Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

at a time of great domestic political upheaval it is easy to forget about the plight of the Palestinian people. However, the suffering and oppression of the Palestinian people continues unabated and we have to continue to respond to it. On the 4th June Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign, together with other groups around the country, held a day of action to highlight the role of the technology giant Hewlett Packard in providing technological services which allow Israel to profile and control the lives of the millions of people living under illegal occupation. National PSC has reported this here They have also set up a dedicated web-site about Hewlett Packard which can be viewed here. National PSC has set up an on-line pledge for people to sign to let HP know that they plan to stop buying Hewlett Packard products until such time as HP ends its support for Israeli human rights violations and war crimes which can be found on the home page of the Stop HP web-site.

Next month will mark two years since the beginning of Israel’s major assault on Gaza which killed over 2,200 Palestinians – over 500 of whom were children. Although the time-line of events shows clearly that Israeli violence was politically motivated, and therefore terrorist in nature, the British main-stream media insisted in parroting what can only be described as propaganda lies put out by the Israeli government. We therefore found ourselves in the position of having to protest, simultaneously, the Israeli attacks themselves and the biased coverage of the main-stream media including the BBC. This included protests outside of the local BBC offices in Southampton and an open letter from Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign to the BBC. Since then Palestine Solidarity Campaign has continued to campaign for a two-way arms embargo between Britain and Israel as part of the Stop Arming Israel campaign – a joint initiative of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, War on Want, and Campaign Against the Arms Trade. We also run an on-going Fair News Campaign which aims to hold the BBC to account for its biased reporting and to which anyone who wishes to can contribute.

Recently we have had to try to defend ourselves against opportunistic efforts made by pro-Israel groups withing the Labour Party to use the controversy over remarks made by Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone to try to define anti-Semitism in a way that would severely curtail expressions of criticism of Israel within the Labour Party. In response to this Jeremy Corbyn set up an inquiry into anti-Semitism within the Labour Party led by Shami Chakrabarti. One good thing that has come out of this otherwise unpleasant episode is a wealth of excellent submissions to this inquiry explaining clearly and precisely the differences between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel. A Free Speech on Israel web-site has been set up which has collected many of these submissions. Many of the submissions are quite long but are well worth the effort as they provide a very clear explanation of anti-Semitism, Zionism and anti-Zionism. Submission which I particularly recommend include the submission by Palestine Solidarity Campaign the submission by the Jewish Socialist’ Group and especially the excellent submission by the UK Palestine Mental Health Network. Alternatively you could take a look at my shorter submission which received over 500 shares on Facebook.

We have an active time over the summer and will be running stalls at the Tolpuddle Festival and the Southampton Left Fest. Feel free to call by and say hello if you are attending either event.

The struggle against racism and discrimination is one that we support both in Israel/Palestine and here in the UK. I have been asked to let people know that on Saturday 2nd July the Southampton and West Hampshire Trades Union Congress are organising a demonstration, meeting at 11am at Bargate in support of diversity and multiculturalism. This is a response to plans by a right wing group that plans to demonstrate at that time and the demonstration organisers hope to significantly out-number them with people committed to supporting our precious multicultural society and all minority communities within it.

Yours sincerely,

Adam Waterhouse Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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Report on the 2nd July from Southampton AntiFA

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

in view of the incessant accusations of anti-Semitism that have been flying around it seems necessary to try to explain what must seem like a confusing phenomena to many. In broad outline the situation can be understood as follows:

1) Israeli leaders have always sought to conflate Israel with Jewish identity. For example, Eli Groner, US-born Director General of the Prime Minister’s office has described Benjamin Netanyahu as “the leader of the Jewish world.” Countless other examples could be given. Some people believe such statements and on that basis develop hatred towards Jewish people generally believing that they are all like Benjamin Netanyahu and support the oppression of the Palestinians. Such attitudes can reasonably be described as “anti-Semitic” and must of course be condemned. However, it is a different form of anti-Semitism from the historical anti-Semitism of the 1930s in that it is based upon their assumed support for Israeli oppression and not hatred for Jewish people simply because they are Jewish.

2) Israeli leaders and pro-Israel lobby groups and media commentators are well-aware of the defamatory potential of accusations of anti-Semitism. Wishing to discredit them they regularly accuse all Palestinian rights groups and activists of anti-Semitism simply on the basis of their opposition to the actions of the state of Israel and its oppression of the Palestinians.

3) Since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party this defamation campaign has gone into hyper-drive. Accusations of anti-Semitism have been chosen by the right as the weapon of choice to use against Jeremy Corbyn and many people who should know better have been taken in by this including Owen Jones and John McDonnell. Many newspaper columnists and MPs have jumped on the bandwagon.

4) Palestinian rights activists have always sought to differentiate clearly between Israel and Jewish people and opposition to Israeli policies and anti-Semitism. We have a moral responsibility to try to ensure that legitimate criticism of Israel does not fuel hatred towards Jewish people and we have a right to defend our campaign for peace, equality and justice from unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism.

Whether Naz Shah’s tweet was or wasn’t appropriate is a matter of debate but there is no rational reason for describing it as anti-Semitic because it said nothing whatsoever about Jews. I personally agree with the views that Tony Greenstein, a founding member of PSC who is of Jewish descent himself, has expressed on this matter:

“Naz Shah has confessed to her comments being anti-Semitic.  Isn’t that enough proof?  No.  The defendants in the Stalin purge trials also confessed to being Trotsky’s agents and more.  It is perfectly possible to create a psychological atmosphere such that people will confess to all manner of things, even though they are not guilty.  Police interrogators have, throughout the years, been quite skilled in obtaining false confessions without the need to beat people up or torture them.

So let me say it here – there is *nothing* anti-Semitic in what Naz Shah has said.  She made what was quite a flippant humorous joke in the midst of something that was anything but funny – the merciless use of American planes, white phosphorous and the most modern missiles and rocket technology against a people who had nothing except pea crackers to fire back with (the ‘rockets’ that Israel used as a pretext for the bombardment and invasion).   Let us not forget that 2,200 people were murdered in Gaza including 551 ‘terrorist’ children.” See his full article here

The accusations of anti-Semitism against Ken Livingstone appear to be equally without foundation. You can read a full transcript of his comments here.

For a comprehensive analysis of this phenomena I would recommend this talk by Dr Norman Finkelstein

It is noteworthy that at the same time as these inflammatory accusations are getting massive media attention Israel’s on-going human-rights violations against the Palestinians are being studiously ignored. In addition to the planned demolition of two Bedouin Palestinian villages and the countless other human rights abuses taking place, threats are being made against Palestinian rights activists in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. An especially alarming statement came from Israeli Minister of Transport, Intelligence and Atomic Energy Yisrael Katz who called on Israel to engage in “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders with the help of Israeli intelligence. The term alludes to “targeted assassinations” which is used to describe Israel’s policy of targeting members of Palestinian armed groups.

You can read a full report of this published by Amnesty International here

Please sign and share this petition calling upon the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the UN High Commissioner to speak out strongly against this:

Kind regards, Adam Waterhouse Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

please note that we now have a new Facebook group – PSC Southampton – which can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/southamptonpsc/

The Facebook group gives us the opportunity to share pictures and news items which can’t be shared through the mailing list so please visit and Like this page if you would like to receive these up-dates on local activities.

Palestinian journalist Yara al-Wazir is the new admin of this page (along with myself). Yara writes for the web-site of the news channel Al Arabiya. If you are interested you can see her articles here:

https://english.alarabiya.net/authors/Yara-al-Wazir.html

Kind regards, Adam Waterhouse Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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Students for Palestine: film show at Highfield Church Centre, Southampton. Tuesday 8th March.

On Tuesday 8th March, 7pm, at Highfield Church Centre, there will be a short 30 minute film about the plight of the Christian Palestinian community in the Bethlehem and Hebron which will be followed by a short talk by Cathryn Spiller who will be running a half-marathon in aid of Amos Trust in Bethlehem in April.

A map of the Highfield Campus can be downloaded here

Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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University of Southampton tries to obstruct talk.

This message is from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

I am sorry to have to inform you that the University of Southampton is engaged in what can only be construed as a dishonest and deeply cynical attempt to silence pro-Palestinian voices on campus. Despite having been given well over a month’s notice of Mike Cushman’s talk, due to take place on Tuesday, (at the Highfield Campus in building 46, room 2005 at 6.30pm) by Students for Palestine, the legal department has failed to grant permission for this talk and has today informed the student group that they will send them an e-mail with a final decision on Monday.

They have already succeeded in minimising the amount of time and effort that could be put into publicising the talk as the student group delayed announcing it for a long time in anticipation of being granted formal permission. They will of course be aware that by providing the group with a “final decision” a single day before the scheduled date of the talk they can successfully minimise the number of people attending and/or the amount of time available to appeal against any decision against. This is a deeply sad and disappointing state of affairs and the student group is considering what steps it can take to prevent this from reoccurring. If the university is allowed to “get away” with doing this on whim they will have effectively succeeded in implementing a de-facto censorship of Palestinian and pro-Palestinian voices on campus.

As regards the talk all that I can say as of the time of writing is that it is still due to go ahead on Tuesday evening. However, if you are planning
to attend the talk do please check your e-mail* on Monday evening for what I hope will be a final confirmation that the talk is going ahead.

*We’ll post it up here: W.S.

My sincere apologies for this sad and shameful state of affairs.

Kind regards,

Adam Waterhouse, Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

I am pleased to be able to inform you of our first talk of the new year on “Higher Education under Occupation” which will be taking place at the University of Southampton on Tuesday 9th February, 6.30pm – room to be confirmed. The talk will be given by university lecturer Mike Cushman who has recently returned from a visit to Palestine with a cross European delegation of activists where they visited six Palestinian universities in order to better understand the impact of Israeli military occupation upon these universities. Mike will talk about what they learnt from this trip about the struggle of Palestinian Universities to provide a normal higher education to their students under conditions of military occupation and how the Israeli occupation undermines both teaching and research.

Mike is a member of the BRICUP organising committee. BRICUP is the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine which takes a leading role in promoting and explaining the case for academic boycott in the UK. He is also a convener of Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods. In his role as a university lecturer he lectures on problem structuring methods at the London School of Economics.

Cathryn, one of our most active branch members, will be running a half marathon in Bethlehem, Palestine on 1st April in order to raise money for the charity Amos Trust who support grass-roots project in Palestine as well as working with international peace activists to try to bring justice and peace to Palestine. She will be staying there from 29th March to 3rd April and will meet and talk with Palestinians and Israelis working with grass-roots conflict resolution and humanitarian projects.

More information about Amos Trust.

You can sponsor Cathryn through her Just Giving page. If you would prefer to sponsor her off-line please get in touch and we can arrange that.

Wishing you all a very happy 2016!

Adam Waterhouse

Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2015 report.

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Pic by courtesy DeGruchy photography

We pitched our tents on Friday as usual and our comrades from Sussex set up their Wob kitchen which fed our bloc, friends and guests excellent veggie food all weekend. The severed heads of Cameron, IDS, Gove, Farage and Osbourne adorned our camp. The evening’s entertainment was memorable for Funke and the two tone baby, and the Tuts, among others.

Bit of a surprise on Saturday when we took our stall to find, amongst the assorted lefties and worthies, like a log in a swimming pool, Bournemouth Action for Israel, who showed extraordinary chutzpah by promoting that rogue state and its genocidal behaviour during the first anniversary of the last Gaza massacre, in which it slaughtered two and a half thousand civilians of whom sixty percent were children. They were repeatedly taken to task by festival-goers, some of whom were in Gaza during the atrocity, and a steady stream of punters approached the organisers to complain. On Sunday morning the Zionists bowed to pressure and left peacefully. We fail to see what connection this group, which appears to be linked with a propaganda hub in the United States, and to be lavishly funded, has to do with working class culture or workers’ associations, it doesn’t even represent the working class of Israel, let alone that of Dorset. What it represents is the military-industrial hegemony of Western imperialism that has brought the entire region to ruin. A glance at their facebook page will reveal the disdain they have for our class; their mission was solely to counter the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Should we perhaps invite the hunt lobby to counter the sabs, the CBI to counter the anti-blacklist campaign, or fracking companies to counter Greenpeace? No doubt Monsanto, Lockheed Martin, G4S and Halliburtons would gladly fork out sixty quid for a stall.

It was great to see supporters of the Save Kingfisher and SCBU campaign, and Lesbians and Gay men Support the Miners on Sunday’s march. See you next year!

Pic by Stef.

Pic by Stef.

Autonomy film show in Bridport, Sat. 2nd May 2015.

1505 Four Horsemen (1)

Events organised by others.

23rd April.
Frome Friends of Palestine. Peace Building in our Community – Stories from three Palestinians. The Ammerdown Centre, Ammerdown Park, Radstock, Somerset, BA3 5SW Tel: 01761 433709

Between Frome and Radstock.

Bar opens 7.30, starts 8:00. Admission free.

​Sat 25th April.
38 Degrees NHS Day: Meet Bucky-Do Square at 11am to leaflet and get signatures for petition*, drawing attention to what is happening to the NHS and to encourage Election candidates to see the groundswell against privatization.​

*didn’t we do all that 5 years ago? – ed.

28th April
South Somerset Peace Group. Journalism and Solidarity, Passion and Bias. Minster Rooms, Ilminster. 7.30pm ; all welcome – £3 appreciated, including tea/coffee .

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Cancellation of the conference on Israel and international law by Southampton University.

Dear All,

please read below a statement by our Chairman Professor Suleiman Sharkh and sign and share this petition calling upon the university to overturn this decision:

From PSC Southampton.

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Dear Colleagues,

As some of you may know, I am one of the organisers of the conference. The conference was approved by the University back in 2014 and we followed all the procedures and collaborated fully from the start. We have been transparent throughout.

Some of you may wonder why I am involved in organising a law conference. The obvious answer is that understanding the law is essential to engineering and it is indeed part of our curriculum – it is a requirement of accreditation. My own research on smart electricity grids and smart metering involves understanding the legal issues that arise from the development of the technology, particularly with regards to privacy of the data collected by the smart meters.

Also, as many of you know, I am a Palestinian. I grew up in Gaza, but my family is originally from a town called Majdal Asqlan (now called Ashkelon by Israel). In November 1948, six months after the establishment of the State of Israel and after the wars have ended, the town was bombed and many people were killed. Those who survived were herded towards Gaza, crawling on their hand in knees in the thorny field. Since then we have lived in squalid refugee camps. I walked around in the sand soiled by the open sewers with my bare feet. I got my first shoes when I went to school at the age of six.

International Law was responsible for our misery. It was used to legalise the theft of our homes and it continues to be used to legalise the on-going oppression of my people by the State of Israel. The questions asked by the conference are therefore questions that I have been asking all my life. They are important questions that need to be answered. However answering these questions risks exposing the true face of Israel, and risks reminding the world of the uncomfortable truth about the crimes that were committed against the Palestinian people. As a result, the pro-Israel lobby exerted huge pressure on the University, which has resulted in the withdrawal of the permission to hold the conference.

The attached statement explains our point of view, and why the University’s Senior Management decision is wrong in law. This decision will have a direct impact on you and your freedom of speech.

I am a Southampton graduate. This is my University. Studying and working at Southampton is the best thing that happened to me. It broadened my mind, it showed me that there are alternatives to violence and hatred, namely respectful debate and love. I care greatly about the University and its reputation and hence the reason for deciding, with a very heavy heart, to take legal action to reverse the decision to cancel the conference.

The main press may give you the impression that this was going to be an anti-Semitic conference. This is absolutely not true. My fellow organiser, Professor Oren Ben-Dor is a Jew. We have many Jewish supporter. And I am glad that many Jews immigrated to Palestine to be a safe haven and I welcome more Jews to live in Palestine. My main aim is to achieve justice, freedom and equality for my people to live side by side with Jews and all people in historic Palestine (and I do not mind if it is called Israel). I want it to be a safer haven for Jews. I hope the conference will be a small step in that direction.

Finally, I want to assure you that there will be no spontaneous demonstrations or any violence from supporters of the conference. We will conduct our protests in a very dignified manner, within the law, with full collaboration with the Police and the University. I will never accept any harm to be done to the University and the wonderful people who work and study here, who keep it the fantastic place of scholarship and learning that it is.

Yours sincerely

Suleiman

Professor Suleiman Sharkh

Court hearing expected next week in challenge to UK university’s ban on Israel conference

Autonomy Films and Bridport UNITE Community Group film show Saturday 28th March 6:45 for 7:30pm

1503 Sell Off

Other Events locally

19th March 2015.

Film – Life in Hebron. 7:30pm St Catharine’s Hall, Park Road, Frome BA11 1EU. Bradford on Avon friends of Palestine. £3 Proceeds go to bringing the Freedom Theatre of Jenin to Frome.

21st March.

Demonstration – UN Anti-Racism Day. Assemble 12 noon at the Town Pump, march to the war memorial and brief rally. Dorchester, Weymouth and Portland TUC, Unite Against Fascism Dorset Socialists and Dorset IWW.

CAAT conference. 10am – 5pm, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL, UK £7 waged / £3 unwaged (Includes tea, coffee and a light vegetarian lunch).

24th March. Talk – Democracy and War Today. 7:30pm, Minster Rooms, Ilminster. South Somerset Peace Group. All welcome – £3 appreciated, including tea/coffee.

25th March. Public First – Local democracy petition, signature gathering, South Street, Dorchester.

28th March. Disco – Frolic for the NHS at the Con Club, North Street, Bridport 9.30pm.

2nd April. Transition Town Bridport – Talk with Carloine Walker ‘The Circular Economy’. WI, North Street, Bridport. 7.30pm. £3 or £1+2Nets.

8th April. From Page to Screen – The Grapes of Wrath. 11am Bridport Arts Centre. £6/£4.

14th April. Hustings with all local electoral candidates, on human rights and general issues at Woodroffe School, Lyme Regis 7pm

15th April. Hustings with all local electoral candidates, on environmental issues at Thomas Hardy School, Dorchester 7.30pm

Palestine Solidarity Campaign – Southampton Branch Film show Saturday 28 February 2015

Uriel Orlow: Unmade Film Saturday 28 February 2015

Private View 1.30-3.30pm All Welcome

Unmade Film is an ambitious body of work by Uriel Orlow shown for the first time in its entirety in the UK. The work takes the form of an impossible film, fragmented into its constituent parts. A collection of audio-visual works that point to the structure of a film but never fully became one, Unmade Film as its starting point the emblematic yet wholly invisible Palestinian village of Deir Yassin, formerly on the outskirts of Jerusalem. The multi-part work evolved out of long-term research and collaborations with actors, musicians, pupils and psychologists in East Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Uriel Orlow In Conversation with Oren Ben-Dor and Jumana Emil Abboud 12.30-1.30pm Booking essential

Before the Private View of Unmade Film, join Uriel Orlow in conversation with Oren Ben-Dor (Professor of Law and Philosophy at University of Southampton) and Jumana Emil Abboud (Associate Director, Al Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem). To book:

Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign Website Blog

AAN join rooftop occupation

Anarchist Action Network took part in the occupation of an arms company in Kent on Tuesday February 17 2015.

Anarchist Action Network took part in the occupation of an arms company in Kent on Tuesday February 17 2015.

Reblogged from Anarchist Action Network.

Instro Precision, an arms company near Broadstairs, was occupied for more than 12 hours, from 5am, to protest its sales to both Israel and Afghanistan. Four people took the roof with banners to shut the factory down, with ten more on the ground, one of whom locked herself to the front gate.

The activists decided to leave after shutting the firm down for the whole day. There were no arrests.

Instro is owned by Israeli arms company Elbit Systems, who make drones that are used to kill Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Optical and camera systems like those made at the Instro factory are also supplied by Elbit for use in drones flown over Afghanistan, as well as in Israel’s apartheid wall.

Elbit Hermes drones have been flown over Afghanistan and the new Watchkeeper drone, based on the Hermes, was deployed by the MOD last year. Although the Watchkeeper is ostensibly a surveillance drone, it has been displayed with missiles under its wings at the DSEi arms fair in London.

During last Summer’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’ attack last Summer, armed drones killed 830 Palestinians in Gaza. 85% of the drones used by the Israeli military are supplied by Elbit. Elbit’s share price rose in July off the back of the extensive use of its technology during Israel’s massacre,and the company recently reported a backlog in orders worth $6.2 billion. Elbit advertises its products as “combat proven”, by which they mean their products are tested on the bodies of Palestinian civilians.

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Next week Students for Palestine will be running Israeli Apartheid Week at the University of Southampton with the following events:

Monday February 23rd, 7 to 8.30pm: Boycott Israeli Apartheid – Beyond the Propaganda. Nuffield Theatre, Lecture Theatre A (building 06/ room 1077)

The first event of Israeli Apartheid Week 2015 – a panel event on the growing BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) Movement to put peaceful pressure on Israel to respect human rights, international law, and basic dignity.

The panel will discuss the principles and importance of BDS, and will address common myths and misinformation surrounding BDS, with time for the panel to answer your questions about the Boycott movement. We will be joined by a trio of eminent panellists from various backgrounds, consisting of:

Professor Suleiman Sharkh: Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Dan Judelson: Jews for Justice for Palestinians
Rena Zuabi: Students for Justice in Palestine

Wednesday February 25th, 6.30 to 8pm: Murder Merchants – Israel and the Arms Trade*. University of Southampton Murray Building (building 58, room 1009)

The second panel event of Israeli Apartheid Week at Southampton will explore the murky world of the international Arms Trade, and the way in which the thriving trade in weapons and military technology between the UK and Israel facilitates and rewards the atrocities Israel commits against the Palestinian people, with the massacres of last summer being just one example.

The arms trade between the UK and Israel is a glaring example of our country’s complicity in Israel’s actions, and companies involved in the arms trade profit directly from the frequently illegal actions of the Israeli state and military. There is therefore a very strong case to be made for boycotting and divesting from these complicit companies, especially in our unique position as students.

We are honoured to be joined by three brilliant activists and speakers for this panel, who will give a fascinating insight into the world of arms dealing, explore what is to be done, and answer any questions you may have:

Mike Deas: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, The Electronic Intifada
Ryvka Barnard: War on Want, Jadaliyya
Maya Evans: Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK, Campaign Against Arms Trade

Friday February 27th, 6.30 to 8.15pm: Roadmap to Apartheid – Film Screening*. Nuffield Theatre, Lecture Theatre A (building 06/ room 1077)

If seeing the words “Apartheid” and “Israel” together shocks, confuses, or even angers you, Roadmap to Apartheid is essential viewing to understand the rationale for the description.

This award-winning documentary, directed by a white South African and a Jewish Israeli, examines and explains the Apartheid analysis, demonstrating how it applies to the situation faced by Palestinians, and why it is a analysis that is increasingly being used in discourse over Israel/Palestine.

Using a facts-based analytical approach, with input from a great variety of respected analysts and commentators, combined with archival material and anecdotes from South Africans, the film forms a complete picture as to why the analogy is being used with increasing frequency and potency – come along and bring your friends!

Map of Highfield Campus showing the location of the Nuffield Building and building 58.

Portsmouth branch group of Palestine Solidarity Campaign is holding a Palestine Day on Saturday 28th from 12 to 5pm.

The event will be held at St. Swithuns Church Community Centre, 105 Waverley Rd, Southsea, PO5 2PL, Map with the following talks:

12am: Palestine and Sport – Red Card Israel Racism – Gareth Edwards (Lecturer in Sports History)
1pm: lunch (free Palestinian food)
2pm: Health and Education in Palestine – Aimee Shalan (Director of Friends of Birzeit University)
3pm: Why is Gaza Blockaded – Kevin Ovenden (Viva Palestinia Organiser)
4pm: BDS – The Way Forward – Salim Alam (Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaigns Director)

Free entry, all welcome. For further details about the events  e mail. Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign Website Blog

Message from riseup: Security is not a crime.

View on Riseup dot net: [en] [es] [pt] [de] [fr] [it] [el] [ca]

[en] Security is not a crime

On Tuesday December 16th, a large police operation took place in the Spanish State. Fourteen houses and social centers were raided in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, and Madrid. Books, leaflets, computers were seized and eleven people were arrested and sent to the Audiencia Nacional, a special court handling issues of “national interest”, in Madrid. They are accused of incorporation, promotion, management, and membership of a terrorist organisation. However, lawyers for the defence denounce a lack of transparency, saying that their clients have had to make statements without knowing what they are accused of. “[They] speak of terrorism without specifying concrete criminal acts, or concrete individualized facts attributed to each of them” [2]. When challenged on this, Judge Bermúdez responded: “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future” [1]; making this yet another case of apparently preventative arrests.

Four of the detainees have been released, but seven have been jailed pending trial. The reasons given by the judge for their continued detention include the posession of certain books, “the production of publications and forms of communication”, and the fact that the defendants “used emails with extreme security measures, such as the RISE UP server” [2].

We reject this Kafka-esque criminalization of social movements, and the ludicrous and extremely alarming implication that protecting one’s internet privacy is tantamount to terrorism.

Riseup, like any other email provider, has an obligation to protect the privacy of its users. Many of the “extreme security measures” used by Riseup are common best practices for online security and are also used by providers such as hotmail, GMail or Facebook. However, unlike these providers, Riseup is not willing to allow illegal backdoors or sell our users’ data to third parties.

The European Parliament’s report on the US NSA surveillance program states that “privacy is not a luxury right, but the foundation stone of a free and democratic society” [3]. Recent revelations about the extent to which States violate everyone’s right to privacy show that everything that can be spied upon will be spied upon [4]. Furthermore, we know that criminalizing people for using privacy tools also has a chilling effect on everybody, and human-rights defenders, journalists, and activists, in particular. Giving up your basic right to privacy for fear of being flagged as a terrorist is unacceptable.

[es] La seguridad no es un crimen

El Jueves 16 de diciembre, una operación policial a gran escala tuvo lugar en el Estado Español. Catorce viviendas y centros sociales fueron registrados en Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, y Madrid. Libros, panfletos y ordenadores fueron requisados y once personas fueron arrestadas y enviadas a la Audiencia Nacional, un jurado especial para casos de “interés nacional”, in Madrid. Se les acusa de incorporación, promoción, gestión y participación de una organización terrorista. Sin embargo, abogadas de la defensa denuncian falta de transparencia, sus clientes han tenido que declarar sin saber de qué se les acusa. “Hablan de terrorismo sin especificar actos criminales concretos, o hechos concretos individuales atribuídos a cada una” [2]. Cuando fue questionado por esto, el Juéz Bermúdez respondió “No estoy investigando hechos específicos, estoy investigando la organización, y la amenaza que podrían suponer en el futuro” [1]; convirtiendo esto en un caso más de arresto preventivo en apariencia.

Cuatro de las detenidos han sido puestos en libertad, pero siete han sido encarcelados pendientes de juicio. Las razones que ha dado el juez para su detención prolongada incluye la posesión de ciertos libros, “la producción de publicaciones y formas de comuniación”, y el hecho que los defendidos “usan correos con medidas de seguridad extremas, como el servidor de Riseup” [2].

Nosotras rechazamos esta criminalización kafkiana de los movimientos sociales, y la absurda y extrema implicación de que proteger tu propia privacidad en Internet es equivalente a terrorismo.

Riseup, como cualquier proveedor de correo, tiene la obligación de proteger la privacidad de sus usuarias. Muchas de las “medidas de seguridad extremas” usadas por Riseup son buenas prácticas comunes para la seguridad online y son usadas a su vez por proveedores como hotmail, Gmail o Facebook. Sin embargo, a diferencia de estos proveedores, Riseup no está dispuesto a permitir puertas traseras ilegales o vender los datos de sus usuarias a terceras partes.

p. El informe del Parlamento Europeo sobre el programa de vigilancia de la NSA de EE.UU. Declara que “la privacidad no es un derecho de lujo, sino los cimientos de una sociedad libre y democrática” [3]. Revelaciones recientes sobre el alcance de la violación del derecho a la privacidad de todas por los Estados muestran que todo lo que se pueda espiar, será espiado [4]. Más aún, sabemos que criminalizar a las personas por usar herramientas de privacidad tiene un efecto escalofriante en todo el mundo, y en defensoras de Derechos Humanos, periodistas, y activistas en particular. Renunciar a tu derecho básico a la privacidad por el miedo a ser etiquetada como terrorista es inaceptable.

[pt] Segurança não é crime

Na terça-feira, 16 de dezembro, uma grande operação policial ocorreu no Estado Espanhol. Catorze casas e centros sociais foram invadidos em Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa e Madrid. Livros, panfletos e computadores foram apreendidos e onze pessoas foram presas e enviadas para a Audiência Nacional, uma corte especial que cuida das questões de “interesse nacional”, em Madrid. Eles são acusados de incorporação, promoção, gestão e pertencimento de uma organização terrorista. No entanto, os advogados de defesa denunciaram a falta de transparência, dizendo que seus clientes tiveram que dar declarações sem saber pelo que estavam sendo acusados. “[Eles] falam de terrorismo sem especificar os atos criminais concretos ou fatos concretos individualizados atribuídos a cada um deles.”[2] Quando questionado sobre isso, o Juiz Bermúdez respondeu:”Eu não estou investigando atos específicos, eu estou investigando a organização e a ameaça que ela pode representar no futuro”[1]; tornando assim mais um caso de prisões aparentemente preventivas.

Quatro detidos foram soltos, mas sete estão presos aguardando o julgamento. A razão dada pelo juíz para continuar a detenção deles inclui a posse de certos livros, “a produção de publicações e formas de comunicação” e o fato de que os réus “usam emails com medidas extremas de segurança, como o servidor RISE UP”[2].

Nós rejeitamos esta criminalização kafkiana dos movimentos sociais e a implicação ridícula e extremamente alarmante de que proteger a sua privacidade na internet seja equivalente à terrorismo.

O Riseup, assim como qualquer outro provedor de email, possui a obrigação de proteger a privacidade de seus usuários. Muitas das “medidas extremas de segurança” usadas pelo Riseup são boas práticas comuns para a segurança online e são também usadas por provedores como hotmail, GMail ou Facebook. Entretanto, diferentemente desses provedores, o Riseup não está disposto a permitir a instalação de backdoors ilegais ou a vender os dados dos usuários para terceiros.

O relatório do Parlamento Europeu sobre o programa de vigilância da Agência de Segurança Nacional (NSA) dos Estados Unidos afirma que “a privacidade não é um direito de luxo, mas a pedra fundamental de uma sociedade livre e democrática”[3]. As revelações recentes sobre a extensão da violação pelos Estados do direito de todos à privacidade mostra que tudo que puder ser espionado será espionado[4]. Além disso, nós sabemos que a criminalização das pessoas por usarem ferramentas de privacidade também tem um efeito paralisante em todo mundo e, em especial, nos defensores de direitos humanos, jornalistas e ativistas. Abrir mão do seu direito básico à privacidade por medo de ser marcado como um terrorista é inaceitável.

[de] Sicherheit ist kein Verbrechen

Am Dienstag, den 16. Dezember fand im spanischen Staat eine große Polizeioperation statt. Vierzehn Häuser und soziale Zentren in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa und Madrid wurden durchsucht. Bücher, Flugblätter und Computer wurden beschlagnahmt, elf Menschen verhaftet und zur Audiencia Nacional verbracht, einem Sondergericht in Madrid, das für Anliegen “von nationalem Interesse” zuständig ist. Ihnen wird die Gründung, Bewerbung, Verwaltung und Mitgliedschaft in einer terroristischen Organisation vorgeworfen. Allerdings beklagen Anwält_innen der Verteidigung einen Mangel an Transparenz; ihnen zufolge wurden ihre Klient_innen zu Aussagen gezwungen ohne zu wissen, was ihnen vorgeworfen wird. “[Sie] sprechen von Terrorismus ohne konkrete kriminelle Handlungen zu benennen oder konkrete individualisierte Tatsachen, die den einzelnen zugeschrieben werden könnten” [2]. Als er damit konfrontiert wurde, reagierte Richter Bermúdez mit den Worten: “Ich untersuche nicht spezifische Handlungen, ich untersuche eine Organisation und die Bedrohung, die in Zukunft von ihr ausgehen könnte” [1]; damit handelt es sich um einen weiteren Fall anscheinend präventativer Verhaftungen.

Vier der Häftlinge wurden inzwischen freigelassen, sieben bleiben jedoch in Untersuchungshaft. Die Gründe, die vom Richter für ihre fortgesetzte Haft angegeben wurden, beinhalten den Besitz bestimmter Bücher, “die Herstellung von Publikationen und Formen der Kommunikation”, sowie die Tatsache dass die Angeklagten “eMail mit extremen Sicherheitsvorkehrungen verwendeten, so wie den RISE UP Server” [2].

Wir verurteilen diese kafkaeske Kriminalisierung sozialer Bewegungen und die irrsinnige und außerordentlich alarmierende Schlussfolgerung, den Schutz der eigenen Privatsphäre mit Terrorismus gleichzusetzen.

Wie jeder andere eMail-Provider hat Riseup die Pflicht, die Privatsphäre seiner Nutzer_innen zu schützen. Viele der “extremen Sicherheitsvorkehrungen”, die Riseup einsetzt, sind gängige Musterlösungen (sog. “Best Practices”), die auch von Providern wie hotmail, GMail oder Facebook eingesetzt werden. Anders als diese Provider ist Riseup allerdings nicht bereit, illegale Hintertüren zuzulassen oder die Daten ihrer Nutzer_innen an Dritte zu verkaufen.

Der Bericht des Europaparlaments über das US-amerikanische NSA-Überwachungsprogramm stellt fest, dass “das Recht auf Achtung der Privatsphäre kein Luxus ist, sondern einen Grundpfeiler der freien und demokratischen Gesellschaft darstellt” [3]. Die jüngsten Enthüllungen über das Ausmaß, in dem Staaten die Rechte aller Menschen auf Privatsphäre missachten, zeigen, dass alles was ausspioniert werden kann auch ausspioniert wird [4]. Darüberhinaus wissen wir, dass die Kriminalisierung einzelner weil sie Werkzeuge zum Schutz der Privatsphäre verwendet haben, eine Einschüchterungswirkung auf alle hat, und ganz besonders auf Menschenrechtsverteidiger_innen, Journalist_innen und Aktivist_innen. Das eigene Grundrecht auf Privatsphäre aufgeben zu müssen aus Angst, als Terrorist_in markiert zu werden, ist inakzeptabel.

[fr] La sécurité n’est pas un crime

Mardi 16 décembre, une opération policière d’envergure a eu lieu en Espagne. 14 domiciles et centres sociaux ont été perquisitionnés à Barcelone, Sabadell, Manresa et Madrid. Livres, brochures et ordinateurs ont été saisis. 11 personnes ont été arrêtées et déférées devant l’Audiencia Nacional espagnole, un haut tribunal à Madrid s’occupant des affaires d'”intérêt national”. Elles sont accusées de recrutement, promotion, organisation et appartenance à une organisation terroriste. Toutefois, les avocats de la défense dénoncent un manque de transparence, précisant que leurs client·es ont été interrogé·es sans savoir de quoi ils ou elles étaient accusé·es. “[Ils] parlent de terrorisme sans préciser les crimes reprochés, ni même les actes individuels attribués à chacun d’entre eux” [2]. Interrogé, le juge Bermúdez répond: “Je n’enquête pas sur des faits spécifiques, j’enquête sur l’organisation, et le danger qu’ils peuvent représenter à l’avenir” [1]; créant ainsi un nouvel exemple d’arrestation préventive.

Quatre des détenu·es ont été libéré·es, mais 7 restent en détention préventive pour leur procès à venir. Les motifs présentés par le juge pour leur incarcération sont la détention de certains livres, “la production de publications et de moyens de communication”, et le fait que les accusé·es “utilisent les emails avec des mesures de sécurité extrêmes, comme les serveurs RISE UP” [2].

Nous rejetons cette criminalisation kafkaïenne des mouvements sociaux, ainsi que l’implication que la protection de la vie privée sur internet est équivalente au terrorisme. Cela est absurde et extrêmement alarmant.

Riseup, comme d’autres fournisseurs de courrier électronique, a l’obligation de protéger la confidentialité de ses utilisateurs et utilisatrices. Beaucoup des “mesures de sécurité extrêmes” utilisées par Riesup sont de bonnes pratiques communément admises en termes de sécurité sur Internet et sont aussi utilisées par des fournisseurs de services comme hotmail, GMail ou Facebook. Toutefois, contrairement à ces fournisseurs, Riseup ne veut pas permettre la mise en place de portes dérobées illégales, ni vendre les données de ses utilisateurs et utilisatrices à des tierces parties.

Le rapport du parlement européen sur le programme de surveillance de la NSA “souligne que le respect de la vie privée n’est pas un droit de luxe, mais constitue la pierre angulaire d’une société libre et démocratique” [3]. Des révélations récentes sur l’étendue des violations de la vie privée par les États montrent que tout ce qui peut être épié le sera [4]. De plus, nous savons que la criminalisation de l’usage des outils de protection de la vie privée a un effet dissuasif sur toutes et tous, en particulier les défenseurs des droits humains, les journalistes et les activistes. Abandonner ses droits fondamentaux à la vie privée par peur d’être identifié·e comme terroriste est inacceptable.

[it] La sicurezza non è un crimine

Martedì 16 dicembre 2014 in Spagna si è svolta una vasta operazione di polizia. Quattordici tra case e centri sociali sono stati perquisiti a Barcellona, Sabadell, Manresa, e Madrid. Libri, riviste, e computer sono stati sequestrati e undici persone sono state arrestate e inviate alla Audiencia Nacional, il tribunale speciale con sede a Madrid che si occupa di casi di “interesse nazionale”. Sono accusati di aver costituito, promosso, diretto e partecipato a un’organizzazione terroristica. D’altra parte gl’avvocat* della difesa hanno denunciato la mancanza di trasparenza dell’accusa e hanno riferito che le persone che seguono sono state costrette a rilasciare dichiarazioni senza sapere di che cosa erano accusate in concreto. “Parlano di terrorismo senza specificare atti criminali concreti, o atti specifici attribuibili individualmente”[1]. Interrogato al riguardo, il giudice dell’udienza preliminare ha risposto: “Non sto indagando atti specifici, sto indagando l’organizzazione, e il pericolo che potrà rappresentare in futuro”[2], a dimostrare che si tratta dell’ennesimo caso di arresti preventivi.

Quattro degl’arrestat* sono stat* rilasciat*, mentre sette resteranno in carcere in attesa di giudizio. Tra le motivazioni del giudice per la custodia cautelare, si includono il possesso di alcuni libri, “la produzione di pubblicazioni e altre forme di comunicazione” e il fatto che gl’accusat* “utilizzassero caselle di posta con misure di sicurezza eccezionali, come il server RISE UP”[2].

Rifiutiamo questa criminalizzazione kafkiana dei movimenti sociali e l’implicazione ridicola ed estremamente allarmante che proteggere la propria privacy su Internet equivalga a un atto terroristico.

Riseup, come ogni altro fornitore di servizi di posta, è obbligata a proteggere la riservatezza dei suoi utenti. Molte delle “misure di sicurezza eccezionali” usate da Riseup sono buone pratiche invalse nel campo della sicurezza in rete e sono le stesse che vengono usate da provider come Hotmail, Gmail o Facebook. D’altra parte, a differenza di questi servizi, Riseup si rifiuta di inserire backdoor illegali o di vendere i dati dei propri utenti a terze parti.

Il rapporto del parlamento europeo sul programma di sorveglianza della NSA statunitense dichiara che “la privacy non è un diritto di lusso, ma il primo fondamento di una società libera e democratica”[3]. Le recenti rivelazioni sulla portata delle violazioni del diritto alla privacy da parte degli stati dimostrano che tutto ciò che può essere intercettato sarà intercettato[4]. Inoltre sappiamo che criminalizzare chi usa gli strumenti di difesa della privacy ha l’effetto di una doccia fredda su tutti, e in particolare su difensor* dei diritti umani, giornalist* e attivist*. Rinunciare ai propri diritti fondamentali per paura di essere segnalati come terroristi è inaccettabile.

[el] Η ασφάλεια δεν είναι έγκλημα

Την Τρίτη 16 Δεκέμβρη μια μεγάλη αστυνομική επιχείρηση έλαβε χώρα στο ισπανικό κράτος. Έγιναν εισβολές της αστυνομίας σε δεκατέσσερα σπίτια και κοινωνικά κέντρα στις πόλεις Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, και Madrid. Κατασχέθηκαν βιβλία, φυλλάδια, υπολογιστές και συνελήφθησαν έντεκα άνθρωποι και μεταφέρθηκαν στη Μαδρίτη, στο “Audiencia Nacional” ένα ειδικό δικαστήριο που χειρίζεται υποθέσεις “εθνικού ενδιαφέροντος”. Οι άνθρωποι αυτοί κατηγορούνται για σύσταση, προώθηση, διεύθυνση και συμμετοχή σε τρομοκρατική οργάνωση. Παρόλα αυτά, οι συνήγοροι υπεράσπισης θέτουν ζήτημα έλλειψης διαφάνειας, αναφέροντας πως οι πελάτες τους έπρεπε να απολογηθούν χωρίς να γνωρίζουν συγκεκριμένα τις κατηγορίες που τους αποδίδονται. “Μιλάνε για τρομοκρατία χωρίς να ορίζουν συγκεκριμένες εγκληματικές πράξεις ή συγκεκριμένα εξατομικευμένα γεγονότα για κάθε μια και έναν από αυτούς (στμ τους κατηγορούμενους)” [2]. Όταν ο δικαστής Bermúdez ήρθε αντιμέτωπος με αυτό τον ισχυρισμό, απάντησε: “Δεν ερευνώ συγκεκριμένες πράξεις, ερευνώ την οργάνωση και την απειλή που μπορεί να συνιστά στο μέλλον” [1], καθιστώντας την επιχείρηση αυτή άλλη μια υπόθεση προληπτικών συλλήψεων.

Τέσσερις από τους προσαχθέντες έχουν αφεθεί ελεύθεροι, αλλά επτά παραμένουν φυλακισμένοι και αναμένουν τη δίκη. Η αιτιολογία που δόθηκε από το δικαστή για την παράταση της κράτησής τους, περιλαμβάνει μεταξύ άλλων την κατοχή συγκεκριμένων βιβλίων, “την παραγωγή εκδόσεων και μορφών επικοινωνίας”, και το γεγονός ότι οι κατηγορούμενοι “χρησιμοποιούσαν email με εξαιρετικό επίπεδο ασφάλειας όπως ο RISE UP server [2].

Εμείς απορρίπτουμε την καφκική εγκληματοποίηση των κοινωνικών κινημάτων, και το γελοίο αλλά και εξαιρετικά ανησυχητικό συμπέρασμα ότι η προστασία της ιδιωτικότητάς μας στο διαδίκτυο ισοδυναμεί με τρομοκρατία.

Το Riseup, όπως κάθε άλλος πάροχος email, έχει την υποχρέωση να προστατεύει την ιδιωτικότητα των χρηστών του. Πολλά από τα “εξαιρετικά μέτρα ασφάλειας” που χρησιμοποιούνται από τη Riseup είναι κοινές βέλτιστες επιλογές για την ασφάλεια στο διαδίκτυο και χρησιμοποιούνται από παρόχους όπως το hotmail, το GMail ή το Facebook. Παρόλα αυτά, σε αντίθεση με αυτούς τους παρόχους, το Riseup δεν είναι διατεθειμένο να επιτρέψει παράνομες “πίσω πόρτες” ή να πουλήσει τα δεδομένα των χρηστών σε τρίτους.

Η έκθεση του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου σε σχέση με τα προγράμματα επιτήρησης της NSA των ΗΠΑ αναφέρει ότι “η ιδιωτικότητα δεν είναι δικαίωμα πολυτελείας, αλλά ο θεμέλιος λίθος για μια ελεύθερη και δημοκρατική κοινωνία” [3]. Οι πρόσφατες αποκαλύψεις σχετικά με την έκταση της παραβίασης από τις ΗΠΑ του δικαιώματος όλων μας στην ιδιωτικότητα, δείχνουν ότι οτιδήποτε μπορεί να είναι αντικείμενο παρακολούθησης θα παρακολουθείται [4]. Επιπλέον, γνωρίζουμε ότι η εγκληματοποίηση όσων χρησιμοποιούν εργαλεία για τη διαφύλαξη της ιδιωτικότητας έχει αρνητικές συνέπεις για όλους, και ειδικά για αυτές που προασπίζονται τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, δημοσιογράφους και ακτιβιστές. Η παραίτηση από το δικαίωμά μας στην ιδιωτικότητα υπό το φόβο του να μαρκαριστούμε ως τρομοκράτες είναι μη αποδεκτή.

[ca] La seguretat no és cap delicte

Dijous 16 de desembre, una operació policial a gran escala es va dur a terme a l’Estat Espanyol. Catorze vivendes i centres socials van ser escorcollats a Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, i Madrid. Llibres, pamflets i ordinadors van ser requisats i onze persones van ser arrestades i portades a l’Audiència Nacional, a Madrid. Se’ls acusa d’incorporació, promoció, gestió i participació d’una organització terrorista. No obstant això, advocats de la defensa denuncien la falta de transparència, els seus clients han hagut de declarar sense saber de que se’ls acusa. “parlen de terrorisme sense especificar tipus delictius concrets ni fets concrets individualitzats que se’ls imputen.”[2] Al ser qüestionat per periodistes, el Jutge Bermúdez va respondre “no investigo els possibles atemptats, jo investigo l’organització i el que poden ser de perill per al futur”;[1] convertint això en un cas més de detenció preventiva en apariència.

Quatre de les detingudes han estat posades en llibertat, però set estan empresonades pendents del judici. Les raons donades pel jutge per prolongar la detenció inclouen la possessió d’alguns llibres, “la producció de publicacions i formes de comunicació”, i el fet de que les acusades “utilitzessin correus electrònics amb extremes mesures de seguretat, com ara el servidor Rise Up.”[2]

Nosaltres rebutgem aquesta criminalització kafkiana dels moviments socials, i l’absurda i extrema implicació de que protegir la teva pròpia privacitat a Internet és equivalent a terrorisme. Riseup, com qualsevol proveïdor de correu, té l’obligació de protegir la privacitat dels seus usuaris. Moltes de les “mesures extremes de seguretat” utilitzades per Riseup son bones pràctiques comuns per a la seguretat online i són emprades alhora per proveïdors com hotmail, Gmail o Facebook. No obstant això, a diferència d’aquests proveïdors, Riseup no està disposat a permetre «backdoors» il·legals o vendre les dades dels seus usuaris a tercers.

L’informe del Parlament Europeu sobre el programa de vigilància de la NSA d’ EE.UU. Declara que “la privacitat no és un dret de luxe, si no els fonaments d’una societat lliure i democràtica.”[3] Revelacions recents sobre l’abast de la violació del dret a la privacitat de totes pels Estats, mostra que tot el que es pot espiar, serà espiat.[4] Més encara, sabem que criminalitzar a les persones per utilitzar eines de privacitat té un efecte esgarrifós a tot el món, i entre els defensors dels Drets Humans, periodistes, i activistes en particular. Renunciar al teu dret bàsic de privacitat per la por de ser etiquetada com a terrorista és inacceptable.

Message from Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch: Medical Aid for Palestinians.

You might like to learn about the amazing work that Medical Aid for Palestinians are doing on behalf of the people of Gaza. As you may be aware tens of thousands of people in Gaza are going to be homeless this winter, including newly orphaned children and bereaved families. Medical Aid for Palestinians are doing everything they can to try to provide them with the basics that they will need to at least get through the winter months such as blankets, food packages, mattresses, and hygiene kits. Would you like to help them reach a few more of the many thousands who are suffering? Maybe you’ll make a donation to their Gaza Winter Crisis Appeal (think of it as buying a Christmas present that you know someone definitely DOES need and want!) to help them to do just that:

Palestine Solidarity Campaign is not an aid organisation, but as a branch group we support the work of Medical Aid for Palestinians and have often donated a proportion of the proceeds of our annual sponsored walk to them. It would, however, be unsatisfactory to focus exclusively upon aid given that this is a man-made problem that can be resolved with sufficient political will. Medical Aid for Palestinians are also well aware of that and also try to promote awareness of what is happening and why. This point was also made by Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert who was working in Gaza at the time of the mass bombing in the Summer. As Mads Gilbert has put it prevention is always better than cure in the area of public health, and so it would be irresponsible for him to not focus on the root causes of the problems faced by the people of Gaza.

Please consider joining Palestine Solidarity Campaign as an individual member. Even if you aren’t able to make it along to any of our local events this is still a powerful way of supporting our organisation at a national level and ensuring that we can continue to advocate on behalf of the long-suffering people of Palestine and advance their cause.

For a powerful interview with Mads Gilbert see:

For a brief summary of events of the past year by our Chairman Hugh Lanning and a link to our annual report see:

Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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Message from Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch. ‘Open Bethlehem’ Film showing.

The film ‘Open Bethlehem’ is getting rave reviews from many of the people who have seen it. The film’s website give the following background to the making of the film:

“Film director Leila Sansour returns to Bethlehem to make a film about her home town, soon to be encircled by a wall. She left the city as a teenager thinking that Bethlehem was too small and provincial. She never wanted to return but this time she is making an exception. She intends her film to be a tribute to her late father, founder of Bethlehem University, and a man regarded as a hero by his town’s folk. As Bethlehem approaches ruin her decision to flee this sleepy town, taken much to her father’s regret, comes to haunt her.

Armed with her camera and a dilapidated family car that keeps breaking down, Leila plans to make an epic film about a legendary town in crisis but just few months into filming her life and the film take an unexpected turn when cousin Carol, Leila’s last relative in town, persuades her to stay to start a campaign to save the city.”

The film will be shown at the Harbour Lights Picturehouse in Southampton on Wednesday 4th February at 21.00, but only if we can get the necessary number of bookings for it – we currently need about thirty more. If you would like to see the film and to support a showing of it in Southampton please book here:

For further details about the film via the film’s web-site

Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

I’m sure that we will have all been shocked and alarmed to learn about the murders of Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59, Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 43, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68, Rabbi Kalman Zeev Levine, 55, and Zidan Nahad Seif, 30, last Tuesday. Any act of violence, especially one against civilians, marks a profound failure of human imagination and causes a deep and abiding trauma for all involved. Such actions only harm the Palestinian cause and so as Palestinian rights activists we have condemn them for that reason too.

However, what has sadly yet predictably been absent from the main-stream media’s reporting of this issue is the context withing which these events occurred – the on-going oppression, humiliation, kidnapping, torture and killing of Palestinians which are rendered invisible by a media which seems to regard such events as not news-worthy. What have we hear about the 14 year old Palestinian American Orwah Hammas, or 21 year old Mohammed Jawabreh both shot and killed recently by the Israeli military? Or 22 year old Khayr al-Din al-Hamdan, a Palestinian citizen of Israel killed by the police? Sadly, such non-reporting of Palestinian deaths is almost too commonplace to be noteworthy.

But perhaps most serious of all is the main-stream media’s non-reporting of the arrest, detention, and torture of Palestinian non-violent protesters. Take the case of Abdallah Abu Rahma. Rahma is a leader of the Bilin Popular Committee, which, since 2005, has led unarmed protests against the separation barrier that cuts the West Bank village off from 50 percent of its land. “In Bilin,” Rahma wrote in a 2010 letter, “we have chosen another way. We have chosen to protest nonviolently together with Israeli and international supporters. We have chosen to carry a message of hope and real partnership between Palestinians and Israelis in the face of oppression and injustice.” Rahma’s wife smuggled the letter out of the jail where he was serving a year-long sentence for “incitement” and organising “illegal demonstrations.” Under Military Order 101, which Israel issued when it took over the West Bank in 1967, an “illegal demonstration” is any gathering of 10 or more Palestinians that involves “a political matter or one liable to be interpreted as political.”

Rahma’s case is not unusual. In 2011, Bassem Tamimi was convicted under Military Order 101 for leading illegal protests in the village of Nabi Saleh, which has seen much of its land handed over to the neighboring settlement of Halamish. Many Palestinians were inspired by Obama’s speech in Cairo in June 2009 in which he referenced Gandhi and Martin Luther King to engage in non-violent direct action against illegal Israeli encroachments on their land and were injured and sometimes killed as a result.

Non-violent protest *is and has always been* the main form of Palestinian resistance to the on-going oppression and dispossession that they experience, but is rendered ineffective as a tool of political change by a main-stream media who simply declines to report on it.

Which is why those within the main-stream media who condemn the murders of Moshe Twersky, Aryeh Kupinsky, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Kalman Zeev Levine, and Zidan Nahad Seif really need to take a look in the mirror. Because *by failing to report on and honour the courage and sacrifice of Palestinian non-violent protesters they themselves have created the conditions in which violent protest comes to be seen (by some) as the only viable and effective form of protest possible.*

As some of you will know I regard campaigning against the selective and biased reporting of this issue as a major campaign objective. Because it is just so obvious and self-evident how distorted people’s perception of this issue becomes when, outside of the major bombing campaigns, they are only hearing about Israeli fatalities.

Yours sincerely,

Adam Waterhouse, Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign Website Blog

For statistics compiled by Alison Weir on relative fatalities and other
important figures see her web-site ‘If American’s Knew’

An article by Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House
Demolitions

Victory at Autogrill: from LabourStart.

Status

Thank you – your support helped contribute to this important win.

streik
Back in May we launched a campaign on LabourStart in support of striking German workers at Autogrill. 5,930 of you signed up to support it.

That campaign, called by the NGG union and its global union federation (the IUF), has now resulted in a victory.

The IUF has issued this statement:

The German Food Workers Union (NGG) have announced a successful conclusion to their fight for a first-ever collective agreement at Autogrill Germany, where workers in Bavaria and Thuringia have been holding strikes since April. On September 9, Autogrill Germany announced it would be joining the national employer organization for the sector, which would bring Autogrill employees under the national collective agreement for the sector. The NGG has warmly thanked the many thousands who supported the campaign.

It’s always great to report a victory — but I’d like to ask you to do more:

Make sure you’re supporting ALL eight of our current online campaigns. Workers on the picket line, workers who have been the victims of employer-initiated violence, workers who have been locked out — they all need your support:

And most important of all: spread the word in your unions about these campaigns. Share this message by email and on social networks. Click on any of these links:

Thank you!


Eric Lee

Timeline of recent events in Israel/Palestine

Taken from the blog of Adam Waterhouse.

29th July 2013 – Start of the so-called Kerry Peace Talks

14th November 2013 – Palestinian team quit negotiations citing the fact that Israel was continuing settlement construction on land in the West Bank that was supposed to be designated for a Palestinian state.

30 December 2013 – Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erehat said that Israel had shown through its actions that it wanted to destroy the possibility of a Palestinian state, and that the Palestinians would be seeking recognition through international bodies (this was on the basis of Palestine being up-graded to non-member observer status by the General Assembly a year previously on 29th November 2012). Israel insisted that the Palestinians should continue the peace talks, why? Purely as a cynical public relations exercise – because Israel needs ‘peace talks’ in the same way that a bank robber needs a balaclava – to try to prevent the world from recognising what they are doing – an analogy given by American Professor of history Juan Cole in this articles about this matter.

23rd April – Fatah and Hamas agreed to form a unity government and to hold fresh elections. Netanyahu said that Abbas would have to chose between peace with Hamas and Peace with Israel – clearly a threat of violence. The EU and the US offered their support to the unity government. Netanyahu was furious and immediately withdrew Israel from the so-called peace negotiations.

15th May – During Nakba day celebrations Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian youths in the West Bank city of Beitunia near to Ofer prison (a prison for political prisoners in the West Bank). Some of the boys were throwing stones but they were falling on the ground short of where the soldiers were. Two boys, one 16 and one 17, were killed, another was shot in the chest but survived, and eight others were shot in the arms or legs. The incident was caught by security camera, put on-line, and viewed by many Palestinians who were very angry and upset about it.

2nd June – The technocratic unity government of Fatah and Hamas was sworn in. Many of the key positions within it were given to academics who were part of neither party. Hamas were subordinate to Fatah and had agreed to accept the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah.

12th June – Three Israeli students were kidnapped. Benjamin Netanyahu announced “Hamas is responsible, Hamas will pay.” This was very much the same as the Bush administration’s attempt to try to lay blame on Saddam Hussein for 9/11 without the slightest shred of evidence – clearly a cynical attempt to find a pretext for launching an attack on Hamas. Hamas’s senior leadership in Gaza said that they were not behind the kidnapping, calling Netanyahu’s allegations that Hamas masterminded the kidnappings “stupid.” This was later confirmed by the Israeli police themselves when on 25th July Israeli police spokesperson Chief Inspector Mickey Rosenfeld informed BBC journalist Jon Donnison that the two men detained for killing the three Israeli teens were acting on their own initiative. Jon Donnison reported this via Twitter but BBC didn’t run a story on it.

13th June – The very next morning the Israeli police knew that the three had been killed because one of them placed an emergency call, and there was an open recorded line as they were shot. The police soon found a burned-out Hyundai which contained a pair of tefillin (leather-bound texts that religious Jews strap on for prayer), DNA evidence that was quickly matched to the boys’ parents, and eight bullet holes. The same day Israel launched Operation Brother’s Keeper in the West Bank and over the next ten days arrested approximately 800 Palestinians without charge or trial, killed nine civilians, and raided nearly 1,300 residential, commercial and public buildings. Its military operation targeted Hamas members previously released as part of a[during the Gilad Shalit] prisoner exchange in 2011 – rearresting without any ground at all the people it had agreed to release. This was clearly an attack on Hamas and not an attempt to locate the missing teens.

29th June – The Israeli air force carries out strikes on 12 targets in Gaza killing a member of Hamas.

30th June – Further Israeli air strikes take place in Gaza killing one person and injuring three. In response Hamas fired sixteen rockets into Israel which hit open areas in the Eshkol region harming no one. This was the first Hamas rocket fire into Israel since Operation Pillar of Defence in November 2012. [Although there were some rockets being fired into Israel over 2013 [about 5 per month] these were fired by other groups and the Israeli security establishment had themselves testified to the aggressive anti-rocket efforts made by the new police force that Hamas established specifically for that purpose.] The bodies of the three teens are found under rocks close to the West Bank city of Hebron. 1st July – At the funeral for the three killed Israeli teens Benjamin Netanyahu’s statements included vengeful language, speaking of the “horrific darkness of those who seek our destruction – despicable kidnappers of children, heinous murderers whose brothers rejoice at the spilling of innocent blood.” Even the Jewish Forward, an American pro-Israeli newspaper expressed sharp objections to Netanyahu’s comments calling them incitement to violence. During the day of the funeral there are violent protests in East Jerusalem in which Israelis were chanting ‘Death to Arabs.’ Palestinians were pulled from cars and beaten and a 17 year old Palestinian was abducted and murdered in what appeared to be a revenge attack.

8th July – Israel launches ‘Operation Protective Edge’ against Gaza claiming that they were doing so in response to Hamas rocket fire, which they had obviously provoked.

11th July – During a Press Conference at the Defence Ministry at Tel Aviv speaking only in Hebrew announced that he would never, ever, allow a Palestinian state in the West Bank and that Israel would maintain full military control of all of historic Palestine indefinitely and should never have withdrawn from Gaza in 2005.

On 17th July amid escalating, overwhelmingly one-sided violence Israel launched a ground invasion, claiming that it needed to destroy tunnels – tunnels that it had known about for years and which were used to Palestinians to bring food and other goods into the besieged Gaza strip. But for people following what is happening between Israel and Palestine, it was already quite clear that Benjamin Netanyahu’s real objective was to totally crush any possibility at all of Palestinian self-rule and self-determination. This is entirely consistent with the policy position of the political party to which he belongs, the Likud Party which has always emphasised Israel’s supposed right to occupy and control the whole of historic Palestine. In exactly the same way that he sought to scupper the peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority by continuing to build Israeli-only settlement housing on stolen Palestinian land during the so-called ‘peace negotiations’ and presenting the Palestinians with increasingly unreasonable demands; he has now deliberately scuppered and destroyed the cease-fire agreement that was in place with Hamas since the end of Operation Pillar of Defence in November 2012 and launched a massacre in Gaza which has already costs the lives of over 1,600 Palestinians and counting, as well as over 50 Israeli soldiers who are also, in a sense, victims of Benjamin Netanyahu’s crimes of mass-deception.

Pubs to avoid: the Alma arms, Southsea.

Alma

Barry painted the Alma white.

The Alma arms at 193 Highland Road, Southsea, Hampshire, PO4 9EZ [map] [gmap] for years was notorious as a hangout of the far right; the former landlord Barry Smith being an old-school Nazi who hosted regular events for local fascists and hooligan firms. The pub was taken over in July 2013 by Steve Lant who also runs The Nell Gwynne, in Jessie Road, Southsea, and The Old House at Home, in Locksway Road, Milton, Portsmouth, on behalf of Enterprise Inns. Since then the Alma has been keen to shed its Nazi image, to the extent of sucking up to local antifascist groups and other lefty causes.

Last Sunday Pompey Punx Collective put on a benefit gig at the Alma on behalf of Medical Aid for Palestinians; according to a friend of one of the bands the venue had been leaned on by the cops to hire ‘security’, supposedly in case of fascist ingress. When we arrived there were a couple of awkward looking bodybuilders striking poses in tight-fitting black uniforms and we wondered if someone had hired a striptease act. Anyway we got to see Grant Sharkey do his unique socially-conscious double bass comedy thing (his act is pretty hard to describe, you just need to check it out). The acoustics are shit by the way, no really they are.

It was a Sunday night and the place wasn’t exactly rammed, more like a private party as nearly everyone knew each other, but the atmosphere was dampened by these dudes glaring at people and constantly fussing over who had paid – frankly a gatecrasher would have stuck out like a dog’s bollocks and been challenged instantly. One of us put up a Palestine flag, and was told by the management (one Simon Lawrence, who confesses to be a mate of the old landlord) to take it down, so she wore it instead, the bodybuilders told her to take it off and she refused, we had a word, but they were intransigent, so we just ignored them. Grant’s set, which is the kind of material you really want to listen to, was marred by the bickering going on in the background. More fussing, it seems they were texting Grant’s lyrics to the owners! They didn’t want anything to do with politics they said, they actually used the phrase ‘sitting on the fence’ and we all know where that goes. They were there ‘as a deterrent’ – to what exactly? They didn’t inspire a lot of confidence, “have you done this before?”. Really they should stick to playing paintball. We were informed the event was now a closed one and no-one else would be admitted.

Next up was Thee Infidels, A riotous German Ska/punk band, they got through a couple of numbers then a male comrade put the flag on and was forcibly thrown out. We all followed, the band walked off the stage and came with us. We could not continue under these circumstances and started loading up the gear. About 20 minutes later there was a call from the owner to say he was calling the event off – a bit late for that, mush!

So, is this just a case of a venue badly run by incompetents out of their depth, or was it a set up in league with the police to shut down autonomous organising in the area? A proper antifascist gig was to follow in a couple of weeks, at which they would never have got away with such antics, so this little set piece seems well timed. Never mind, there are plenty of proper venues to choose from.

The Alma will now have to go back to hosting fascists because no one else is going to touch it with a barge pole.

Season’s Greetings from all at Wessex Solidarity.

christmas-card

It’s that time of year again, the weather’s shit and everything’s closed.

The pigs are after your licence and your gear, your seasonal job has been replaced by workfare (ho ho fucking ho) and the landlord wants his dough. Drunks celebrate the birth of a popular Palestinian after-dinner speaker by glassing each other in the town centre. ‘Tis the season of commodity fetishism and the bourgeoisie glop all over us.

So crack open a brew, spark up the chalice, throw another fascist on the fire and put your feet up. Maybe even dip into our Reference Library while you’re at it – knowledge is power after all, the only kind worthy of respect.

We hope you like the card, we nicked it, so sue us.

Stay free, stay safe, solidarity forever! X

Autonomy film show in Bridport, Saturday 15th December 2012. – Note change of venue.

Click to enlarge Poster

The Town Hall (upstairs), East Street, Bridport.
7.00pm for 7.30pm £4 entry (less if you’re skint)

Our future events, Bridport
Saturday Jan,12th, 2013
Public meeting; speaker James Shorten:

‘Real Sustainability for Rural Communities (And Where Does Localism Fit In?).’

Other Events:
4th December
South Somerset Peace Group meeting.

Speaker; William Parry, Medical Aid for Palestinians. Minster rooms, Illminster. All welcome – entry £3, including tea/coffee and biscuits.

If you want us to announce an event please email autofilm1@gmail.com at least 6 weeks in advance.

Emergency Gaza Solidarity demo in Bournemouth square.

In response to the state of Israel’s continuing massacres in Gaza an emergency demonstration in solidarity with the people of Gaza was called by Dorset Socialists and  AUCB Students Union for Saturday 17th November; it was supported by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, Wessex Solidarity, Solent Solfed and others. The reaction of the shoppers was mainly positive, with some choosing to join in. Best comment of the day came from a bloke who had to walk a few feet out of his way “This is all we bloody need at Christmas innit!” Christmas? It’s the middle of fucking November! Some folk have it really tough.

If the bombing’s still going on we’ll all be there again next Saturday 24th, bring your flags and banners, invite your mates!

More pictures by Graham Horne on Demotix