There have been daily protests against Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip for weeks after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7.
By Saturday afternoon, the crowd was large and the demonstration was rounded off with a long torchlight procession.
Both children and adults chanted boycotts and free Israel, Palestine, and children dying in Gaza.
As a result of Israel’s attack, several thousand children are said to have died in the fighting in Gaza.
In hospitals, premature babies die because incubators lack electricity.
– Jonas Listen, children are dying in Gaza, protestors shout as a message to Norway’s prime minister.
Health is not good
Bergen’s former mayor Linn Engø (Ap) appealed in the hope that his own party would listen.
– The images of premature babies from the incubator made me physically sicker than I could have imagined, he said in his speech to the crowd.
Someone has a son born prematurely this fall. He is now a few months old and is healthy and well after spending the beginning of his life in an incubator in Hackland.
Politicians Kathryn Nottvedt (MDG) and Keir Kell Andersland (V) also appealed. Åse Sælensminde did the same at the Palestinian group in Bergen. A few hours later, many demonstrators carried torches and marched on a train through Festplassen and across Storr Lungartswann.
First there was a minute’s silence for all the children who died in Gaza.
– It’s great to see so many people coming out, and the power of all the voices calling for a free Palestine, says Phoebe Tobey.
He is the Festival Director of Arabesque Filmfest and is one of many involved.
– It was even more beautiful to see how many people took part in the torch light procession around Lille-Lungeren! He says it really felt like a community standing with the Palestinian people and against the bombing of Gaza.
Gathered at Møhlenpris
A few hours before the demonstration, there was full activity at the Vitality Center in Møhlenpris.
Arabesque Filmfest organized a Palestinian flag sewing event to show its support and sympathy to the Palestinian people.
On the sidewalk, pieces of cloth were cut. In Djervin’s office, pieces of cloth were being laundered. In another office, pieces of fabric were sewn together into finished flags.
In total, they expect to produce approximately 30 Palestinian flags during the day.
– I think it’s wonderful. It has reached more people than those who registered through Facebook. Dobe says we have a good situation.
Both friends, acquaintances, members of the film festival and complete strangers attended the event.
They will buy part of the flags themselves, and the rest will be given to the Palestinian shop Handala. All profits go to Doctors Without Borders.
– Next week we will be showing at the sewing flags and demonstrations, so if there is anyone who wants to participate in sewing together, we will have more information about the time and place on our social media soon, says Toby.
– More productive than angry at home
There are several reasons why a film festival should be involved in this way:
- They are raising money to help victims in Gaza.
- In this way, people can come together in these difficult times to come up with something productive and positive.
- The festival director thinks it’s important to use one’s voice when something so horrific happens in Arabic-speaking countries.
- Now it will be difficult to buy Palestinian flags in Bergen.
- With such determination, they can put pressure on the authorities.
- Norwegians can also show the people in Palestine that they support them.
– When our name is Arabesque Filmfest, it would be strange not to do or say something in this situation. It’s not an us-them problem. It’s us and us, says Tobey.
They got the idea to sew their own flags from Western Sahara.
– Since their flags are illegal, they sew their own flags.
The festival manager thinks it is important to use one’s voice when such horrific events are happening in the Arab world.
– He says it’s more effective than being angry at home alone.
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