Pie & mash embarrassment in Pompey.

Halloween came early to Pompey on Saturday via the ill-fated pie & mash (fash, get it?) group, sometimes called south coast resistance, formerly Portsmouth EDL. After a no show in Southampton last week that wasn’t worth reporting, the fascists announced they were cancelling their demo in the city to support an event in Telford. A community ‘stand up to racism’ demo was called off. As the Telford manifestation is not until next month, Portsmouth Antifascists smelled a rat, and mobilised 30-35 comrades just in case. It seems the babylon weren’t deceived either, maybe pieash have got an informer in their midst, or perhaps once filth have booked their overtime there’s no going back, anyway the antifascists were heavily pigged all morning. The Guildhall steps were occupied, to deny the fascists their favoured photo opportunity.

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After an hour of watching paint dry, a dozen more cops appeared, escorting eight heavily refreshed youths in halloween masks, carrying a flag that appeared to depict a chicken eating a poppy with the caption: ‘lest we forget’. Forget what exactly? They stood, or swayed, for a full ten minutes, perhaps having forgotten the theme of their rally, they confined themselves to shouting personal abuse at a few locals presumed to be amongst the opposition, against whom they hold grudges. The only political content was a bit of seig heilling.

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Plod then led them to the Surrey Arms (1-3 Surrey St, Portsmouth PO1 1JT), where they remained.

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Why do we bother? Unlike the fash, we’ve got lives, but we won’t let them get away with anything. It’s all very well shouting “stand up to racism”, “refugees welcome” and “black lives matter”, but if those groups are subject to the indignity of being abused by these arseholes in our community, it’s our responsibility. They may be a bunch of drunken inadequates but the ideology they promote, and the people they idolise: Hitler, Mussolini, Franco etc, were responsible for about sixty million deaths in living memory. They shall not pass.

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: Martyrs Festival and rally: 17-19 July 2015

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle: Martyrs Festival and rally: 17-19 July 2015

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Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014, photo by Wheelz.

It’s our fifth anniversary! Usual deal: scaring the taxpayers, winding up the Tankies – Winning friends, influencing people and impressing them with our revolutionary praxis. Every year we welcome comrades from as far afield as Wales, France, Spain and the Midlands; we enjoy frank but good-natured debate with fellow trade unionists and activists alike. A small contingent doesn’t want us there, but sod ‘em – The Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers was an example of working-class self-organisation – Stalin would have had them shot. Still we hope to extend our safe spaces policy to all festival-goers; their kids will learn to swear without our help and please be kind to the cosplay cops, the council would charge a fortune to close the public highway.

Visit our stall in the Martyrs Marquee, if you’d like to help run it, or you have anything you’d like to give away / accept donations for please contact us An advance party will pitch tents on Friday afternoon, we corral them together so that people can get to know each other. If you’re just marching with us on Sunday 19th July, Meet up as usual 1:30 pm outside the Martyrs Museum; bring your flags and banners, this year’s theme will be politicians heads on spikes…

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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

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

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

Bournemouth fascists blamed for doughnut famine in Chandlers Ford.

Comrades in Chandlers Ford turned out earlier today to oppose a handful of heavily refreshed fascists who had come to shout at a Methodist church, apparently on the grounds that there might be some Muslims inside, prompting what must be the largest police operation the sleepy town has ever seen. The fascists mainly comprised Bournemouth EDL, inc Hazel and Whicher, a dope fiend from the island, and some teens in parkas who turned up right at the end perhaps wishing the trains ran on time. Poor showing from Hampshire; Rob Brammer (pictured) was conspicuous by his absence, he seems to have disappeared from both the streets and the internet. Perhaps he’s been locked up, or just pissed off with the coffee money – if anyone knows, give us a shout, we’re almost interested.

The eddles made total cocks of themselves, having been drinking since mid-day, so that by the time they reached the church they were too pissed to chant coherently. A half-hearted ‘je suis charlie’ was intoned in that studied mockney voice they all put on. The irony of English fascists spouting pidgin French in support of a left-wing magazine lost on them. Apart from “eee edl” the rest of it was unintelligible across the serried ranks of plod and we were a good deal closer than the folks in the church. They took to shouting “go home” to people in cars who probably were, a bit rude when you’re from the next county. The residents were bemused, antifascists requested to mind their language by filth, because this is “a nice middle class area” – in case we’d forgotten whose side they’re on. The fantasist facebook group ‘pie n mash squad’ posted this:weirdos

Whatever do they mean? maybe they had a barney amongst themselves in the pub beforehand. After about an hour the fascists’ charlie had worn off and they called a taxi. Our lot went for a drink leaving Costas and Waitrose swarming with Babylon, if you’re after a doughnut in Chandlers Ford tonight you’re out of luck.

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

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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

Local fascists convicted of abuse.

Three Berkshire fascists, and one each from Hants and Dorset were part of a drunken mob that harassed Hosan’s kebab van in Thatcham with racial and religious abuse on the 28th February2014. Full story

Accused were: 22-year-old Rory Rowbottom of Hartmead Road, Thatcham; Julie Anne Worthington, aged 35, of Russell Road, Reading; 50-year-old Simon Brammer of Haywards Close, Southampton, and Gary Hazel, aged 38, of Forsyth Gardens, Bournemouth. 44-year-old Edward Cullerne Scovell of Donnington Gardens, Reading, failed to turn up and was convicted in his absence.

Hazel was fined £200 with £200 costs plus a statutory victim surcharge of £20. Brammer was fined £150 with £100 costs and £20 surcharge. Rowbottom and Worthington were eached fined £100 with £100 costs and £20 surcharge. A warrant was issued for Scovell’s arrest.

Of particular interest to South coast antifascists are Simon ‘Rob’ Brammer, pictured below (with Bournemouth fascist Stu Whicher), minus his customary rubber pig mask (can you tell?) and Gary hazel, who spouted a load of bollocks at their recent regional manifestation and showed up at the opening of UKIP’s latest shop. He still has money for beer as he was spotted drinking in Poole this evening by members of BHstopEDL Poole’s John Hardy Centuria.

Hazel got a mention in Bournemouth’s Echo a couple of years ago posturing as an ‘Animal rights campaigner’ – not a species usually favoured by the burghers of Dorset – anyway let’s just put that to sleep, humanely:

Gary-Hazel-Facebook

Here’s Brammer, on the left (no that’s not the mask), Whicher on the right:

brammerwhicher1

 

Bournemouth mobilises against fascism! 23rd August.

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Oppose the racist English Defence League in Bournemouth on 23rd August!

Once again this bizarre right-wing cult threatens one of the most peaceful and diverse communities in the south. Their proposed ‘Bournemouth against the Islamification of Britain’ march is a crude provocation to a section of the population that has been here since before most of them were born.

A broad-based coalition, ‘We are Bournemouth’ comprising unions, community organisations, traders and individuals from all walks of life has called for a massive, inclusive, family-friendly counter demonstration against racism and fascism.

Local antifascist groups such as BHstopEDL, StopEDL Bournemouth and of course ourselves will also be out and about on the day, something for everyone. Bournemouth EDL has a history of importing fascists from elsewhere, notably Southampton and Portsmouth, as the blighters have been quite effectively blocked in their own areas, so we call on antifascists from across the south to join us on the day – who knows, you might get to spot one of your local boneheads!

The EDL, which mostly focuses its hatred on Muslims but attracts every kind of bigot has suffered badly in recent years from defections, criminal convictions and internal splits, but has somehow stayed under the radar in Dorset – mainly because most people have never heard of it or are unaware of its fascist origins and sinister agenda, and because there are few racial tensions here to exploit – let’s keep it that way. Their new chairman Tim Ablitt, who was Dorset organiser for the BNP splinter group ‘British Freedom Party’, lives at Fitzworth Avenue in Poole.

Now, we didn’t make this up, honestly.

berksIt was a response to Bournemouth fascist Gary Hazel‘s plea on farcebook for a field where out-of-towners could get heavily refreshed the night before. The cops having refused the fascists permission to use public campsites – not that any would have them – after telling them they aren’t allowed to cook a pig on the beach.

Details will follow as both march routes are being challenged by the locals, we’ve been forwarding e mail enquiries to BHstopEDL

See you on the streets – they shall not pass!

Tolpuddle 2014.

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Photo by Wheelz.

We take a moment to salute our illustrious comrade John Flower (see below 4th July) who passed away in June, we left a small memorial to him at the annual International Brigades ceremony and antifascists from Wessex, Portsmouth and Southampton attended his funeral.

But life is for the living and we had another cracking weekend! We were delighted to welcome four comrades from CNT-AIT Caen this year.

Minor drama on Saturday when some prat tried to trash the stall after a specious argument about royalties. His objection was to our use of the ubiquitous John Harris photograph of Lesley Boulton at Orgreave, on this the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike, which could be seen adorning T shirts all over the site. He was safely and efficiently restrained by one of the older members of our group, who also happens to be a photojournalist. We have several NUJ members in the collective who questioned him about his motives. All became clear when we visited his stall which carried similar images at four quid a pop! It turned out he was just some bourgeois flogging lefty posters for the benefit of no one but himself, and he was upset that we were giving away something he was trying to sell.

The unseemly fracas didn’t do us any harm as people queued up to tell us – and him, what a prick he was, and our now slightly disheveled literature flew off the stall. He approached the organisers (not us) to offer an apology, and we replied that since he cares so much about money, he could make amends by sticking some in our donations jar, this he failed to do.

The stuff we carry on the stall is only there because we want people to read it; we produce it ourselves and we only take donations for it to cover our costs so we can do it again next year. The cash we take for Freedom goes to Freedom. Revenge was foregone as we were reluctant to relinquish the moral high ground we occupied, but if you’re doing a class-based event keep an eye out for this arsehole who just might decide to barge in and fuck shit up. Stocky bloke with white hair, gold-rimmed glasses and beige trousers. This is from his web site, ‘Past Pixels’ click on it to go there:

Untitled

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Numbers on the march down a bit on last year but it was good to welcome some new faces.

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014.

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2014.

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival and Rally, Friday 18th July to Sunday 20th July 2014

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Tolpuddle 2013 Radical Workers’ Bloc: the weekend in pictures.

This will be our fourth bloc on the Martyrs Festival and rally; from an inauspicious start with seven of us and a black hanky on a stick, we’ve more than doubled each year to about seventy-five in 2013, from as far afield as Wales, France and the Midlands. Our commitment is to the original spirit of the Martyrs: working class self-organisation in the face of a hostile bourgeois state, more relevant today than ever, owing to the abject failure of political and industrial representation to meet the needs of the people, and the increasingly repressive reaction of the state to autonomous protest and resistance.

Once again we have a stall in the Martyrs Marquee; we will be carrying stock from Freedom Books, Britain’s oldest anarchist publisher, plus flags, badges, zines and pamphlets for donations, and loads of free stuff. If you’d like to take part and help run the stall, or if you have literature you’d like to give away or accept donations for please get in touch.

For those who are staying for the weekend festival, an advance party will arrive on Friday afternoon to pitch tents; we corral them together so that people can get to know each other, exchange contacts and ideas, plan and plot another year of class struggle.

If you’re just marching with us on Sunday 20th July, Meet up as usual 1:30 pm outside the Martyrs Museum; bring your flags and banners. View map  Farcebook event

A4 Flyer     2xA5 Flyer To get involved, contact: wsol@riseup.net

Freedom Press

Frack Free Solent April Newsletter

The campaign against fracking continues – there are now 115 anti-fracking groups in the UK.

Frack Free Solent has had another busy month, with two successful fundraising music nights and a public meeting in Forestside plus daily monitoring of the Markwells Wood site. We also gave a short talk to Portsmouth Trades Council, who have very kindly donated £100 towards our campaigning activities. Don’t forget to check our website for up to date info, news & more.

Markwells Wood

We are still monitoring the site at Markwells Wood, Forestside – a few hundred yards north of the – T-junction here. Exploration work could start at any time, and we will be strongly opposing this as it is very likely to include testing for the feasibility of using fracking at this site. The operator of the site, Northern Petroleum, has recently said that they are looking to sell all their UK assets – however, two other companies already part own the PEDL licence, and there are plenty of other possible buyers who could take over operations. Markwells Wood is within the South Downs National Park and is completely unsuitable for the type of large scale industrial extraction involved in fracking.

Forestside Meeting

Markwells Wood is directly next to the small village of Forestside. Frack Free Solent helped organise a public meeting for Forestside residents in March with several speakers, including Marcus Adams from Frack Free Fernhurst. Over 30 local residents attended, many of whom are now setting up a local group to campaign against fracking. We are now looking to organise another public meeting in nearby Compton, while a few miles further north another group has recently been set up in South Harting following a – meeting there

Green Film Festival

Frack Free Solent is sponsoring the showing of Gasland at Portsmouth Film Society’s Green Film Festival. This will be at 6.00pm on Friday 23 May at the Eldon Building in Portsmouth University, and will be followed by a debate with a panel made up of Tim Dawes and Stuart Mills from Frack Free Solent and a local geologist. We have 25 tickets available to buy online at the reduced price of £4 829 . The usual price is £6, or you can also buy a festival pass from PFS for £10, to see all three films – more info

Donations needed

We need cash! To campaign effectively, we need your donations to pay for leaflet printing, web hosting, hall hire etc. We are fortunate to have had some grant funding from Lush Cosmetics, plus donations from Unison & Portsmouth Trades Council, but we need more.

Please consider making a donation to us – you can make a bank transfer to the Frack Free Solent bank account: Account No – 65698017 Sort code – 08 92 99 Or you can use the donate button on our website to donate via paypal.

Facebook

To keep up to date with fracking locally and nationally, join Frack Free Solent’s Facebook group

Next organising meeting

Frack Free Solent holds regular organising meetings, which are open to anyone who wants to help us plan activities to oppose fracking. The next meeting will be on Thursday 10 April at 7.30pm in the back room of the – White Hart, 1 East St, Havant PO9 1AA

Links to other groups

Frack Off – national network against fracking – lots of useful info & resources

Frack Free Fernhurst

Frack Free Sussex

Contact Frack Free Solent

Not on our Manor! An appeal for information to stop David Irving’s fascist UK tour.

David IrvingWell-known fascist and bogus historian David ‘Berlin’ Irving is planning to tour the country promoting his racist books. Fixtures are planned for London, Southampton, Exeter and Bristol. See Indymedia here:

Irving’s revisionist view of history is motivated by his rabid anti-Semitism and admiration for Hitler, generally making it up as he goes along. An old friend of Oswald Mosley, he has travelled the world promoting Holocaust denial and inciting racial hatred. His website offers large colour posters of Hitler, bizarre conspiracy theories and a personal vendetta against the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Irving has been imprisoned in Austria, deported from Canada and banned from entering numerous other countries; on his planned return to Germany after a 10-year ban, the German hoteliers’ trade association have pledged to deny him accommodation. Why the fuck should we put up with him here?

The venues for these gigs are being kept secret for obvious reasons, but someone must know where they are; a room probably no larger than 100 seats in a hotel or pub function room, and booked under a false name as a reading group, history talk or similar.

Residents of our cities have a right to know what is going on in their midst, and take steps to protect themselves from the kind of weirdoes who will be attracted by these events. If you’ve received a booking like this or know someone who has, let us know!

If you have any information regarding the Southampton event (6:30 on Sunday 18th August), please contact Southampton AntiFA. Regarding the other fixtures please pass your suspicions on to Wessex Solidarity or the Anti Fascist Network.

Let’s give this jackboot-licker his marching orders!

More information on Irving here:

http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/i/irving-david/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Irving

Too busy to blog! Fascist manifestations this weekend.

First of all, respect to all those who turned out at short notice to oppose the EDL in Westminster last weekend, there’s a bit of comment on it below, and if you can make the counter-BNP action tomorrow, you will be most welcome. If not, you will probably find an EDL demo within gobbing distance of your living room! They are springing up like mushrooms – check social media for details.

What is going on is basically a turf war between far-right groups to exploit the horrific death of Lee Rigby. The eddles are holding simultaneous ‘wreath laying’ events at war memorials all over the land as a spoiler for the BNP’s march. Wherever they get sufficient numbers, these will most likely turn into piss-ups and drunken rampages so it’s important that none of them are unopposed.

If your area has a mass mobilisation, please support it; if they are coming to your neck of the woods and you’re the only anti-fascist in the village, you have a choice of attending one of the others or mobbing up with some of your mates – who may not agree with your politics but may not want their town centre controlled by right-wing extremists either. Failing that, if you can do so inconspicuously, hang around and take pictures, or notes, and pass your observations to the network through your local group.

Also be aware that left and radical meetings, cultural events, anti-austerity demo’s etc may be attacked and will need stewarding; union offices and Muslim businesses are also possible targets for the fascists. Whatever you do, don’t just sit at home and watch it all unfold on the Internet.

The present spike in fascist activity ought to kick us out of bed, anti-fascism is not a hobby, it’s a necessity. One observation from Monday was that whilst they outnumbered us massively, few of them were up for any contact beyond throwing stuff and threatening bystanders. The fact that they stood in the sun for hours listening to a bunch of old con-men who all hate each other indicates that many of them are completely new to this, it beggars belief that anyone would give the time of day to an arse-bugle like Yaxley-Lennon if they’d been following what’s gone on in the last few years.

So for now, it looks like the EDL have managed to pull the disaffected UKIP voters on to the streets, the facebook fascists have become fair-weather fascists, they must be discouraged before they get a taste for it.

Fascist manifestations are expected in the following locations:
Leicester, Luton, Peterborough, Dereham, Ipswich, Cambs, Sheffield, Stoke, Halifax, Leeds, Lowestoft, Wolverhampton, Islington, Manchester, Aldershot, Burton on Trent, Rochdale, Ashford (Middlesex), Stevenage, Loughborough, Bromsgrove, Preston, Sunderland, Dudley, Coventry, Takeley, Wootton Bassett, West Bromwich, Oldham, Romford, Macclesfield, Cardiff, Lewisham, Southampton, Glasgow, Ayr, Colerne, Walsall, Scarborough, Hemel Hempstead, Conwy, Chingford, Doncaster, Rotherham, Huddersfield, Bristol, Southampton, Portsmouth, Exeter, Brighton, Weymouth, Bournemouth, Slough, Reading, Oxford, Northampton and Basingstoke.

Drummer Lee Rigby’s family reject “extremist” groups using Woolwich murder for political gain – The Independent

Why take direct action against fascism?

A plague of anarchosyndicalists descends on Portsmouth Poundland 2nd of March 2013.

To get everyone in the mood for SolFed’s southern regional conference, host local Solent called a flash picket of the devious workfare provider on Commercial road; A joint action with CNT-AIT Caen France, Forest of Dean Anarchists, Wessex Solidarity and other comrades.

Poundland’s repeated protestations that they have given up the DWP’s slave labour scheme have proved to be worthless. As always, we talked to the staff and handed them some literature: the stakes were raised somewhat as it turned out two of them were working for JSA (about £2 an hour). It was only fair to share this information with the Saturday morning shoppers, and it was enough to put most of them off.

Bit of déjà vu for Holland and Barrett but they just happened to be next door and there wasn’t room for us all to stand outside Poundland’s shop window. Passers by were mostly friendly including some passing Trots, who were impressed with our level of organisation! Cheers comrades, did you know it was the 92nd anniversary of the start of the Kronstadt Rebellion?

From thence to our secret conference venue, multiple breakfasts and plotting the downfall of the bourgeoisie. The day rounded off with a sociable evening of radical folk, punk & noise. You should have been there!

National Delegate Council 24/01/13 report – Solidarity Federation.

solfedNational Delegate Council 24/01/13 report

At our national delegate council on 24/01/13, the Solidarity Federation officially recognised three new locals, in Calderdale, Hastings and the Solent. We also recognised a Belfast local as being in-formation prior to reaching a formal decision at national conference in April.

We also agreed to make regular donations to the Sparrow’s Nest library in Nottingham which holds the collection of one of our members which stretches back to the Syndicalist Workers’ Federation and is an important record of British anarcho-syndicalism. We will also be making a donation to the London anarchist bookfair collective and encourage others to do the same.

The new Solent local has members from Bournemouth to Bognor and all stations in between, if you are interested, use the contact form on SolFed’s website. The server is undergoing maintenance at the moment so if you can’t get on it contact Wessex Solidarity and we’ll pass it on. 

UK Uncut call out 8 Dec. Refuge from the cuts – target Starbucks!

 

UK Uncut event page

From UK Uncut: “It’s time for the government to wake up and smell the coffee. Women have had enough of being attacked by a cabinet of millionaires. But there is a refuge from the cuts. Join us on Saturday 8th December to transform the tax dodger Starbucks into services women depend on, such as refuges and crèches. Check the actions page to find an action near you. If there isn’t one, we’ve got a step-by-step guide on how you can organise one yourself.”

Actions all over our area including Bath, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Portsmouth and Southampton.

Solent Solfed picket Domino’s Southampton

Members of Solent local of the Solidarity Federation picketed Domino’s pizza in Bitterne Southampton as part of the International Day of Action in support of Australian delivery drivers of  the General Transport Workers Association. Some interesting conversations were had with staff and public (hello Eddie!)

A communications blockade will follow on Monday 17th.

Report from our comrades in Caen, France

Anti-fascist Network Supporters’ statement and flyers.

Anti-fascist Network Supporters’ statement and flyers.