Gaza siege memorial
By Toban Black at Mar 09, 2009
Photos from a January rally here in London, Ontario, Canada -
Each of the balloons released at this memorial rally was supposed to represent one Palestinian who was killed during the recent siege of Gaza.
The rally was held before the end of the siege; otherwise more balloons would have been released.
There also were at least a few more balloons at the protest that aren't visible in the my photos.
I don't know where the death toll figures were obtained, and I don't know how many balloons actually were released, so I can't comment on how reliable those statistics were. But even if we had precise counts, those numbers only would be indications of the wider devastation that warfare like this entails. Numbers can only begin to convey such wide-ranging devastation -- which is largely beyond the reach of our systems of quantification. (Numbers ultimately can't completely convey human misery, for example).
The memorial rally was held beside a European war memorial cenotaph, which is visible along the right side of the above photos.
Every year, locals gather around that war cenotaph on 'Rememberance' Day.
Here are some 'Rememberance' Day photos that I have posted on Flickr -
So far, all of the photos with that tag were taken around the cenotaph beside where the Gaza siege memorial rally was held.
There are other photos from that memorial rally online here.
I have posted written remarks with some of those other photos (to distance myself from the nationalist flags in the photos, for instance).
Others posted comments posted below these two photos awhile back -
After posting those pro-Palestinian photos, I posted a collection of links to photos of Jews and Israelis who have publicly objected to the siege of Gaza.
In other blog posts I also have taken steps towards challenging the usual black and white zero-sum framing of the conflict in and around the occupied territories -
- "End the Siege of Gaza rally in London, Ontario"
- "Calling for peace"
- "In Israel during the siege of Gaza"
- "A shared Palestinian-Israeli future"
As I have been indicating, there is some Jewish-Palestinian and Israeli-Palestinian solidarity out there. More of such solidarity will be necessary to end the ongoing combat under and around the Israeli state.
As an environmentalist, I see the memorial rally balloons as a form of pollution. Yet, I also realize that the memorial was a way of objecting to a military siege that has entailed various environmental devastation (given airplane exhaust, given missile debris, etc, etc); so even if the balloons are viewed from the perspective of someone who is only concerned about environmental issues, this hypothetical, imaginary person should see some justification for the waste and pollution that releasing those balloons entailed -- given how the rally was held to condemn a military siege which happened to have a range of detrimental ecological consequences. I certainly am not quot;someone who is only concerned about environmental issues" though. The rally organizers also obviously had a much different focus. They were highlighting human death tolls during the siege of Gaza.
Here's an October article about anti-ecological outcomes due to the invasion and occupation of Iraq -
Press TV - "Iraq: US war caused environmental disaster"