Burlington, VT– An emergency response action at U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy’s office in Burlington, VT took place yesterday protesting the Israeli government’s violent attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Over 50 people went into Sen. Leahy’s office and spoke to Leahy’s VT Director, Chuck Ross. They demanded that all Israeli aid from the U.S. ends until Israel: -releases the 6 ships and frees the passengers; ends the blockade of Gaza; ends violent acts against civilians and ends the occupation of the Palestinian territories and the Golan Heights. At least five peace organizations organized the protest including Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel, International Socialist Organization, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Pax Christi Burlington and the Peace and Justice Center.
Protesters also told Leahy’s spokesperson that the solidarity ship, The Rachel Corrie, is headed toward Israel and strongly demanded that Leahy makes sure no action is taken against that ship. The Rachel Corrie is owned and operated by the Irish arm of the Free Gaza Movement named for Rachel Corrie. Rachel was an American member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who was killed in the Gaza Strip by an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) bulldozer on March 16, 2003 while attempting to prevent IDF forces from demolishing the home of a local Palestinian.