ISM London tribute to Vittorio Arrigoni

ISM London will never forget our friend and colleague Vittorio Arrigoni, who was killed in Gaza on the 14th April 2011.Vittori Arrigoni

On September 17th, a Palestinian court has convicted two men of kidnapping and murdering Vittorio, whilst a third man was convicted of abduction. All the accused belonged to an obscure Salafi group which is opposed to Hamas.

“Vic” as we knew him spent a lot of time in London, and was a good friend to several ISM London volunteers. Fit and strong, he was a big man with a big personality whose presence lit up any gathering.

Behind the jokes, the brio and vitality, Vic was a serious political activist deeply committed to the Palestinian cause. He was denied entry to Israel and did a week imprisoned in an Israeli airport detention centre before turning his attention to Gaza. Once there he became one of the long term volunteers who ensured the ISM Gaza movement was active and effective.

Today our thoughts are with Vic’s family, who typically asked the court not to impose the death penalty upon the murderers. Vic was desperately unlucky to be the only international ISM volunteer ever harmed by Palestinians. His killing brought feelings of shame and sorrow to Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank. His killers were swiftly apprehended within days of their crime.

Vic was such a presence that it’s hard to accept that he’s gone. His spirit and our memories of him will continue to inspire us, as we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.