100 Activists Shut Down Swedish Foreign Ministry
On Friday July 14th, the Stockholm-based Campaign for Solidarity with Palestine launched its first action by blocking the entrance to the Foreign Ministry building in the Swedish capital. 100 activists formed a human chain at the front gate for 2 hours, and delivered a letter of protest to a representative of the Ministry. Police tried to break them up by means of violent pushes, pepper spray and dogs. One activist was lightly injured by spray to his eyes and another one arrested.
After two hours of blocking and chanting, with considerable media attention, the Swedish Foreign Minister himself, Mr. Jan Eliasson, came out and spoke with Shora Esmailian, media spokesperson for the Campaign. Mr Eliasson addressed the crowd, but was met by hoots and chants, and retreated to the building.
The Campaign for Solidarity with Palestine is made up of numerous activist groups in Stockholm including International Solidarity Movement, Anti-Fascist Action and the Swedish section of the Fourth International. The Campaign demands an immediate reversal of hypocritical Swedish policies that support the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, and calls for an end to all military and diplomatic relations with the state of Israel until its wars of aggression in Gaza and Lebanon cease.
Israeli checkpoint comes to Stockholm’s central square
On Saturday, July 15, 2006: As bombs fell on Beirut and Gaza, an Israeli checkpoint was set up in Stockholm on the Mynttorget, a central square facing the Parliament. This was one in the series of direct actions constituting the Campaign for Solidarity with Palestine. In the middle of the Saturday afternoon crowd, Swedish activists used political theater to raise awareness about illegal checkpoints and about the Israeli occupation in general. 20 activists acting as Palestinians were “shot” and lay on the ground covered in fake blood. At the same time the Israeli soldiers that were in control of the checkpoint threatened the Palestinians who were still alive. All the bypassers that looked Israeli were allowed to pass through the checkpoint (they were told why), but the ones with an Arab appearance had to go through ID-control, humiliation and abuse from the soldiers. One of the Israeli soldiers was walking around with a megaphone shouting what he thought of the Palestinians.