Student activists scale roof of Scottish Parliament for Gaza

Around fifteen members of the We Are All Hana Shalabi network have occupied the roof of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, Edinburgh, in protest at the recent massacre carried out by the Israeli Army in Gaza.

The activists are calling upon the Scottish Government to do more to condemn Israel’s recent crimes, and to acknowledge strong Scottish public demand for sanctions against Israel for its ongoing occupation, colonisation and massacring of Palestinian people.

A statement this week from Scottish Government Minister for External Affairs and International Development Humza Yousaf acknowledged the illegality of Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza, yet the Scottish Government has failed to take steps towards exerting international diplomatic pressure on Israel.

Last nights ceasefire agreement may have brought an end to most recent escalation of attacks on Palestinians in Gaza, however history demonstrates that Israel will continue to carry out acts of aggression on the people of Gaza, who remain under siege by a brutal occupation which restricts movement of people as well as essential materials such as food, medicine, building materials etc.

Israel has a history of violating ceasefire agreements, and the action at the Scottish Parliament today intends to pressure the Scottish Government to acknowledge this reality and take preventative action today.

Beti Brown, 19, who is on the roof of Parliament at this moment, said:
”The world has been shocked to watch Israel’s recent attacks on the civilian population of Gaza, and many people have felt helpless as to what we can do as members of the public to stop the violence. We are calling on our government to acknowledge Palestinian rights, which include the right to defend themselves against the illegal occupation it has suffered under for decades, and to support the movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.”

3 banners are being displayed, reading “End Israeli War Crimes”.. “Stand With the Oppressed or You’re Standing With The Oppressor. The third is in Arabic and roughly translates to “Gaza, We Stand With You, Palestine Will Be Free”

The ceasefire might thankfully be in place but as long as Israel enjoys total impunity in the face of the UN or International Law, as long as even progressive government such as the current SNP Scottish government make weak statements even falling short of condemning Israel and last but not long as Israel can expect the completely biased and disgusting coverage from the likes of the BBC then we can guarantee that there will be yet another Israeli massacre in Gaza.

Well that is completely unacceptable and the reason why that despite the bombs having stopped dropping for the moment planned international solidarity demonstrations for this weekend will be going ahead.

In Scotland people will be travelling to Glasgow and assembling at the Donald Dewar statue on the top of Buchanan Street at 1pm before marching to the BBC.

The action at Parliament today takes place during First Minster’s Questions.

UPDATE: All our activists were arrested and are still currently in police custody, their status is detained which means they have yet been charged or formally arrested. We have had constant rotating presence at the police station all day and had a wonderful response to the appeal for dry clothes. We will keep up our presence at the police station until we have any news.

The leader of the Scottish Green Party, Patrick Harvie MSP has bravely and commendably released the following statement:


For immediate release 22 November 2012


Responding to the arrest of a group of pro-Palestinian protestors on the roof of the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Green MSPs have called on the Scottish Government to join the global movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions in support of Palestinians.

Earlier this week the Greens lodged a parliamentary motion on Gaza condemning the Israeli missile attacks and calling for both sides to respect their obligations under international law. (1)

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“There are many issues which are so powerful and urgent that non-violent direct action becomes a justified, and even necessary part of the response. I believe that there are many people in Scotland who want our country to stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and who feel particular revulsion at the number of Gazans killed in recent days.

“I know there will be those in Parliament who feel that the demonstration was an inconvenience, but the real issue is the long history of brutal and illegal occupation carried out by the Israeli Government. The world must come together to end this injustice, and I call on the Scottish Government to join the global movement for boycotts, divestment and sanctions as called for by the Palestinians.”


1. Motion here:

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