The brutal events in Gaza over the last few weeks galvanised our supporter for our biggest ever turnout - by some way - at a stall at the Triangle in Palmers Green. Local MP Bambos Charalambous turned up too (though not to help!) and said some supportive things. He has also responded positively to our Secretary's letter about the IDF's merciless and illegal response to the Great Return March. Here are a couple of photos from the day


3 of us (one behind the camera) attended the Stop Arming Israel protest outside the DSEI arms fair at the Excel Centre.



A cold but useful couple of hours outside Argos in Cecil Rd handing out 'Boycott Hewlett Packard' cards. Several good conversations and over £16 in the collecting tin. We also handed a letter to the store manager (though she handed it back!)


A busy couple of days, with our branch meeting on Thursday evening, the Vigil for Gaza opposite Downing St on Friday attended by 8 of us, and a stall at the Triangle on Saturday morning. That proved more interesting than usual as a bunch of Friends of Israel also showed up, so we probably spent as much time arguing with them as talking to punters. We got quite a few signatures on our petition nevertheless, and gave out quite a few leaflets too. Further enlivenment was provided by the wind, which blew our table over - twice.

It was a busy morning at the Triangle: as well as the FoI some Socialists set up a table outside Starbucks for a while, and the usual group of Christians (who keep themselves to themselves) took over the back of theTriangle!


Some time ago we wrote to David Burrowes MP on the subject of child prisoners. He forwarded our letter to the Israeli Ambassador for comment. The Ambassador responded (P1 and P2), but we were not impressed with what he said. EPSC Secretary Brendan O'Brien has now written an open letter in response.

Our January meeting resolved that Enfield PSC supports the BDS campaign and began consideration of how we should demonstrate that support.

Just as we are about to ask General Election candidates their views on the situation in Palestine, this belated response to an earlier request arrived from Green Party PPC for Enfield North, David Flint:

"I applaud the work of PSC in drawing attention to Israel's appalling treatment of the Palestinians and I support your stated goals. Indeed, I attended the PSC vigil at the war memorial last year.

If elected I would seek to discourage economic links with Israel and would support steps to bring Israel's leaders before an International court to answer charges of crimes against humanity and to extend international recognition of the Palestinian Authority.

It's my view that an effective UK policy toward Palestine both requires and is a key to a wider rethinking of Britain's world role. This would include reduced reliance on military interventions, an end to delusions about a 'special relationship' with the USA and a new emphasis on moral principle."

Our stall at the Palmers Green Festival attracted a lot of interest - though Brendan looks worried!
Owly Images

Our own hastily-called vigil at the Chase Green war memorial attracted about 25 peope, including 2 Labour councillors.

Still it continues: vigil opposite Downing Street (picture by Michael Brett)

EPSC members were amongst a crowd which even the police estimated at 45,000 marching to protest at the carnage in Gaza. Even getting clear of High St Ken tube station was problematic.
Pictures by (respectively) Bill Linton, Michael Brett and Ahmad Baker.

Campaign members were in the audience of a Conservative Christian Fellowship meeting at St Monica's Church Hall (AKA the Intimate Theatre) which had both David Burrowes and Nick de Bois on the panel of a 'Question Time' style debate. We ensured that Gaza got a good airing. Burrowes remained totally obdurate, but there were some signs (albeit not enough) that de Bois may be more prepared to listen.

On the day of the big march (which turned out to be a HUGE march!) we had planned a stall at Southgate. Thunderstorms threatened disruption and an unforeseen festival just round where we had planned to set up got us off to a bad start, but rerouting to Palmers Green saw us gathering lots of signatures on a petition supporting Gaza. The march was not forgotten either, with Ahmad and John (and maybe others) representing us.

The lobbying effort continues with a visit to Nick de Bois' surgery. More stonewalling, but at least a promise to make representations to the PM and FCO about the unconditional support for Israel.

11/7/14 Lobbying for Gaza
3 members of Enfield PSC this morning lobbied David Burrowes MP in an attempt to get him to put pressure on the government on behalf of the beleaguered citizens of Palestine in general and Gaza in particular. Sadly he maintained his stance that Israel was entitled to 'defend itself' and basically he saw nothing wrong with what they were doing. Wonder what the other five impossible things are that he manages to believe before breakfast?

Later in the day we were represented at the mass demonstration outside the Isareli embassy. Can't be sure how many of us were there - spotting anyone else in a tightly-packed crowd of 10,000 was hopeless - moving was difficult enough! You didn't know there was a demo with 10,000 people present? You must be relying on the BBC, who failed to notice it.

17/6/14 Life Under Occupation

A successful first public meeting at the Burford Hall with JfP providing a craft stall, and speakers:
Bernard Regan; member of the executive committee of the national Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a member of the NUT. 
Leah Leaven: the treasurer of Jews for Justice for Palestinians.
Sarah Haleimah: a project manager for Medical Aid for Palestinians.
Bernard started the talk highlighting the changes of the Palestinian map over the past decades. He spoke about a recent visit by the PCS and TUC delegates to Palestine and what they witnessed. Bernard highlighted how Palestinian villages have been denied access to grow or develop, and face demolition under various names and plans. He also mentioned a recent report by the World Bank stating that if Palestinians have access to their own resources in the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea the Palestinian GDP would grow by 38%. Bernard also drew the attention of the audience to the suffering of children in Palestine and how Israel continuously violates their basic human rights through arrests, being held in military prisons, forced to sign confessions without presence of lawyers or parents, in a different language, and many other practices that are not accepted by any civilised society.
Leah explained why JfJfP exists and that there is nothing Jewish about the occupation. She presented a few anecdotes with photos about a recent visit to the West Bank showing the daily suffering of Palestinians because of the Wall, the checkpoints, and the settlers. Leah also highlighted the suffering of Palestinian children stating that 97% of arrests lead to convention in courts compared to only 4% of Israeli children arrested, who also received a complete different treatment that complies with the international standards.  
Sarah, who only returned from a visit to Gaza earlier in the day spoke of the suffering of Palestinians living Gaza because of the Israeli- Egyptian blockade, highlighting some shocking facts such an unemployment rates that reach 40%, 90% of Gaza strip residents rely on aid, and a recent report by the UNHCR stating that Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020.
The questions and answers section showed the interest people have on the matter and addressed a few issues that the British public can contribute or support such as: 
Lobbying MPs on the issues raised, perhaps to sign an Early Day Motion (number 49) about the treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli forces.
Raising the general public awareness of what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank.
Support the BDS (boycott, disinvestment and sanctions) campaign, the equivalent of which did have significant impact on the South African apartheid regime.
In relation to the media, to encourage positive reporting on the Palestinian matter and complain about negative and biased reporting.

Leah highlighted repeatedly that the existence of her organisation and many other Jewish organizations such as Rabbis for justice and Anarchists Against the Wall is a proof and a statement that opposing Israel is not anti-Semitic.

7/6/14 Rain Stopped Play
Our stall in Enfield Town - just before it got washed away

6/6/14 Bill and Joy in the Independent
This picture of the demo outside the G4S AGM yesterday made it into the Independent's Business section. During the meeting, G4S caved in to PSC pressure and announced its withdrawal from the Israeli prison system

19/4/14 Our first stall, at the Triangle. Burrowes sees us and flees.
A successful first stall at the Triange, Palmers Green, saw over 80 signatures gathered on a petition to David Burrowes to stand up in Parliament to condemn Israel's appalling treatment of Palestinian children. The man himself hove in sight, but on seeing us retreated rapidly. Later he came back again, but snuck past without coming to hear what we had to say

17/4/14 Enfield represented at G4S protest on Palestinian Prisoners' Day

Roger Hallam and Bill Linton (visible here at the far end) joined a noisy protest outside (and inside!) G4S's Victoria St offices on PalestinianPrisoners' Day. It was also good to see the supporters clubs of both our local Premier League clubs - Arsenal and Spurs - represented. Their banners are out of shot. As you can see, Chelsea were there too.

Pearsons kick out Sodastream!

Sodastream is an Israeli manufacturer of home carbonation systems and refill components. They promote themselves as as an eco-friendly business. But their products are far from ethical and sustainable. Instead, they profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestine through the theft of Palestinian resources, occupation of Palestinian land and exploitation of Palestinian labour. SodaStream seem determined not to become the next Ahava (whose flagship London store was forced to close following protests). We are equally determined that they not be allowed to profit from their support for an apartheid regime.

The Enfield Town department store Pearsons for a time included a display of Sodastream products. One of our first acts after the formation of the group was to write to Pearsons pointing out the unethical stance of Sodastream. The display has now been removed, though it is unclear whether that was as a result of our action.

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