Bay Area jewish groups protest Israel aggression against Lebanon
By Angela Hokanson, Bay City News Service
July 17, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Seventeen people protesting Israel's
ongoing military action in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip were arrested
today in front of the offices of the Consulate General of Israel
in San Francisco, according to San Francisco police.
The arrests, for blocking traffic, were made after a group of
people linked arms and sat down in the street in front of the
consulate, at 456 Montgomery St.
The group was blocking Montgomery Street between California and
Sacramento streets, according to Samantha Liapes, who took part
in the demonstrations today.
The demonstration was organized by three groups - Jewish Voice
for Peace, Jews for a Free Palestine and Break the Silence - who
sought "to show that Bay Area Jews largely do not support
Israel's current collective punishment tactics" against Palestinians
and Lebanese, said Liapes, who is Jewish and a member of Break
About 300 people participated in the demonstration, according
Police began making arrests at about 12:45 p.m. and finished
at about 1:30 p.m., she said.
Traffic violations such as impeding the flow of traffic are misdemeanor
charges and the people arrested will be cited and released, according
Israeli Deputy Consul General Omer Caspi said that the demonstrators
"chose the wrong address" for their event, and that
they should be protesting in front of the Lebanese or Palestinian
government offices in Washington, D.C.
Caspi said the Lebanese and Palestinian governments are responsible
for the current violence in the region because they allow Hezbollah
and Hamas, which Israel considers terrorist organizations, to
operate within their borders.
The groups that organized today's protest do not have concrete
plans to demonstrate again, but Liapes said she would not be surprised
if additional protests were organized if Israel maintains its
current military activities.
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