January 24, 2009

24 January 2009 – BBC/Gaza Rally. Tony Benn’s Speech outside the BBC

Posted in demonstration information, PSC Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 2:55 pm by Alexia

Embargo: 1.30 pm, Saturday 24 January 2009

Press Release

THE RT HON TONY BENN SPEAKING AT A MEETING OUTSIDE THE BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE, PORTLAND PLACE, SAID THIS AFTERNOON [SAT JAN 24]:

“The decision of the BBC to refuse to broadcast a national humanitarian appeal for Gaza, which has left aid agencies with a potential shortfall of millions of pounds in donations, is a betrayal of the obligation which it owes as a public service.

“The destruction in Gaza and the loss of the lives of over a thousand civilians and children, has shocked the world as Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki Moon, made clear, when he saw the devastation for himself.

“The human suffering that the people of Gaza has experienced over the last few weeks has appalled people who have seen it for themselves on their television screens.

“To deny the help that the aid agencies and the UN need at this moment in time is incomprehensible and it follows the bias in BBC reporting of this crisis, which has been widely criticised.

“I appeal to the Chairman of the BBC Trust to intervene to reverse this decision to save the lives of those who are now in acute danger of dying through a lack of food, fuel, water and medical supplies.

” *********

Stop the War Coalition on behalf of the Coalition’s President, Tony Benn

0207 229 0779

0794 110 2163

Advertisements

2 February 09 Media Workers Against the War Rally. “Gaza – Failed by the Media”

Posted in demonstration information tagged , , , , , , at 1:05 am by Alexia

RALLY: GAZA – FAILED BY THE MEDIA

With speakers:

Seumas Milne, The Guardian

Sir Gerald Kaufman MP

A Palestinian journalist (tbc)

Jane Shallice, Stop the War Coalition

Richard Horton, The Lancet

Lauren Booth, Press TV

Jeremy Dear, general secretary, NUJ

Monday February 2 7pm

Old Cinema lecture theatre Westminster University

309 Regent Street London W1B 2UW

Nearest tube: Oxford Circus More info: info@mwaw.net Hosted by Media Workers Against the War

Subscribe to Media Workers Against The War Newsletter: <mailto:sympa@lists.riseup.net?subject=subscribe%20mediawar>

23 January 2009 Fredi Kanoute and a goal for Gaza

Posted in General Gaza Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:59 am by Alexia

A GOAL FOR GAZA

Star footballer Fredi Kanoute, now playing in Spain but formerly of Tottenham Hotspur, celebrated scoring a goal last Saturday by lifting his shirt to reveal a T-shirt with the word Palestine blazoned across it.

He was booked by the referee and fined 3000 Euros. Spain prohibits players from displaying religious or political messages on the pitch.

See video of Kanoute’s goal for Gaza here: http://tinyurl.com/bmh4q8

23 January 2009 – Student Occupations for gaza

Posted in demonstration information tagged , , , , , at 12:57 am by Alexia

WAVE OF STUDENT OCCUPATIONS FOR GAZA

There has been an extraordinary wave of student occupations in solidarity with Gaza in universities and colleges across Britain — in London, Oxford, Sussex, Warwick, Kingston and elsewhere. (See Guardian report here: http://tinyurl.com/d6r8u4)

Among the students’ demands are a call for aid to be organised for Gaza and for colleges to disinvest in arm companies which supply Israel.

The occupations in SOAS, the London School of Economics and Essex have all been victorious in winning these demands.

Other occupations are demanding that old computers and text books are sent to Gaza to replace those that have been destroyed. At Kings College, the students are occupying to demand the rescinding of the honorary doctorate awarded to Shimon Peres, the president of Israel. At Oxford, the students want a series of lectures by Peres cancelled.

SEND MESSAGES OF SUPPORT Five website have been set up by students involved in the occupations for Gaza, through which you can send messages of support.

LSE: http://lseoccupation.blogspot.com/

KINGS: http://kcloccupation.blogspot.com/

SUSSEX: http://sussexoccupation.blogspot.com/

WARWICK: http://warwicksolidaritysitin.wordpress.com/

OXFORD: http://occupiedoxford.wordpress.com/

JOIN THE OCCUPATIONS FOR GAZA CAMPAIGN If you are a student in a college or school and want advice on how you can join the occupation campaign in solidarity with Gaza, call 020 7278 6694.

We will then put you in touch with students already organising occupations. There will be a discussion of the student occupation campaign at the national activists meeting in London this Saturday (see below for details). Representatives from the university and college occupations have been invited to attend.

23 January 2009 ISM Update

Posted in ISM Updates tagged , , , , , , at 12:52 am by Alexia

BODY {font-family=”Arial”} TT {font-family=”Courier New”} BLOCKQUOTE.CITE {padding-left:0.5em; margin-left:0; margin-right:0; margin-top:0; margin-bottom:0; border-left:”solid 2″;} SPAN.TABOOHEADER {display=none}

Ground Zero
Tuesday 20th January, 2009
Earlier this week, following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip, residents returned to some of the areas which had become no-go zones during the attacks, such as Jabalia just outside Gaza City. On Tuesday 20th January, ISM Gaza Strip volunteers joined a university professor as he visited his house in the east of Jabalia. We were shown from room to room around the bombed-out shell of what had once been a beautiful home. When asked if he and his family would continue to live there, he replied calmly that it was their right to and that they would never leave their land.
As we made our way up the hill through the orange grove beyond the professor’s house, we encountered evidence of where tanks had been positioned – churned up ground, tank tracks, uprooted olive trees. At the top of the hill, from where the Green Line was clearly visible, we began to see homes which had been totally destroyed, several stories concertinaed. Families sat together on the rubble of their homes. Children collected firewood from the dismembered limbs of fruit trees.
At first it seemed as though it was ‘just’ a cluster of ten or fifteen destroyed houses, which would have been bad enough in its own right. However, as we continued walking it became apparent that the devastation extended into the next street and the next, more and more destroyed and damaged homes following one another. This entire neighbourhood on this easternmost edge of Jabalia had been virtually wiped off the face of the earth. It resembled the site of some massive natural disaster. However this ground zero was entirely man-made.
The gouged-out windows of some of the homes still standing were filled with dark green sand bags. This was a sign these houses had been used by the Israelis as sniper positions. One could barely imagine how the situation must have been in this neighbourhood when it was under attack.
We met a blind woman who had been held prisoner for 11 days in one room of her home, along with a paralysed man, whilst Israeli soldiers used it as a base. Terrified and expecting to be killed at any time, they were given water twice during their ordeal. When the Red Crescent evacuated them, the woman said she could finally breathe for the first time since the soldiers arrived. The walls had been daubed with Hebrew graffiti, empty plastic food trays were strewn around and the stairway stank of urine.
In the wake of a Gazan holocaust, thousands of people are finding themselves in truly desperate situations. A traumatized but resilient population is somehow beginning to pick up the pieces. Merely continuing to exist is a form of resistance.
Footage from Jabalia
Photos from Jabalia

23 January 09 BBC Blocks Aid to Gaza Appeal Update. The Government complains to the BBC and you should too

Posted in demonstration information, PSC Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:45 am by Alexia

URGENT REQUEST TO ALL STOP THE WAR’S SUPPORTERS

GOVERNMENT COMPLAINS TO BBC FOR BLOCKING GAZA APPEAL

JOIN THE GOVERNMENT’S PROTEST: COMPLAIN NOW TO THE BBC

Stop the War understands that the government has contacted the  BBC to complain about its decision to refuse the broadcasting  of a humanitarian appeal for Gaza.

The BBC’s decision will prevent the raising of millions of   pounds in emergency aid being sent to Gaza. Stop the War is  demanding that the exchange between the government and the BBC  be made public immediately. The BBC says it is blocking the emergency appeal “to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s   “impartiality”, as if this has anything to do with   humanitarian aid for a devastated people.

Either they need the aid or they do not. This is the first time in the 48 years of similar national appeals for humanitarian aid that a broadcast has been refused. It is estimated that £10 million of urgently required  aid will not now be sent to help Palestinians in Gaza, living in catastrophic conditions.

“This is a betrayal of the BBC’s obligation to be a public service,” said Tony Benn, President of Stop the War. “To deny the help that the aid agencies and the UN need is incomprehensible.”

It is imperative that the BBC responds to the government’s   complaint and reverses its decision to refuse this broadcast.    If it does not, we will see people in Gaza continue to suffer   due to being denied emergency relief because of BBC   “impartiality” .

Stop the War urges all its supporters to complain to the BBC.

We must mobilise all the pressure we can to get the BBC to   reverse its decision.

TO COMPLAIN TO THE BBC

PHONE: 03700 100 222

TEXT: 03700 100 212

ONLINE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

BRING CHILDREN’S DOLLS TO THE BBC

If you are coming to demonstration on Saturday 24 January,   which assembles outside Broadcasting House, we are asking   protestors to bring children’s dolls, wrapped if possible in   white shrouds, to be laid on the steps of the BBC, as a   memorial to the hundreds of children who died in Israel’s   attacks and as an act of solidarity with the Palestinians in   Gaza, now denied urgently needed aid by the BBC.

DEMONSTRATE FOR GAZA: SATURDAY 24 JANUARY

END THE BLOCKADE: STOP ALL ARMS SALES  BRING THE WAR CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE

Assemble 2.00pm BBC Broadcasting House for rally   Portland Place, London W1A 1AA

Nearest tubes: Great Portland Street or Regents park.

March starts at 3.00 pm. Ends with rally in Trafalgar Square   4.30 pm.

BRING CHILDEN’S DOLLS WRAPPED IN WHITE SHROUDS TO LAY ON THE   STEPS OF THE BBC BRING SHOES WITH MESSAGES TO GORDON BROWN INSIDE TO DELIVER AS  WE MARCH PAST DOWNING STREET

Instead of banning all arms trade with Israel and breaking all  diplomatic relations, Brown has offered to send the British navy to help Israel tighten its blockade on Gaza.

MARCH ROUTE:   Assemble and rally Portland Place, March to Regent Street,   Piccadilly, Lower Regent Street, Trafalgar Square,   Northumberland Avenue, Embankment, Parliament, Downing Street,   Trafalgar Square (End rally)

STOP THE WAR COALITION   NEWSLETTER   No. 1078  23 January 2009   Email office@stopwar.org.uk   Tel: 020 7278 6694   Web: http://www.stopwar.org.uk

23 January 2009 BBC Blocks Aid to Gaza Appeal

Posted in demonstration information, PSC Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:38 am by Alexia

BBC BLOCKS AID TO GAZA: PROTEST 24 JANUARY

**********************************************

BBC BLOCKS AID TO GAZA: PROTEST

24 JANUARY BRING DOLLS TO LAY OUTSIDE THE BBC BRING SHOES WITH A MESSAGE FOR GORDON BROWN

If the BBC was not tarnished enough by its coverage of Israel’s attack on Gaza — in the words of Tony Benn, “often looking like a propaganda wing of the Zionist lobby” — its decision yesterday to block an appeal for emergency aid to Gaza would be reason enough for making the BBC a focus of our demonstration on Saturday 24 January.

While the media is now saturated with reports showing the scale of Israel’s barbarism over the past three weeks and the humanitarian disaster it has created, and while the United Nations, the Red Cross and all the other aid organisations involved are saying that immediate emergency aid must be rushed to Gaza, the BBC has blocked a joint appeal by a wide range of organisations from being broadcast after all the main news programmes on every TV channel.

These emergency appeals to populations in desperate need of aid have been organised frequently in the past 48 years and not once in that time has one been blocked. It is agreed by all the channels that a decision to support an aid appeal must be unanimous among the broadcasters and so the BBC’s decision not to agree scuppered the whole aid appeal, which it is estimated would have raised at least £10 million — aid which would have been used immediately to help Palestinians in Gaza, now barely surviving in catastrophic conditions.

One in six buildings have been destroyed or badly damaged by Israel’s bombs and missiles, many dead are buried underneath and still being dug out, the country’s infrastructure has been destroyed, one million people have no electricity, half a million people have no access to clean running water, the hospitals are crammed with people who have suffered horrific injuries without enough basic medical supplies for them to get the treatment they need.

A spokesperson for the organisations which wanted to broadcast the prime time appeal, said, “Agencies are already providing food, drugs and blankets as well as delivering clean water. But we will soon reach the limit of what we can do, without more money.”

And the BBC’s response? “The decision was made because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation and also to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of news story.” This has nothing to do with “impartiality” – the appeal was for humanitarian aid to a devastated people. How can you be “impartial” about that? Either these people need the aid or they don’t.

We have seen throughout these weeks of barbarism how Israel’s spin machine has been indulged by the BBC in particular. We know, as the Guardian reported two weeks ago, that the BBC management instructed its journalists to enable this to happen. The result was Israeli spokespersons given frequent opportunity to justify mass slaughter, including the deaths of over 400 children.

Our demonstration on Saturday assembles outside BBC Broadcasting House.

To register our disgust at the BBC’s capitulation to Israel’s manipulation and intimidation of the media, we are asking protestors to bring children’s dolls, wrapped if possible in white shrouds, to be laid on the steps of the BBC, as a memorial to the hundreds of children who died and as an act of solidarity with the Paletinians in Gaza denied urgently needed aid because of BBC “impartiality”.

DEMONSTRATE FOR GAZA: SATURDAY 24 JANUARY END THE BLOCKADE: STOP ALL ARMS SALES BRING THE WAR CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE Assemble 2.00pm BBC Broadcasting House for rally Portland Place, London W1A 1AA Nearest tubes: Great Portland Street or Regents park. March starts at 3.00 pm. Ends with rally in Trafalgar Square 4.30 pm.

BRING CHILDEN’S DOLLS WRAPPED IN WHITE SHROUDS TO LAY ON THE STEPS OF THE BBC BRING SHOES WITH MESSAGES TO GORDON BROWN INSIDE TO DELIVER AS WE MARCH PAST DOWNING STREET

Instead of banning all arms trade with Israel and breaking all diplomatic relations, Brown has offered to send the British navy to help Israel tighten its blockade on Gaza.

MARCH ROUTE: Assemble and rally Portland Place, March to Regent Street, Piccadilly, Lower Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, Northumberland Avenue, Embankment, Parliament, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square (End rally)

Email office@stopwar.org.uk Tel: 020 7278 6694 Web: http://www.stopwar.org.uk

A Lifeline from Britain to Gaza – The Viva Palestina aid convoy

Posted in General Gaza Updates, PSC Updates, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:34 am by Alexia

A LIFELINE FROM BRITAIN TO GAZA

A Lifeline for Gaza aid convoy will leave Britain on Saturday 14 February 2009.

It has been initiated by George Galloway MP, who writes: We will not look away. The Palestinians in Gaza need our help now, just as they did when Israel’s bombs and illegal weapons were dropping. Thousands of people have contacted me to say that they have marched, cried at the television pictures and feel helpless in the face of the suffering.

That’s why I have launched a major initiative in response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. I will be leading an aid convoy from London to Gaza leaving on 14 February and travelling through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and through Rafah and into Gaza.

It will bring material aid and raise the banner of Palestine in all the countries that we visit. The convoy will be led by a British fire engine, ambulances, and many trucks full of practical aid given by the various communities in Britain.

FOR FULL DETAILS OF THE AID CONVOY, SEE THE VIVA PALESTINA WEBSITE: http://www.vivapalestina.org/

January 20, 2009

National Demonstration SATURDAY 24 JANUARY (note the change of start venue) and other things

Posted in demonstration information tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 11:57 pm by Alexia

DEMONSTRATE FOR GAZA   END THE BLOCKADE: STOP ARMS SALES TO ISRAEL: FREE PALESTINE   BRING THE WAR CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE  

SATURDAY 24 JANUARY

 ASSEMBLE 2.00PM  

There will be a rally with speakers in Portland Place from 2pm before the demonstration sets off.
The demonstration will leave for Downing Street at 3pm.
Details will be posted on the Stop the War website as we   receive them.
Coach drop off point on Saturday will be in  Marylebone Road at the top of Portland Place. The pickup point  after the demonstration will be Victoria Embankment.

BBC BROADCASTING HOUSE, PORTLAND PLACE, LONDON W1A 1AA   

MARCH TO DOWNING STREET  

Nearest tubes: Great Portland Street, Regents park.

**********************************************        

GORDON BROWN’S DINNER WITH WAR CRIMINALS

The demonstration this Saturday 24 January will march to   Downing Street, calling for the lifting of the Gaza blockade, an end to all arms sales to Israel and for Israel to be made   to pay for its war crimes. We will also be registering our disgust over Gordon Brown’s   support for Israel following its barbaric attack.

The day after the massacre was ended – so as not to spoil Barack   Obama’s inauguration with pictures of phosphorous bombs dropping on UN schools in Gaza – Brown rushed off to join five other heads of government for a celebratory gala dinner at the  Jerusalem home of Israel’s prime minister Ehud Olmert,  alongside Olmert’s compatriots in mass murder, defence minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

“Thank you for demonstrating your impressive support for the State of Israel”, said Olmert, “This is in the supreme  interest of all those who fight the forces of evil,” among whom he no doubt meant the 450 children in Gaza killed by Israel over the past three weeks.

To which Brown replied, without a sliver of irony, “The task  before us is…an end to arms trafficking.” Not of course the arms trafficking which makes Israel the fourth most powerful military in the world, able to use the most advanced weapons of mass slaughter to kill 1400 Palestinians and injure 6000 more.

“Through the anguish and the suffering, we can see the road toward peace,” Brown added, as if all the mass death, injuries and destruction, which left Gaza looking like it had been hit  by an earthquake, would in some way benefit the cause of   peace.

The demonstration this Saturday will assemble at 2.00 pm at   Broadcasting House in Portland Place, in protest at the BBC’s capitulation to Israel’s propaganda machine during the attack on Gaza.

This will be the fourth Gaza demonstration in as many weeks,  all of them bringing unprecedented numbers to voice their   outrage over the carnage we have witnessed and to show our  support for the people of Gaza, subjected to horrific crimes against humanity.

Please help publicise Saturday’s demonstration as widely as you can and encourage everyone you  know to join us.

A leaflet for downloading will be available  shortly on our website.

**********************************************  

NATIONAL STOP THE WAR ACTIVISTS MEETING

Stop the War Activist Meeting 11am – 1pm   St Pancras Church Hall    Lancing Street, London NW1 1NA        

100 metres east of Euston Station The Stop the War Coalition has called this important meeting   to discuss the situation in Gaza, the wider “war on terror”   and how to take the campaign forward. We will also be discussing the campaign to bring the troops   out of Afghanistan and the preparations for the mass protests  at the G20 meeting in London on April 2nd.

This will be Barack  Obama’s first visit to London. We are asking for delegations from every Stop the War group   round the country.

January 19, 2009

Israel Claims It Has Met It’s War Aims And The Result Is…

Posted in ! My Articles, General Gaza Updates tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:37 pm by Alexia

Israel called a ceasefire on Saturday, saying it had met its war aims

Anonymous Israeli officials, quoted by AP news agency, said the withdrawal would be completed before US President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday.

UN official John Ging said half a million people had been without water since the conflict began, and huge numbers of people were without power.

Four thousand homes are ruined and tens of thousands of people are homeless.

Unrwa was keen to reopen its schools, Mr Ging said, where 50,000 people were sheltering. Tens of thousands have been made homeless by the bombardment.

At least 1,300 Palestinians, according to Palestinian sources, and 13 Israelis have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on 27 December. Palestinian medical sources say at least 95 bodies have been pulled from the rubble since Israel halted its assault.

Some 400,000 Gazans still do not have running water.

During the Israeli attacks, about two-thirds of Gaza’s 1.5m people were without power, the UN says.

Gaza’s only power plant shut down on 30 December because it ran out of fuel.

On 18 January the plant received 90,000 litres of fuel from the filling depot at Nahal Oz in southern Israel, says the UN.

Since then most Gazans have had intermittent electricity, although some households are still without power due to damage to the grid.

However, the plant is still short of fuel. It needs 450,000 litres of industrial fuel per day to produce its full capacity.

Although most main power lines have been repaired, two lines are still damaged in northern Gaza.

Since 18 January an extra 100,000 people received running water when the electricity supply was reconnected.

Some wells have been refilled and several NGOs, including Save the Children, have distributed drinking water in the Gaza Strip. The UN says supplies could be improved if workers are given safe passage to repair three damaged water mains.

One water main east of Khan Younis has been damaged, cutting supplies to 25,000 people.

Officials have confirmed that all two million litres of wastewater at Gaza City’s treatment plant, bombed on 10 January, leaked into surrounding agricultural land. Pumps at the plant are out of action due to lack of fuel.

A pump that sends sewage from Beit Hanoun to the Beit Lahia wastewater treatment plant is still damaged. According to officials, 30 cubic metres of sewage are flowing into the streets of Beit Hanoun every hour.

Unrwa says it is operating 50 emergency shelters for 50,896 displaced people in Gaza.

The shelters, many of them schools, are overcrowded with only basic levels of support, including food and water.

The shelters, especially those in the north, are in urgent need of non-food items and there is a shortage of more than 23,000 blankets and mattresses.

The UN says construction materials needed to repair and rebuild homes also need to be brought into Gaza.

So what were it’s aims?  To destroy the civillian infrastructure?  To make yet more people homeless, some for the fourth or more time?  To terrorise a population already under stress from the siege of the last 18 months?

Certainly to make all the people in the suburbs of Brazil and Yibna homeless and finally complete the sterile area they wanted between the people of Rafah and the wall they have built around them.

from:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7812295.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7836869.stm

here’s the current position of the Red Cross on the use of phosphorous weapons:  http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/weapons-interview-170109

If you wish to help, these are some of the aid agencies running appeals:

Save the Children Fund: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/32_7306.htm

Red Cross/Red Crescent: http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/html/palestine-update-180109?opendocument

Médecins Sans Frontières: http://www.msf.org.uk/articledetail.aspx?fId=a_paltry_response_20090108&gclid=COnu8qKGm5gCFQtOQgodOwlImg

Oxfam: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/oxfam_in_action/emergencies/gaza_crisis.html

UNICEF: https://www.unicef.org.uk/common/wp_donate/donform.asp?appealid=5E3782A9-F998-4B14-B49E-14CDC50C1710&thesource=palweb&google=palestine&gclid=CIXTx5-Gm5gCFQHilAod912TmA

Next page