Foyle protest amid anger at Gaza coverage

RADIO FOYLE GAZA PROTEST. . . .Protesters pictured yesterday afternoon outside the Radio Foyle offices at Northland Road. DER3014MC003
RADIO FOYLE GAZA PROTEST. . . .Protesters pictured yesterday afternoon outside the Radio Foyle offices at Northland Road. DER3014MC003

Protesters in Derry have gathered to vent their anger over the mainstream media coverage of the violence in Gaza.

Dozens of people converged at the entrance to BBC Radio Foyle’s studio on Northland Road yesterday afternoon to express their frustration at the output from the corporation and other media outfits.

Many of those in attendance waved Palestinians flags and fixed stickers over their mouths to symbolise censorship.

Others also brought placards criticising the BBC and calling for an end to the violence in Gaza.

Posters spelling out ‘Stop the Bombing’ were also held out by protestors at the lunch-time event.

Speaking at the scene, Eileen Webster, chair of the Derry Anti-War Coalition, said the event was one of many planned for this week.

“All this is being done at a pace,” she said. “We had a very successful meeting on Saturday after the protest on the Peace Bridge about next steps and we actually have something organised for every day this week. Broadcasting companies, not exclusive to Radio Foyle and the BBC, all the broadcasting companies, have an absolutely abhorrent imbalance in their reporting of what’s happening and the slaughter in Gaza.

“We have now over 500 people from Gaza- and don’t forget it’s only a population of just over 1.5m in a very small strip of land- it’s absolute ethnic cleansing and genocide that is going on at the moment and people’s reactions are spontaneously angry.

“I met people at the Peace Bridge on Saturday who haven’t been at a protest for 30 years or more who said they were just too angry, they couldn’t stay at home, they had to come and I think that symptomises why people are here today.

“This is a fairly short noticed organised protest but that is the beginning of our week of action. We feel the voice of the Palestinian people has been censored.”

Local man Jim Keys added: “There’s murder going on in Gaza and what’s wonderful is because of new media and the internet, the mainstream media has been actually got around.”

Local businessman Mohamed Ali, who is originally from Egypt, branded the BBC’s coverage of the killings in Gaza “disgraceful”, adding: “There are kids being killed in Gaza. They should be ashamed. The coverage is absolutely disgraceful.”

A BBC spokeswoman meanwhile responded yesterday: “BBC News reports widely and extensively across TV, radio and online, on many different aspects of this ongoing and complex conflict.

“Our role is to explain what is happening and why and we endeavour to reflect a range of voices, amid deeply held views.”

She added: “We are committed to continuing to report and analyse sometimes fast moving events in an accurate, fair and balanced way.”