Ireland,Bray: Protest at Ireland v Israel women's football match and pre-match dinner 25.8.10

The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), will hold a peaceful protest at the Irish Women's soccer team World Cup qualifier with Israel in Bray on Wednesday 25th August.

The protest will take place in two parts

1. At
6pm there will be an Israeli Embassy-hosted pre-match dinner in the Bray Royal Hotel. We are asking people to turn up at 5.30pm outside the hotel to protest.

2. The macth itself kicks-off at
7.30pm in the Carlisle Grounds (Bray Wanderers stadium), Our protest starts at 7pm and will take place outside the stadium.

Banners reading, ‘Love Football, Hate Apartheid’, ‘Boycott Israeli Apartheid’ and ‘Unity against Occupation' will be displayed peacefully alongside Palestinian flags. We certainly don't want to "hijack" this game are asking our supporters not to interupt the game under any circumstances. The protest will take place outside and will be a peaceful act of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

The protest will call for a sporting boycott of Israeli football teams due to the Apartheid nature of the
Israeli State. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) have confirmed that this game falls under their Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) guidelines.

This will be the second visit of an Israeli football team to
Ireland in two months so we are taking this opportunity to raise awareness of the Apartheid nature of the Israeli State and the need for a sporting boycott of teams that act as ambassadors for that state. We are also calling on Irish fans not to travel to Israel for the return leg of the game as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Some say that sport and politics should not mix, however we say that sport and racism should never mix - hence the theme of our protest, 'Love Football, Hate Apartheid'. The IPSC points to the sporting boycott against
South Africa, which was one of the most effective tools employed in ostracising that state and revealing to the world its Apartheid regime and disregard for human rights. 

Furthermore, Palestinian teams have consistently been refused visas to travel to competitions, and aren't afforded the same training facilities and funding as Israeli teams. Restrictions on movement both within the
West Bank and between the West Bank and Gaza further compound the difficulties that Palestinian footballers face. In 2006 the football stadium in Gaza was bombed by the IDF. 

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