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Solidarity – but with who?

On 6th March the Sheffield Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid presented a petition signed by over 7500 Sheffield citizens at a full council meeting. They refused to debate the issue – even though 7500 was well above the threshold number required of 5000 – passing it to the Strategy and Resources committee, as we have reported previously. Instead they committed to issuing ‘a cross-party statement of solidarity’

This statement was issued on 25th March. It is completely inadequate. It does not even mention Palestine in the title so who it is in solidarity with is perplexing and the word Palestinian does not get a mention in the document itself.

This is in complete disregard to the swell of opinion in Sheffield in support of Palestine and in complete contrast to the statement of support for Ukraine.

The council and your councillor is letting us down. We urge you to vote in the local elections on May 5th for the candidate that most sympathetic with Palestine.

You can read the council statement here . You can read the full Coalition response here.

Here are some questions you can put to your candidate

  • Do you accept Amnesty International’s designation of Israel as a state practising Apartheid across historic Palestine?  YES / NO
  • Do you agree with the International Court of Justice that credible evidence exists that Israel is committing the crime of Genocide in Gaza? YES / NO
  • Do you support the International Court of Justice’s inquiry into the legal consequences of the 57 year long Israeli Occupation of Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan? YES /NO
  • Do you support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement? YES/NO

The Big South Yorkshire rally Saturday 20th and station protest 19th April

Now that Israel’s missile attack on diplomatic residence in Damascus has succeeded in stopping the airtime given to the famine in and destruction of for Gaza it is vital we do what we can to keep the genocide in the public eye.

We will have Sheffield Station protest 5pm Friday 19th April. These are really popular and get a huge response from passers by.

And please join our big spring South Yorkshire rally on Saturday 20th April

Actions for April 12th and 13th

This weekend we will mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day which officially falls on the 18th April.

Since the October war started 6 months ago over 9400 Palestinians are held captive as political prisoners ( see ).

Both in the west ban and in Gaza, there has been widespread testimony of torture (

Please bring something you can use as a blindfold if you would like to join in.

Sheffield protests will not stop!

Really great turn out all through this weekend to ensure Palestinian voices continue to be heard .

(All photographs here from Bill Stewardson)

At the train station on Friday, once again we had a moving tribute to all those health workers who have been killed by the Israeli invasion and before that a well supported protest at the top of the station concourse.

And in town on Saturday a key speech oin our short rally was given by Sarah who told us about three actions we can take to support Palestinian football

  • First Action – you can follow Palestine Football here
  • Second Action – You can contact FIFA to call for them to expel the IFA  here
  • Third Action – you can follow Anwar El Ghazi / Sam Morsy / Bohemians on Twitter here: @elghazi1995, @sammorsy08, @bfcdublin

You can read her speech here

Mobile boycott

We then went to Marks and Spencers removed all the Israeli produce from the shelves before walking out to the crowd you can see here in the reflection

Three Days of action this weekend 5th to 7th April

As Israel pleads the ‘most moral army in the world’ has made a terrible mistake when it has killed some white people, let us make sure the voice for Palestine is heard clearly in Sheffield.

When the complicit and racist governments of the West try to unglue themselves from being seen holding the bloody hands of the Israeli government, let us make sure the voice for Palestine is heard clearly in Sheffield.

When Suella Braverman, the arch backer of genocide, declares with no understanding of the deep irony ‘this is the time to stand with Israel if we believe in democracy and human rights’ let us make sure the voice for Palestine is heard clearly in Sheffield.

Join us on

  • Friday at the train station, for a protest and then the weekly moving tribute to the most targeted group of workers, Gazan health workers;
  • on Saturday in front of the Town Hall for a rally at midday
  • on Sunday to cheer on Sheffield Half Marathon runners who are running for Gaza look out for their signs and wave flags: we are suggesting a couple of places 1/ bottom of Knowle Lane as they turn right off Ecclesall Rd South on the way out. Runners will be coming past there from about 9.50 onwards. 2/ Charter Row, near the junction with Fitzwilliam St from about 10.30 onwards.


Israel’s six months of continuous bombardment of Gaza has caused the deathbof over 32,000 people, a third of them children. And 74,400, mostly civilians, have been injured. The survivors live in tents and face famine.

On 26th January, the International Court of Justice, on finding plausible South Africa’s argument that Israel was carrying out genocide, ordered Israel to take a series of measures to prevent further harm to civilians. Since the Court’s preliminary ruling, Israeli bombing has killed thousands more. This is not a war against Hamas but against the Palestinian people.

In the West Bank, and particularly in East Jerusalem, where Israel can’t claim the pretext that Hamas is a major threat, Israel has stepped up the
demolitions of Palestinians homes and, in rural areas, with its army’s active support, Israeli settlers have been attacking and forcibly evicting Palestinian farmers to seize their land and livestock.

Rally with us on Saturday 30th March to protest against this continuing injustice of killing, displacement, and land grab that has been happening for over 75 years.

Council Update

“our clear intention is to issue a cross party statement of solidarity in line with the petition.” (Tom Hunt council leader)

The presentation of the petition to the council on March 8th was met with a decision by the Full Council not to vote on the petition itself.

So , on Tuesday 12th March, we returned, this time to the Strategy and Resources Committee, to pursue this vital matter on behalf of the 7,500 and more people who signed the petition.

 We asked key questions and here is a very brief summary of the replies:

Q1. When and how will the petition be discussed by Strategy and Resources?

Not on April 12th meeting which falls within the purdah period (too close to local elections) and the issue is deemed “politically sensitive” but as soon as possible after the elections.

It will be considered in its separate component parts and the Committee with reach a decision on each part. Officers will need to give the Committee advice on matters such as legality.

Q2. When will the Cross-Party Group meet to draft the statement of “unity and solidarity” with Palestine, (as Sheffield Council did for Ukraine) and who will be on that Group?

This group will meet as soon as is possible, aiming to do so before the local elections.The group will be the party leaders: Tom Hunt (Labour), Shaffaq Mohammed (Lib Dem), Douglas Johnson (Green) and Diane Hurst (Sheffield Community Councillors group).

Tom Hunt assured us the group would not be partisan in any way.

the flag being flown by protesters on the town hall shortly after the assault on Gaza in 2023

Q3. Why is the flying of the Palestinian flag not included in the new Flag Policy being introduced by the Council, in particular, why is it not being flown on the United Nations Day of Solidarity with Palestine on November 29th, as has been done in the past?

The Palestinian flag will not be flown, in line with the new policy.

NOTE:  We are keeping up the pressure on our Council and will continue to do so. A good number of people came inside the meeting in support and a group outside kept up their chants, all of which could be heard inside as the meeting progressed.

The encouraging comment made by Tom Hunt, cited at the top of this short report is important and we trust this will be the case – never was a statement of solidarity needed more than in the midst of this genocide. We look forward to reading it!