Dabke dancers storm Barclays bank and The British Museum on Gaza 'Day of Rage'


Dabke dance flashmob

Dabke dance flashmob

Image by Training for Transformation Palestine


It took place on the first anniversary of the Gaza massacre as well as in solidarity with the “Day of Rage”. On 25 July 2014, the Palestinian death toll in the Gaza Strip reached more than 850 civilians, of whom 194 were children and 101 were women, while 18 hospitals and clinics have been directly targeted by Israeli airstrikes. On this 18th day of the massacre, Palestinian communities have called for a 'Day of Rage in support of bleeding, besieged Gaza’ and called for continuing popular protests (1).


The activists entered both sites and intervened in business as usual as a form of solidarity with the Palestinian cultural resistance against settler-colonialism, imperialism, ethnic cleansing, occupation and apartheid. The action was also organised In support of the Palestinian civil society call for a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) as the most effective way of international solidarity.


Barclays was targeted as it is a named shareholder in several major arms firms including Raytheon, Boeing, and Lockheed Martin whom all play a key role in Israel’s brutal massacres of Palestinians and in the proliferation of drone technology across the world, and is helping Israel to construct and maintain its illegal apartheid Wall.


The British Museum was chosen to be highlighted as it represents the symbol of British Colonialism and we wanted to come at the heart of the empire. Not only are the most precious and sacred artefacts inside the museum stolen or illegitimately acquired, but we wanted to remind the public about Britain’s role in the start of the Zionist Project and its continuing support of the illegal Israeli neo-colonialist occupation of Palestine today. History shows that on September 11, 1922, ignoring Arab outrage, the British government proclaimed a mandate in Palestine, a follow-up to the 1917 Balfour declaration, which imperial Britain issued, with its army massed outside the gates of the city of Gaza.


Sharish Desan, one of the organisers from Gaza said “Cultural resistance tells another narrative about Palestine. Dabke is a representation of solidarity and cooperation, a symbol of steadfastness, love for life and determination. It is a form of art through which Palestinians express joy and gratitude to each other, and also to their land. Our message is simple: come dance with us, we will lock arms together and stomp the ground in a folkloric performance that is crucial in understanding the Palestinian identity and experiences.”


Sylvia Ferreira, dabke flashmob organiser said, “Cultural resistance tells another narrative about Palestine and overturns the 'occupation of the mind'. When we see graffiti art, read a Darwish poem, listen to a DAM song, watch performances by the Freedom Theatre or enjoy a Dabke dance by El Funoun – we see individuals, cultures and stories. Once stories are heard, denial of their existence is impossible.”


Dan Glass, dabke flashmob organiser said “The Dabke Flashmob on the anniversary of the Gaza massacre is only the start of a series of actions throughout the year that will contribute to bringing awareness of the Palestinian national identity. The second flashmob is planned together with our friends from Stop the Arms Fair as part of their day of action on Saturday 12th September at DSEI arms fair at ExCel (2), the world’s biggest arms fair.”




(1) http://news.sky.com/story/1307393/five-palestinians-killed-on-day-of-rage

(2) www.stopthearmsfair.org.uk/


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