WAKE UP!! It's yer sort-of-weekly...
The free weekly direct action newsheet published in Brighton since 1994 - Copyleft - Information for Action
Wow! It's really kicking off in Brighton, or at least it is in the world of the Jewish Chronicle. According to the JC's headlines "Protests turn nasty outside Israeli EcoStream", Brighton is "rocked by hate slogans" and the JC's editorial talks of "Mob-rule by the sea" with calls to action from around the country against "a racist mob".
However a casual glance at the regular Tweets from Sussex Police's recently formed Police Liaison team paints a slightly different picture. Week after week Tweets such as "'Text book' peaceful protests today..." and " Looking forward to peaceful protest and good communication (as usual)!". SchNEWS isn't usually in the habit of agreeing with police accounts of demos, but, compared to the pro-Israel establishment's capacity for spouting utter nonsense the cops appear to be the voice of impartial reasonableness.
Since September a campaign against the recently opened Ecostream shop has been picketing and regularly leafleting outside the shop every Saturday by PSC and BDS activists. The shop is owned by Sodastream which manufactures its products in the illegal Mishor Adumim settlement in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank.
From the very start there have been counter protests from a rag-tag group composed of Christian Zionists and some right-wing members of the Jewish community led by a certain Simon Cobbs. Considering that for ten years the Palestine Solidarity Campaign were largely unchallenged in Brighton at their weekly stall (except for the occasional lone nutcase) the pro-fizz group have mobilised some impressive numbers although usually fewer than the regular anti-shop picket. But their tactics have always been to play the "good protesters" and rather clumsily trying to portray the picketers as "anti-Semitic bad protesters". Because Sussex Police are desperately trying to prove the neutrality of their Police Liaison Officers this is proving slightly more difficult for them to pull off than it might have done a few years back.
It seems that as well as running the shop at a loss - there are rarely any customers in there throughout the week - the Sodastream company has spared no expense in jetting people out to their factory in the illegal West Bank settlement to show the world just how misunderstood they are. They sent the Brighton Argus's own Business hack John Keenan out to see for himself and he returned to write a gushing article praising the factory in return for his nice little "jolly". Hove MP and anti-squatting crusader Mike Weatherley has also visited at Sodastream's expense. It seems that some criminal occupations are OK for our Mikey! Brighton MP Caroline Lucas was also invited but declined for a number of reasons including full possession of the facts and a certain amount of integrity. A number of Christian Zionist Counter protesters have also been on this all expenses paid trip but for some reason when Corporate Watch asked to visit the factory at their own expense they refused. Funny that.
Desperate for attention at any cost unemployed controversialist Julie Burchill has started to turn up on the Zionist side. She arrives wearing very dark shades even in the pouring rain and enthusiastically waving the Israeli flag (no doubt quietly humming the Israeli National Anthem to herself since it's her very favourite tune according to her recent "Desert Island Discs" appearance). Mercifully she keeps fairly quiet except to exchange the odd word with her even odder co-protesters. Quite how she gets on with the rather angry transgender Zionist Israeli who occasionally turns up is as yet unknown.
Although the Police are presenting a façade of neutral policing and there have been a few examples where this has in fact been demonstrated there is definitely a bias towards the Zionist group. Three pro-Palestinians have been assaulted by the Zionists in recent months and although each case happened in front of the cops no one has been charged.
Any comment from random passers-by that could be remotely interpreted as anti-Semitic results in immediate arrest and a court appearance Monday morning. The same doesn't appear to be the case for anti-Arab remarks. For some reason more than one random passer-by has decided to throw a Nazi salute (it's never entirely clear at who) and then spent their Saturday afternoon in a way they hadn't planned.
These salutes are often aimed at the anti-shop BDS/PSC group since they are regularly accused of being Nazis by the Zionists who even have a leaflet saying as much. Of course once charged and fined the JC waste no opportunity to describe them, whoever they are as BDS/PSC activists and link them with the protests against the shop.
The founder member and spokesperson for the newly formed "Sussex Friends of Israel" Simon Cobbs has recently openly been forming connections with the Jewish Defence League. The JDL are a nasty bunch of people...
So if one day you read in the JC that Martial Law has been declared in Brighton you can probably assume it hasn't.
Russian anti-fascist unfairly imprisoned under Putin's new house rules.
More updates from Calais No Borders Network
'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.
Anti-cuts protesters block Lord Freud's Highgate London home and stage "evict a millionaire" demo.
In solidarity with 235 Sussex University workers whose jobs are threatened with privatisation, protesters from around the country converge on Sussex University's campus (alread site of an ongoing occupation), invade management HQ and make a bonfire out of corporate files.
If the “world leaders” heading to Enniskillen in June were hoping for an easy protest-free ride they were sadly mistaken
National Front demonstration has a poor turn out in Swansea, followed by a Blood & Honour gig in the valleys.
A staggering five convictions out of the Met Police's largest ever mass arrest during the Olympic Opening Ceremony.