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Feel like you deserve a say on what yer council tax is spent on? Well not in Hackney you don't. Hackney resident Caroline Day was prevented from speaking to Hackney Council about French service company, and Israeli apartheid profiteers, Veolia. She was unaware she was being gagged 'til she turned up at the Town Hall this Wednesday– the decision to silence her having apparently been taken in secret by councillors.
Caroline had been scheduled to speak out about the company during a procurement process in which Veolia was tendering for council contracts. The company has been the subject of several Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaigns, that have seen it looked over for multi-million pound public sector contracts for waste disposal, because of its involvement in the Jerusalem Light Rail project which is linking Israeli settlements in the West Bank and carving up Palestinian territory.
According to her version of events on Occupy News Network “I was sat ready to give my speech inside the Council chamber, at this very late stage, an unprecedented cross-party procedural motion was tabled by Conservative Cllr. Linda Kelly of Haifa Twinning and seconded by Labour Mayor Jules Pipe. Mayor Pipe gave a speech, which I have since heard is aberrant in the case of seconders of procedural motions, claiming that my deputation should not be heard at council.”
SchNEWS decided a bit of digging was in order.What we turned up was the determination of a particularly vicious Zionist group of lawyers who've got pro-Palestine campaigners in their sights...
The council denied that it had been swayed by outside meddling, and that the secret motion required to block the speech was passed because “Elected members felt that to receive the deputation could give the incorrect appearance that they were open to lobbying”. Until the truth came out in a Jewish Chronicle blog: it turns out that the sudden change of heart was “thanks to the great work” of lobbying group UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI). Doh! They also previously lobbied Hackney Council to prevent Beit Sourik Hackney Friendship Association, a group twinning Palestinian and UK youngsters, from using council premises.
But hold on a minute, who are these bastards? UKLFI are a single-issue legal pressure group whose aims are to justify Israeli actions through their own creative interpretations of international law (example: they claim settlements are 'lawful'), and apparently, to push for criminal charges against a whole host of Palestine solidarity activists and groups through equally creative interpretations of UK law.
Since their inception in 2011, they've been busy. UKLFI have been instrumental for pushing for criminal charges to be made against BDS campaigners, including the activists who disrupted an Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra concert in London in September last year. Their plans were stymied when the supposedley aggrieived party, the Royal Albert Hall, refused to play along with their propaganda bullshit by pressing charges.
They also filed a report with SOCA (the Serious and Organised Crime Agency) to stop the Co-operative bank from providing facilities to Viva Palestina, the group which has sent aid convoys by boat to Gaza. They argued that giving them a bank account meant channelling funds to Hamas for terrorist purposes.
Oh, and they've been lobbying for the re-activation of the EDO Decommissioners case at the Court of Appeal. For those SchNEWS readers whose memory stretches back that far - the case involved a group of activists who entered and destroyed materials in EDOs Brighton factory whilst the company continued to sell Israel arms during Operation Cast Lead They were all found not guilty (in a rare victory for militant direct action) on the basis of acting to prevent war crimes.
Whether the recent attempts to charge pro-Palestine campaigners for 'racially aggravated' crimes is part of UKLFI dark sorcery, we don't know for sure – but if not, they're bound to jump on it like some sort of deluded fascists' trampoline.
'Ground the Drones' demo to take place in Lincoln this Saturday as UK expands armed drone programme - and international resistance to the Drone Wars amps up.
UK ISM activist expecting imminent deportation after arrest by Israeli military
Despite reports from pro-Israel newspapers to the contrary, race war is not about to break out in front of Brighton's crappiest fizzy drinks seller.
Known by many as the "godfather of Israeli anarchism", author, activist and radical anti-zionist troublemaker Akiva “Aki” Orr, had pursued a radical vision for a democratic one state solution in Palestine and Israel for over 50 years.
Burin is one of a group of small Palestinian villages near Nablus in the Occupied West Bank. Burin has been having a lot of problems off the local settlers, especially one settlement in particular: Yitzhar, which currently holds the distinction of being the most violent settlement in the West Bank.
State services and employees crippled by Israel's refusal to hand over Palestinian taxes.
Israeli forces have begun a massive terror campaign against the Gaza Strip
A 13 year old Palestinian was killed in Gaza after being hit by an Israeli helicopter in the never-ending onslaught.