Jewish activist on trial over “bloody hands” protest for Palestine?
Jewish activist on trial over “bloody hands” protest for Palestine
Pro-Palestinian campaigners with hands dyed blood red will gather at the City of London Magistrates Court on March 12th in support of a Jewish activist arrested for protesting at a celebration of Israel’s 60th anniversary last June.
Representatives of several campaign groups will be monitoring proceedings when Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, 56, from Woodford Green, Essex, contests her arrest at the Salute Israel parade through central London on 29 June 2008. As the parade passed down the Haymarket she displayed the slogan “Palestinian blood on Israeli hands,” and silently held up her hands dyed red with food colouring.
“Within minutes I was attacked by three separate Israel supporters, one of whom threatened to slit my throat,” Wimborne-Idrissi said. “The police should have defended my right to freedom of expression. Instead I was arrested and charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act with ‘causing harassment, alarm and distress’.”
Solicitor Simon Natas, representing Wimborne-Idrissi, said his client’s action had been “entirely peaceful and legitimate”.
“Her protest was intended to draw attention to the State of Israel’s abuses of Palestinian human rights,” he said. “We believe that this is a misguided prosecution that undermines the right to free speech and we will vigorously contest the charges.”
Daniel Machover, Chair of Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights (LPHR), said he was concerned that a legitimate protest may be being criminalised.
“Given Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land and the persistent brutality of the Israeli authorities towards Palestinians, as witnessed in Gaza just weeks ago, supporters of these policies cannot expect their celebrations or marches to be held without reasonable dissent,” Machover said.
Organisations represented at the proceedings on Thursday will include Jews for Justice for Palestinians, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Legal Action for Women and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods, of which Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi is a founder member.
Protest starts 1.30 p.m.
Thursday March 12
City of London Magistrates Court
1 Queen Victoria Street
London EC4N 4XY
(Bank underground station)
020 8527 2253 or mobile 07759 024659
020 8989 9279 or mobile 07714 268151