TH Palestine Solidarity holds successful events to commemorate Nakba Week

To commemorate Nakba Week in May, we held two successful solidarity events in Tower Hamlets.

Roman Road Market Stall

On Saturday 13th, we held our fourth stall on the Roman Road Market, selling Zaytoun Palestinian produce (olive oil, dates, almonds, and maftoul), which again proved to be very popular.

Profits from the sales contribute towards a range of solidarity work, including future local and cultural exchange activities. Recent examples of donations to groups based in Jenin, the city we hope to one day twin with Tower Hamlets, were reported on here.

Sales of Palestinian produce though is just one benefit of our Roman Road stall. We also secured more than 40 signatures supporting the child prisoners campaign; ensured the Palestinian flag was proudly visible; had many conversations with people who knew more or less about the situation in Israeli occupied Palestine. We also promoted the Monday night event.

Film showing and talk

On Monday 15th, we held a public film night and stall at the Brady Centre, with almost 50 people attending. We screened the British documentary ‘Firefighters Under Occupation’, which was introduced by Lucy Masoud, an official from the Fire Brigades Union, who has witnessed first-hand the experience of fire fighters in occupied Palestine.

The film follows fire fighting units in Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron, Bethlehem and Jerusalem and the additional challenges they face with limited equipment having to contend with Israeli armed checkpoints and vehicle searches.

The film was followed by a short presentation by Sybil on her recent experience at the Bethlehem Marathon. The evening concluded with a Q&A with both Lucy and Sybil reflecting on what we’d seen and discuss other topical events in Palestine – particularly the hunger strike by Palestinian political prisoners, which has since been suspended after securing many of their demands.

Thanks to everyone who participated or helped to organise these events. If you would like to get involved in future events – helping on our next Roman Road stall or on local Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions engagement with shops selling fresh produce on the Roman Road are two live examples – please contact us.

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Film & talk: Firefighters under Occupation – Mon 15th May Brady Centre, Whitechapel

Join us to mark the 69th anniversary of the Nakba, when 700,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes during and after the 1948 war with Israel and who largely remain refugees.

Tower Hamlets Palestine Solidarity is holding a free public event with film, speakers and discussion: 7.15pm-9pm, Monday, 15th May @ Brady Centre, 192-196 Hanbury Street, Whitechapel, E1 5HU.

  • Firefighters under Occupation: one-hour documentary about life as a Palestinian firefighter in the occupied West Bank
  • London Fire Brigades Union: Lucy Masoud will share her insights on the film and firefighting in Palestine
  • Bethelehem Marathon: report from our chair, who just returned from Bethlehem having completed the race
  • Palestinian produce stall: Palestinian olive oil, dates, soap, zatar (herbs) etc will be available for sale

Please join us and invite your friends for what will be a very interesting and informative evening!

We will also be running a stall at Roman Road market on Saturday, 13th May, selling Palestinian fair trade produce, so do stop by and say hello if you’re in the area.

2016 Summer Garden Party Fundraiser – Tower Hamlets Palestine Solidarity

After the success of last summer’s garden party-fundraiser we’ll be doing it all again on Saturday, 27 August.

Expect excellent Palestinian and Middle Eastern food, Zaytoun produce and Tim’s Freedom Ride sketches for sale, and a raffle to boot.

Oh. And did I mention some excellent company.

All friends and supporters welcome.

Email us to register your attendance and receive the address (secret Bow venue).

2016 garden party

TH Palestine Solidarity backs September’s Women’s Boat to Gaza

womens boat to gaza
Picture from freedomfloatilla.org

In three months time the Women’s Boat to Gaza will set sail in an attempt to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza that has been suffocating 1.5m Palestinians for almost a decade.

The mission aims to not only highlight the escalating impact the blockade of goods and produce is having on the people living in Gaza, but also the important role women play in Palestinian society and the daily resistance to Israeli oppression.

A spokesperson for WBG said: “Like most people, we recognize the need to make our world more just and egalitarian. Women in Gaza often fill the role of caring for and sustaining life, and are actively involved in community development and nation building. It is important  to make their voices heard, even more so during periods of extreme injustice.”

TH Palestine Solidarity is supporting the Women’s Boat to Gaza, which is due to set sail in September 2016, to challenge the illegal maritime blockade of Gaza.

Please show your support for this latest project of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition however you can, including endorsing it, donating money, or time (email: james@breakgazasiege.org).

For more information visit the main website here.

Cartoonist Tim Sanders Freedom Ride illustrations available for sale as cards

After his recent trip to Palestine illustrations by national newspaper cartoonist Tim Sanders are available for sale as cards.

Tim joined four other members of TH Palestine Solidarity for the Jenin-based Freedom Theatre’s Freedom Ride in March this year and recently presented selected images for the first time at a talk he gave last week.

Now they are available for the first time in packs of five cards with short descriptions on the back. Money raised from sales will go towards costs and TH Palestine Solidarity’s continued campaigning, and solidarity and educational exchanges over the next year.

The cards feature a range of images from interactions with Palestinian children to Israeli soldiers interrogating them as well as more scenic images of towns, villages and the countryside.

The cards are available in packs of five for £5+£1 P&P. Prints and a calendar will be available later in the year when a full exhibition of his work is planned.

You can order packs of five cards using the PayPal Donate link here. Please specify which cards you would like using the numbers in the captions below. Please also specify the delivery address if different to the one registered with PayPal.

You can email us at thpalestinesolidarity@gmail.com with any questions or queries.

Thanks for your support.

Fasayel is in the Jordan Valley in occupied Palestine, surrounded by Israeli agribusiness plantations on land stolen from Palestinians.
1. Fasayel is in the Jordan Valley in occupied Palestine, surrounded by Israeli agribusiness plantations on land stolen from Palestinians.
Children working on a community mural in Fasayel, in the occupied Jordan Valley.
2. Children working on a community mural in Fasayel, in the occupied Jordan Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The school run in the Old City of Hebron
3. The school run in the Old City of Hebron
Jenin in the North of the West Bank viewed from the cinema.
4. Jenin in the North of the West Bank viewed from the cinema.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The apartheid wall seen from Aida refugee camp
5. The apartheid wall seen from Aida refugee camp
Fasayel by night - illegal Israeli settlements on the hill, in the Jordan Valley.
6. Fasayel by night – illegal Israeli settlements on the hill, in the Jordan Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man in Jerusalem's Old City sits outside the remains of his home all day to stop illegal colonists confiscating what he has left.
7. Man in Jerusalem’s Old City sits outside the remains of his home all day to stop illegal colonists confiscating what he has left.
Silwan close to the Old City of Jerusalem.
8. Silwan close to the Old City of Jerusalem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hebron Old City. Schoolboy arrested  - he had no permit to be in the street.
10. Hebron Old City. Schoolboy arrested – he had no permit to be in the street.

 

 

 

Jenin refugee camp
9. Jenin refugee camp

 

Indy cartoonist Tim Sanders gets sketching on first day in Palestine

day one 1
by Tim Sanders

Our chair, Sybil Cock, local residents Mary Brodin and Ruby Hirsch, actor Doug Holton and cartoonist Tim Sanders, arrived in Palestine this weekend and will be joining The Freedom Theatre’s Freedom Ride across the West Bank from tomorrow.

The last few days they took a look around Jerusalem before travelling up to Jenin to stay with an old friend.

The man in the picture (right) had his family home in Jerusalem Old City stolen by settlers a few years back while his family were attending a wedding. This man only managed to save part of the extensive family home because he didn’t go to the wedding. He now lives in the tiny white building attached to the lovely old building.

A little later the Israeli settler family who had moved in to the ground floor attacked his two sons. The sons were arrested and spent two years in prison. In 3 weeks time he is going to court for the 3rd time to stop his total eviction.

The top floor remains empty, protected by surveillance cameras and a neighbouring security force. The plaques inside the front door show that 2 New York families have funded this terrible policy of Palestinian evictions from the Old City of Jerusalem, alongside the Israeli flag decorating the entrance of what was once a Palestinian home.

day one 2
Tim drew this picture of the apartheid wall from the bus we took from Ramallah to Jenin. We’ll see a lot more of this!
day one 5
by Tim Sanders

The man in the picture (right) is a volunteer manager at the Al Bustan community Centre in Silwan, just outside Jerusalem old city.  Silwan has long been a target for settlers and many houses, including this centre are threatened with demolition.

His son has been arrested 21 times in 9 years, the first time he was 9 years old. He talked about ‘existing to resist’.  He feels that the rest of the world has abandoned Palestine, but gets on with organising children’s activities, such as dancing, drawing, painting and music.

He asked for us to pressure our decision makers to fix the bad decisions of the past, like Balfour.  He lives in fear, has no power, but he is strong because we have the right to be here.  The trees are older than the Occupation.

day one 4
by Tim Sanders: We spent Monday in Jenin, our twin city, with Yousef Awad, who visited us in Tower Hamlets last autumn. This gives a view from the balcony of the Jenin Cinema Guest house.

 

TH Pal Sol joins Palestinian theatre company for ten-day West Bank trip

Retired East London maths teacher Sybil Cock, Hackney-based actor Doug Houlton, former national press sub editor Mary Brodin, nantional newspaper cartoonist Tim Sanders and young British film maker Ruby Hirsch are spending this Easter touring the Biblical lands of the West Bank bringing performing arts to remote Palestinian communities.

The Londoners are just some of the British citizens taking part in the week-long Jenin Freedom Ride organised by the Jenin Freedom Theatre to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Theatre. The performers will use ‘play back theatre’ to transform the villagers’ daily experiences under Israeli occupation into improvised theatre.

On Easter Saturday participants in the Ride will perform in Manger Square, Bethlehem and on Easter Sunday they will meet residents in Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem and hear from leading Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti.

The arts are becoming more centre stage and more contended in the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict with the international boycott movement hitting Israeli artists and audiences hard and growing international support for Palestinian arts and culture as non-violent tools for change.

Indy cartoonist to join Freedom Ride

tim_sandersNational newspaper cartoonist Tim Sanders has agreed to give up the comforts of London life and join the Freedom Theatre’s two-week Freedom Ride through the backwaters of the West Bank taking social and political performance, art and debate to Palestinians largely cut off from what are typically city experiences.

Click here to find out more and sponsor the trip

We need to raise £800 by the end of March. If you can’t help financially maybe you can share the link above to help us reach our target. Many thanks for your support.