Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Latest news: United Campaign Against Police Violence momentum builds

> After just a few days of life, the United Campaign Against Police
> Violence (UCAPV) is already building momentum.
> Last night the London Underground Engineering Branch of the RMT
> union passed a motion affiliating to the campaign and donating £100.
> George Green's School NUT group in Tower Hamlets also backed the ca
> mpaign last night, adding to the support from union leaders Bob Crow
> (RMT) and Mark Serwotka (PCS). Emergency motions are being submitte
> d to PCS, UCU, Bectu and FBU conference
> We now have a model motion up on the website (
> ). Please get is passed through union branches and let us know how
> you get on.
> Here is a breakdown of some of the activity the campaign has planned
> over the next few days:
> "Lights off in London" in memory of Ian Tomlinson and all those
> who have died in police custody, this Friday (24 April) 8:30 - 9:30p
> m. This is being backed by Ken Livingstone, John McDonnell MP and Gr
> een Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson.
> Leafleting of Millwall v Leyton Orient, this Saturday (25 April),
> meet at 2:00pm this Saturday (25 April), on Zampa Road (SE16) at
> Millwall's ground (The Den). We will give out leaflets about the
> campaign and future activities and unfurl a banner. Bob Crow of the
> RMT will be with us.
> Lobby of the Metropolitan Police Authority meeting, Thursday 30
> April, assemble 9:30am at City Hall. Bring trade union banners. With
> Jenny Jones AM, Green Party.
> We are appealing for all supporters of the campaign to come along
> and help with the leafleting of the Millwall game, and in particular
> Thursday 30 April.
> Please forward these details far and wide. While our mailing list
> grows we rely on all of you to spread information round your contacts.
> In solidarity,
> Colin Smith
> United Campaign Against Police Violence

Support Victoria line Underground strike for passenger safety, against victimisation

I passed this picket line on the way to work this morning and promised the workers I would blog their story. So here it is...

Train drivers on the Victoria Line of the London Undergound have walked out on strike after one of their colleagues was sacked for opening the doors on the wrong side of the train.

The union has been pressing the company for some time to install fail-safe devices to prevent just this eventuality but they have refused to do so and are now scapegoating a worker to cover up their total disregard for the safety of passengers.
The morning barbeque looked nice

Every other line on the underground has a device called a Correct Side Door Enabler to prevent the wrong door being opened.

The Victoria line has now been closed down by the action which is 100% solid and deserves your support. The workers and their union, the Rail Martime and Transport Union is fighting for the reinstatement of Carl Campbell.

The RMT is a union that has been at the forefront of fighting for social justice, including supporting the Stop the War Coalition and its work in building solidarity with Gaza. Its leader, Bob Crow, has recently put his weight behind the fight to get justice for Ian Tomlinson.

Phone London Underground to complain: 0845 330 9880
To show your support email:

If you live in London get down to a picket line - the one pictured is at Seven Sisters station

The Trainer - A play for Gaza, sends up 'terror' laws

The Trainer
Photograph Guy Smallman

The Trainer – is a surreal comedy about the ‘terror’ laws as they descend into farce. Composer Keith Burstein sues the Evening Standard after being accused of 'glorifying' terror in his opera, Manifest Destiny. When his case goes to the Appeal Court, the judges go to a gym to exercise between court sessions. The gym trainer is Leila, a young Palestinian woman.

"Gripping drama. A passionate and telling condemnation of an injustice made possible by the anti-terrorism laws." - Michael Kustow, theatre director, former Channel 4 arts commissioner

Staged reading directed by Tom Platten.

Box Office 020 8985 2424
Links: Location map

Jon Snow of Channel 4 News to speak out on Iran - Monday 27 April

click image above to download the PDF for distribution

a Campaign Iran public meeting



with JON SNOW C4 News journalist + presenter

JOHN REES Stop the War Coalition

Political scientist, academic councillor of CASMII

academic and writer, Campaign Iran

Chaired by

Reminder - Stop the War Coalition national conference this Saturday 25 April

Stop the War's National Conference: Saturday 25 April

Speakers include: Tony Benn • Karma Nabulsi • Ken Loach • George Galloway MP • Rose Gentle • Seumas Milne • Daud Abdullah • Jeremy Corbyn MP • Craig Murray • Lindsey German

Sessions: • Barack Obama and the War on Terror introduced by Tony Benn, • Troops out of Afghanistan with Rose Gentle and others, • Palestine with Karma Nabulsi and others, • Muslims and Civil Liberties with George Galloway MP and others, • Iraq Briefing with Sami Ramadami

South Camden Community School, Charrington Street, London, NW1 1RG
Saturday 25 April: 10.00am to 5.30pm. Book now: Call 020 7801 2768

Stop the War Coalition

Gaza national demo called - London 16 May

Remember Gaza... National Demonstration

Gaza protest 16 MaySaturday 16 May
Assemble 12 noon
Central London

Called by: PSC, Stop the War Coalition, BMI and CND

Download leaflet here

Assembling 12 noon in Central London, Rally in Trafalgar Square

Free Palestine - End Israeli Occupation - End the Arms trade

Called by: Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative, Palestinian Forum in Britain and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Supported by: Action Palestine, Amos Trust, Arab Media Watch, Association of Palestinian Communities UK, Britain-Palestine Twinning Network, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Friends of Lebanon, Friends of Sabeel UK, The Green Party, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions UK, Jewish Socialist’s Group, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Midlands Palestinian Community Association, Muslim Association of Britain, NUS Black Students Campaign, UNISON, Pax Christi, Public and Commercial Services Union, Rail Maritime and Transport Union, Viva Palestina, War on Want, Zaytoun.

Israel refuses to co-operate with UN Human Rights Council war crimes investigation

Israel - the pariah state - refuses to work with the United Nations Human Rights Council, bombs UN buildings, kills its staff but has the cheek to protest at Ahmadinejad's presence at the UN yesterday.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned at recent Israeli statements implying that the State of Israel will not cooperate with the independent investigation established by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The investigation is led by Justice Richard Goldstone, former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Both tribunals were established by the United Nations Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. The independent fact finding mission is mandated to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law, related to the recent 23 day Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The offensive claimed the lives of 1,414 Palestinians, 1,177 (83%) of whom were non-combatants: the protected persons of IHL. 13 Israelis also died, including 3 civilians. Civilian property in the Gaza Strip was extensively destroyed, initial investigations indicate that 21,000 houses were completely or partially destroyed, 6,636 dunums of agricultural land were razed, and approximately 1,500 factories and workshops were completely destroyed.

Viva Palestina US pledges $10m and 500 vehicles for Gaza

Fresh from the success of the Viva Palestina aid convoy which took over 100 vehicles to Gaza from Britain , George Galloway MP has linked up on his US tour with the Vietnam veteran and peace campaigner Ron Kovic to launch a similar, but bigger venture from the States.

Galloway announced the initiative at a 1000-strong meeting in Anaheim , South California , rounding off a packed-out, coast to coast speaking tour highlighting the Palestinian cause.

“There's a new atmosphere in the US over Palestine ,” says Galloway , “the phenomenal response to this tour demonstrates that.”

Ron Kovic, whose story was immortalised in Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July , will be the co-leader of the convoy, which will form up in Egypt and make its way to the Rafah crossing and into Gaza

Organisers are aiming for 500 vehicles and $10 million of aid.

“And what better day to head off,” says Galloway , “Than July 4 – Independence Day!”

Sign up to US email alerts here (click and then scroll down to green box)

Thanks to Viva Palestina

In Palestine the IDF kills protesters on video with impunity

Demonstrator killed in Bil’in by Israeli forces

Friday, 17 April 2009, Bil’in Village: A resident has been killed by Israeli forces during a demonstration. Basem Abu Rahme, 29 years of age, was shot in the chest with a high-velocity tear gas projectile. He was evacuated to Ramallah hospital in critical condition, where he died of his injury. According to eyewitnesses, Basem was on a hill with several journalists to the side of other demonstrators. Soldiers opened fire from 40 meters, aiming directly with the tear-gas projectiles.

The tear-gas projectile, labeled “40 mm bullet, special/long range” in Hebrew has also critically injured American national, Tristan Anderson at a demonstration in Ni’lin on 13 March 2009 when he was shot in the head from 60 meters.

According Michael Sfard, the lawyer representing the village of Bil’in, “The Israeli supreme court has ruled 3 times that the route of the Wall is illegal and needs to be moved. However, to date not a meter of the Wall has been rerouted.”

Basem Abu Rahme is the 18th individual to be killed by Israeli forces during a demonstration against the Wall.

Thanks to the International Solidarity Movement

Israel's US neo-conservative backers in alliance with Tea Party anti-semites

Anti-Semitic graphics used on the "Bay Area Ron Paul Campaign for Liberty" website in conjunction with the April 15 TEA Party in San Mateo: The text reads "Uncle Sam Reminds You: KEEP PAYING TAXES. The ongoing extermination of Palestinian Children Can't be Done Without Your Help."

The Israelis have been having what they see as a field day with Iran bashing, and, to be honest, Ahmadinejad, although forceful in his attacks on the racism implicit in Zionism, has in the past undermined the message with a nauseating anti-semitism as expressed in his outrageous claims seeking to deny the Holocaust perpetrated on European Jewry.

But the same forces that Israeli politicans are happy to applaud when they line up in the US Republican party to back everything that Israel does in the name of a warped vision of neo-conservative freedom, are the same ones that are happy to consort with assorted racists and anti-semites.

The so-called Tea Party movement (it is not a movement so much as an extended talk radio stunt) aims to stop Obama's drift towards 'socialism'. If only that were true.

The pictures above and below show the inevitable consequence of aligning an oppressive cause - the defence of Israel - with the most backward elements in US society.

CIA torture shows US part of problem not solution in Middle East

Not easy to see how the US will ever be seen as an honest broker in any Middle East peace process when they wage war on Muslim countries and torture their citizens in the name of freedom.

Torturing people to reveal non-existent links between Iraq and al Qaeda shows the barbarity, and futility, of the policy.

Obama knows the public endorsement of torture by the Bush adminisrtation was counter-productive to US interests but up until yesterday had backed away from supporting the prosecution of the architects of the torture programme.

Dick Cheney's arrogant and rather stupid appearance on Fox to defend his revolting methods may have been another counter-productive move on the part of the masters of torture, as it seems to have forced Obama to again signal to those he elected that he will do something about bringing to justice the criminals in the last government, if not the torturers themselves on the ground who are still going about their dirty business at secret CIA sites or through franchised-out operation in other countries.

From the Washington Post
Intelligence and military officials under the Bush administration began preparing to conduct harsh interrogations long before they were granted legal approval to use such methods -- and weeks before the CIA captured its first high-ranking terrorism suspect, Senate investigators have concluded.

Previously secret memos and interviews show CIA and Pentagon officials exploring ways to break Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees in early 2002, up to eight months before Justice Department lawyers approved the use of waterboarding and nine other harsh methods, investigators found.

The findings are contained in a Senate Armed Services Committee report scheduled for release today that also documents multiple warnings -- from legal and trained interrogation experts -- that the techniques could backfire and might violate U.S. and international law.
And in the same paper Israel makes clear what it thinks about US plans to supposedly restart the 'peace process' in the Middle East - attack Iran before any negotiations says Netanyahu. There wont be much to talk about at the White House in a couple of months when Obama plans to being Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian leaders together:
The new Israeli government will not move ahead on the core issues of peace talks with the Palestinians until it sees progress in U.S. efforts to stop Iran's suspected pursuit of a nuclear weapon and limit Tehran's rising influence in the region, according to top government officials familiar with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's developing policy on the issue.

Terror raids update - final two held during raids in north-west England released

Final two suspects - although basically any Muslim can now be a 'suspect' - being held from anti-terror raids in north-west England released without charge.

When are these bogus raids going to stop. Who is running them and using what 'intelligence'?

Where does the media get it erroneous and baseless stories that always accompany these raids with lurid targeting plots about shopping centres and nightclubs?

Norway may indict Israeli leaders for war crimes

AP reports that Norwegian Lawyers are putting together cases against Israel's political and military leaders for war crimes and have passed details to the country's chief prosecutor.

Israel may withdraw their ambassador. Israel will have hardly any ambassadors anywhere in the field at this rate. They have withdrawn their ambassador in Switzerland for 'talks'.

Certainly Olmert won't be visiting the fjords of Norway anytime soon, unless he likes hanging out in prisons.

Terror raids are bogus and political - who is ordering them?

The apparent 'student terrorist' plotters turns out, as predicted on Gaza Solidarity, to be no such thing.

Nine have been released without charge - well sort of as they've now been handed over to immigration authorities with a view to deportation - and two are still being held, one British national and one Pakistani. Lawyer for three of the individuals is fighting their deportation demanding the students be allowed to complete their studies. The government says they are a threat to national security. In fact they are only a threat to the methods of repression being used by this government.

There needs to be an urgent inquiry into the security forces blatantly political use of anti-terror laws to intimidate and criminalise law-abiding Muslims, along with anyone else that protests as seen in the arrest of 114 climate campers or the sinister and overtly political arrest of Viva Palestina drivers.

Also the five people detained in the 'terror plot' identified, not without coincidence,the day before the G20 conference, have been released with no charge.

Guardian has new video footage showing Ian Tomlinson's head hit the pavement

IPCC, contrary to Hardwick's statements to parliament, is now trying to stop videos appearing in the public domain. It sought, unsuccessfully, an injunction to stop Channel 4 showing an excerpt on YouTube that has since been removed.

Abolish the IPCC now. Well done to the Guardian for broadcasting the
full footage on it's site: