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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Man Free, for Comrade Darcus Howe who passed away today.

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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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