THE world has indeed turned upside down, as Chuck Volpe said ("Human rights ignored", October 3"), when facts are taken out of context and used to masquerade the truth.
Gaza is not under occupation, it has not been since 2005, but it is under siege.
There is a difference in the definition of the words.
Israel controls Gaza's air space, its borders and its sea.
A recent report by the UN has found that Gaza will be unlivable by 2020 and this is due to the blockade that Israel has imposed on Gaza because it does not recognise the democratically-elected ruling party, Hamas.
The Walk For Freedom was exactly that: a walk not a march and it was for freedom not in support of any political party. Hence Volpe's comment that we should not be marching in support of Hamas is completely baseless as that was clearly not the purpose of the walk.
Volpe went on further to ask the question, "did anyone mention Syria?" The answer is yes, Dr Janet Cherry raised the issue of human rights violations in Syria and, along with speakers from Cosatu, also linked the freedom of Palestinians to the freedom of people from oppression and human rights violations in many countries, including Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Western Sahara.
This walk was organised by the Palestine Solidarity Alliance, an organisation committed to raising awareness about the Palestinian issue.
Asking us to talk about Syria is like asking the Cancer Association to create awareness about TB.
So why is Palestine an issue, so much so that several thousand people gathered across the country on September 30 to walk for the freedom of its people?
The UN General Assembly has passed more than 100 resolutions condemning Israeli actions and policies.
Israel has violated 28 resolutions of the UN Security Council.
The International Court of Justice has ruled that the Israeli separation wall needs to be torn down immediately, and the Palestinians affected must be compensated for their losses.
Despite our world leaders having condemned Israel's actions they still continue.
It is thus up to us, the citizens of this world, to stand up in solidarity just as the world stood with South Africa during the dark days of apartheid. We beat apartheid before, we can do so again.
Let's not let our pride prevent us from recognising the truth. As Nelson Mandela said, "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians."
Tasneem Mart, Palestinian Solidarity Alliance, Port Elizabeth