MEMBERS of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Lewisham Stop the War Coalition were out in Lewisham High Street last Saturday 16th December, bringing home to the Christmas shoppers the reality of life for Palestinians under Israeli occupation.
With some supporters in traditional Palestinian dress and others in costume as Israeli soldiers, they enacted the humiliating procedures and searches that Palestinian people have to go through every day in their own country just to travel from one part to another.
Painted cardboard stood in for the notorious Israeli “apartheid wall” dividing the West Bank and those wishing to pass had to produce documents carrying information on their identity, educational and work record and their alleged political views and activities.
But when “Condoleezza Rice” (a campaigner in a mask) arrived with a bag containing billions of dollars, the guards at the wall welcomed her and allowed her through with no security checks.
Shoppers were asked how they would feel if they had to show such documents to soldiers of a foreign occupying force just to be allowed to go about their daily business.
Leaflets were distributed and petition signatures collected. Later the campaigners took part in a peace vigil, calling for British troops to be withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan.
There was a short candle-lit walk, speeches and singing by the Strawberry Thieves.