Sunday, February 13, 2011

February/March events

Oxford Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Dear Friends
Seventeen days and we are with the Egyptian people with our hearts and our minds and before that a full month with the Tunisian people even won the Tunisian people hero yesterday and today the people of the great Egyptian at corruption, injustice and oppression and for justice, democracy, freedom and human dignity and we are confident that the Palestinian people will win tomorrow and obtain their legitimate right to freedom independence and democratic state dominated by social justice, equality and equal opportunities......
Mohammed Aruri
Ramallah Palestine

The people have WON! Congratulations Egypt and everyone!


As soon as the announcement was made that Hosni Mubarak had resigned, tens of thousands of Palestinians spontaneously took to the streets all throughout Gaza to rejoice with their Egyptian brothers and sisters, and with all who support freedom, democracy, and human rights. In other areas of Palestine people were also celebrating in the streets -- Hebron, Nablus, Nazareth, Ramallah. I was chanting, cheering and dancing with the hundreds that spontaneously gathered in the Manara - the center of Ramallah. Families brought their children, even sleeping infants to share in the joy of a people's victory. The energy was high; the spirit of the youth, unmistakeable. We filled the center square with the voices of a new generation that refuses to accept subjugation; that dares to dream of a life with dignity.

We chanted:
"Respects from Palestine to the people of Tunis and Egypt; you are leading the revolution"
"The people have brought down the regime" and
"We were not born to live in humiliation, we were born to live free!"

and to the Palestinian "leadership" in Ramallah and Gaza: "The people demand and end to the divisions!"

We sang the words of the famous Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasem al-Shabbi:
"If, one day, a people desires to live, then fate will answer their call.
And their night will then begin to fade, and their chains break and fall."

It is truly a monumental moment in history. The Egyptian youth have shown the world that not even a brutal military dictatorship propped up by the only Superpower in the world can defeat the will of a people. Tunisians and Egyptians have ushered in a new era of people power that we are all a part of!

Being a member of the Free Gaza family, we know you believe this just as much as we do.

Free Gaza is now hard at work organizing, together with national networks and organizations around the world, Freedom Flotilla 2. In May 2011 we will sail again to confront the regime of blockade, occupation and injustice, carrying the spirit of Tahrir Square with us. While our port of call is Gaza, our destination is freedom, human rights and dignity for all Palestinians. Your support as part of this people's movement is vital. Together we will let Israel know that we are tens of millions; that we are not going to allow Israel to continue to kill, main, and oppress with impunity; and that we are not going to back down to violence and intimidation. We are fighting for our collective futures and together we will win!

In solidarity, struggle, and with a renewed sense of hope,

The Palestine Papers reveal Britain's sordid involvement in the ‘peace process'
Amongst the 1,600 internal negotiations documents released this week, the most recent give a shocking insight into Britain's involvement. It has been reported that MI6 were involved in planning secret security operations as well as training personnel to carry out detention and torture of opponents of the PA.
TAKE ACTION: Email Foreign Secretary William Hague to demand Britain accounts for it's role in detention and torture in Palestine.
Use PSC's easy to use e-tool
For more on this and much more see PSC weekly newsletter here PSC Weekly update - Act now to boycott Veolia, global day of action and much more

Upcoming Events: Local

Tuesday 15 February Oxford Ramallah Friendship Association. 7.00-8.45. Oxford Town Hall. All Welcome.

On the 17th of February, Jesus College's newly-formed Scholarship Committee are hosting an event called Gaza Aware, to raise awareness and understanding of the situation in Gaza, as the college works on establishing a scholarship for a Gazan student.!/event.php?eid=125236284212760
Time Thursday, February 17 · 7:30pm - 9:30pm

Location Habakkuk Room, Third Quad, Jesus College (follow signs)

More Info In light of these developments, the newly founded Scholarship Committee will be holding a free and open information evening, featuring talks and discussion, in order to give both Jesus College students and all Oxford students the chance to learn more.How are students’ rights being violated in Gaza?Why does the situation in Gaza demand our attention?What can we do to help?Speakers:Dr. Swee Ang, co-founder of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) and Consultant at St. Bartholomew's, London.Dr. Karma Nabulsi, University Lecturer in International Relations, Fellow in Politics, St Edmund Hall.WHEN: 7.30pm, Thursday 17th February (5th Week)WHERE: Habakkuk Room, Jesus CollegeThe event will be followed by a drinks reception in the JCR (small contribution requested).

Network for Peace AGM Israel/Palestine - the Untold Stories Saturday 26 February 2.30 - 4.30 pm
Public Meeting with guest speaker: Pat Gaffney, Pax Christi.
Pat has recently returned from a Pax Christi visit to partners, churches and NGOs
in the region to learn more about life under occupation and create solidarity links with those working for peace and justice. Preceded by Network for Peace AGM at 1.30pm
All welcome
Venue: Peace House, Paradise Street, Oxford, OX1 1LD

Dear all,
Fairtrade Fortnight this year is from 28th Feb to 13th March and aims to raise awareness of fair trade and promote the sale of fairtrade goods.
For many years now, firstly from our garage and now through the 'Mustard Seed', we have been selling delicious Palestinian fairtrade olive oil in Faringdon. 'Zaytoun' who distribute the oil in this country have invited two of the olive oil producers for a UK speaking tour during Fairtrade Fortnight and we are delighted that Faringdon is on their itinerary! We will be hosting them on the 3rd - 4th March. Full details attached and below.
Basima Basalat is a woman farmer and also community organiser from the Qalqilya area. She set up a women's development association in her village to generate income from olive products and arrange social activities. She has lost land and olive groves through confiscation and has a history of non-violent opposition to the settlements around her village.
Riziq Abu Nasser is from a village in the Salfit area, close to Arura. He also faces challenges from nearby settlements with raw sewage running through his farm and military destruction of olive trees. You may have seen him on Channel 4's 'What goes in your basket' at the end of last year.
Help is needed with transport to and from Oxford, hosting a simple evening meal, refreshments and clearing up afterwards. We also need an interpreter to help out, although the farmers have some English. Please let me know if you can help with anything and do encourage anyone interested to come along.
Arura – Faringdon Friendship Association and Fairtrade Faringdon
as part of Fairtrade Fortnight 2011 are hosting a


The two farmers, Basima Basalat and Riziq Abu Nasser, produce the fair-trade olive oil sold in the ‘Mustard Seed’ and will be talking about their lives, their work, their olives and the challenges they face.


FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, LECHLADE RD.. (opposite the Duke of Wellington)

All welcome

More details from Karen Vogt: 01367-241707

Tuesday 8th March Oxford PSC Monthly meeting 7:30 Oxford Town Hall All Welcome. With Mike Marqusee. Mike Marqusee, author of “If I am Not For Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew” will speak about his book, and about his recent visit to Palestine where he met people facing eviction in Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem and lawyers and activists working with them.
Mike’s book has been acclaimed by numerous reviewers, including John Nichols, the Nation
“The thinking about “what it means to be a Jew in the 21st century” is bold and innovative. No one can read this book without having his or her perspective on the Middle East, religion and the left, expanded.”
And Daphna Baram, the Guardian,
“a manifesto for a whole generation of Jewish radical activists who refuse to be deterred by the threat of being labelled, and libelled, as self-haters.”
Mike is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker, a passionate campaigner for social justice, who has written on subjects ranging from Palestine/Israel, the anti-war movement to cricket and Woody Guthrie.

PSC Branch Forum
Saturday 12 March in Oxford
12noon to 4pm. Friends Meeting House. Lunch provided 12-1. (The Oxford Quaker Meeting House (Friends Meeting House), 43 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LW.

Saturday street stall: The OPSC Saturday street stall on Cornmarket street is one of the main ways we use for raising the issue of Palestine with the public at large. It is an important activity for offering information leaflets to the public, inviting them to join PSC or leave their email for Oxford PSC updates. Generally we are there 11:30 to 13:30. Always a minimum of two people on shift. Please consider volunteering for a shift: its an opportunity to meet other PSC members, those wanting information and occasionally those wishing to challenge our views, even volunteering for one shift a year would help. Please email ali at if you're able to help.
PS ... If you can only do an hour or so, then that’s good too, email us for information and turn up on the day. Thank you to all who volunteered for vacant slots. Currently stall volunteers required for help on 26th March & 9th April.
Any help is much appreciated.


Israel's blood diamonds
Seán Clinton, The Electronic Intifada, 29 March 2010

Stop the Wall has a lot of information on Elbit Systems (the "parent" company of Thales, UK). As well as the drones, they also provide "intrusion detection systems" for the apartheid wall. Heres the link to the relevant bit on the Stop the Wall website

Oxford Stop the War Public Meeting: OBAMA'S WARS
Oxford Town Hall, Tuesday, March 1, 7:30 PM
National speakers on the current situation in Afghanistan and Iraq and on the use of drones. Details to follow.

Date to be announced
Organised by Oxford Stop the War Coalition, Oxford CND and Oxford Trades Council &nbs p; Details to follow.