Women of Palestine: living through trauma, building resilience

northern women for plaestineJoin us for a series of events dedicated to the women of Palestine for International Women’s Day. Our theme is Women of Palestine: Living through Trauma, Building Resilience”.

Through film, music, drama, poetry, workshops, photography and women’s personal accounts, we will explore the daily trauma of life for Palestinian women. We’ll also be celebrating how they survive and thrive against all the odds – supporting each other, their families and their communities, by being politically and creatively active.

Running for a week, from Saturday 5 March Sunday 13 March, this programme has been devised by Northern Women for Palestine, a group of activists from towns and cities across the north of England committed to campaigning for justice for Palestinians.

reem in concertSat March 5 – Manchester

Sunday March 6 – Saddleworth

Tuesday March 8 – Sheffield

Thursday March 10 – York

Saturday March 12 – Bradford: Grand Finale

Sunday March 13 – Halifax: Reem Kelani in Concert

Scholarship Fund has new bank account

The Scholarship Fund has a new account as of this week – just in time before the Co-Operative Bank closed down our account.
We have opened an account with Yorkshire Building Society, They have a special ‘registered charities account’ which pays a small amount of interest. So that will only add to the amazing contributions you send to us.
These are the details of our new account:
Name: Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund
Bank: Yorkshire Building Society, Yorkshire House, Leopold Street, Sheffield S1 1RQ
Sort Code: 60 92 04
Account number: 98676538
Reference: 07
In solidarity
Sara Gowen
Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund

Blog on Syria

The core belief of Palestine Solidarity campaign is anti racism.  We hate the fact that Palestinians are denied basic rights because of their ethnicity and religion.

Everyone in SPSC opposes the oppression and murder of Kurds, Yazidis, Moslems, Christians, Jews and Parisians, by ISIS.  The question is,  will the bombing of Syria by Britain help defeat them?

What are the lessons from the Iraq war?

The JIC [Joint Intelligence Committee] assessed that al-Qaeda and associated groups continued to represent by far the greatest terrorist threat to western interests, and that threat would be heightened by military action against Iraq[i].

A report from the Ministry of Defence stated

“The war in Iraq … has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world … Iraq has served to radicalise an already disillusioned youth and al-Qaida has given them the will, intent, purpose and ideology to act.”[ii]

Spy Chief Eliza  Manningham-Buller  stated

The Iraq war ” increased the terrorist threat by convincing more people that Osama Bin Laden’s claim that Islam was under attack was correct.”[iii]

There was a statement by the UK think tank Chatham House reported “It [Iraq War] gave a boost to the al-Qaeda network’s propaganda, recruitment and fundraising”.  This and many more references can be found here.[iv] 


Some may claim that perhaps Cameron was ignorant of these conclusions.  It is hard to claim that he was not aware of a joint statement by France, Turkey, the United States, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Britain which expressed concern that Russia’s actions would “only fuel more extremism and radicalisation”[v]That was in October.

According to the BBC a man wielding a knife attacked three people at a tube station yesterday (5th December) shouting ‘this is for Syria’.  The police have called it an act of terrorism.

Four things come out of such acts.  First is the tragedy for the innocent victims.  Secondly fear grows that any of us could be next, it makes all our lives a little sadder.  Third, the Government’s line that Moslems tolerate ideas that lead to terrorism will appear vindicated.  There will be more attacks on Moslems.  Fourth the various repressive arms of the state will descend even more on the Moslem community.

Nothing good comes of these mad acts, but the war mongers in the West helped him go mad.

What has this to do with Palestine Solidarity Campaign?  Under the ‘Prevent’ strategy children who wear PSC badges have been told that this could be extremist.  Cameron told MP’s that they should not join Corbyn and ‘a bunch of terrorist sympathisers’.

The Telegraph reported that PSC ‘has had its accounts closed down over fears that it may be inadvertently funding terrorism’.

In Sheffield, we who raise funds for modest projects, a children’s ball pool, a mobile library, and scholarships for women in Gaza are having our accounts closed under accusations of terrorist sympathies, while a factory that makes drones for use in killing people in Gaza is modern business.

We are in a battle of ideas.  We can sit back under a sea of abuse of terrorist sympathies and Islamophobia or we can campaign.

The Tory agenda is three fold – move money towards repression (and targeting the Moslem community) bombing Syria so they can be at the Imperial carve up at the end of hostilities, and using the clouds of war, hope to get away with more cuts in welfare.

I think we should oppose all three.

Right to roam 2016

Why not join us in the right to roam walk in 2016?

Children demand the right to roam as we can
Children demand the right to roam as we can

We are raising funds for:

Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund and Children’s Projects in Gaza

We will be starting this leg on April 25th  2016  where we finished last year, at Morvich; and we will be arriving at the end of our Right2Roam Walk, at John-o-Groats, on Saturday 21 May. The full itinerary is here.

Solidarity & fund raising walks along the R2R route (e.g. Bristol & Edale) are being organised for the final day

As in previous years,  there will also be a solidarity walk in Gaza, also the same day: we will all be with the people of Palestine in spirit even though they are unable to be with us.

Elbit charges dropped!

A protester at the Elbit factory in July being dragged of by police
A protester at the Elbit factory in July being dragged of by police

The charges against those protesters at Elbit have now been dropped by the prosecution and they do not have to go to court next week.

This is all charges dropped, including the 2 people charged with assault.
While it would have been good to get Elbit in the witness box in front of a jury, realistically that was never going to happen.
Congratulations though to all involved and those who have shown such great support !
Meanwhile – the campaign against Elbit goes on and this is the second collapse of the factory’s attempts to stop us protesting against them. 

Let’s get that factory closed down!

Protest against co-op closure of the Palestine solidarity accounts

As many as thirty protesters gathered outside the Co-Operative Bank on Pinstone Street in Sheffield today to protest against their politically inspired action to close solidarity accounts.

Ranging from campaigning account of the Sheffield PSC to  donation funds such as the Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund, the claim has been that funds will go to ‘terrorist organisations’ as this is a conflict zone. No mention made of funds going to Israel which is also in the conflict zone.


Co-op banks ‘ethical’ reputation in tatters- ACT Now

Many of us have banked with the Co-op for years. We do so not because of their financial wizardry, but because of their reputation as an “ethical bank”. We need to think again.

Over recent weeks, the Co-op has decided to close accounts connected with Palestine.

In Sheffield, the PSC account, the Yorkshire Palestine Cultural Exchange account and the Sheffield Palestine Women’s Scholarship Fund (a Registered Charity) have all been given notice of closure.

Across the country, twenty accounts belonging to groups which support the Palestinian cause are to be closed, including national PSC. PSC’s legal challenge to the Co-op is in the pipeline.

The Co-op has decided to define accounts which support legitimate, morally valid work for justice as incompatible with their “risk appetite”. There is more than one kind of risk for a bank. What if all of us who currently bank with Co-op decide that their business is incompatible with our “ethical appetite”?

Use this guide to act now

The Scholarship Fund have issued this press release