On the 4th of May Ron Prosor Ambassador of Israel to the United Kingdom visited St Andrews for an event ran by the IPA (International Politics Association), to discuss 'The Case for Israel', tickets costing £5 with an undisclosed location and even an undisclosed speaker until an hour before the event.
The members of several groups including the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, St Andrews Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice, St Andrews University Left Society and the Scottish Socialist Party, whom had been raising awareness in the form of a stall outside the presumed event location Holy Trinity Church on South Street, decided to protest the event. Reception of the stall went well, manifesting in a mass of locals and students who joined the above groups. Despite this and the large police presence at the church the location was changed approximately an hour before it was scheduled to happen, and so the 150 protesters took to the streets heading for the New Medicine Building (the new location) to protest outside.
The police were hospitable but protesters had to stay behind an erected barricade during the entrance of ticket holders. The security was high with some 40 Police men and women, University security on the door, and Ron's own security force inside. 5 People were refused entry for no apparent reason, one was simply wearing a Palestinian scarf for fashion reasons, after refusal of entry he joined the protest, one man was told he could not enter as he had a criminal record a "fact" which turned out to be untrue. All this added to the passion of the protesters.
The high security meant that it took an hour for all the people wishing to hear the speaker to enter the building, after this had happened the protesters moved to a window where they could see the event and disrupt it from, it was apparent that their chants could be heard inside.
After the event Ron sped off in his vehicles. The protest lasted a good three hours and was successful in disruption with some ticket holders deciding to join the protest rather than entering. Those who joined should be pleased with the achievements of the day.
Viva Viva Palestina
By James Morris