Thursday, 26 February 2009

British government admits it helped to 'render' for US

From the Guardian
The government admitted today that British troops in Iraq handed over terror suspects to the US, which then secretly rendered them to a prison in Afghanistan.

Breaking news: Foreign office confirms seven Viva Palestina people detained by Tunisia

Gaza Solidarity has heard from the Foreign Office. Seven British citizens are being detained by the Tunisian authorities. As yet they have not been charged. The FO has not protested to the Tunisian government but is 'seeking immediate access' to the detained. Normal consular assistance is being provided but the FO is not releasing the names of the detained. The seven are being held at Sfax and the rest of the convoy has continued on to Gabes.

The Foreign Office spokewoman did not appear to be very well briefed on the situation in Tunisia. Firstly she spoke of 'several' persons being detained and only after further questioning did she reveal the number to be seven. When asked where the seven were being detained she replied: "good question" and after a few moments was able to provide the location. Unfortunately there is no information on the Viva Palestina website about the arrests and George Galloway has not communicated through his Twitter feed.

Still haven't heard from the Tunisian Embassy in London and that will be our next phone call.[17:39 GMT - can't get hold of anyone, apart from the caretaker, at the Tunisian embassy]

When the Viva Palestina convoy entered Tunisia at the border town of Gafsa the authorities were caught unprepared by the popular support for the convoy and according to some on the convoy they may have feared 'a riot'.

Patient dies after Israel bars transfer from strip

From the International Middle East Media Center
Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that a Palestinian patient died on Thursday at a Gaza hospital after the Israeli occupation barred him from leaving the Gaza Strip for medical treatment abroad.

The patient was identified as Husam Mohammad Hallas, 30, from Al Shujaeyya neighborhood east of Gaza City. He suffered from a heart disease while the Israeli siege left Gaza hospitals unable to treat the patients as most of their equipment are out of service and their medicine stores ran out of basic supplies.

Hallas had all needed papers and transfer documents but Israel still bared his transfer. more

Tunisia allows Viva Palestina convoy to proceed, two women taken by security forces

What the hell is the Tunisian state up to?

Protest to the Tunisian Embassy:
29 Prince’s Gate,
SW7 1QG.
Tel: 020 7584 8117

And why has there been no protest from the British government over the roadside arrest of 300 British citizens?

UPDATE: Gaza Solidarity has spoken to both the Tunisian Embassy and the Foreign Office concerning the reported arrests. Mohamed at the Tunisian Embassy in London said: "I have no information and will check" while the spokesman at the Foreign Office knows about the convoy but "is not aware of the details" we imparted to him concerning the roadside arrests and the disturbing disappearance of the two women. Both the embassy and the Foreign Office are trying to get more information and promise to get back to us. More as soon as we get it.

From Press TV
The Gaza-bound aid convoy 'Viva Palestina', which was stopped by the police in Tunisia, is granted permission to continue its journey.

The aid convoy was stopped upon arrival in Tunisia from Algeria on late Wednesday, said Press TV's Yvonne Ridley who is accompanying 'Viva Palestina' on its journey to Gaza.

Following the incident, two human rights activists traveling with the convoy were arrested by Tunisian police. The fate of the two remains clouded.

From Birmingham Mail
A BIRMINGHAM city councillor spoke today of his “terrifying ordeal” after being detained by armed police in North Africa.

Mohammed Ishtiaq was one of 300 British citizens subjected to roadside arrest as they tried to drive through Tunisia.

Coun Ishtiaq was helping drive a convoy of 100 aid lorries to war-torn Gaza.

Speaking from the town of Hafsa in Tunisia, Coun Ishtiaq said he was mystified at the behaviour of the authorities....

...He claimed two British women were “kidnapped” by the Tunisian security services when they tried to escape and driven off to an unknown destination.

Tunisian police stop convoy and arrest Viva Palestina activists

From Press TV
Tunisian police have stopped 'Viva Palestina', a Gaza-bound humanitarian aid convoy, arresting two human rights activists without charges.

The incident came upon the aid convoy's arrival in Tunisia from Algeria on late Wednesday, said Press TV's Yvonne Ridley who is accompanying 'Viva Palestina' on its journey to Gaza.

East Dulwich fund-raiser for Gaza - 7 March

East Dulwich Stop the War Group presents
An Evening for Palestine

7 March The Ivy House, 40 Stuart Road, Nunhead SE15 3BE 7.30pm


* John Hegley
wondrous word-wild music man

* The Boycott Coca-Cola Experience
haltingly beautiful agit-prop blues

* The SOAS Middle Eastern Music Ensemble
Arab, Persian and Turkish sounds

* Something in the Water
spiked serenaders with a sting in their tales

* Martin Soan
‘Tommy Copper on acid’

plus The Palestine Film Makers' Collective

all proceeds to Medical Aid for Palestinians UK

* stalls
* cakes
* Palestinian produce

£6/£4 in advance from Health Matters, 47 Lordship Lane , SE22
£7/£5 on the door

Contact East Dulwich Stop the War Group at

Access: all on one floor, ramp at rear of building. No wheelchair accessible toilet, sorry


John Hegley
John is one of the UK 's best known and most innovative comic poets. He is a regular sell-out at the Edinburgh Festival. He has performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival, the USA Comedy Festival in Aspen , with Ulrika Jonsson & Anita Dobson in The Pyjama Game and on BBC R4's Hearing With Hegley.

The Boycott Coca-Cola Experience
Tim Siddall aka The Boycott Coca-Cola Experience sings very funny agit-prop blues about the environment, food, love and gas. Blessed with a flair for the obscure view-point and a haltingly beautiful guitar style, BCCE is a huge talent evolving at high speed.

The SOAS Middle Eastern Music Ensemble
A multicultural, multinational group sensation, emerging from the UK ’s centre for Arabic culture and study. The Ensemble will make your body quiver and your heart sing with their Arab, Persian and Turkish sounds.

Something in the Water
Joe Murphy (from Sergeant Buzfuz) and Polly MacLean (from Kinkajou) join forces with a strange gleam in their eyes to bring you back-alley ballads and dark duets. They will be joined by violinist Thom Alder from David Cronenberg's Wife.

Martin Soan
Dubbed ‘Tommy Copper on acid’ and ‘a virtuoso of silliness’, Martin is a well-loved regular at The Ivy House and on the comedy circuit. Martin’s television appearances include: Chris Tarrant's OTT, Game for a Laugh, Blackadder, Cilla Black's Surprise! Surprise!, Jools Holland's The Tube, Breakfast with Frost and Jonathan Ross's The Last Resort.

East Dulwich Stop the War Group
...was founded in 2002 to campaign against the occupation of Afghanistan and the war on Iraq . We are affiliated to the national Stop the War Coalition. We need all sort of help with creating a website, publicity, running stalls, organising meetings, making a banner… and whatever else you can think of!
Please get in touch by emailing

Why we are raising money
The Israeli Defence Force massacred 1500 men, women and children and injured over 5000 in the attacks on Gaza in December and January. The people of Gaza are now continuing to suffer and die for want of water, food, shelter and medical supplies. Both Egypt and Israel are hindering aid reaching people in desperate need in the Gaza strip. Israel is backed militarily and politically by the US and Britain . For more info visit and

Support the boycott
Check that what you are buying in the supermarket doesn’t come from Israel . There are many British and US companies that sponsor the Israeli state and its campaign of terror against the Palestinians. The main ones are:

1. CATerpillar
2. Starbucks
3. McDonald’s
4. Estée Lauder
5. L Oréal
6. Marks & Spencer
7. Sara Lee
8. Coca-Cola
9. Intel

For more info, visit

This event is supported by:

Health Matters
Award-winning health store in the heart of East Dulwich

Steam Control


15Hz Studio

Special thanks to Lizzie Shirley

Poll: 68% of Turkish people back Hamas

From the Palestine Information Center
ANKARA, (PIC)-- An opinion poll aired Monday on a Turkish TV show attended by Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, revealed that 68 percent of the Turkish people support the Hamas Movement opposed to 32 percent for the Israeli occupation.

During the show, Dr. Abu Zuhri briefed the Turkish viewers on the reality of the Israeli war on Gaza and the crimes committed against children, women and civilians. He also talked about the steadfastness and fortitude demonstrated by the Gaza people during the war.

Turkish media sources told the PIC reporter that there is a growing awareness among the Turkish people of the dimensions of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and an understanding of the fact that Hamas is a resistance faction defending the Palestinian people and its democratically-elected government is the legitimate representative of the Palestinians.

The sources pointed out that the Turkish support for Hamas increasingly grows despite the wide presence of the Zionist lobby which influences a large number of media outlets in Turkey.

Building student links in Palestine

Palestine: Students under Occupation feat interview with Mordechai Vanunu 2003

Made by Stewart and Patrick. Two students members of Stop the War Coalition visit occupied Palestine to interview and build links with students resisting the occupation. Featuring interviews with Mordechai Vanunu (lifted the lid on Israel's Nukes stockpile in the 70s and kidnapped and imprisoned as a result) and Arun Gandhi.

Thanks to Leninism 2.0

Coventry restaurant raises £30,000 for Gaza

From the Coventry Telegraph
Radford restaurant raises £30k for Gaza victims

A COVENTRY restaurant owner enjoyed tea with the Lord Mayor as a thank-you for his efforts in organising a charity auction for Gaza victims.

Ahbab Hussain, aged 28, of Radford, helped raise £30,000 after inviting local business people to donate an auction item.

Items under the hammer at Zeenat Restaurant, in Stoney Stanton Road, included paintings and fitted double glazing.

The owner of Aqua Food and Mood, in Far Gosford Street, was delighted to meet the Lord Mayor. He had tea and biscuits before being given a tour of the council house. The cash has been sent to Interpal, a charity which provides basic amenities including food and shelter to Palestinians in need.

Viva Palestina convoy in Tunisia

George G is not doing much twittering at the moment but here is the latest
From vivapalestina
Also see Gaza Convoy
Convoy Update
22 .00 (GMT) Wednesday 25th February 2009

Early this evening the convoy crossed into Tunisia to the tears and cheers of the massive Algerian crowds who waived them off at the border crossing. The Algerian consul as well as some officials wished them all the best for the remainder of their long journey. by Farid Arada
video of convoy in Algeria

Worcester twins with Gaza City

Viva Worcester!
Viva Palestina

From the Berrows & Worcester Journal
CITY councillors have backed a motion which could lead to Worcester being twinned with Gaza City in the Middle East.

A notice of motion put forward by Alan Amos, Warndon city councillor, was passed after a carefully worded amendment tabled by David Tibbutt, councillor for Battenhall, was accepted.

The amended motion read: "The city of Worcester invite the Twinning Association to consider twinning Worcester with Gaza City."