News from Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Here are some important dates for your diary. Please come along and join us we would love to see you. We meet monthly to plan actions and events. For dates and agendas, please e-mail

The Dorset Book Fair Sat 3rd June at Portfield Community Hall, Christchurch, BH23 2AQ. This is a fair promoting anti-oppression, anti-racism and environmental awareness of all kinds. There will many stalls and speaker events taking place. Southampton PSC will have a presence there and if you want to be involved please contact us.

A Celebration of May Day in Southampton, Monday May 1st 11am to 3pm, Palmerston Park, SO14 1ND. Please see attachment for further information. If you are available to help on the PSC Stall at this event then please get in touch. It should be an enjoyable day.

Sponsored Walk 28th May. A walk from Salisbury to Tisbury, through beautiful countryside. Please join us; it is a lovely opportunity to get to know others in the group. The sponsorship is for Medical Aid for Palestinians as well as PSC. Meet at 9.55, platform 4 Southampton Central. Back by 5pm.

Saturday 10th June London, Lunchtime Celebration of Palestinian Culture and Grand Send off for those walking in “Just Walk to Jerusalem.” Just Walk to Jerusalem is a campaign organised by Amos Trust to raise awareness of Justice for Palestine. See how you can become involved:

An Action you can take:

On Friday 7th April, Kamel Hawwash member of PSC Executive and also vice chair of the British Palestine policy council was refused entry into Israel under the new anti- boycott law. This follows the refusal last month to allow entry to Hugh Lanning PSC chair, and last weekend to Anuar Majluf, director of the Palestinian Federation of Chile. Kamel was on a family holiday with his wife and son, who he had to leave at the airport. Kamel’s wife has Jerusalem ID and he has many relatives in Jerusalem. Kamel has stated “I am personally devastated at my denial of entry. Firstly because I could not be with my wife and son for our holiday, but also because I have been denied entry to my homeland. I have elderly relatives that I will never see again if I am not allowed to enter in the future. I had to leave my wife and son alone in the airport in tears.”

Ben Jamal PSC Director stated ”The BDS movement peacefully pressures Israel to comply with international law and cease human rights violations. It draws directly from the tactics of Gandhi and Mandela to effect positive change. According to the Israeli government, human rights activism is a security threat. Fundamental democratic norms and freedoms don’t matter. The British government must demand that Israel ceases this harassment.”

Please write to your MP and ask that he/she writes to the foreign secretary and ask that they protest to the government of Israel in the strongest of terms.

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Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All

I thought it important that you are informed about Israel’s latest actions against those standing up for justice for Palestine. Please read the information below and follow the link to write to your MP.

Last week, the Knesset passed a law to ban entry to foreigners who advocate the non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. On Sunday 12th March, the first victim of this new law was PSC chair *Hugh Lanning, who was detained overnight and then deported from Israel* . We believe that he is now permanently barred from the country. In the past Hugh has been able to travel many times to visit Israel and Occupied Palestine.

Israel has always denied the rights of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland, and now it is banning those who support Palestinian rights, including the right to return.

By introducing this law, Israel is violating fundamental freedoms essential to a democracy – the right to free speech, to criticise government policies and human rights violations, the right to advocate non-violent actions to address human rights abuses, the right of free movement and travel. A democratic country does not behave in the way Israel is behaving.

As supporters of the BDS call, this law could effect all of us. If Israel believes that by introducing these draconian undemocratic laws it will intimidate its critics into silence it is mistaken. We will not stop raising our voices to highlight the systematic violation of Palestinian human rights in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel itself. Please write to your MP asking this to write to the Foreign office to condemn the deportation of Hugh Lanning and the passing of this repressive law.

Regards

Cathryn Spiller – Branch Secretary Southampton PSC

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Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All
Thank you for your interest in Justice for Palestine. As a local Palestine solidarity group we aim to run weekly stalls in Southampton. These stalls are partly information stalls but also they are to raise awareness about Palestine and about the BDS Campaign, BDS is Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions. BDS is an important strategy in the campaign for Justice for Palestine. We ask people basically not to buy goods from Israel because of its brutal Occupation of the West Bank and it’s siege of Gaza . We are currently highlighting two campaigns on the stalls:

  • The Campaign to Boycott Hewlett Packard who provide the bio-metric technology which enables the State of Israel to maintain checkpoints throughout the West Bank. This enables the Israeli authorities to closely monitor movement of Palestinians at they seek to go about their ordinary lives.
  • The Campaign against illegal settlements in the West Bank. Settlement building creates facts on the ground and is a  huge barrier to peace. The building of settlements on Palestinian land leads to the loss of water resources for Palestinians and to the increase in house demolitions by the Israeli army.

I would also remind you that we are a friendly and open  group. Please get in touch if you would like to be more involved. We welcome all supporters from any background and from any faith or none.

My main purpose in this email is to ask people to volunteer on the stalls. There is now a new rota for March and April, which I attach. If you have not volunteered before and would like further information please email me at pscsoton@gmail.com. Please can I encourage people to respond to this request. Regular street stalls are an extremely important way of raising awareness of the injustices faced on a daily basis by Palestinians.

Also engaging with people on the streets while at times it can be challenging, is also rewarding and exciting! Please get involved, experienced members will give new volunteers lots of help, encouragement and information. I look forward to hearing from you.

Warm Regards
Cathryn Spiller (Branch Secretary, Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

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Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All

On the 9th Feb the UK parliament will get the chance to debate UK policy towards Israeli settlements . Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and considered so by the EU. However because there is inadequate enforcement of labelling and because Israel considers the West Bank its own territory the produce usually enters the UK and benefits from tariff reduction under EU trade agreements.

Please write to your MP asking him/ her to attend the debate and to speak in favour of ending all trade with settlements. Remember settlers have no roots to the land, they often come from eastern Europe and have connections to their country of origin but to live in settlements they displace Palestinians whose families have often owned the land for generations.

I visited Palestine myself last year and saw the impact of settlements first hand.  In al-Halil  (Hebron), the main market has been closed to Palestinians, the old city is an enclave of about 400 people who struggle to make a living and live surrounded by hostile settlers who often attack them with stones.

I have attached a link for you to use or a pro forma letter you could adapt. Please add the name of your MP,  and your name and address.
Here is the link:

https://palestinecampaign.org/urgent-action-settlements-debate-parliament-9th-february/

And https://palestinecampaign.iparlsetup.com/lobby/settlementsdebate  I would also encourage to  read “Trading away Peace” A report on the issue which is on the National PSC website

Many thanks

Cathryn Spiller (Branch Secretary) – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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Mind, the MPs round here are all total bastards so good luck with that – ed.

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All
I thought I would let you know about two forthcoming events Southampton PSC has organised.

Firstly Southampton FC play Hapoel Beersheva on evening of December 8th. We are planning to hold a peaceful demonstration.If you can support this, please do. It is very important that we take a clear stand on this issue. It is massively unjust that Israeli teams get to play in top flight European football while Palestinians face so many restrictions on their travel and the state of Israel has built so many illegal settlements on Palestinian land. See fair play for palestine docx

On Dec 8th We will be meeting at 6.30pm at the old King Alfred Pub Northam Road and marching from there to St Marys Stadium. Please join us. bring banners and flags.  “Say No to Israel in UEFA”

Secondly We are holding a Christmas BDS event on December 14th at 6pm at the Bargate in Southampton. We will be singing Alternative Christmas Carols, (Carols that talk about what is really happening in Bethlehem) and giving out some leaflets and offering people some non-Israeli Dates! Please join us if you can.

Lastly regular BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Stalls take place on most Saturdays. They will resume in mid -January. If you would like to volunteer to help sometimes with these ,we would love to have some new volunteers on the rota, so please get in touch if you have a bit of time to offer and would like to get a bit more involved in campaigning for Justice for Palestine. We are a friendly group and would love to get to know you and we would welcome your support.

Regards

Cathryn Spiller (Branch Secretary) – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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For further information see:

Red Card Israeli Racism
Their Facebook page
Saints Against Apartheid Facebook Page
Kick Racism Out of Football

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All,

on Sunday 16th October (Sunday coming) we will be meeting at Kingsland Square, St Mary’s, at 2.30pm where we will be setting up our stall. In particular we will be giving out leaflets on “Kick Israel out of UEFA” (Union of European Football Associations).

The aim of this action is to raise awareness about the absurdity and wrongness, of allowing football teams from a non-European country which is occupying Palestinian land and oppressing and dispossessing Palestinians daily, to complete in European football matches as if it were a normal democratic European state like Belgium or the Netherlands. By allowing Israeli teams to compete UEFA is complicit in the normalization of a system of brutal oppression that should be condemned by right-thinking people everywhere.

We are hoping to raise public awareness of this issue prior to Thursday 8th December when the Israeli team Beersheva Maccabi will be coming to Southampton to play the Saints at St Mary’s. This campaign is also supported by Red Card Israeli Racism, Saints Against Apartheid, and Kick Racism Out of Football.

Please attend and support us if you can (e-mail us if you require further information) For further information see:

Red Card Israeli Racism
Their Facebook page
Saints Against Apartheid Facebook Page
Kick Racism Out of Football

Yours sincerely,

Adam Waterhouse Branch Secretary – Southampton Palestine Solidarity Campaign

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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.