January 24, 2009

It's the Benn Broadcasting Corporation!

This was going to be a post of Ellis Sharp's pics from today's demo against the BBC together with a bit of context from Lenin. I went to the demo, even took some pics of my own when it was nearly over and the youngsters started dancing and the police started arresting....one young woman of maybe 15.

Anyway, I just googled something about "demonstration" and "Gaza" and I stumbled on this interview with Tony Benn on the Beeb. It was before the demo that I hasten to point out has now taken place but it's worth a listen partly to get the details of the charities whose efforts the BBC is hindering for Israel and partly because it's a good performance by Benn.
A demonstration will be held to protest against the BBC's decision not to broadcast an appeal for aid to the people of Gaza. It is being organised by the Disasters Emergency Committee - an umbrella group for some of the big charities. Politician Tony Benn discusses why he will be attending the protest outside BBC Broadcasting House.
Plot spoiler - he basically read out the appeal that the BBC tried to, indeed did and still does, ban:
The situation
After an 18 month blockade of Gaza and three weeks of heavy shelling the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is now completely overwhelming.
  • Donate online to the DEC's Gaza Crisis nowDonate Now: Gaza Crisis
    Thousands of people are struggling to survive with many having lost their homes and most down to their last supplies of food and only limited amounts of fresh drinking water.
  • Just £25 can buy warm blankets for 8 children
  • Just £50 can provide a Food parcel for a family for one month
  • Electricity - supplies to Gaza are erratic at best with 75% of the area cut off completely. There is a significant public health risk arising out of the almost collapse of Gaza’s water and sewage system, the running of which is dependent on electricity.
  • Water - Around 500,000 people are without running water with 37% of Gaza’s water wells not working effectively and fuel reserves depleted due to restrictions on access and damage to pipes.
  • At least 412 Children have been killed and 1,855 injured
  • 60% of the population is living in poverty
  • 1.1 million people are dependent upon aid to survive.
  • Health - The capacity of the health system has been significantly reduced due to the damage of at least 21 clinics. Ten primary health care clinics are functioning as emergency clinics and hospitals and intensive care units continue to treat the mass casualties.
But listen all the same because the interviewer appears to express the fear that rather than going into eat as you go aid, the money might aid reconstruction and under the auspices of the elected administration. The only democracy in the middle east can't have any of that going. Goodness! they'll want their own state next and in Palestine too!

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