Oh, how I wish I’d had my camera this morning!
From the taxi down the Airport Road this morning, I saw a garishly amazing vehicle. It must have been an ambulance once; it still had “AMBULANCE” spelled backwards on the bonnet. It had rows of squares of colored reflective tape on all sides, and from either side of the back door flew Irish and Palestinian flags. Stamped across its sides were “Gaza Freedom March,” “Viva Palestina” and “Derry Anti War Coalition.”
Then I arrived at work and opened my email, and what should I find in my Inbox but a message from Jewish Voice for Peace to support their Gaza Freedom March through solidarity events and a petition urging the Egyptian government to let the convoy through. I’ve blogged about Jewish Voice for Peace before, and believe that this is the way peace in Israel/Palestine has to be achieved: through coalitions that include Palestinians, Israelis and voting citizens of Western governments with interests in the region.
But I was curious. I wanted a good picture of that crazy ambulance I’d seen on the Airport Road. I googled “Derry Anti War Coalition,” and found something completely different from what I expected. DAWC made a big splash back in 2006 in response to Israel’s attack on Lebanon, which was aided by bunker-buster missiles manufactured by an American company, Raytheon, in a plant in Derry, Ireland. Some coalition members, dubbed the “Raytheon 9,” blockaded themselves inside the Raytheon facility for days, and were later tried under anti-terrorism laws. Last year, they were found not guilty. I have been unable, however to find anything about their ambulance travelling (presumably) to Gaza.
I did, however, learn a little more about Viva Palestina, under whose umbrella DAWC is sending its ambulance. There’s been plenty of reporting on their caravan of ambulances, lorries and other vehicles making its way from London through Europe, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt to the Rafah Crossing into the Gaza Strip. They’ve been picking up participants all along the way, in addition to having the very public support of British Member of Parliament George Galloway.
And finally I found it. You can catch glimpses of the DAWC ambulance at the beginning and end of this video, as well as seeing many other fantabulous vehicles.