2014: the year of solidarity with Palestinian people
Thank you to alll our members and supporters – we really did make a difference in 2013! Here we have listed just a few of the key achievements of the year.
The UN’s declaration that 2014 is the year of solidarity with Palestinian people is important. But only through our actions: working together for freedom, justice and human rights, will this declaration transform into real change.
MPs Richard Burden, Jeremy Corbyn and Andy Slaughter draw the winner for the Zaytoun hamper at Labour Party Conference.
Thanks to you, and thousands of other PSC members and supporters, PSC was central to achieving some small but significant political change this year.
Thousands of letters were sent – via the PSC e-tool – calling on the EU to stop funding settlements. MEPs then pressured EU officials who brought in new EU guidelines for settlements – and we’ve kept up the pressure. These guidelines are designed to prevent Israeli projects in the occupied Palestinian territory from benefitting from EU money.
PSC has been campaigning for a ban on the import of Israeli settlement goods. Hundreds of Labour Party members signed up for the campaign at their annual Conference. Hundreds more signed at the Global Peace and Unity Conference in November. As part of this work we campaigned successfully with our partner organisations for new UK business guidelines. These guidelines – which warn companies of the legal, economic and reputational risks of working in settlements – help build our BDS campaigning against complicit companies, John Lewis (which stocks Sodastream), G4S and Veolia.
The cultural and academic boycott goes from strength to strength, with PSC welcoming Professor Hawking’s boycott of an Israeli Government Conference earlier in the year.
Campaigning against the Prawer Plan
This year we’ve fought against Israel’s Prawer Plan, which seeks to forcibly remove up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouin people from their homes and land.
PSC organised online protests reaching over 200,000. We helped coordinate a Guardian letter from Peter Gabriel, BrianEno,Antony Gormley, Bella Freud and others.
Hundreds of you- including Peter Hain MP – joined us at the National Lobby of Parliament for Palestine to call for the Prawer Plan to be stopped.
Just before Christmas news came that the Israeli Government had been forced to suspend the Prawer Plan. However, it appears from recent news reports that it will be brought back in a different form – so in 2014 we will need to step up the campaign against Israel’s racist and apartheid policies.
Help us continue to build momentum against ethnic cleansing
Building links, locally and nationally
PSC branches work tirelessly to raise the issue of Palestine, and to build support in towns and cities across the country. Focusing on the boycott, PSC branches worked together for a national day of action against Sodastream, and many organise regular stalls outside Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets, calling on shops to act ethically.
PSC has worked closely with other organisations supporting Palestinian rights, including the trade union movement. PSC’s stall at TUC was well attended and we held a popular fringe meeting with Mahmoud Sarsak, the Palestinian footballer and former prisoner and hunger striker.At the Black workers’ conference an important motion was passed opposing Israeli racism and apartheid. PSC also organised a number of trade union delegations to Palestine in 2013, with union representatives returning to increase their solidarity work for Palestine inside their union.
Owen Jones supporting Palestine at the TUC.
Break the siege on Gaza!
Students campaigning for the Palestinian prisoners hunger striking. PSC held many protests for prisoners during the year.
We continue to build political and community support to see the blockade of Gaza lifted. We held a ground breaking conference in April, with video links to Gaza. PSC organised a letter from MPs to the Egyptian Embassy urging them to open a life-line to Gaza.PSC’s work with students has focused on increasing awareness and solidarity through students’ video links and the Chat2Gaza blog.
For the 5th anniversary of the Gaza war PSC coordinated a letter from MPs and Peers calling for the blockade to be lifted, which was published in the Guardian.
These are just a few highlights from the year. To get a fuller picture of our campaigning please read our annual review.
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