Friday, 8 May 2009

Police repression after Gaza demos continues with six more arrests

The police repression and persecution of Muslim youths and others following the Gaza demonstrations in January continues. They have now arrested a total of 93 people, with the latest raid taking place yesterday. The casual police violence in the video above was typical of their attitude towards our peaceful protests in solidarity with the people of Gaza.
Met Police press release 7 May 2009

Six arrested in ongoing investigation into violence at demonstrations

Six people have been arrested this morning, 7 May, as part of Operation Ute, the Met's ongoing investigation into violence at a series of demonstrations in central London during January 2009.

The investigation team was formed in January this year after a series of demonstrations in central London descended into violence, with attacks on police officers and a number of shop windows being smashed.

To date 93 people have been arrested (including today's arrests) in connection with offences at the demonstrations. This is the second arrest phase since the investigation team formed.

At least 55 police officers have reported being injured during the policing of these demonstrations. Fortunately the vast majority of injuries were minor. However, on 10 January one police officer was knocked unconscious after he was hit by a metal object.

The demonstrations:

3 January 2009:

On 3 January a lawful march of around 12,000 went from Embankment to Trafalgar Square. What followed saw around 2,000 start a spontaneous march from the Square to the Israeli Embassy. Police worked hard to facilitate to the march to keep participants safe. Along the route of the march a small number of people repeatedly tried to break through police lines and hurled objects including fireworks at officers. Once at the Embassy a small group continued to try and attack police, breaking apart barriers and throwing them at police. This went on for approximately three hours.

Afterwards a search of the area recovered a knife embedded in the Embassy gatepost, which police believe had been thrown at officers. Some 13 people were arrested at the time, but detectives are still seeking in the region of 17 people for offences such as serious violent disorder.

10 January 2009:

On 10 January a march left Speakers Corner for the Israeli Embassy. Police believe there were between 15 - 20,000 people taking part. An initial attempt to breach security at the north gate of Kensington Palace Gardens resulted in police coming under attack from a small group of protestors throwing sticks and stones. The gate and nearby street furniture were also damaged. In front of the Embassy itself officers came under a sustained three-hour attack from a group who were intent on breaching police security barriers. People hurled metal barriers, sticks and stones at officers.

Four shops had their windows smashed and people attacked police vehicles. A 'Starbucks' was looted and people used items they had stolen to then throw at police. 24 people were arrested on the day; detectives are now seeking at least 20 people for offences ranging from serious violent disorder. CCTV and material taken by specialist evidence gatherers is now being reviewed by the team.

Those arrested are: A 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder at an address in Ealing. A 20-yea-old man was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder at an address in Notting Hill. A 19-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder at an address in Tower Hamlets. An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder at an address in Wood Green. An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder at an address in Holloway. A 17-year-old male youth was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder at an address in Tower Hamlets.

Afghan dead from US aerial bombardment now stands at 147 as riots break out

Patrick Cockburn in today's Independent says local officials claim 147 were killed in that Afghan air strike by the US - which was not one misguided air strike but a prolonged bombardment that destroyed three villages. Thousands of those villagers are now on the march, chanting: 'Death to America' and 'Death to the government'. Change we can believe in President Obama?
Shouting "Death to America" and "Death to the Government", thousands of Afghan villagers hurled stones at police yesterday as they vented their fury at American air strikes that local officials claim killed 147 civilians.

The riot started when people from three villages struck by US bombers in the early hours of Tuesday, brought 15 newly-discovered bodies in a truck to the house of the provincial governor. As the crowd pressed forward in Farah, police opened fire, wounding four protesters. Traders in the rest of Farah city, the capital of the province of the same name where the bombing took place, closed their shops, vowing they would not reopen them until there is an investigation. more

Meanwhile, it's been announced that four British soldiers have been killed in Helmand province, Afghanistan - this is major news in the UK but hardly a mention of the 147 dead Afghan people that the West is meant to be liberating.

Western hypocrisy is limitless. And they even have the nerve to send the arch war criminal Tony Blair to lead the 'peace process' in Palestine.

Jewish actress defends Australian outing for Seven Jewish Children

A PLAY that has been condemned by Jewish groups and some theatre critics as anti-Semitic will this month be performed at the State Library of Victoria.

The cast of the eight-minute Seven Jewish Children, by English playwright Caryl Churchill, includes Sydney-based Anglo-Jewish actor Miriam Margolyes and Max Gillies, husband of high-profile Melbourne Jewish identity Louise Adler.

It will be presented in a rehearsed reading on Monday, May 18, at 6.30pm by the lobby group Australians for Palestine.
More at The Age

Caryl Churchill's Gaza play is anti-war not anti-semitic

IDF kills Palestinan man in Hebron, stops transfer of funds to pay salaries

Israel Occupation Force soldier killed a Palestinian man on Thursday near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Meanwhile Israel is deliberately stopping the transfer of money to pay salaries for public employees. It blames it s move on the a=fact that settlers are blocking the Erez crossing.

New York Times interviews Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal

Pic by Mumtaz al-Baloua

The New York Times interviewed Hamas leader Khaled Meshal. You can read the English transcript of the interview, which was conducted in Arabic, here

Does this mean Hamas is no longer considered a terrorist organisation by the NYT? Let's hope so.

'Go back and die in Gaza' says Israel to Palestinian patients who refuse to inform

Al-Jazeeera has more on the treatment, or rather the lack of it, of Palestinians in need or medical care. We reported that Israel is only letting out people with the most severe cases, and only if they agree to inform on their fellow Palestinians. The outrageous behaviour of Israel was highlighted by the organisation Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and Al-Jazeera has been speaking to its director, Hadas Ziv.
Al Jazeera: Your organisation has collected dozens of testimonies of patients who were pressured to collaborate with the Israeli General Security Services. How did you find out about this? A Palestinian will not easily admit he or she has been asked to become an informant.

Ziv: True; it is not a subject people talk about easily and it happened gradually. Our organisation tries to support Gazan patients who were prevented by the Israeli authorities from treatment in Israel, or from crossing Israel on their way to hospitals in the West Bank.

Instead of clear rejection or admittance, the Israelis started saying: "permit pending interrogation". The permit became conditional - not so much on individual health conditions, but on the outcome of the interrogation at the Erez Crossing.

Then, many of the patients we were in touch with came back from interrogation and told us they did not get the permit: "They tried to extort me to collaborate and I wasn't willing to give them information, so they sent me back to Gaza."

When more and more people told us the same story, we understood that this was a new policy.

How do you know the testimonies are true?

The testimonies come from very different people, of different ages, different political opinions and from different towns in the Gaza strip. To believe that there is such a high degree of co-ordination among all the patients is pretty far-fetched. But more importantly, it needs a lot of courage to speak to us about this.

Some of the patients have a lot to lose if they talk. more

Rape and murder - the hallmark of freedom US-style in occupied Iraq

If you want to know why the US is not much liked in the Middle East, despite Obama's rather lame outreach, this appalling story of rape and murder, should help to explain.

Great, so the culprits are in court but does this show the 'democratic' nature of the US Empire or instead hint at the widespread reality of an oppressive occupation where many more similar crimes have gone unpunished? I suspect the latter.

Steven Green and his US army buddies raped 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and then shot dead her family, and the girl, to hide their heinous crimes.

Hitler youth Pope brings his prejudices to the Middle East

The anti-semitic and Islam-hating Pope Benedict is visiting Palestine and Jordan today.

The Hitler Youth Pope is being welcomed by the Israeli government despite the fact that this is the man that saw no problem with allowing a holocaust denier back into the church. I suppose they must be operating on the basis that 'our enemy's enemy is our friend', which, unfortunately, is not a new approach in the history of Zionism.

Let's hope his God is not protecting him on this 'pilgrimage'.

UK bans Palestinian MP for 'crime' of fighting for justice

GAZA, (PIC)-- Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the acting speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, has described the British government's decision to ban entry of Hamas MP Dr. Younis Al-Astal into its territory as "hostile" to the Palestinian people.

Bahar in a statement on Wednesday said that Britain was not content with its political and material support for Israel and its "ominous" role in the creation of that "entity" on the usurped lands of Palestine following the Balfour Declaration but now is issuing another "oppressive" decision against the Palestinian people.

"We in the chairmanship of the PLC affirm that the Palestinian people are free to choose their representatives especially in the latest legislative elections of January 2006, which the entire world testified to its integrity," he elaborated.

The acting speaker said that London should have rather issued decisions against the Israeli war criminals who committed massacres against humanity the latest being the brutal war on Gaza Strip in which 1,400 Palestinian citizens were killed mostly women and children while thousands others were maimed or wounded.

The PLC chairmanship expected the British government to make amends for its historical mistakes against the Palestinian people instead of passing hostile, irrational decisions against the Palestinians, Bahar said, adding that the PLC was waiting for a British apology for the decision against MP. Dr. Astal.

The British interior ministry had issued for the first time on Tuesday a decision banning the entry into Britain of 16 figures including Dr. Astal because of "preaching extremism and hatred".