Saturday, 14 February 2009

Police use terror laws to arrest and detain Viva Palestina convoy drivers

[16:00 GMT - Convoy is at Ramsgate, everything proceeding well. Fire engine has dvla problem but will be sorted -]

The police have arrested and are holding three drivers who were on their way to join the convoy Friday night.

As usual no evidence of any crime, other than of being a Muslim while in charge of a vehicle, has been offered by the police. From picking on Muslim kids on demos to taking people away in the middle of the night and of course shooting them in the head at point blank range in the case of DeMenezes, we have come to expect anything from the police and security services.

But this is such a blatant attempt to intimidate the Muslim community and anyone else that wants to stand up for Palestinian rights.

The government says it is worried about radicalisation in the Muslim community. In truth they should be worried about radicalisation way beyond the Muslim community as this economic and social crisis bites. But without a doubt it is the government by its unjust and criminal actions at home and abroad that is the source of the justified anger Muslims, and millions of other people, in the UK feel.

Protest to your MP and demand the immediate release of the drivers.

From the BBC
The nine were arrested when several vehicles were stopped on the M65 near Preston on Friday night, but six were later released without charge.

The arrests were made in a joint operation between Lancashire Police and the North West Counter Terrorism Unit.

Police have confirmed the vehicles were meant to be part of the Gaza aid convoy which left London earlier.

More than 100 vehicles are taking more than £1m worth of aid, including trucks full of medicines, tools, clothes, blankets and shoe boxes as well as gifts for children.

Support the EDO decommissioners: resisting war crimes is not a crime

Decommissioning weapons used to commit war crimes is a tactic now being used by the pro-Palestinian movement in the UK. Derry activists in August 2006 were able to decommission the offices of Raytheon, the US arms manufacturer behind the so-called bunker-busting bombs. They were subsequently charged with affray only for the powers that be to see the jury throw out the charge and vindicate the protesters in June last year. The jury accepted that the defendants were reasonable in their belief that:
the Israel Defence Forces were guilty of war crimes in Lebanon in the summer of 2006; that the Raytheon company, including its facility in Derry, was aiding and abetting the commission of these crimes; and that the action we took was intended to have, and did have, the effect of hampering or delaying the commission of war crimes.
The importance of this case for the successful prosecution of further acts of decommissioning can't be underestimated which is probably why the authorities have so heavily against those involved in the attempts to decommission EDO's manufacturing operations in the guided munitions arena. Two protesters are being held in prison for the crime of trying to stop war crimes, Elijah Smith and Robert Alford. See their details below and send them a letter of support.

Posted by decommissioners on January 25, 2009

More than 1200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since December 27th, more than 400 of which are children. They have deliberately targeted individuals in their homes, schools, hospitals as well as U.N compounds.

EDO MBM make vital components for the Paveway4 precision guided bomb, Hellfire missiles, and bomb release clips for F15 and F16 fighter aircraft.

On Friday Brighton and Hove City Council refused to allow the tabling of a motion by a number of councilors that would have condemned the presence of EDO MBM in Brighton and its supply of components to Israel currently being used in Gaza. The grounds for the refusal were that the motion was 'not relevant to the wellbeing of the city of Brighton and Hove'. The much acclaimed democratic process was once again tripped up at the first hurdle in the interests of corporate profits.

Just a few hours later six ordinary people took that democratic process into their own hands for the well-being of those in Gaza where governments and international law have failed to act.

"I believed our actions were justified in a world where the profits of corporations seems to be put before the lives of Palestinian children. I only wish I had acted earlier and caused more damage, maybe then I could have saved a child's life". Says Tom Woodhead a decommissioner.

"If you hear the sound of a child being brutalised in the house next door and you rush in to smash the door down and save the child, should you be charged with breaking and entering? Obviously not," wrote Eamonn McCann of the Raytheon 9

Those currently remanded are in HMP Lewes, 1 Brighton Rd, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1E

Elijah Smith VP77551, wing and cell no a/4 - 20

Robert Alford VP7552, f wing

Please start sending letters of support to keep their spirits up.

Victory in court for Derry's Raytheon9 decommissioners

Viva Palestina mile-long convoy leaves London

From AP
A huge convoy of more than 100 vehicles snaked its way out of London on route to Gaza, where more than £1 million-worth of aid, including ambulances and a fire engine, will be delivered.

The size of the convoy and the amount of aid it is carrying have exceeded the expectations of the organisers,

From Associated Press of Pakistan
LONDON, Feb 14 (APP): British aid convoy comprising over 100 donated vehicles and led by member of Parliament George Galloway left for Gaza on Saturday afternoon to deliver humanitarian aid to the beleaguered Gazans in the aftermath of three‑week of Israeli military action.

Galloway along with the leading human right activist Yvonne Ridley led the convoy from the Hyde Park and past the Houses of Parliament.

The mile‑long convoy was packed with a million pounds of aid raised in just four weeks. The British Muslim community had been in the forefront of the funds raising drive. Last week a charity event was organised by All Pakistan Women’s Association at the Pakistan High Commission which raised substantial funds for the cause.

Viva Palestina convoy 110-strong and ready to go

From the BBC
A convoy of 110 vehicles is due to leave London for Gaza to deliver £1m of humanitarian aid.

Hundreds of volunteers will act as drivers during the mission, which is organised by umbrella body Viva Palestina and backed by Muslim groups.

Its 5,000-mile route will pass through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

Respect MP George Galloway, who will help drive the convoy, said a peaceful "intifada" was sweeping the UK.

The Gaza Strip is facing a humanitarian crisis following Israel's recent three-week offensive.

About half of Gaza's population is dependent on UN food aid.

Viva Palestina leaves today - £1m in aid for Palestine collected so far

Make a donation through PayPal now

George Galloway MP, Yvonne Ridley and hundreds of British volunteers are driving an aid convoy of over 100 donated vehicles packed with practical aid to Gaza leaving from outside the Houses of Parliament, London on Saturday the 14th February. This remarkable convoy will be over a mile long and carry a million pounds of aid raised in just four weeks.

Volunteers will drive the donated vehicles from all over Britain to Westminster on Valentine’s Day to form the convoy which will then drive almost 5,000 miles together through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt where they will cross the border at Rafah into Gaza on the 2nd March.

The convoy includes a fire engine, 12 ambulances, a boat and trucks filled with medicines, cash, tools, clothes, blankets, and shoe-boxes filled with gifts for children. All this and more has been by donated by communities across the country.

George Galloway said, “No-one will send a vehicle that is not filled with items including pyjamas, clothes and blankets. Millions of people in this country care deeply, and we are going to show that.”

Make a donation through PayPal now

With over 100 vehicles and £1million in aid the Viva Palestina convoy has met with an overwhelming response. But we still need more money to buy extra reconstruction aid in Egypt to carry into Gaza. Could you help us to raise a further £50,000 before the convoy reaches Egypt?

Respect site has more info