Monday, May 20, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Monday, May 20, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Police raid pro-Palestinian conference

The situation in Gaza

Published 15 April 2024
- By Editorial Staff
A large number of police officers were deployed to stop the conference.

This weekend, German police broke up an ongoing pro-Palestinian rally and cut off power to the event. The stated reason was that a “banned” speaker was participating via video link, and there were concerns that criminalized speech would occur.

Footage circulating on social media shows a large number of police officers suddenly arriving at the venue and demanding that the conference be stopped.

The aim of the three-day Palestine Congress, organized by various pro-Palestinian groups, was to raise awareness of what they described as Israel’s genocide in Gaza. However, following the decision to ban the conference, the last two days were canceled, citing the participation of activist and British-Palestinian surgeon Salman Abu Sitta via video link.

Sitta is banned in Germany and is not allowed to engage in “political activity” even if he is in another country, as German authorities say he has previously expressed sympathy for Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7 that killed some 1,200 people.

“Ban on political activity”

“A speaker was projected who was subject to a ban on political activity. There is a risk of a speaker being put on screen who in the past made antisemitic and violence-glorifying remarks”, the police wrote, confirming that “the gathering was ended and banned on Saturday and Sunday”.

According to the organizers, the police intervened when Salman began to speak on the big screen.

– The police violence, like we were some sort of criminals, was unbearable for a democratic country. They not only stormed the stage, they cut the power like we were transmitting violence, said German left-wing politician Karin de Rigo.

Anger among protesters

Since last fall, Germany has banned activities and events that could be interpreted as supporting the terrorist group Hamas – a ban that has been heavily criticized for allowing police and authorities to arbitrarily decide which activities are generally “pro-Palestinian” and which are actually in support of Hamas.

The continued rise in civilian deaths in Gaza has also led to widespread popular opposition to Israel in Germany, with many demonstrators disappointed that their expressions of solidarity with Palestinians are effectively criminalized by German authorities on the grounds that “anti-Semitism” must be combated.

Banned surgeon Abu Sitta also recounts how he planned to physically attend the conference and arrived at Berlin airport – where he was stopped and detained for several hours before being forced to return to the UK. Among other things, Sitta was accused of praising representatives of Palestinian organizations on the terrorist list and sharing social media posts calling on the people of Gaza to “fight back” against Israel.

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