Are Internationals inherently regressive in their roles, despite good intentions, or are there ways of navigating around the problems of soft-colonialism often levelled at non-domestic organisations?
Do they risk usurping the role of Palestinians in determining their future?
Tanzil Chowdhury is a Ph.D. Candidate at the School of Law, University of Manchester. He has recently returned from three months volunteering in Abu Dis, East Jerusalem, with Camden-Abu Dis Friendship Association (http://camdenabudis.net/), working in schools, universities and the Dar Assadaqa Community Centre. He is also Commissioning Editor of e-International Relations (www.e-ir.info) “the world’s leading website for students of international politics”.
For more information, contact Linda on 07985624968
Annie and Paul are retired teachers and members of Halifax Friends of Palestine. They have visited Palestine a number of times investigating the provision of education for Palestinian children as well as the difficulties experienced by the children and their families in accessing education. They will also talk about the innovative ways the Palestinians overcome the problems in order to learn and develop their full potential.
Friends Meeting House (behind Central Library) Manchester
“This is a moving and careful account of the effects of the Israeli treatment of the people of Gaza. The stories are of families, in their own words, who have lost children, relatives, land and property, by deliberate Israeli attacks on civilians. It is a human story, told with deep integrity by a son of Gaza. It is a story that cries out for justice. All who think there is a case to defend Israeli actions should read it.” Clare Short (Former Secretary of State for International Development in the Blair Government who resigned over Iraq)
According to Defence of Children International about 300 children between the aged 12-17 are held in detention by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) and IDF temporary detention facilities.
Palestinian child prisoners are routinely:
. Shackled, blindfolded, beaten and arrested at night
. Humiliated, strip searched,threatened until they â€˜confessâ€™
. Held in Israel up to 90 days without access to a lawyer
. Judged in military courts and held in adult prisons
. Some are held in solitary confinement for months and threatened by dogs
Israel has been condemned by Israeli human rights organisations such as Bâ€™tselem and Breaking the Silence for its treatment of child prisoners. In July 2012 the UN Special Committee on Israeli Practices in Occupied Territories noted â€œthe proliferation of cases of detainment, mistreatment â€“ even torture â€“ of Palestinian children by Israeli authoritiesâ€.
In July 2012 the UK Foreign Office agreed that â€œimprisoning Palestinian children inside Israel violates international law â€œ
Victoria Brittain is a former associate foreign editor of the Guardian and a tireless campaigner for human rights throughout the developing world. She speaks and writes regularly to publicise the truth about Palestine.
17 Jan 2013 19:00 – 21:00
Friends Meeting House , 6 Mount Street, behind Central Library , Manchester
Report of Friday’s protest by Norma Turner
Under a torrent of rain and windswept across the square outside the Lowry theatre in what felt like the middle of nowhere, 75 protesters including people from Manchester and Salford, Rochdale and Bury, Liverpool, Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds, York, Halifax and Edinburgh, made sure that every single one of the attendees at the Batsheva performance knew that they had Palestinian blood on their tickets.
The performance was very badly attended – more than half empty. Some members of the public turn away from going to the performance upon hearing about Batsheva and itâ€™s relationship to the Israeli State.
The Lowry had hired more security people for inside the building. It had written to all ticket holders, not just the Batsheva event, to say they would be stopped and searched, that only ticket holders would be allowed into the building and they would have to show their tickets on entry and have their bags searched – for their own safety and enjoyment. The theatre had liaised with the Salford police, who took the opportunity of increasing their overtime by sending four vanloads and surrounding the building with barricades. The police tactics initially was to construct two small compounds, made of metal barricades, away from the front of the building, at opposite ends of the square, for the two rival demonstrations to be kettled into. There was only one demonstration. We werenâ€™t going in a kettle.
They tried to enforce this decision but after one person reminded them of Hillsborough, we refused the offer of compound, occupation, siege and stupidity.
It was then negotiated (much as Edinburgh) that the demonstration was situated behind an imaginary line of public access to the theatre for emergency services, and public access, while four people were able to leaflet the two entrances. Actually four was more than was needed, because their barricading had structured the access to enable ease of leafleting for us, displays of our banners in the most prominent places (including on their barriers) …. and there were so few people going in.
It was also easy for people in the demonstration to leaflet people attending who were coming from the mall or carpark and coming across the square – which the police tactics had ensured that we were physically occupying.
The demonstration was lively, chanting, continuously, there were placards and banners, despite the horrendous conditions.
Four people were prevented from getting in to the performance byLowry’s security. Their tickets were taken from them. The excuse of taking the tickets was that the theatre had got intelligence that these ticket holders were likely to disrupt the performance. Nevertheless the performance was disrupted and it was reported that the stewards inside were courteous, the police took people out at the back and separated them and asked for their personal details. They refused to give any details and were let go.
It should be noted that the Lowry did not at any time respond to representations or agree to discuss or negotiate about the protest. There are at least three public sector representatives on the trustees (Salford councillors and chief executive) and the director of the Plymouth theatre.
The police were clearly expecting a counter demonstration so must have been warned by the Zionists. This didnâ€™t materialise – there werenâ€™t any even individuals. That may be because it was Friday so it is important that we get as many people there tonight as we can.
The national campaign – donâ€™t dance with Israeli apartheid – has already succeeded, because it is obvious that the ticket sales are down and information is getting out to the public. The Lowry was forced to reduce ticket prices which were initially been sold at Â£18-24 down to Â£5 for people under 26. it cannot have been an economic success for them – costing more to put on in terms of replacing the leaflets which mysteriously disappeared from stands, paying for extra security, paying Salford police, having the theatre a third full. This is going to be replicated throughout the country.
Manchester PSC were really grateful for the support from other groups, locally and around the North. In Manchester we were supported by Stop the War and CND. There was a really good feeling to the protest.
Please get down to the Batsheva protests in Salford this Friday and Saturday. Below is a link to a strong message from Palestinian youth in Gaza to people of conscience to boycott Batsheva’s Israeli government sponsored tour in the United Kingdom. And they’re performing at the Lowry in Salford this Friday and Saturday night! Everyone meeting Friday 2nd November 6pm and Saturday 3rd November 6pm at the entrance to the Lowry Theatre. The 50 bus from Manchester goes straight there to Media City.
Meeting to discuss the need for cultural boycott and plan protesting the Batsheva Dance Company who are performing as part of a UK tour at the Lowry Theatre Salford on the
2nd and 3rd of November.
Thursday 25th October 7pm
Friends Meeting House
Mount Street Manchester
This is part of our involvement in the International cultural boycott campaign of the state of Israel.
We all enjoy international cultural events which showcase the very best of world music, dance & theatre. We wouldn’t be protesting if these were independent Israeli artists; we target artistic institutions which are intrinsically linked to the Israeli State through funding and the ‘Brand Israel’ initiative, the aim of which is to create a positive image of Israel internationally by promoting Israeli culture through artists and groups.
Batsheva and Brand Israel.
The Batsheva Dance company is signed up to Brand Israel which is part of a wider campaign to whitewash Israel’s many human rights abuses and violations of international law, creating the image of a ‘normally’ functioning democratic country.
Come to the meeting and help plan this protest action.