May Day

celebrating Palestinian resistance

The inaugural meeting of the South East Kent Palestine Solidarity Campaign will be held on Saturday May 1 in the form of a Zoom rally with three extraordinary speakers and plenty of space for questions and answers.

We are delighted and honoured to be joined by Omar Mofeed of the youth & student committee of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign; Zita Holbourne, vice-chair of the PCS union, chair of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts UK, activist artist and poet (Zita was part of the first-ever TUC women’s delegation to Palestine); and calling in from Palestine will be Amna Shqair, international outreach co-ordinator for the Palestine New Federation of Trade Unions.

What better way to celebrate May Day than to join us in an international act of solidarity celebrating Palestinian resistance?

The new group has come together to make sure that supporters of Palestinian human rights have a visible presence in all the major towns across south-east Kent. As soon as Covid compliance permits, we plan to hold regular events such as stalls, cultural events and film shows across the area. Pickets at supermarkets will encourage shoppers to boycott Israeli goods in the same way as we used to boycott produce from apartheid South Africa.

It is more important than ever to show the Palestinian people that they are not alone.

We will be working with an existing PSC branch that covers Faversham and Whitstable and linking up across Kent with the Medway PSC, student societies and other groups such as East Kent Justice for Palestinians.

Impetus for intensifying solidarity with Palestine and making sure people are aware of the apartheid nature of the Israeli occupation has been provided by the worsening oppression unleashed against Palestinians by Israel and its friends in the UK.

An authoritarian political culture has enabled a co-ordinated crackdown on campuses, in political parties, on social media and in mainstream outlets, in an attempt to curtail our freedom to criticise Israel’s brutal policies in Palestine.

The emergence of Black Lives Matter has shown that most people want to see an end to racial injustice, colonialism and imperialism. The cry “From Ferguson to Palestine” has been heard on the streets of the USA, referring to the vicious paramilitary policing of anti-racist movements using hardware supplied by Israel.

Here too, we refuse to tolerate Israeli weapons manufacturers in Kent, and we support legal, democratic actions to close them down. Elbit, in particular, has boasted that its deadly equipment has been “battle-tested” on Palestinians.

You may remember the successful protest campaign against Canterbury City Council awarding contracts to Veolia, a firm complicit with Israeli illegal occupation. Other companies continue to profit from the dispossession of the Palestinian people, theft of their land and demolition of their homes.

The best riposte to all of this is to ramp up our solidarity with the Palestinian people. They need even greater solidarity than that engendered by the anti-apartheid movement, powerful as that was. South African apartheid was opposed by the then existing socialist bloc of countries and non-aligned countries. Because of the boycott, banks eventually refused to roll over credit to the racist regime.

In the case of Palestine, the dominant countries, led by the USA, the European Union and the UK have failed to hold Israel to account. Even China and India are doing business with Israel now. And vaccine imperialism has been used to pressurise Arab countries and smaller countries too. So it’s up to us! When governments refuse to act, the people must.

Join

You can help by joining the national Palestine Solidarity Campaign (https://www.palestinecampaign.org), a non-party-political grassroots civil-society democratic organisation; it will provide you with masses of information to let you know what’s really going on by countering the bias of the mainstream media, and your subscription will help to maintain its brilliant work. It’s inspiring to be part of a network of branches all over the UK and linked to our counterparts internationally.

It will be great to see you on screen at the May Day rally. We also invite you to join us in our day-to-day local campaigning, which will get under way as soon as safely possible.

To receive a live link to our Zoom rally, please contact Mary Sullivan by email: msmaryanne1@googlemail.com.

If you use social media, Mary can add you to our Facebook page. Otherwise, just type in the codes in our flyer (see below) on May 1.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1799309296907321


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