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11 janvier 2009

Activists protesting invasion put best foot forward

By Alice Johnson, Staff Reporter, Published: January 08, 2009

Dubai: A collection of old shoes is due to be delivered to the Israeli embassy in London this weekend as part of an organised protest against the invasion of Gaza.

The organisers of the protest, who call themselves the 'Stop the War Coalition', say they are inspired by "the spirit of Iraqi journalist Muntadar Al Zaidi, who used his shoes to protest George Bush's war crimes".

Organisers are encouraging protesters to bring along old shoes, which will be delivered to the embassy at the conclusion of the march that begins at Speaker's Corner (London's dedicated protest platform) in Hyde Park at 12.30pm tomorrow.

Shoes were also collected after a January 4 protest march, with the aim of delivering them to Downing Street. However, after being prevented from "delivering" the items, protesters flung the footwear in the general direction of Downing Street.

A host of British actors, musicians, politicians and writers have added their names to the forthcoming demonstration, including politician George Galloway, who was reportedly injured when a previous protest against the Gaza attacks on January 4 led to clashes with police.

Other famous names being associated with the action include singers Annie Lennox and Peter Gabriel; politician Tony Benn; musicians Michael Nyman and Nigel Kennedy; actress Vanessa Redgrave; and comedians Alexei Sayle, Mark Thomas and Billy Bailey.

The Stop the War Coalition has organised daily protests outside the Israeli Embassy since January 5.

PM briefed

Community warning

A group of prominent Muslims who advise the government on security issues have written to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown warning that Israel's invasion of Gaza could fuel violent Islamist extremism. Anger within Britain's Muslim communities had reached "acute levels of intensity", the letter said, calling for pressure on the US to change its approach to the crisis. "The Israeli government's use of disproportionate force to combat threats to its security has revived extremist groups and empowered their message of violence," it said.

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