth about Palestine. Whatever maybe the agenda of the governments, what is certain is that the people’s hearts and minds are all in support of the Palestinian cause. And that Freedom to Palestine is no longer an Islamic or Arabic issue – its now an issue of right or wrong between justice and injustice, weather you are a Muslim, Jew, Christian or any other religion, faith or background. Viva Palestina!!!

Subject: Quick Update on Day 8

How a negative can turn into a positive…..

February 22nd, 2009

21st February 2009

Inital reports showed the Algerian authorities were somewhat stalling the convoy at the border, and indeed this was the case. however I have just learnt that after all the comotion, delays and checks, the convoy crossed the border and the Algerian authorities have provided fuel to fill up the vehicles. Im sure if the likes of Shell, BP or Esso advertised that they would provide free fuel for any cars that came through their stations, hundreds of us would gladly queue, many throughout the night to benefit from a full tank of fuel, on the house.

In this instance we are talking about free fuel for not one but many vehicles all on the house courtesy of Algeria just outside Maghnia!

It just goes to show, some things that start off negative can lead to a positve outcome…..

TEXT UPDATE: Naveed from the A Team 00:25 (GMT)

"Salaam we went through centre and hundreds of people here, it was amazing as its somthing we have never seen before. There were hundreds of people on the streets cheering. We were on the roof of our van, hanging off the back ladder with Mudasir tannoy. It was top, even the police are cheering 'Allah Hu Akbar'. The youths, kids and men were hugging us...a 15yr old boy told me that even the muslims who drink came on the street to shout 'Allah Hu Akbar' and they make dua for us everyday to succeed.

We have come to a caravan site to sleep now"

More update:
by Farid Arada from Viva palestina Web Site
14.00 GMT
Sunday 22nd February
After spending the night in a caravan park, the convoy set off this morning at 08.30 towards the city of CHLEF(click map). Under police and gendarme escort,they hit some major trafic problems en route which slowed the pace down.They stopped on a couple of occasions for some rest. They are hoping to get to Chlef before dark.Then in the morning they will head for Algiers.I am told that they are bypasing the major cities to avoid congestion.

Viva Palestina
Full Story



At 7:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is great to see common people going to the support of Gaza.In New Zealand now the war is over,the news has stopped.Aussie bush fires have taken its place,they had a taste of what happended in Gaza,sadly.Itwould be nice if New Zealanders filled a shipping container with supplies and shipped it to gaza??
Good luck in your travels.Chris ,NZ.


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