Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why Palestinian Memory Matters


A public talk by Ramzy Baroud will be on Sunday 18th March  5pm Umix Centre

Ramzy Baroud is an activist and author of My Father was a Freedom Fighter.

His visit to Sheffield comes a fewmonths after a United Nations Committee reported that ‘the strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people is the principal method by which Israel imposes an Apartheid regime’.  In his new book, Last Earth a Palestinian Story, Ramzy uncovers memories that have resisted fragmentation and are reclaiming history for the Palestinian people.

HSBC protest


It would be impossible for Israel to steal land from the Palestinians if it was not militarily superior.  That superiority is maintained by the aid budget from the USA and military trade with the West.  That trade could not go ahead without the support of the banks.  On Saturday we were on the streets to point out that HSBC profits from an arms trade that  helps Israel steal Palestinian land.

After the protest some of us went into the bank to complain to the manager that we had had no reply to three letters that we had previously delivered.

These protests, as well as putting pressure on HSBC, allow us to put our case to the general Sheffield public.  It also allows us to inform sympathisers of our next meeting.  In this case a talk by Ramzy Baroud 5pm Sunday March 18 at UMIX Centre 7 Asline Rd, Sheffield, S2 4UJ

Ramzy Baroud is an activist and author of My father was a Freedom Fighter.

Healing Centre


As well as public meetings we have smaller working groups.  On Thursday 22 February 2018  at Friends Meeting House we had one such meeting.  It was about the Khuza’a Healing Centre for children in Khuza’a. 

The more public part of the meeting was led off by Mona al-Farra who movingly described the work of Mecca, and Never Stop Dreaming.

Sheffield PSC, in cooperation with women from the Yemeni Association in Sheffield are constructing a play and healing centre in Khuza’a, aimed at helping traumatised children in the area and beyond. The project will be run by one of our partner children centres; Never Stop Dreaming in Khan Younis.

This is a hugely ambitious project.  The second half was aimed at some of the detailed work that we need to do to firstly to spread
 awareness of the need for the centre within the wider community of Sheffield and beyond and secondly to establish a steady stream of cash for the running of the centre.

Why demonstrate

Why protests are a good idea
Trump has recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Gone is the façade of even handedness. This year is the fifty-year anniversary of the 1967 war. The pattern of Israeli land theft and expansion and lack of action by world leaders to prevent it is clear to all who would look. Trump’s action is different. He is rewarding Israel’s land thefts and its creation of a new Apartheid in occupied Palestine. There is not even the fig leaf of impartiality. So we protested.
We do not expect Trump to learn of the protests across the world and finally find a moral compass. We do not expect Theresa May to retract her statement that Israel “is a beacon of tolerance” and overthrow decades of UK Governments accepting Israeli racism and oppression of Palestinians (although that would be nice). No, demonstrations serve a different purpose.
In the runup to the demonstration we mobilised. Put adverts on social media and in the press (where possible). Our supporters will have spoken about it to a network of relatives, friends, neighbours and workmates.
On the day of the demonstration we gave out hundreds of leaflets explaining why Israel is creating Palestinian ghettoes in their own homeland and what we need to do about it.
It reinforced the idea that Israel is an Apartheid state and that we have a largish number of people prepared to put time and effort seeking justice for Palestinians and a great many more who could not come to the protest at such short notice but stand with us. All these people who were there on Saturday, or who wished they were there will, be encouraged to talk to their friends, neighbours and workmates about the issue.
Of those hundreds, perhaps someone will have a birthday and rather than asking for presents ask for donations to our children’s projects. Perhaps a few people at one of the hospitals will get together to twin with a hospital in Gaza. Perhaps a few people will get together to help with fund raising for our wellbeing (trauma) centre in Gaza. Perhaps a few people will start organising to oppose Trump’s visit in February. Perhaps a few more people will join our monthly protest actions outside shops and banks that profit from Israeli Apartheid. The idea that we should boycott Israeli products will grow. Investors and fund managers will find it easier to argue for disinvesting in Israel. The political argument that sanctions need to be applied to Israel for its illegal practices will also grow.
There is a huge amount that needs doing. Every bit that we do will convince others. The facts are clear Israel is a settler colonial state. It is takes Palestinian land because it is powerful enough to do so. It will continue stealing Palestinian water because, supported by the Western powers, it is powerful enough to do so It will continue on its path until it meets resistance. We believe that the best form of resistance is boycott, disinvestment and sanctions. If each of us does a little, we can build a movement that puts pressure on Israel and forces our leaders to act or be replaced.
Today very few people will publicly defend South African Apartheid. Not even the Tories who for decades supported the white minority regime. An international movement was built that helped end Apartheid in South Africa.
We are building a movement that can help end Israeli Apartheid. Every little bit of solidarity that each of us can weave into our everyday lives helps bring forward the day when we have justice for the Palestinians.

Jerusalem: not yours to give away

Support and solidarity for Palestine from all sections of Sheffield communtities
Support and solidarity for Palestine from all sections of Sheffield communtities

A great rally  on the City Hall Steps on Saturday yesterday, 9th December.

Over 100 people there – including many different faces and many students. The banner – which read ‘Trump: Jerusalem is not yours to give away‘ made a great focus and made it really clear to all why we were there.

Amongst those holding the banner were a man from Syria, a man from Algeria, a young Yemeni woman, a British Jew, a Palestinian, two students – Sheffield’s humanity in action.

There were some excellent speeches from students, from a representative from  Labour Friends of Palestine Pearn,who has just returned from her first visit to Palestine, and a beautiful song by a Yemeni teenager were highlights .

So the clear thing here is, just like Palestine itself was not Britain to give away, so Jerusalem is not Trump’s to dispose of.

Protest -Trump rewards land theft

protestsatOn Saturday we held a protest against Trump’s support for Israeli land theft.   It was a good turnout given the very short notice.   We need ordinary people to weave opposition to  Israeli Apartheid into their everyday lives.  We organise meals, protests and meetings.  Join us and find out how you can help.