Bi'lin protests at CRH involvement in apartheid wall, Irish cameraman arrested

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Date:

Friday April 30th Irish activists joined the weekly protests of the Palestinian community of Bil'in against the apartheid wall.  The focus this week was on the investment by the Irish Cement Roadstone Holdings company in an Israeli company that has a large portion of the contracts for building the wall.  As usual the military attacked the protesters with tear gas and one Irish activist filmed the video below of this attack and his subsequent arrest.

On Wednesday morning at 10.15 the IPSC will br protesting at the CRH shareholders meeting as part of their campaign to force CRH to disinvest from Israel.

A member of the Israeli group 'Anarchist Against the Wall' reported on the demonstration at Bi'lin as follows on Anarkismo.

April 30, 2010
Today’s Friday noon started wit a whole hour of speeches in a 1st of May Assembly organized by the Union of Palestine Workers. It included speeches in honor of International Workers’ Day and the struggle in Bil'in. After that meeting a march towards the route of the separation fence started - including the usual chants and flags waving.

The few hundred marches included the out of the village participants of the Union of Palestine Workers "guests", about two dozen Israelis of the anarchists against the wall initiative, and some internationals.

Prior to the the arrival of the mass of the demonstration, two Israeli activists approached the electronic fence and attempted to post on it WANTED flyers calling for the arrest of the soldier who shot Emad Rizka in the forehead at the Friday’s demonstration of the previous week. When soldiers approached them, they moved away, and the soldiers arrested instead of them two Al-Jazeera TV cameramen who were sitting in a car by the fence.

When we arrived at the gate of the fence route, the soldiers were behind their concrete blocks mainly, and for about 10 minutes did nothing - not even replying to the calls to them or harassing the few who entered the route and hung flags on the electronic fence...

After a long wait, the shabab (youth) got bored and restless and started to through stones giving the state force excuse to start showering us with tear gas grenades. Soldiers fired the first rounds of tear gas into the crowd, and continued to launch tear gas deep into the protestors’ route. After most demonstrators retreated, the soldiers aggressively entered the village in waves in an effort to make arrests.

Four people were arrested today, including a female journalist and an international activist.

Injuries this week consisted of a girl who was struck from behind with a tear gas canister. Cameraman Haitham al-Khatib was also hit in his stomach by a canister. The international activist who was arrested was treated roughly by the soldiers, who ripped off his gas mask and threw him to the ground, resulting in a 3-inch gash on his leg and a wound to his ear.

Today’s demonstration was hailed IPSC in solidarity - for the actions of  the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign - which is organizing major demonstrations this week against the Irish multinational company CRH. CRH acquired a 25% shareholding in the Israeli group Mashav Initiating and Development Ltd, which is the holding company for Nesher Cement. Nesher is the sole Israeli cement company, meaning it supplies cement and building materials for the ongoing construction of the illegal Separation Wall, the Jerusalem Light Railway project, the illegal colonial settlements and the network of apartheid settler-only roads, underpasses, bridges and tunnels in occupied Palestine.

Demonstrators in today’s procession carried signs calling for CRH divestment from Israel, to coincide with the CRH annual general meeting that will take place on Wednesday, May 5.

 

"Bil'in sends a clear and angry message to Ireland's largested listed company; CRH that they should bring their complicity in Israel's human rights abuses in occupied Palestine to an end by divesting from the Israeli company Mashav. Over 8 years have passed since CRH invested in Israel, 7 years since the commencement of the illegal Apartheid-Annexation Wall and 5 since the International Court of Justice ruled that the wall was illegal yet CRH continue to blatantly ignore their complicity in Israels egregious human rights abuses of the Palestinian people."

Protest at CRH AGM: Divest From Apartheid Israel!

This year the CRH Annual General Meeting (AGM) starts at 11am Wednesday May 5th, in the Royal Marine Hotel, Marine Road in Dun Laoghaire.

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) is asking as many people as possible to mobilise to make a BIG noise outside the hotel and to send a clear message to CRH that they should bring their complicity in Israel's human rights abuses in occupied Palestine to an end by divesting from the Israeli company Mashav. We will be assembling at at 10.15am at the Catholic church plaza.

Marine Road is the big wide street which connects Georges Street down to the harbour. The entrance to the hotel is opposite the Catholic Church immediately after the Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre.

We hope many of you can make it along to this important protest.

For more information about CRH's involvement with Israel's Apartheid Wall and other projects, please see http://www.ipsc.ie/crhdivest

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