Saturday, July 29, 2006

Photos - Lebanese Protest in Dublin

I went to the Anti-the war in Lebanon protest held in Dublin today to get some photographs and to hear Michael D Higgins speak. At least I thought he was supposed to be there but he wasn't, maybe I was mistaken or maybe I got my protest marches mixed up. I took some photographs and I uploaded them here.

To be honest this is the second protest march about Lebanon in a week in Dublin. Protestors seem to march every second Saturday for some cause or other and it has devalued the whole act of protesting. Instead of creating activism they are creating apathy. Why hold a protest during the week if you are going to hold one at the weekend? You just push your protests to page 4 or 5 of the newspapers.

Personally while I agree that the Israeli response is disproportionate, I also think they had some justification in striking against militants. Sitting here in Ireland how am I to know who is right or who is wrong. As far as I can tell both sides are wrong and it's the civilians on both sides who suffer. It's clear the Israeli forces are bombing civilians. Hundreds have died, hundreds are injured and hundreds of thousands are homeless. They cant get food or even clean water. They cant get out and help cant get in because convoys are being bombed and the Israeli army wont agree to a ceasefire nor will they even guarantee the safety of convoys, as Fergal Keanes report on the BBC showed last night.

On the other hand it is also clear that the Hezbollah forces are hiding among the civilians and firing rockets from civilian areas whose only target is an area as general as a city. They know they will kill civilians and they also know that the Israelis will fire back and kill the civilians around them. Israeli civilians are also the targets of suicide bombers. There were no speakers present talking about Israeli victims, no Israeli flags, no one to speak out on behalf of the Israeli people opposed to what their government is doing. Were they invited? I doubt it. Sometimes I think if we forced politicians to personally fight gladiator style battles to settle disputes they would be a lot less willing to start wars.

There needs to be a ceasefire and there needs to be a serious military force put in to keep the two sides apart. I cant help but fear that Irish soldiers are going to end up back in Lebanon in the near future. Hopefully this time they will have a peace enforcing role and not just peace keeping because in a war both sides shoot at the peace keepers.

I saw Fergal Keanes report from South Lebanon last night on the BBC when he was in a convoy that came under attack from unknown artillery. Keane is one of the best television journalists on TV at the moment. His reports and his bravery make for amazing watching. You can watch some of them here. [via DjMagra]

Update: RedMum informs me Michael D did give a speech, afterwards, when the march ended at the Central Bank. I didnt realise there would be more speeches there and had long since wandered away for coffee and a newspaper, my attention span not being what it should be :-)

No comments: