Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Army’

No To Arms Fair At Twickenham

Saturday, January 27th, 2024

No To Arms Fair At Twickenham: This Monday, 22nd January 2024, Richmond & Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign organised their third annual protest at Twickenham Rugby Stadium which was hosting the International Armoured Vehicles Fair for the third year in a row from 22-25th January. The arms fair claims to be the largest of its type in the world, attracting around a thousand delegates from over 40 nations,

I came to the bus stop outside Twickenham Station to find several people clearly on their way to the stadium, and found more on the bus when it arrived – the bus more or less emptied when we arrived at the stop in front of the stadium. We walked across the road and joined a hundred or so who had already come to protest.

I had to leave after around an hour for a meeting, and people were still arriving to the protest which had another couple of hours to run. This was a considerably larger protest than in the two previous years having become more important because many of the companies selling weapons inside are suppliers of weapons which are being used now to kill Palestinians in Gaza.

Richmond & Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign is an active local group campaigning for the rights of Palestinians, justice and freedom against Israeli occupation and apartheid. Their numbers at this protest were swelled by others who had come from other areas of London to tell the Rugby Football Union to stop hosting arms fairs. As well as the International Armoured Vehicles Fair this week they are also hosting the International Military Helicopter conference from 27th to 29th February 2024.

Many of the posters and placards at the protest called for an end to the Israeli genocide taking place in Gaza now, and there were others more specific to Twickenham, calling for fair play and an end to the promotion of killing by the Rugby authorities.

At the centre of the protest was a large poster with the heading ‘MERCHANTS OF DEATH’ naming companies taking part in the arms fair, including BAE Systems, Elbit Systems and Thales, with cartoons of arms dealers making vast profits from war. Most of the companies involved supply Israel with armoured vehicles and other weapons used in its devastating assault on Gaza and used to repress, terrorise, abduct and kill civilians and children in Palestine as well as in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and elsewhere around the world. And as some posters and speakers reminded us, Israeli arms manufacturers proudly boast ‘OUR WEAPONS ARE FIELD-TESTED’ – on Palestinians in the killing fields of Gaza and the West Bank.

Standing around the poster were members of Richmond & Kingston PSC, holding up their hands in white gloves stained with fake blood, with one holding a Palestinian flag. Others held posters and banners, ‘CEASEFIRE NOW’, ‘WAR KILLS PEOPLE & PLANET’, ‘STOP BOMBING CHLDREN’

Shortly before I had to leave a group arrived carrying cloth bundles stained with red dye, representing the children killed by the Israeli attacks. A report by Save The Children from Ramallah on 11th January began with the following:

More than 10,000 children have been killed by Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in Gaza in nearly 100 days of violence, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, with thousands more missing, presumed buried under rubble, Save the Children said.

Save The Children

By now the number will be many more. As one poster stated: ‘TWICKENHAM DON’T SIDE WITH GENOCIDE’.

More pictures

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters – 2018

Friday, April 7th, 2023

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

On Saturday 7th April 2018 around 2,000 came to Downing Street to condemn the shooting by Israeli snipers of peaceful unarmed Palestinian protesters on the first day of the Great March of Return, a peaceful protest at the separation wall in Gaza on Land Day, 30th March 2018.

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

Live fire by the Israeli army had killed 17 and wounded over 750 unarmed protesters on that day. The second protest had taken place a week later on the day day before the London protest in this series of protests planned to continue in Palestine every Friday until Nakba Day (May 15th). Another nine Palestinians, one a journalist had been targeted and killed, and around 1,350 injured.

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

Many had been appalled by videos of the shooting, and by seeing Israeli citizens who had gone to watch and support the snipers who were shooting to kill.

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

The UK parliament was in recess and there were few UK politicians at the event, with only Baroness Jenny Tonge and a Sinn Fein MP among the speakers, although both Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas had sent messages of support.

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

With the current threat of accusations of anti-Semitism being raised against any who speak out to support the Palestinians, perhaps some did not want to speak out in public, but there were many Jews at the protest, including those in Jewish Voice for Labour, many Jewish supports of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others including a group of ultra-orthodox anti-Zionist Neturei Karta members. A speaker from Jewdas recited a prayer for peace in Hebrew and then in English translation.

Stop Israeli Snipers Killing Palestinian Protesters

Among those who spoke at the event was Glen Secker of JVL, the captain of the Jewish Boat to Gaza in 2010. In 2018 he was suspended from membership of the Labour Party on a vague and unspecified accusation of anti-Semitism. Many other Jewish members of the Labour party, including the sons, daughters and grandchildren of holocaust survivors, have also been expelled from the party for the same reason.

Other supporters of Palestine, including Jeremy Corbyn have been banned from standing as Labour candidates in what can only be seen as a witch-hunt.

A few yards down the road were a handful of right-wing Zionist supporters waving Israeli flags and shouting slogans in support of the shootings and against Hamas. The few protesters who could hear them simply turned their backs on them and ignored them.

At the end of the protest the names of those murdered last week were read out and there was a two minute silence honouring them. The London protest was organised by the Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Palestinian Forum in Britain and Stop the War, and supported by EuroPal, Olive and Muslim Association of Britain.

On My London Diary you can see photographs of many more of those at the event, including most of the speakers at Great March of Return – Stop the Killing.

Travelcard & more protests

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

I do like to get my money’s worth from a Travelcard. Because of some Tory gerrymandering in the 1960s the area where I live was the only part of Middlesex not to become a London borough, which means that despite my age I don’t qualify for a ‘Freedom Pass’ but am still paying for rail and underground travel.

I do of course get a national bus pass, which does save me a great deal, and a Senior Rail Card gets me a third off my rail fares except during the morning peak – and is a bargain at £70 for 3 years. But still the travel to and around London working costs me around £1500 a year – yet another reason to curse the Tories.

The Freedom Pass was introduced by a Labour GLC in 1973, largely pushed through by the effort’s of Ken Livinstone’s Deputy Illtyd Harrington. Welcome though it was for pensioners, transport in London remained a difficult and expensive business for those of us younger at the time, with journeys generally requiring the purchase of a separate ticket for each stage in any journey.

Again it was under a Labour GLC that the Travelcard was introduced in 1983-4 (the later year for the one-day version) although its use was restricted until the Capitalcard in 1985 added rail travel to Underground and buses. This was replaced by a revised Travelcard in 1989 which included rail and DLR services, which despite changes in London’s governance and travel systems remains in use with only minor changes today.

The Travelcard made my extensive photography of Greater London from 1986-2000 possible, or at least greatly simplified the logistics, particularly in removing the need to queue at tube and rail stations to buy a ticket for each stage of the journey. Improvements in providing information about services, and latterly the online Journey Planner and Googlehave also greatly simplified the process, which previously had meant much tedious work with paper timetables and tube and bus maps as well as the London A-Z. Though with a little intelligence it often remains possible to find faster routes than those suggested online, which occasionally verge on the bizarre.

On April 30th my Travelcard first took me to Waterloo, and then on the tube to Westminster. After photographing the protests there it was back on the tube to London Bridge and then by rail to New Cross and a short walk to Goldsmiths. I then returned by train to London Bridge, again taking the tube to Westminster, where I photographed a protest by XR Families at the Treasury. I walked back to Westminster station and again took the Jubilee Line, this time to Finchley Road, with a short walk to cover a protest against a fundraiser to recruit young people to the Israeli army at the JW3 Jewish Community Centre. This is close to Finchley Road & Frognal station from which I caught the Overground to Richmond for a South West Railway train home.

I think the day would have needed a combination of 5 or 6 single or return tickets for the various stages in the pre-Travelcard era, each involving queing to buy a ticket from a clerk in the ticket office. I don’t think I could have contemplated a journey like this and had I done so it would have been expensive. I felt my Travelcard had served me well.

More about the last two protests of the day and of course more pictures:

XR Families and Children at the Treasury
Protest against Israeli Army Recruitment

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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