Several international artists, writers and political figures threw their weight Friday behind a call for a stop to Israel's bombing of Gaza and called on U.S. president-elect Barack Obama to speak out.
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone, British artist Annie Lennox, rights activist Bianca Jagger, Politician George Galloway and even Mexico's rebel leader joined campaigners who have staged a week of rallies, culminating in a demonstration Saturday which will include a symbolic shoe protest outside Downing Street.
" People throughout the world were hopeful when he was elected and we must appeal to him to ask for the immediate cessation of the bombardment of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip "
Bianca Jagger"I would like to make an appeal to president elect Obama to speak up," said Jagger.
Former Eurythmics star Lennox added: "A few days after Christmas I came downstairs, put the television on, and saw smoke pyres coming from buildings and I was shocked to the core.
"Because I was thinking as a mother and as a human being, how was this going to be the solution to peace?" she added.
The rally will march past Downing Street, where protestors will leave old shoes for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in the spirit of an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush.
Livingstone, who was ousted as London mayor in May, said that in the last few days there has been a ratio of 100 Palestinian deaths to Israelis killed in the Gaza conflict, in its seventh day Friday.
"There is no sense that that can be proportionate," he said, calling Israel "a state built on ethnic cleansing," referring to its creation in May 1948, after which some 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled.
"Obama supports force"
Annie LennoxIn Mexico, the Zapatista rebel leader "Subcomandante" Marcos slammed U.S. president-elect Barack Obama for failing to speak out on Israel's bombing of Gaza.
The masked leader of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation—which rose up in arms in Chiapas, southeast Mexico, on January 1, 1994—said Obama "supports the use of force" against Palestinian people.
Obama has kept a low profile on the Gaza conflict, stressing that there is only one president at a time ahead of his inauguration on January 20.
Click to view image: 'UK calls on Obamba'
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