STOP THE WAR COALITION NEWSLETTER No. 1082

5 February, 2009

IN THIS NEWSLETTER:

1) SOLIDARITY WITH GAZA
2) STOP THE WAR’S 7TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE
3) UPCOMING EVENTS FOR GAZA
4) SOLDIERS’ MOTHER CALLS FOR TROOP WITHDRAWAL
5) SKY SALESMAN OF THE WEEK
6) ISRAELI COLONEL FLEES BRITAIN FEARING ARREST

1) SOLIDARITY WITH GAZA

The mainstream media may have lost interest, but for ordinary people across the world, outraged by Israel’s savagery and the refusal of the world’s governments to condemn its war crimes, there is a determination that this time Gaza will not be forgotten.

Israel is continuing its inhuman siege of Gaza which reduces most of its population to dependency on emergency food rations to survive — Israel having wrecked up to 60 percent of Gaza’s agricultural industry (see tinyurl.com/bwtzph ) — and imposes severe limits on all basic necessities, including medical supplies.

In Britain, there’s a vast range of solidarity activities taking place across the country, including student occupations of universities and colleges demanding disinvestment from Israel, Gaza aid collections and protests, pickets publicising the boycott of Israeli goods and benefit concerts for Gaza. (See below for details.)

Stop the War is planning a national tour of rallies under the title SOLIDARITY WITH GAZA – END THE WAR ON TERROR. Full details will be available shortly. Please phone the national office if you want help setting up a rally in your town or area: 020 7278 6694

NEW BRIEFING SHEET: SOLIDARITY WITH GAZA

A new Stop the War briefing sheet titled SOLIDARITY WITH GAZA is now available from the national office for our local groups to use at their meetings, street stalls and other events, and for our supporters to distribute in their workplace, colleges, community organisations etc. The cost is £5 per hundred and orders can be placed by calling 020 7278 6694.

2) STOP THE WAR’S 7TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Stop the War’s 7th national conference will take place on Saturday April 25 at South Camden Community School in London. The day will include sessions on the campaign to secure an end to the occupation of Afghanistan and on solidarity with the Palestinian people. The full agenda will be available soon.

As well as delegations from local Stop the War groups and affiliated organisations, the conference is open to all individual members of Stop the War.

For further details, contact the national office: email office@stopwar.org.uk; tel 020 7278 6694

3) UPCOMING EVENTS FOR GAZA

– SATURDAY 7 FEBRUARY: ISRAELI BOYCOTT A major boycott protest, organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, will be held at the Agrexco HQ in Hayes, Middlesex. Agrexco is one of the main despatch centres for Israeli produced flowers. The next week is one of the busiest times for the sale of flowers, with Valentine’s day approaching. What most people do not know is that many of the flowers sold in Britain come from Israel. For full details of the Agrexco protest, including available transport, and for other boycott activities this Saturday, go to: tinyurl.com/dkcp5p

– SUNDAY 8 FEBRUARY: CHILDREN’S DEMONSTRATION A children’s demonstration for the children of Gaza and for all children of Palestine will take place outside 10 Downing Street on Sunday 8 February, 1.30pm to 3.00pm. The protest is organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission and Palestinian Forum of Britain and is supported by many other organisations, including Stop the War Coalition.

– MONDAY 9 FEBRUARY: ISRAELI AMBASSADOR PROTEST Kensington and Chelsea Council have invited the Israeli Ambassador for a diplomatic reception at Kensington Town Hall on Monday 9 February, despite Labour councillors tabling a motion calling for the invitation to be withdrawn. A London-wide protest has been called outside Kensington Town Hall, when the reception takes place at 5.30pm on 9 February. The Israeli Ambassador should not be feted at diplomatic receptions but expelled from Britain for the war crimes perpetrated by the country he represents. * Israeli Ambassador Protest, Monday 9 February 5.30pm * Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7nx

– SATURDAY 14 FEBRUARY: VIVA PALESTINA CONVOY LEAVES UK The Viva Palestina aid convoy, initiated by George Galloway MP and supported by many organisations, including Stop the War, leaves Britain on 14 February, taking the message “We will not look away from Gaza” through France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt, before reaching Gaza around 9 March. The convoy will bring clothes, medicines and other essential resources to Gaza. There are 32 vehicles pledged so far, including six ambulances. The response has been so high in London that all the vehicles are now filled with donated aid. Aid collections are still taking place outside London and supporters are also encouraged to make donations For full details of the Viva Palestina convoy and how you can contribute, go to: www.vivapalestina.org/

– SUNDAY 15 FEBRUARY: BENEFIT FOR GAZA A benefit for Stop the War Coalition & Medical Aid for Palestinians, with Yaaba Funk, LowKey (see tinyurl.com/bst8fp) and multi-percussionist Renu Hossain THE CROSS KINGS 7.30-11.30pm £10/ £5 (+ donations), 126 York Way, London N1 0AX. Tel 020 7278 8318 http://www.thecrosskings.co.uk for travel and direction info

– FEBRUARY 6-21: SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN — A PLAY FOR GAZA Caryl Churchill, one of Britain’s leading playwrights and a long time supporter of Stop the War, has written a very short play, called Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza, which is a ten minute history of Israel, ending with the bombing of Gaza, from 6-21 February. There will be thirteen performances at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, London. Admission is free. There will be a collection for Medical Aid for Palestinians at the end of the performance. For full details and how to reserve a seat, see: tinyurl.com/dnjty3

4) SOLDIERS’ MOTHER CALLS FOR TROOP WITHDRAWAL

Marina Feasey, mother of two soldiers serving in Afghanistan says all British troops should be withdrawn immediately. “The government is sending them to their slaughter. The troops are making security conditions worse.”

“It’s understandable that the Afghans viewed the British as invaders. If this country was invaded we would also fight until the occupiers left.

I think a lot of people in this country believe the Afghans should be left to sort out their own problems. The idea that our troops are somehow keeping our streets safe by fighting in Afghanistan is nonsense. We are being attacked in this country because of our involvement in Afghanistan.”

READ FULL ARTICLE: tinyurl.com/c2jujz

5) SKY SALESMAN OF THE WEEK

Stop the War has received the following message from one of our supporters:

I received a phone call from a Sky salesman trying to sell me an extended warranty on my Sky Box. When I told him that I was cancelling my subscription due to Sky’s refusal to broadcast the DEC appeal for Gaza, he said, “That’s an admirable thing to do; I wish more people would do the same”.

SEE ALSO: The BBC’s Nadir: How the Gaza massacre was reported: tinyurl.com/dfpzvu

6) ISRAELI COLONEL FLEES BRITAIN FEARING ARREST

An Israeli colonel involved in Israel’s attack on Gaza returned to Israel in haste last week, fearing arrest on charges of war crimes during a visit to the UK. A meeting at which he was due to speak – apparently to justify Israel’s mass slaughter of civilians in Gaza — was cancelled due to a demonstration outside demanding that he be arrested.

A loophole in British law allows private criminal complaints of war crimes to be lodged against military personnel, even if they are not British citizens and the alleged crimes were committed elsewhere. Israel is working with the British government to change the law.

READ ARTICLE: tinyurl.com/cly8o2

Email office@stopwar.org.uk
Tel: 020 7278 6694
Web: www.stopwar.org.uk

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