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4 Jun, 2010 20:52

Antiwar activists around the world take on Gaza

Global protests have erupted over Israel’s decision to use military force to block aid ships carrying 10,000 tons of aid and 800 activists and politicians on their way to Gaza.

Reports indicate that at least nine activists were killed and many others injured as Israeli military forces boarded one of the ships.

Protests have broken out across the United States, in part because of the work of the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, one of the primary organizers behind the anti-Israel protest movement.

“We’re calling for a complete end to all US military and economic aid to Israel because that aid, taxpayers’ money from the United States to the tune of $15 million each and every day, finances and funds Israel’s non-stop war against the people of Gaza,” said Brian Becker, of the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition.

The United States has continued to back Israel and appears poised to maintain its support of the country, despite public outcry.

“The United States perceives Israel as something of a military extension, a garrison state located in this very important part of the world where two-thirds of the world’s oil is. I think they see that the Israeli government is an extension of the Pentagon,” said Becker.

As protests continue to expand globally, Israel is becoming more and more isolated. Similarly, as Americans become more aware and outraged over the situation in Gaza, the Obama administration is becoming isolated from its own people as well as from its allies.

Becker said he and other activist groups are working to change the political climate in the US at the grassroots level. The hope is that by educating and mobilizing the American people, as they did during the Vietnam era, the people can become a true force.

“The American people have to become the players, the actors, the political movers and shakers for change,” said Becker. He continued, “The power is in the people.”