Bread and Puppet Theater stages Gaza protests

in Barton/Glover/Newport/News/Vermont
Photo by Janelle Treibitz .
Photo by Janelle Treibitz .

GLOVER — On Wednesday, Bread and Puppet Theater organized vigils throughout 8 towns in Vermont, including one in Newport and one in Barton, in protest of the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza. The protests aimed to bring attention to the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the U.S. government’s support of the Gaza attacks.

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The small vigils consisted of three to four puppeteers holding signs reading “Gaza,” “Whose money?” and “How Much Longer?”

Today they announced that they will change tonight’s scheduled performance of “The Situation,” in order to perform “Fire: Emergency Performance for Gaza.” The show will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Bread and Puppet farm, in the Paper Mache Cathedral (Route 122), in Glover.

They also announced today that they will cover the State House lawn with small vignettes of the Gaza/Israel war. The demonstration will depict Palestinian women with their arms raised over the death of their children. A bell of mourning will chime slowly next to large, black and white woodcut banners featuring such questions as “Why?” and “How Much More?”

The demonstration comes two days after Israel bombed a United Nations school that served as a designated shelter for evacuees, killing at least twenty.

In spite of mounting international outcry against Israel’s actions, the U.S. has repeatedly distanced itself from criticism of the country. When the United Nation’s Human Rights Council voted Wednesday to begin an investigation of Israel for possible war crimes in Gaza, the U.S. provided the sole vote against the measure.

Human rights officials have expressed distress at the lopsided casualties in the conflict. As of today, 1,410 Palestinians have been killed, far outnumbering the 64 Israelis dead.

Bread and Puppet has been performing political puppet theater since the 1960’s, often responding rapidly to unfolding world events with shows or protest art. Their 2014 summer season had been devoted to the issue of Tar Sands (a controversial source of crude oil that may be pumped through Vermont’s pipelines soon).

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