Saturday, 31 January 2009

NUS attacks student occupiers

from CNN
The National Union of Students said while it understood feelings behind the several weeks of protests on a scale rarely seen in Britain since the 1960s, the levels of disruption was now at an unacceptable level with heightened tensions on campuses.

The National Union of Students instead of supporting the sit-ins has asked students to call them off. What a useless bunch they are.

Turkey stops being a reliable friend of Israel

Report from Istanbul on the falling out between erstwhile strategic
> allies. The leaders of Israel are seeing the of their massacres evaporating

by Ron Margulies, Istanbul from Socialist Worker

For years the US and Israel have been able to rely on Turkey, a staunch ally of both countries and a key power in the Nato military alliance. But Israel’s war on Gaza has now thrown that relationship into turmoil.

Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke out frequently during the offensive, attacking Israel in no uncertain terms for killing innocent people.

He even called for Israel to be barred from the United Nations (UN). “How is such a country, which totally ignores and does not implement resolutions of the UN Security Council, allowed to enter through the gates of the UN?” he declared on Friday 16 January.

Erdogan went further in criticising Israel than any other Middle Eastern head of state, denouncing Israel’s “savagery”.

His statements chime with the wider mood of the country. There were many demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinians in all of Turkey’s major cities.

Some were organised by the Global Peace and Justice Coalition, and some by Muslim organisations. Other protests gathered spontaneously following Friday prayers. Many Muslim human rights organisations have collected money for Palestinians.

Erdogan’s harsh words, and pictures of him visiting Palestinians receiving medical treatment in Turkish hospitals, have surprised Israeli leaders.

They are used to total quiescence from Turkey which had been positioning itself as a mediator in secret talks between Syria and Israel.

But Erdogan was embarrassed that he wasn’t warned in advance of the attack on Gaza – and furious that his emissary to ceasefire talks in Cairo was left standing outside the room.

Erdogan refused to pick up the phone to the Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and was left out of “peace talks” in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Instead he attended a summit of Arab leaders in Qatar, alongside Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Saudi Arabia and Egypt stayed away from that event.


This extraordinary diplomatic breakdown is now putting bilateral economic and military agreements between Turkey and Israel at risk.

These include an Israeli arms deal worth £123 million signed ten days before the attack on Gaza and a £3 billion deal for a oil pipeline linking the two countries.

The popular outrage in Turkey has put pressure on the government to abandon these agreements. Some companies have already ditched contracts with Israeli firms. One of the key demands of the anti-war demonstrations id for Turkey to cancel all deals with Israel.

In Turkey the political fallout of Israel’s attack on Gaza can been measured in terms of the government’s change in tone. But despite the tough words, the country’s ruling AK Party has yet to make any concrete moves to cut its ties with Israel.

Nottingham occupiers defy university lockdown - downloadtheir podcast

Well done Nottingham and good on Alan Simpson MP for supporting you.
Download podcast below (running time 44m approx).

Hamas retaliates with rocket fire

Another war aim unachieved by the IDF.

Friday, 30 January 2009

Nottingham Uni authorities turn off power to sit-in

Another university management going for the intimidatory approach.

Gaza residents launch legal fight to make BBC broadcast aid appeal

From the

Two Gaza residents are using legal threats to try to get the BBC to lift its ban on broadcasting humanitarian aid appeal for victims of the recent conflict.

Clerkenwell-based law firm Hickman & Rose has written a 23-page letter to the BBC seeking to take the corporation to a judicial review unless it airs the Disasters Emergency Committee film.

The letter, headed "Legal challenge to the decision not to broadcast the DEC appeal", has been sent on behalf of three people, two of whom are named as residents of Gaza.

The letter asserts that the BBC decision - made by the director general, Mark Thompson, and top executives - was "irrational or otherwise unlawful" and says it breached the European convention on human rights.

"We have been instructed to write a letter of claim and we are awaiting a substantive response," said a spokeswoman for the law firm.

The letter derailed the BBC Trust's fast-track investigation into the corporation's decision to refuse to broadcast the Gaza appeal.

A special three-person ad hoc BBC Trust committee - chaired by Richard Tait, a former chief executive of ITN, with the trust chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, and vice-chairwoman Chitra Bharucha - had planned to make recommendations to the full trust board and make an announcement on Thursday.

The BBC Trust said it did not know how long the process would take.

"The delay is regrettable, but of course we take all complaints very seriously," said a BBC Trust spokesman.

The BBC received 21,000 after it refused to show the appeal complaints. BSkyB also refused to broadcast the appeal.

Statement by Ursula K. Le Guin on BBC Gaza Appeal

The BBC's area of influence is worldwide; its unhappy decision not to air the Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza Crisis Appeal is important news here on the West Coast.

I should like to add my voice to that of China Mieville and all the others protesting this confusion of political or sectarian bias with a legitimate and urgent humanitarian appeal.

Ursula K. Le Guin, Portland, Oregon.

'All we have are the tunnels'

“All we have,” said Muhammad Sha’er, as he looked from a rooftop into Gaza, “are the tunnels.”

Early Wednesday morning, Israel again bombed the tunnels that stretch under the border from Gaza into Egypt. The bombings followed a 22-day Israeli offensive to stop Hamas’s rocket fire, which was followed by international negotiations aimed at ending smuggling into Gaza.

But here in Rafah, people were still trying to smuggle goods through tunnels, hours before and hours after the bombing Wednesday morning.
from the New York Times

Richard Burden MP - Early Day Motion on Gaza Appeal Broadcast

At last count 170 MPs from all parties had signed.

EDM 585 - DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal 26.01.2009

That this House is astonished by the refusal of the BBC and Sky to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Gaza Crisis Appeal; considers that the explanations given for this decision by BBC spokespersons are both unconvincing and incoherent; and draws attention to the fact that people wishing to obtain information about the Gaza appeal can contact the DEC by visiting

Burden, Richard

122 signatures

Abbott, Diane | Alexander, Danny | Atkins, Charlotte | Austin, John | Barrett, John | Battle, John | Begg, Anne | Berry, Roger | Betts, Clive | Bottomley, Peter | Brake, Tom | Breed, Colin | Brown, Lyn | Bruce, Malcolm | Buck, Karen | Burstow, Paul | Burt, Lorely | Caborn, Richard | Campbell, Menzies | Carmichael, Alistair | Caton, Martin | Chaytor, David | Clark, Katy | Clelland, David | Clwyd, Ann | Cohen, Harry | Connarty, Michael | Cook, Frank | Corbyn, Jeremy | Cunningham, Jim | Davies, Dai | Dean, Janet | Devine, Jim | Dhanda, Parmjit | Dobbin, Jim | Dowd, Jim | Drew, David | Efford, Clive | Flynn, Paul | Foster, Don | Francis, Hywel | Galloway, George | Gapes, Mike | George, Andrew | George, Bruce | Gerrard, Neil | Gibson, Ian | Griffith, Nia | Gwynne, Andrew | Hain, Peter | Hamilton, Fabian | Hancock, Mike | Hemming, John | Holmes, Paul | Hopkins, Kelvin | Horwood, Martin | Hosie, Stewart | Hughes, Simon | Iddon, Brian | Illsley, Eric | Jackson, Glenda | Jones, Lynne | Jones, Martyn | Kaufman, Gerald | Keeble, Sally | Key, Robert | Kidney, David | Lamb, Norman | Lazarowicz, Mark | Leech, John | Levitt, Tom | Linton, Martin | Love, Andrew | Luff, Peter | MacNeil, Angus | Mahmood, Khalid | Main, Anne | Mallaber, Judy | Marshall-Andrews, Robert | Mason, John | Meacher, Michael | Michael, Alun | Moffatt, Laura | Moore, Michael | Morgan, Julie | Mulholland, Greg | Naysmith, Doug | Owen, Albert | Pelling, Andrew | Prentice, Gordon | Purchase, Ken | Reid, Alan | Robertson, Angus | Robertson, John | Rooney, Terry | Rowen, Paul | Russell, Bob | Salmond, Alex | Salter, Martin | Sarwar, Mohammad | Short, Clare | Singh, Marsha | Slaughter, Andy | Smith, Robert | Soames, Nicholas | Soulsby, Peter | Starkey, Phyllis | Swinson, Jo | Taylor, Ian | Teather, Sarah | Thornberry, Emily | Touhig, Don | Vaz, Keith | Walter, Robert | Webb, Steve | Weir, Mike | Williams, Betty | Williams, Hywel | Winnick, David | Wishart,Pete | Wyatt, Derek |

Students' Gaza protest could go on 'into next week'

from Notttingham's Evening Post
UNIVERSITY of Nottingham students expect their sit-in protest over Gaza to last at least another three or four days.

The students may even occupy another room in the university's Law and Social Sciences building, as they have been joined by so many supporters.

They have been inundated with offers from so many speakers – including Nottingham South MP Alan Simpson – they have had to turn people down.

The protest is over the carnage in Gaza and their university's response to it.

Students have occupied Room B62 of the Law and Social Sciences building since Wednesday night.
Click here!

In addition to protesting at the general conditions in Gaza, the students' particular demands to their university included that the university website carry the Gaza relief appeal that the BBC and Sky refused to broadcast;

Israel losing its friends?

Although Turkey hasn't yet cut any of its ties, military or diplomatic, with Israel things are hotting up as Erdogan is forced to relate to the growing support for Palestine marked by the historically massive demos over Gaza.
Turkish PM returns to hero's welcome after Gaza row

Thousands of people waving Turkish and Palestinian flags gather at Istanbul airport to greet Erdogan after he stormed out of heated debate on Israeli offensive at World Economic Forum in Davos. Turkey's state-run news agency says President Peres apologized to Erdogan after debate

Turkish PM returns to hero's welcome after Gaza row

Thousands of people waving Turkish and Palestinian flags gather at Istanbul airport to greet Erdogan after he stormed out of heated debate on Israeli offensive at World Economic Forum in Davos. Turkey's state-run news agency says President Peres apologized to Erdogan after debate

from ynetnews
and from the International Herald Tribune
"President Peres you are older than me and your voice is very loud. The reason for you raising your voice is the psychology of guilt. I will not raise my voice that much, you should know that. When it comes to killing you know very well how to kill. I know very well how you hit and killed children on the beaches," he said during the panel discussion.

Peres said on Friday he hoped relations with Turkey would not be affected by the heated exchange.

"We don't want conflict with Turkey. We are in a conflict with the Palestinians," Peres told reporters in Davos.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

For first time, U.S. professors call for academic and cultural boycott of Israel

Israel's war on Gaza has undermined its support around the world. This is worrying news for the them...
In the wake of Operation Cast Lead, a group of American university professors has for the first time launched a national campaign calling for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel.

While Israeli academics have grown used to such news from Great Britain, where anti-Israel groups several times attempted to establish academic boycotts, the formation of the United States movement marks the first time that a national academic boycott movement has come out of America. Israeli professors are not sure yet how big of an impact the one-week-old movement will have, but started discussing the significance of and possible counteractions against the campaign.
from Haaretz

War criminal in London - demonstrate

Demonstration against visiting IDF official today 6pm!
Please publicise widely and demonstrate against the Colonel Geva Rapp, deputy commander of the Israeli Ground Forces in Operation Cast Lead against Gaza. This person should be charged for War Crimes and should not be travelling freely in the UK.

Day & Date: This Thursday 29th January (today)
Time: 6:00pm (Talk starts at 6:30pm)
Venue: The Jewish London Student Centre in Euston, 163 Euston Road.
Speaker: Colonel Geva Rapp, the head of the ground operations in Gaza (Operation Cast Lead)!

from LSE occupation blog

UN launches $613m appeal for Gaza

The UN has launched an appeal for $613m to help people affected by Israel's military offensive in Gaza.
BBC shame on you. see the story here

Fate of hundreds of kidnapped Gazans unknown

Israel rounded up men at random and most have not been seen since.

story from the International Middle East Media Center is here
Some 300 Palestinians were taken during the attacks on Gaza, but for many, their fate remains in limbo. President of the Palestinian Prisoner Society, Qaddura Fares, told PNN today that the Israeli administration refuses to disclose their names.

It is unknown know exactly who was taken and to where. Tens have been released and report the existence of many remaining, including those with untreated medical conditions.

Approximately 40 people were put in al-Naqab Prison where they are being held without access to the Red Cross, lawyers or winter blankets.

The Israelis are referring to these political prisoners as “enemy combatants.”

The world has had enough

170 MPs condemn BBC

More than 170 MPs have now put their names to parliamentary motions criticising the BBC and Sky for not broadcasting a charity's Gaza appeal.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) wants money to send aid following the recent Israeli assault.

story on BBC here

Keep it rolling - well done Nottingham Uni

View the video here

Nottingham University occupied.

On Wednesday 28th January at around 8pm, around a hundred students occupied Room B62 in the Law and Social Sciences building on the University of Nottingham campus in solidarity with the victims of Israeli atrocities in Gaza [1]. The peaceful campus occupation is the seventeenth in a wave of similar actions across the U.K. since the New Year. Students at the University of Nottingham expressed their solidarity with students at the School of Oriental and African Studies, the London School of Economics, King’s College London, Birmingham, Essex, Warwick, Sussex, Oxford, Manchester Metropolitan, Cambridge, Leeds, Newcastle, Queen Mary’s, and Bradford Universities; all of whom have undertaken occupations in support of Gaza.

The protesters have announced they will not lift the occupation until their demands have been met by the university authorities Keep reading →

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Gaza rocket hits southern Israel

Hamas fired rocket earlier today - Israel has continued airstrikes.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Fwd: BBC and Sky: What is wrong with you people?

Stop the War Coalition <>
Date: 28 January 2009 22:54:00 GMT
Subject: BBC and Sky: What is wrong with you people?

No. 1081  29 January 2009   
Tel: 020 7278 6694   



"What is wrong with you people?" These were the words of actor    
David Soul, when complaining to the BBC about its refusal to   
broadcast an emergency aid appeal for the people of Gaza.

The protests over this decision have come from every corner of    
British society. There has been almost universal outrage, from    
the Archbishop of Canterbury to writers and actors who say   
they won't work for the BBC again, from college students   
occupying their colleges to tens of thousands complaining to   
the BBC, from the occupations and protests at BBC offices   
across Britain to hundreds of individuals saying they are   
cancelling their TV licences and Sky subscriptions.

Many thanks to all the supporters of Stop the War who have   
helped build this campaign to get the BBC and Sky to reverse   
their decision. That may not have been achieved yet but the   
scale of the protest has generated colossal publicity for the    
DEC emergency appeal which will be reflected in the donations    
they receive and which will be rushed to Gaza to help bring   
shelter, food, fuel and medical supplies to a traumatised and    
devastated people.

For reports on the different protests around the country and   
to view the appeal that the BBC and Sky wouldn't show, go to   
the Stop the War website:

For a short, moving film which documents the carnage of the   
last month and the opposition to it around the world,    
including the demonstrations in London, go to:


The Palestinian cause has never received such widespread   
support as has been mobilised over the past weeks. Israel may    
have reigned back the full power of its military might for now    
but Palestine is still subject to endless occupation, siege   
and ethnic cleansing. The campaign for Palestinian rights must    
be maintained.

Hundreds of people have contacted Stop the War in the last   
month asking how they can help in our activities, enquiring   
about Stop the War groups in their area, seeking information   
about public meetings, asking how they can set up a local Stop    
the War group or organise a petition or a collection for Gaza    
or to report activities in their locality.

If you would like information on any aspect of our work and   
how you can be involved, please contact our national office:   
email; phone 020 7278 6694.

Stop the war has been inundated with people volunteering to   
help us in our anti-war activities. Volunteers who live in the    
London area and want to get involved in any way are invited to    
a Stop the War Activities Meeting on Thursday 5 February at   
the Indian YMCA. 41 Fitzroy Square, London, W1T 6AQ


Within days of taking office Barack Obama sanctioned two   
missile attacks in Pakistan, which killed dozens of civilians.    
Obama also announced the doubling of US troop numbers in   
Afghanistan to 60,000, making it clear that his war policies   
are no different from those of George Bush.

Obama's vice president Joe Biden says there will be an    
"uptick" in the military campaign in Afghanistan which makes   
more important than ever the protests now being planned in   
Britain for Obama's first visit here in April.

It is essential that the anti-war movement mobilises the   
widest opposition to the war in Afghanistan - which is    
unwinnable even if the invaders knew what "winning" would look    
like. Obama's intention is to escalate the war dramatically,   
with the inevitable slaughter of Afghan civilians, already   
being killed in their hundreds.

Stop the War and CND are now planning their demonstration in   
London when Obama joins other heads of government at the G20   
meeting on April 2. Following the G20 protest there will be   
three days of anti-war events in Strasburg, when Obama will   
join in a celebration of the NATO on the 60th anniversary of   
its founding. We will be publishing full details soon.

Stop The War Pamphlet:    
Available from the national office: email or phone 020 7278 6694


The supposed political apathy of students has been exposed as    
nonsense in the rush of activity across the country in the   
past month, with 18 occupations of universities by students   
campaigning for Gaza, and more protests to come. The students'    
demands include an end to universities investing in arms   
companies which supply Israel, funding of scholarships for   
Palestinian students and sending old books and computers to   

Five of these occupations have already succeeded in winning   
their demands, at SOAS and LSE in London and at Oxford, Essex    
and Sussex universities. For more details of the student   
campaign for Gaza, visit our website:

Stop the War is organising a student activists' meeting on   
Saturday 7 February for students to meet and discuss how to   
spread and co-ordinate their campaign of action for Gaza and   
against the war in Afghanistan.

SATURDAY 7 FEB 7: 12 NOON - 4.00PM   


Even before the controversy of the DEC emergency aid   
broadcast, there was widespread criticism of the reporting of    
Israel's onslaught on Gaza. Media Workers Against the War is   
hosting another of its very impressive public meetings, titled    
GAZA - FAILED BY THE MEDIA, in London on Monday 2 February.

The speakers include Gerald Kaufman MP, whose blistering   
attack on Israel's barbarity in the House of Commons was   
widely reported (see video here:

Other speakers include Seumas Milne from The Guardian and   
Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet.

Seumas Milne, The Guardian   
Sir Gerald Kaufman MP    
Richard Horton, The Lancet   
Jeremy Dear, General Secretary, NUJ   
Lauren Booth, Press TV    
A Palestinian Journalist (tbc)    
Jane Shallice, Stop The War Coalition    
Nearest tube: Oxford CircusS   

MORE DETAILS: Email, Tel 07801 789 297   
Hosted by Media Workers Against the War:

See also The Media Workers Against the War article:   


Seven Jewish Children is a ten minute history of Israel,   
ending with the bombing of Gaza. The playwright Caryl    
Churchill says of her play, "It came out of feeling strongly   
about what's happening in Gaza - it's a way of helping the   
people there. Everyone knows about Gaza, everyone is upset   
about it, and this play is something they could come to. It's    
a political event, not just a theatre event."

There are 13 performances, 6 - 21 February at the Royal Court    
Theatre in London. For more details and how to book:


Stop the War must unavoidably move from its current office at    
the UCU union's building in Kings Cross, where we have been   
for a number of years. We are very grateful for the support   
UCU has given us in providing a national office. The UCU   
building is soon to be closed and Stop the War is looking for    
new premises in London. If any of our supporters knows of   
office space which would be suitable for Stop the War, please    
contact: email or phone 020 7278 6694.

We are also looking for temporary storage space to house our   
resources (merchandise, placards, printed materials etc). We   
need space the equivalent of a double lockup garage. If you   
know of any available storage facilities, please contact the   
national office.


"The rocket barrages which are getting closer and closer to   
populated areas cannot go unanswered," said US Secretary of   
State Hillary Clinton in her first news conference. No prizes    
for guessing which country she meant (clue: not the one she   
should have been talking about).


Sheffield Hallam in occupation tonight

Sheffield Hallam University blog here

The following demands were democratically agreed upon:

1) Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) to release a statement of condemnation of the Israeli state’s attacks on Gaza

2) SHU to provide scholarships for Gazan students and waive all current applications and tuition fees for Palestinian students.

3) SHU to twin with the University of Gaza, sending old books, computers and other equipment to the University of Gaza.

4) The ban on flyering and posters on campus to be lifted immediately allowing students to organise and allow free speech, in line with the University's current no-platform policy against fascists.

5) To have posters advertising the details for the Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza Appeal on all notice boards around the university.

6) No victimisation of students or staff supporting the occupation in any form.
Well done Sheffield Hallam

Report on Bradford University victory- action gets results

Report from the city evening newspaper the Telegraph and Argus - Students stage sit-in over Gaza
Yesterday, Prof Cleary agreed to meet the protesters to discuss the issues. Following negotiations, during which a number of further points were discussed, Prof Cleary, said: “The University of Bradford joins its students in concern over the escalating violence in the Gaza strip and Southern Israel.

“The University condemns violence wherever it occurs and wishes to express its commitment to the principles of peace, justice and the rule of international law. He added that the University had sent a message of sympathy to staff and students at the University who might be affected by events in Gaza and communicated a statement about the strong ethical guidelines that informed its investment strategy.

He said the university would write to its bank, Lloyds TSB, to query its policy towards Palestinian charity Interpal and provide a list of companies in which the university is a shareholder. Prof Cleary also pledged to explore the feasibility of twinning with the Islamic University of Gaza. Philip Hoffmann, one of the protesters, said: “The occupation has been very successful and has proved that peaceful direct action can have an effect.”

Settler rampage in Hebron

From Zawya
Bracing for more trouble after settlers' rioting
Security forces were braced on Friday for more violence after Israeli hardliners went on the rampage against Palestinians in retaliation for the eviction of settlers from a disputed house in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The entire southern West Bank was declared a closed military zone to prevent Israelis from converging again on the flashpoint city where a mob of Jewish extremists on Thursday shot and wounded three Palestinians, hurled rocks at others and torched homes, fields and cars.

Authorities feared the violence would continue as right-wingers said they would exact revenge for Thursday's forcible eviction of some 250 settlers from the house that had come to symbolize hardliners' determination to fight for what they consider their right to all the biblical Land of Israel including the Palestinian Territories.

"Already now there is great fear of a Jewish terrorist attack directed against Muslims", the Maariv newspaper warned.

The authorities were also worried about a Palestinian backlash amid simmering anger over the perceived failure of Israel's security forces to protect them from the rampaging mob in Hebron.

Security was boosted around Jerusalem's mosque compound ahead of Friday prayers and access was restricted to Muslims holding Israeli identity cards and aged over 45 in the case of men, with no age restrictions for women.

Most Israeli media hailed security forces for finally removing the settlers from the Hebron house on Thursday following an Israeli high court order on November 16.

Police used stun grenades and tear gas to evict the settlers, dragging out several who refused to move, in an operation lasting less than an hour.

But authorities also came under harsh criticism for failing to protect Palestinians who live around what has been dubbed "the House of Contention".

"If the serious attacks carried out by settlers continue, it will sabotage the peace process", said Nabil Abu-Rudeina, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The presence of a few hundred Jewish settlers in Hebron's center, and a further 6,500 in nearby Kiryat Arba, has been a source of tension in the Palestinian city of 170,000 long before 100 or so Israelis moved into the disputed house in March last year.

In 1994, a Jewish extremist massacred 29 Palestinian worshippers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a site holy to Jews and Muslims alike.

The international community considers Jewish settlements in the West Bank to be illegal, and the Palestinians say they are the biggest obstacle to the peace talks.

Some background on the settlers of Hebron from Amanda White at

Steve Bell in the Guardian today

New York Times report on Israeli and Egyptian obstruction of aid convoys

At a Border Crossing, Drivers and Truckloads of Aid for Gaza Go Nowhere
EL AUJA BORDER CROSSING, Egypt — France sent technical equipment to help Gazans draw water from the ground. The Swiss sent blankets and plastic tarps. Mercy Corps, a relief agency, sent 12 truckloads of food. And on Tuesday all of it, including dozens of other trucks carrying sugar, rice, flour, juice and baby formula, sat in the hot sun here going nowhere.

Shame on Israel and even more shame on the traitors in the Egyptian government for collaborating in maintaining the siege.

Video from the London School of Economics sit-in

BBC Scotland faces second sit-in, BBC Manchester occupied

A second protest is to be staged at BBC Scotland's headquarters over a decision by the corporation not to air an aid appeal for the people of Gaza.
story is here at BBC News online

BBC Manchester sit-in

Show the appeal now! Show the appeal now!

These were the demands of the fifty protesters who occupied the foyer of the BBC in Manchester last Tuesday 27th Jan. Our occupation follows similar ones in Glasgow and London.

From the Stop the War Coalition website
More info at Manchester Stop the War Coalition

BBC to probe Gaza decision protest

A special committee set up by the BBC's governing body is to examine complaints about the decision not to broadcast an appeal for humanitarian aid for Gaza.

There have been angry protests about the BBC's refusal to show the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) broadcast.

The panel, which will include BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons, will look at appeals from people unhappy about the way the corporation responded to complaints.

from yahoo news

IAEA head cancels BBC interview over Gaza aid row

From the Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — The chief U.N. nuclear inspector has canceled a BBC interview to protest the network's refusal to air an appeal for Gaza.

Mohamed ElBaradei's office said Wednesday that not broadcasting it "violates the rules of basic human decency which are there to help vulnerable people irrespective of who is right or wrong."

The British Broadcasting Corp. and Sky News decided not to air the appeal from the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella group of non-governmental humanitarian agencies.

BBC officials have said carrying the appeal would have damaged the network's impartiality in coverage of the conflict.

The BBC says it regrets the decision by the Egyptian-born head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and hopes he will do an interview at another time.

Queen Mary sit-in

Banner drop at Queen Mary

Drunken Israeli settler threatens to kill UK camera crew

Aren't those Israeli settlers nice people. So much hate and here


Begin forwarded message:


Media Workers Against the War

In this mailing:
2. Melanie Phillips wrong on Gaza aid
3. Dispatches: Unseen Gaza
4. Latest protests over Gaza aid appeal



With speakers:

Ghada Karmi, Palestinian writer
 Richard Horton, The Lancet
   Jeremy Dear, general secretary, NUJ
     Lauren Booth, Press TV
   Jane Shallice, Stop the War Coalition
Monday February 2


Old Cinema lecture theatre
Westminster University
309 Regent Street
London W1B 2UW
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus

More info:, tel 07801 789 297

Hosted by Media Workers Against the War

2. Melanie Phillips wrong on Gaza aid

On Jan 26, Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips wrote that Hamas "has
intercepted dozens of aid trucks and confiscated food and medical supplies
bound for the UN aid stores in Gaza," and that people are unaware of this
because "the BBC's reporters haven't told them."

She uses this "claim" to justify her support for the BBC's decision not to
broadcast an appeal for donations by Britain's largest charities to help the
relief effort in Gaza. However, the reason why most people in Britain have no
idea about this allegation, and why the BBC has not reported it, is because it
is untrue.

Full details here:

3. Dispatches: Unseen Gaza

Channel 4's Jon Snow examines the difficulties that news organisations around
the world have faced in reporting the violent conflict in Gaza.

Watch it again here:

4. Latest protests over Gaza appeal

David Soul: Why I've cancelled my BBC TV licence…
Video: Latest news on the Student occupations…
Update: BBC occupation success…

For these and other developments, go to:

* * * * * * * *
To unsubscribe, send a blank e-mail to:

Three students arrested in Gaza protest - Michigan State University, US

Students in the US starting to follow UK student sit-in example...

Another report at

... and here at California State University Los Angeles is a video of the start of their sit-in. Thanks to IndyMedia LA

Cairo hospitals treat Gaza's war-scarred children

The reality of Israel's 'war on Hamas'. BBC shame on you for not showing the Disasters Emergency Appeal for Gaza - click on the DEC advert (right) to GIVE NOW

Is this a sick joke?

We kill their parents and then offer humanitarian aid to the orphans - thank you Israel.
The Kibbutz Movement educates its sons to be the first on the battlefield and kill the enemy before being killed, and on the other hand, once the cannon fire stops, we adopt orphan children who, maybe, thanks to our humanitarian effort, we'll put an end to the wars in the future," he said.

makes for great propaganda I suppose
Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog who is responsible for humanitarian aid sent to Gaza welcomed the project Tuesday night, saying, "This is a very important initiative. The State of Israel makes an absolute distinction between aid to the civil population in the Gaza Strip and Hamas."

48 Gaza orphans to travel to Israel for 2-week rest - Ynetnews

Israel tries to destroy Gaza lifeline...again

Israel is bombing the tunnels again.

From Al Jazeera

Israeli jets have carried out fresh air raids on tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, reportedly sending hundreds of people fleeing their homes in panic.

Local residents and Hamas security officials said three air attacks took place before dawn on Wednesday, but no casualties have yet been reported.

The raids came just hours before the newly appointed US Middle East peace envoy was due to arrive in Israel, and after an attack on an Israeli army patrol that killed an officer and wounded three other soldiers.

"IAF [Israeli Air Force] aircraft recently hit a number of Hamas smuggling tunnels on the southern border of the Gaza Strip," a statement released on Wednesday by the Israeli army said.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Queen Mary Occupation: Queen Mary university occupied in solidarity with the people of Gaza

Sit-in at Queen Mary College started tonight

Queen Mary College has gone into occupation in solidarity with Gaza. More soon

Clinton: Israel has right to respond to Gaza rocket attacks - Haaretz - Israel News

Clinton backs the slaughter. No surprise there then.

Since the 'truce' Israel has continued to shell Gaza from land and
sea. Airstrikes tonight. At least 10 Israeli tanks plus bulldozers
have moved over the border.

All the crossings are naturally still shut - Hamas gave Israel a week
to open them - with no heavy lifting equipment available to the
Palestinians to dig out the dead from the ruins.

Al Jazeera English - Europe - Pressure builds on BBC in Gaza row

Hamas slams France for sending frigate to Gaza

"We expected France to send hospital ships to treat children burned by banned weapons rather than deploy navy ship to reinforce blockade"

Unfortunately Gordon Brown has announced that the Royal Navy is also going to jump to the Israelis' tune.Surely this amounts to complicity in the war crime of collective punishment

Scots stars boycott BBC over refusal to screen Gaza appeal

From The Herald newspaper
"Scots actor Tam Dean Burn and Scots directors Peter Mullan and Alison Peebles joined Scotland-based actress Pauline Goldsmith last night in vowing not to work for the BBC again if it did not reverse its "disgraceful" decision."

Complaints over BBC Gaza appeal ban pass 20,000

"The number of complaints has almost doubled since early yesterday morning, with a similar increase in the number of MPs voicing their opposition to the BBC's decision."

Article from Brand Republic the marketing professionals' website. I think we can say that the BBC management is damaging the brand big time over refusal to show the charity appeal for Gaza.

Mass return of BBC TV licenses

From: "Stop the War Coalition" <>
Date: 26 January 2009 11:49:59 GMT
Subject: Gaza: Mass return of BBC TV licenses

No. 1080  26 January 2009   
Tel: 020 7278 6694   


Stop the War is organising a mass return of TV licenses to the    
BBC for those incensed by the continuing refusal of the BBC to    
broadcast and emergency appeal for Gaza.

The fact that other channels including Channel 4, ITV and   
Channel 5 are showing the appeal tonight shows how isolated   
and extreme the BBC is on this issue.

For those living in London there will be a collective return   
of  BBC TV licenses on Monday 26 January, at 5.30pm, at BBC   
Broadcasting House, Portland Place, W1A 1AA. If you live in   
London and want to register your disgust at the BBC   
management's behaviour, do join us, if you can.

We are asking local Stop the War groups outside London, which    
have a BBC office in their area, to organise similar license   
return events, notifying the local media beforehand.

A number of our supporters have informed us that they have   
written to the BBC saying they have cancelled their direct   
debit for their TV license. If you are planning to do the   
same, please inform Stop the War at

The BBC said that by yesterday they had received over 11,000   
complaints. That figure is bound to be far higher by now,   
given how there is now virtually unanimous agreement across   
the full spectrum of opinion in Britain that the BBC must   
reverse its disgraceful decision. Reports say that the vast   
majority of BBC staff are outraged by the blocking of the Gaza    
appeal. We need to do all we can to increase the pressure on   
the BBC management.

If you have not complained to the BBC yet, do so here:    
PHONE: 03700 100 222   
TEXT: 03700 100 212   

You can donate to the appeal that the BBC is denying a    
broadcast here:


Over 100 protestors from the Stop the war and Palestinian   
groups occupied the BBC's Scotland headquarters in Glasgow.   
The occupation was a complete success in increasing pressure   
on the BBC and getting widespread media coverage. The BBC   
management conceded to the protesters' demands for a meeting   
with representatives from the BBC national executive. There   
were no arrests. For a full report, go to:

To unsubscribe from this list, send a blank e-mail to

From Haaretz... Israel failed

Recognizing that Israel's effort to topple Hamas has failed

"A senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, Ayman Taha, told the Egyptian paper Al-Ahram that Israel had offered to free 1,000 Palestinian prisoners and open the crossings in exchange for a cease-fire and Shalit's release. The Lebanese paper Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, citing Israeli sources, said the offer was for 1,050 prisoners, including 280 of the 350 senior terrorists whose release Hamas has demanded by name. Prior to the Gaza operation, Israel had agreed to release only some 220 people on this list.
"The organization's main rationale for ending its last truce with Israel, in December, was to end Israel's blockade of Gaza, so Israel's offer allows Hamas to achieve the primary goal for which it went to war."

Top US blog covers UK student sit-ins for Gaza

Report on UK student Gaza solidarity sit-ins - from the influential US blog The Daily Kos

Clashes erupt on Israeli-Gaza border

Israel still killing - report from Al Jazeera...

New attacks on Gaza today - 1 Israeli soldier killed - Israeli war criminals exposed

Names and photos of Israeli war criminals - from Kawther Salam's website

"I have decided to publish some names and photos of the Israeli military personnel who participated in the so-called “Operation Cast the offensive launched by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) on the Gaza Strip between 27 December and 18 January 2009. The names of these criminals called my attention since the first day of their criminal attack against the Palestinian civilians in Gaza. I consider each person who took part in this IOF and each one whose name appears in this report as a war criminal who should be requested by an international court of justice, just like all other war criminals who were persecuted before…

"My decision is a challenge to the State of Israel, to the Israeli attorney general and the military headquarters, who forbade the media from publishing the names of the Israeli officers who lead “Operation Cast Lead” in Gaza, murdering 1310, and wounding over 5600, over 90% of these casualties being civilians, destroying public and the private property in many parts of towns and cities, and completely razing several areas completely to the ground."

Monday, 26 January 2009

Licence fee burning at BBC in London

Stop the War protesters sit-in and burn licence fee at BBC's Bush House tonight.

David Soul's not paying.

BBC staff protest over decision not to show Gaza appeal

From the Guardian today:

"Sources have said there was "fury" at the BBC News morning meeting today about the decision, with news editors saying they had not been consulted on the move to not show the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal, which is to be broadcast tonight on ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five."

"Sources within the BBC have questioned whether its internal Balen report into its Middle East coverage, which the corporation has refused to publish, has influenced its decision on the DEC appeal. An appeal to the House of Lords to force the BBC to publish the report is currently ongoing"

Director General Mark Thompson is turning the BBC into a laughing stock around the world

update from Glasgow Stop the War on the occupation of the BBC HQ

BBC Scotland headquarters occupied after refusal to show DEC Gaza aid appeal – Occupation victorious in highlighting the issue

GLASGOW – Over 100 people participated in an occupation of the BBC Scotland headquarters today, demanding that the broadcaster show the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal for Gaza. Occupiers entered the building at 5pm, and despite the police threatening mass arrests to remove everyone within 15 minutes, the occupation remained for almost 4 hours.

The occupation was successful in applying additional pressure on the BBC through extensive national and international media coverage, including CNN, CBS and Al-Jazeera. Tony Benn also telephoned the occupation to offer his support, saying 'The decision to occupy the BBC in Glasgow must be understood as a plea for the people of Gaza, who are suffering so much and who need our help to help get the money through'.

A delegation from the occupation was elected to meet with Ian Small, Head of Public Policy & Corporate Affairs and member of the BBC's Executive Board, who was called in specially to meet with the occupiers. The occupation had three main demands:

* That the BBC reverse its decision and show the DEC Appeal for Gaza.
* That the BBC director responsible for the decision not to air the appeal should be asked to resign.
* That the BBC show coverage of the outrage of the British people against the stopping of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The BBC agreed that it will arrange a meeting with the delegation with Ken McQuarrie, the Controller of the BBC Scotland, and Atholl Duncan, the head of news for BBC Scotland on Wednesday the 28th of January. Glasgow Stop the War Coalition is asking its supporters and those who support humanitarian aid to Gaza to gather outside the BBC on Wednesday at 4.30pm.

Protestors also promised to return unless the DEC appeal is aired. Glasgow Stop the War also called for others to take similar actions around the UK.

All the occupiers decided to leave the building together, and no arrests were made.

'The life of every man, woman and child in Gaza is just as valuable as the lives of people anywhere else in the world. The people of Britain want to help the people of Gaza, and the BBC should give them the information to do so. Every day that the BBC waits to show this appeal, more people in Gaza will die,' said Penny Howard, of the Stop the War Coalition.

White Phosphorus - prima facie evidence

If anyone is in any doubt about the war crimes committed by Israel in Gaza this picture of the bombing, with white phosphorus, of the the UN facility in Beit Lahiya should put to bed any doubts.

Cambridge Law Faculty occupation report on ynetnews

ynetnews from Israel covers the sit-in so it's having quite an impact. The fact that Israeli students are involved is extremely encouraging...
...and this on Haaretz, the 'left of centre' Israeli newspaper, reporting on the Oxford occupation.

Boycott Boots The Chemist

Boots the Chemist is investing in the Israeli pharmaceutical sector in a big way
See this article on Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Video of demo on 24 Jan in protest at BBC's refusal to air Gaza charity appeal

Tony Benn reads out DEC details on the Biased Broadcasting Corporation

Tony Benn gives out details of the appeal on the BBC at the weekend:

Donate Now

click here to donate

Sit-in at BBC's Glasgow HQ

The BBC's Scottish HQ was occupied on Sunday 25 January (pictured below) by 100 demonstrators from the Stop the War Coalition in protest at their refusal to show the DEC humanitarian appeal for Gaza.

See the story in today's Scotsman newspaper
Actress and Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (pictured) said she was ‘shocked and appalled’ by the BBC’s decision

To complain to the BBC:

Telephone 03700 100222, leave contact details and say you want a response from the BBC.

Complain online:

Saturday, 24 January 2009

BBC isolated on Gaza appeal

Great demo today at the BBC today. BBC now isolated as the only broadcaster [Sky not showing appeal - update 28 Jan 09] not showing the Disaster Emergencies appeal for Gaza. Shame on the BBC.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Cambridge Uni occupies

Law faculty occupied - 100 students went in

George Galloway launches UK aid convoy for Gaza

Lifeline for Gaza aid convoy leaving on Saturday 14 February 2009

Send a Valentine to Palestine

A message from George Galloway

More than 1,300 dead – more than 400 of them children – and still they are dragging bodies from the ruins.

The death toll in Gaza is rising, while the world’s leaders and media look away in search of a new story.

We will not look away. The Palestinians in Gaza need our help now, just as they did when Israel’s bombs and illegal weapons were dropping.

Thousands of people have contacted me to say that they have marched, cried at the television pictures and feel helpless in the face of the suffering.

That’s why I have launched a major initiative in response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. I will be leading an aid convoy from London to Gaza leaving on 14 February and travelling through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and through Rafah and into Gaza. It will bring material aid and raise the banner of Palestine in all the countries that we visit.

The convoy will be led by a British fire engine, ambulances, and many trucks full of practical aid given by the various communities in Britain.

It is quite an undertaking, which I anticipate will have a high public profile throughout its journey and on its arrival in Gaza, god willing, some 30 days later.

The convoy is already supported by the Stop the War Coalition – which organised the largest demonstrations in British history – as well as the Anglo-Arab Organisation, several British trade unions and a large number of Muslim organisations. Fundraising for the convoy is taking place all over Britain.

We urgently need your help

1) Secure a vehicle, fill it with aid and get sponsorship to cover its costs to Gaza (approximately £3,000 for fuel and expenses). Many people are donating vehicles to leave there.

2) Money: please organise fundraisers, collections, donations which the convoy will get directly to the people of Gaza.

Cheques should be made payable to “Lifeline for Gaza” and sent to

Lifeline for Gaza c/o Flat 6, 1-2 Bowling Green Place, London SE1 1YL. (Account numbers and bank details to follow.)

3) Collect: medicines within six months of their use by date as of 14 February, clothes for children and adults alike.

4) We urgently need drivers with HGV licences and mechanics.

5) Due to visa arrangements all those coming on the convoy must have a British passport.

Gaza villages wiped off the map

LSE student occupation video

Reports from Socialist Worker

Student occupations in solidarity with Gaza spread around Britain
A revival of student militancy over Gaza

Report in the Guardian on the occupations - published Thursday 22 Jan

Protests over Gaza spread to eight English universities

Oxford University occupation video

UK students occupy universities for Gaza

Fantastically excited by the student occupations in solidarity with Gaza sweeping UK. Some of the University authorities - LSE and Oxford have caved in to many of the students' demands already – others, such as at Birmingham where students were threatened with 'breach of the peace', are proving more intransigent.

Video from the Oxford Uni occupation

Students from Kings will be speaking at Saturdays national demo in London, assembling at the BBC, Portland Place W1, 12.30 - Rally 2.00pm and then marching to Downing Street.