British activist talks political endeavors, U.S. speaking tour

Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

June 27, 2018

Ovenden said international events also drove him to radical left politics. These included the repression of the Irish republican movement, massacre of Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatilla during the 1982 war on Lebanon, opposition of additional U.S. nuclear missiles being stationed in Britain and demand for British nuclear disarmament.

The massacres in Sabra and Shatilla, Ovenden noted, were shocking to him and since part of his family is from Iran he was aware of the situation in the Middle East. This was the turning point forhis involvement with the Palestinian cause that has continued to this day. One of the initiatives Ovenden started was Viva Palestina in response to the 2008-2009 Israeli siege of Palestine that led to five successful aid convoy’s from Britain to Gaza.

Ovenden was also onboard the MV Mavi Marmara as a part of the 2010 Gaza flotilla when it was attacked by Israeli forces.

“They killed 10 people,” said Ovenden. “It was horrific. I describe it as the Soweto of the Palestine solidarity movement.”

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