Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Taycoast Branch Meeting - 29th August - St Andrews

The Taycoast Branch will be holding a meeting in the Schielhallion room of the Manesfield Building (Chaplancy) of the University of St Andrews (opposite the Union).Meet outside prior to 12 Noon.

Date: Saturday 29th of August
Time: 12 Noon

All welcome.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Appeal for support from Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign activists on trial for ‘racism’

An arrest warrant was issued at Friday’s court hearing against Sofiah MacLeod, Scottish PSC Secretary currently in Palestine witnessing Israel’s racist dispossesion of Palestinians. The warrant was cancelled shortly afterwards, however. Sofiah will bring her recent experiences of Israeli state-driven racism when she goes on trial accused of ‘racism’. Three of the other four accused will similarly produce evidence from first-hand experience of Israel’s programme of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

On trial for ‘racially aggravated conduct’ are five Scots who responded to the Palestinian appeal for boycott of Israel. We protested a visit by the Israeli state-sponsored Jerusalem Quartet to the 2008 Edinburgh International Festival. Next appearance in Edinburgh Sherriff Court is on Thursday October 1st, when our lawyers will argue to dismiss the case against us .

The Scottish legal authorities will attempt to prove that shouting ‘End the siege of Gaza’, and ‘Boycott Israel’ equals ‘racism’. We five will argue that boycott of Israel is a duty while that State violates every canon of international law.

This is a political show-trial, encouraged by the stated positions of the British Government, and is aimed at intimidating Palestine supporters. We shall certainly not be intimdated: last year we saw off some Zionist rascals from SCoJeC (Scottish Council of Jewish Communities) who were unwise enough to claim in print that Scottish PSC is anti-Semitic. They then had to pulp 6,000 copies of a book, Scotland’s Jews, in open admission that the claim was without foundation and libellous.

We will show in our defence/attack that

1.we are bound to oppose grave Israeli crimes and British Government complicity in those crimes, including political, diplomatic, economic and military support for Israeli Governments

2.the nearest domestic political equivalent in Britain to the factions in the Isaeli Government is the neo-Nazi British National Party (BNP)

3.Israel is an apartheid state as defined in international law
the Palestinian-inspired BDS campaign is a duty for consistent supporters of human rights, i.e. those who repudiate a racist attitude that Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghans and others have a lesser entitlement than others

4. the Jerusalem Quartet are indeed, as we claim, institutionally linked to the Israeli Army and its State, and thus to be boycotted by human rights supporters
Expert witnesses - Palestinians, Israelis and others - will show that the growing support for the Palestinian BDS appeal is

justified by

1. the history of ethnic cleansing carried out by the Zionist movement and its State from 1948 to the present

2. the conscious determination of the Israeli State to continue with further criminal acts of ethnic cleansing

3. the failure of the British Government to honour its international legal obligations to opppose Israeli apartheid, specifically the illegal Wall and settlement building

Witnesses who have agreed to give expert evidence or personal testimonies for the defence include:

Leila Khaled, Palestinian refugee and resistance fighter, Member of Palestinian National Council
Dr. Ghada Karmi, Palestinian writer and academic
Omar Barghouti PACBI (Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott)
Dr. Hisham Genayem, Palestinian refugee and surgeon
Dr. Moshe Machover, Israeli academic and anti-Zionist political activist
Dr. Michael Kearney, University of York (t.b.c)
Dr. Keith Hammond, University of Glasgow
Yael Kahn, Israeli human rights activist
Marion Woolfson, Hon. President of Scottish PSC
Liz Elkind, ex-President of the STUC, moved successful report and recommendation for BDS at STUC 2009 Perth Conference
Tony Greenstein, (JBIG) Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods
Rt. Hon. Peter Hain MP, veteran anti-apartheid campaigner in the 70’s, Chair of Stop All Racist Tours (awaiting reply)
Members of the public who witnessed the protest during the performance
BBC sound technicians who recorded the entire event (awaiting reply)

We are asking supporters to

1. send letters of support to

2. invite one of the accused to speak and explain the background and aims of the campaign to your trade union, political party branch, mosque, church or campaign group

3. turn up outside, and inside, the Court on October 1st and later sessions
make a donation to the campaign (Judge Horseburgh criticised the Legal Aid board severely for refusal to provide legal aid to one of the accused.)

4. boycott everything Israeli, except those Israelis supporting Palestinian human and national rights

5. join the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign to help us build this campaign

Saturday, 8 August 2009

LRNC Begin Writing Pamphlet

The Lower Rents Now! Coalition (LRNC)has began to write a well-researched pamphlet on the state of unaffordable, pseudo-sustainable, university-owned accommodation within the town of Saint Andrews.

After news reached the group that the University had gained proper funding to push ahead with the Fife Park rebuild (beginning imminently), a member decided to take incentive and push forward the campaign by writing "an accessible work for all St Andrews' students", stating that "whether still holding on to the view that the University is a beacon of truth or whether the reader is already disillusioned, the evidence and practice of University decision making and residential management will shock beyond all belief".

Once the pamphlet is finished it will be distributed in the town and available to browse as a pdf.

Updates on the LRNC campaign can be found here or on the LRCN homepage (link above).

Scottish Socilaist Youth Blog

The Scottish Socialist Youth has set up a blog.

Click Here To View the Blog