Friday, 27 March 2009

Galloway challenges Canada ban on Canadian TV

See below a statement from George Galloway on the attempt by Canadian neo-cons to shutdown debate on the disastrous war in Afghanistan. It has in fact boosted the anti-war movement in that country.

‘A political attack from both sides of the Atlantic'

In an extraordinary move, the Charity Commission in Britain has issued a hostile briefing about the Gaza solidarity campaign inspired by Respect MP George Galloway, just before he arrived in North America for a speaking tour.

The Viva Palestina campaign, which organised a convoy of over 100 vehicles bringing aid to the besieged population of Gaza, has been in contact with the Charity Commission over the last week and sent it a substantial letter today in response to letters only received this morning.

Before receiving that letter, however, some officials at the Commission have issued a statement to the media to say they are launching a “statutory investigation”, even though the Viva Palestina campaign has sought to co-operate with all relevant authorities throughout. As Galloway touched down in the US to begin his speaking tour he made the following statement:

“If anyone needs investigating, it is the Charity Commission itself. There is no good reason why the Commission should jump the gun and issue a statement that it is launching an investigation when, in fact, it was about to receive the information and correspondence it had asked for. But there are plenty of bad reasons for this outrageous behaviour.

“Let the facts speak for themselves. On Friday, Rupert Murdoch's Sun reports that a right wing, pro-war, Bushite in Canada is stamping all over free speech and seeking to ban me from the country. On Saturday, Hazel Blears wrote to the largest Muslim organisation in the country calling for the head of its Deputy Director General Dr Daud Abdullah, because of his support for the Palestinian cause.

“On Monday morning, I set off to the US and Canada for a sell-out speaking tour on the issue of Palestine. While I'm in the air the Charity Commission decides not to wait for a letter it had asked for and which will reach it tomorrow, Royal Mail permitting, but instead launches a public attack on the aid convoy I led.

“This isn't the first time the Charity Commission has intervened in a blatantly political way. It did it over the miners strike a quarter of a century ago and against other solidarity movements. It did it over my campaign against sanctions on Iraq, when it repeatedly went though the books of a political campaign despite the fact it never found anything untoward.

“In truth, I expected this kind of attack. So, I'm sure, did the millions of people whose support for the people of Palestine is an affront to the establishment and its organs. Doubtless supporters of the Iraq war and Israel's aggression against the Palestinians will hope that this will damage solidarity efforts. They are deluded.

“We won't be intimidated. Viva Palestina will continue to campaign. And if the reaction in Canada to these kind of attacks is anything to go by, I anticipate an even greater outpouring of support for our campaign – moral, political, financial and in every other way.”

Resistance hits IDF with anti-tank weapons

From ynetnews
Palestinians fired an antitank missile at an IDF force moving along the border fence south of Karni crossing in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday.

There were no reports of damage or injury, and the force did not respond to the source of the fire.
Good news to see that the resistance still has lots of anti-tank weapons in stock and is ready to use them on the IDF killers probing the border.

IDF pretends it cares about Palestinian lives

From the BBC
An Israeli soldier was removed from the combat area after he shot a Gazan woman in the leg "by mistake" during the recent offensive, military sources say.
Does anyone actually believe this garbage from the IDF? Or is this just a not so clever piece of propaganda by the IDF after all the bad press the poor things have been getting recently.

G20 BBC Global Questions being recorded tonight

Gaza Solidarity's G20 fun kicks off at the BBC Global Questions event tonight. Here are the details of when the broadcast goes out:
Sunday 29th March

Global Questions

In front of an invited global audience, BBC World News is hosting 'Global Questions' at the London Stock Exchange to discuss the G20 summit of global leaders.

A panel of high-profile international figures from the world of finance, industry, politics and civil society will answer questions from the audience on what steps they want the G20 to take, if the joint threats of global banking collapse, rapid deflation, poverty and climate change are to be overcome...
Sunday at 0710, 1510 and 1910 GMT
We 'Ordinary Joes' get to ask some questions of the erstwhile masters of the universe. Panel members will include:

"a Minister from the UK Treasury; a Representative from the US Government; Christophe de Margerie, Head of Total Oil; Victor Chu, Hong Kong Businessman and Investment Banker; Alexander Lebedev, Russian Newspaper Magnate and Oligarch, owner of the Evening Standard (subject to confirmation)"

Audience members are allowed to submit two questions, and here are the two submitted:

1 In the Great Depression tent cities called Hoovervilles sprang up across the US, and have begun to appear again today as people are thrown out of their homes. Does the panel expect to see Brownvilles springing up in the UK?

2 Do the panelists think it is right that trillions of pounds are being spent on propping up the banks when a small fraction of that sum could go to the poorest in the world who would be the most likely to spend it and thereby boost world demand?

I'm assured there will be plenty of time for discussion and I hope to mention Palestine some where along the line as well as hanging bankers from lamp posts - not that I'd ever condone inciting anyone to do such a thing, in case there are any judges reading this.

Prof Chris Knight suspended for speaking out on bankers

An academic at the University of East London, Chris Knight, professor of anthropology, has been suspended from his post for speaking out on bankers and for implying that if the police use violence against demonstrators they will be repaid in kind.

Pretty senseless bravado on his part but it is hardly cause for being suspended from your post. Such are the limits to democracy in Britain in the age of the war on terror.

A good story for the media to wind up their 'violence' agenda to scare people off going to the protests and to provide the police with a ready-made excuse for aggressive and violent policing.

Don't support Knight's suspension but his grasp of strategy and tactics vis a vis the state is very poor.

Israel takes Gaza war to Sudan

The Sudanese government has accused the US of launching an air strike on the country in January. It is claimed that the strike was on a weapons convoy on its way to Egypt en route to resistance fighters in Gaza.

However, the US has denied involvement and implicated the Israelis instead.

According to CBS News national security correspondent David Martin an official at the Pentagon told him, “Israeli aircraft carried out the attack”.

“Israeli intelligence is said to have discovered that weapons were being trucked through Sudan, heading north toward Egypt, whereupon they would cross the Sinai Desert and be smuggled into Hamas-held territory in Gaza”.

The first admission that Sudanese sovereignty had been violated came on Monday when state minister for highways, Mabrouk Mubarak Saleem, said: "A major power bombed small trucks carrying arms – burning all of them. It killed Sudanese, Eritreans, and Ethiopians and injured others."

The Sudan Tribune reports today that the Sudanese military has made its first statement about the incident, that led to the death of 38 Sudanese, Ethiopian and Eritrean citizens, in which it admits to being aware of the attack by a foreign power.

It is thought the Sudanese has been reticent to acknowledge the attack as it is embarrassed by the violation of sovereignty.

The news was first broken by a rebel leader in the east of the country and someone from the same group said today they had spoken to the only survivor from the raid:

“There was an Ethiopian fellow, a mechanic. He was the only one who survived. He said they came in two planes. They passed over them then came back and they shot the cars. He couldn’t tell the nationality of the aircraft ... The aircraft destroyed the vehicles. There were four or five vehicles” he said.

Israel has not confirmed the attack but Olmert said it takes its war against 'terrorist infrastructure near and far'.

Hamas denies the convoy was carrying weapons destined for Gaza.

Whatever the exact truth of what took place, western powers are 'co-operating' with Israel to stop arms getting to the resistance. Hopefully they will fail.

Prisoner swap talks resumed in Egypt

Despite Israel's claims to have shutdown prisoner exchange talks they have in fact been on-going this week, after the realised detaining Hamas MPs and imposing an even harsher regime for Hamas prisoners was not going to have the desired effect of getting Palestinians to bow to their demands.
Ali Baraka, the deputy representative of Hamas in Syria, stated Wednesday that the Egyptian-brokered talks with the Israeli occupation authority about the prisoner swap deal had resumed.

He pointed out that Israel finally came to realize that its pressures on Hamas would not deter it from its demands.more

The Israeli press has been remarkably quiet on these developments, coinciding as they do with the taking of power by the new right-wing government with its extreme right foreign minister.

More villagers kidnapped in round up by Israeli occcupiers

Israeli occupation forces on Thursday rounded up 11 Palestinians from Nablus refugee camps and the Tobas district, locals reported.

Witnesses said that seven young men in Balata and Asker refugee camps east of Nablus were snatched at dawn Thursday after the soldiers ransacked their family homes.

In Akaba, Tobas district, soldiers imposed a curfew on the village and kidnapped four people.

Local sources said the soldiers burst into the village in a pre-dawn raid firing live bullets and flare bombs as they went. Three large explosions were heard.

Residents said soldiers used dogs in to search village homes, showing no respect for Muslim sensibilities.

The soldiers also imposed a curfew on Hares village north of Salfit and broke into many homes.

Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers took 150 boys, 13 to 15 years old, to the village's school and interrogated them after covering their heads with paper bags.

The occupation forces closed the only entrance to the Madma village, south of Nablus, with no declared reason, locals said.

Thanks to the Palestine Information Center