Tuesday, 15 June 2010

WFPSC Branch Meeting - Tues 22/6/2010, 7pm

Tuesday 22nd June 2010
7pm (tea & cake) - for 7.30pm (start)
Hornbeam Centre
458 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 9AH
Click here for map

Vital and vibrant meeting - planning, working out how to do things better. Nitty, gritty, constructive stuff. There will be tea/coffee, and cake, to soothe/bolster tired minds...

However, we want to hear from you BEFORE the meeting, to get the ball rolling:

We need to hear detailed feedback from you about what you have personally been up to for the last few months in relation to Palestine. For example, some of you have been letter writing to MPs - how did you get on? What kinds of responses did you get? Have you been attending Palestine-related events out of the borough, or even in the borough, that you think we would benefit from hearing about, or liaising with organisations that we should be in contact with? Have you been raising money for palestine-related charities and want to gain our support and backing for your work? Please, please tell us - we'd love to hear from you.

To make sure our discussions will be interesting, WE REALLY WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU NOW, so we can create a really zappy list of potential work:
What actions, what letter writing campaigns, what street stalls, what speaker events, cultural experiences, sports events, schools visits, language classes, overseas trips, EU and MP lobbies, banner making, art exhibitions, UK palestinians liaison, direct Gazan palestinian support, and so on, do you want to participate in? What would really float your boat and be of real interest to you to do? What would your children be interested in doing, and what would your work colleagues, who probably know nothing about Palestine, find of use? So, how about a "Palestine for Dummies" presentation we can bring down to your office one lunchtime? What else might work?

A key aspect to ascertain is what people feel comfortable doing, physically. Of course your time is precious, limited and already over-committed - that's a given for everyone. But if anything really grabs your attention as being interesting, would you actually offer to help organise it and bring it to fruition? Can you actually imagine your pet idea happening without you helping to organise it?

With all this potential development, do we have the right systems in place as as branch to support all your work and ideas? What should we be changing in the way we run the branch to accommodate and expand on what we want to do?

Please do EMAIL wfpsc@yahoo.com with your suggestions as soon as you can! The Officers group would really like to hear from you BEFORE the meeting if at all possible, so we can put together an exciting and dynamic evening of discussion and idea sharing. Thank you!

Monday, 14 June 2010

WFPSC & J-BIG successful boycott supermarket sweep in Leytonstone

A dozen pro-Palestinian activists and an Israeli film cameraman recording material for a news documentary faced aggressive store security staff during a peaceful protest about Israeli goods in a Tesco in Leytonstone, northeast London on Sunday June 13.

“I was shocked at the behaviour of Tesco’s security staff towards our relaxed, cheerful and totally unthreatening action,” said Ellie Merton, chairwoman of the Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign (WFPSC).

“We were holding up examples of produce from illegal Israeli settlements and stolen Palestinian land, chanting to urge shoppers to join the boycott campaign. Then out of nowhere two burly security guards pounced on the Israeli Channel 10 cameraman, seized his equipment and then attempted to confiscate all cameras being used by us and members of the public.”

Protesters calmly stood their ground, stressed the peaceful nature of their protest and insisted on being allowed to present a letter to the store management asking them not to stock Israeli goods. Other members of staff intervened and accompanied activists, now singing a boycott song led by professional soprano Deborah Fink, to the customer services desk.

Walthamstow resident Josephine Tyrconnell-Fay said: “I didn’t think much of the duty manager’s customer service. I had to ask her repeatedly to accept our letter, in contrast to other supermarkets around the country where managements have been much more willing to understand what campaigners are doing and why.”

After Israel's latest display of criminality, killing nine international humanitarian aid workers and peace activists on a boat taking aid to the beseiged Gaza Strip, WFPSC got together with Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (J-BIG) to hold Sunday’s action.

Campaigners say the sale of goods produced in Israel or its illegal settlements legitimises Israel's criminal occupation of Palestinian lands.

By stocking these goods supermarkets are complicit in supporting the economy of a violent apartheid state that disrespects international law and undertakes ethnic cleansing.

“As consumers and activists we are proud to be part of the non-violent global campaign to hold Israel to account for its continual war crimes against Palestinians,” said Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, secretary of J-BIG.

For footage of the protest, please click here and view on YouTube "WFPSC"

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

WFPSC - tonight and the weekend - ACTION!!!

Hello dear WFPSC members and supporters

Many of your branch officer group has been heavily involved in the support work for the survivors of the Gaza Flotilla, and local branch business kinda got pushed onto a back burner for a short while. However, most of the survivors are home now and we can turn our focus back onto making a difference through our local work in Waltham Forest and by participating in the national campaigns, effort which is crucially important. We just want to mention that Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow, has been extremely helpful and kind to the Gaza Flotilla survivors from Waltham Forest and her efforts on their behalves are much appreciated by all of us.

Waltham Forest local branch meeting is postponed. Suggested alternative dates are: Weds 16, Thurs 17, Fri 18, or Mon 21, Tues 22 June. Please let me know, by email to wfpsc@yahoo.com asap, which you would prefer.

INSTEAD - this evening, please get the tube/train/bus into central London, to Holborn, and attend the PSC/Viva Palestina rally in support of the Gaza Flotilla Survivors - 7pm, Weds 9th June, at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square. You will hear first-hand accounts from survivors, and learn about plans for future convoy and flotilla projects. Please do go if you can.

On Saturday, PSC national is holding their regular feedback session for PSC membership associations like ours, called Branch Forum. It's in Birmingham. Ellie will be going to it on behalf of WFPSC. If you would like to accompany Ellie to Branch Forum, your involvement would be tremendously useful. Please emailwfpsc@yahoo.com asap if you can come along, so Ellie can arrange travel.

During Branch Forum on Saturday, representatives from each PSC branch will get a chance to discuss the "Wfpsc London Fund". WFPSC still needs to canvass your views about how to break the fund up. Instead of discussing the proposal at our now postponed branch meeting tonight, instead, please would you read the proposal (below) and make your views known to us by email (wfpsc@yahoo.com). Any serious concerns will be discussed by email among the officers group and decisions taken before Saturday's Branch Forum:
Approximately £2,000 left in the WFPSC London Fund kitty. For disbursing these funds, WFPSC officers make the following recommendations:
1) the money gets split three ways
2) it goes towards further Gaza relief and humanitarian aid missions to break the siege on Gaza
3) In line with the Free Gaza Flotilla that still requires funds for fuel and other necessaries to continue to take aid to Gaza, the money is split between IHH, Free Gaza Movement and people/projects we are already supporting in Gaza.


Whoop Whoop! Loud, dynamic, flourescent protest, inside a large supermarket in the borough!! Yes, we are going ahead with this major, exciting and energetic piece of direct action. Please get involved. Email wfpsc@yahoo.com to confirm your involvement and we'll email you the details. Unlike last time, we won't be broadcasting where we are going, or when, so you need to email wfpsc@yahoo.com to know more. Thanks!

Best wishes
all at WFPSC

Friday, 4 June 2010

Waltham Forest groups heading to Gaza Flotilla Demonstration on Saturday, meeting Walthamstow Town Square at 12noon,



URGENT - gather tomorrow, Saturday, at 12 noon in Walthamstow Town Square in order to go down to the massive STW/PSC/everyone else demo to support the gaza flotilla in central london.

WALTHAMSTOW GATHERING POINT: 12 noon, tomorrow Saturday, in Walthamstow Town Square

bring banners, placards, anything to express who you are and why you're upset...

we'll have a couple of speeches, and hear from family members of
* Chingford resident: Tauqir Sharif (Tox)
* Walthamstow resident: Mohammed Abid Mahi
who were on the Mavi Marmara IHH boat that had the serious injuries and frightful deaths. Both guys are safe and well, still in Istanbul, condoling with family and friends of those murdered, and also the injured.

After our informal gathering, we'll all jump on the tube and go, everyone in solid
arity together:

Tomorrow - Saturday
1.30pm, Downing Street, Whitehall in Westminster

[Martial of PSC Central also asks - can you help hand out PSC information and sell merchandise? When you get down to central London tomorrow, would you be willing to help him? If Yes, please do contact Martial asap at head quarters on 020 7700 6192.]

Best wishes
Ellie Merton
Chair, WFPSC

Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Patrons: Neil Gerrard, Jean Lambert MEP, Prof Nur Masalha
Email: wfpsc@yahoo.com
Web: www.facebook.com/wfpsc
Blog: http://wfpsc.blogspot.com
Address: PO Box 64002, London, E17 0HD

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Stella Creasy MP makes strong moves to support Waltham Forest residents on Gaza Flotilla - very welcome news

" Hello everyone

I've actually already been in touch with the Foreign Office and Mr Mahi's family (as well as that of the other local resident we know is out there Tauqir Sharif) since they were first reported missing and can confirm as of the last few hours that the Foreign Office report they are both accounted for, alive and currently in detention. I will continue to work with both the consulate and their families in trying to ensure their safety and freedom as we try to find out more about what is happening in Israel in the coming hours. I will also be working with other Labour MPs to raise concerns about the events of the last few days when we return to parliament tomorrow. I'd be grateful if you could share this information with other local residents who are also concerned about Abid and Tox.

Stella "

Two residents from Waltham Forest on the Free Gaza Flotilla - what YOU can do to help them


There were two Waltham Forest residents on the flotilla:
Tauqir Sharif (Tox)
Mohammed Abid Mahi

Tox's MP is Chingford's (Conservative) Ian Duncan Smith.
Mohammed Abid's MP is Walthamstow's (Labour) Stella Creasy.

Family and friends of both men are working flat out to talk to the media, talk to the Foreign Office and these MPs. We're all exhausted, sleep deprived and desperate. Our job is to do what we can to support them as much as possible, whilst also campaigning for every single person on those boats, and to free the people of Gaza. It's a big job, but worth every ounce of energy.


Depending on where you live in the borough, please contact Tox's MP or Mohammed Abid's MP (as appropriate to your home address). Please express your personal thoughts on the situation, your concerns for the boyz, your hopes for the MPs to do their utmost to help in international efforts to locate/ascertain the safety of the boyz and censure the Israeli Government. Use this link for how to email your MP:

Likewise, please also contact the Waltham Forest newspapers and London specific media to express your concerns about Waltham Forest residents on the flotilla and your feelings about the situation. It is important everyone in the borough realises the impact of this horrific massacre on all of us in the borough. Please remember there is a very large Turkish population in the borough, who must be very unhappy.

Go for it - you know you can!

Tonight, and every day until the situation improves
5.30pm, Israeli Embassy, High Street Kensington.

I will be leaving to go down there at 5pm-ish from Walthamstow Central Station. Please, please do join us.

Needless to say, paramountly we are all extremely worried about Tox and Mohammed's safety. See BELOW for a statement about all the flotilla participants' legal situation.

Best wishes in exhaustion, concern and real worry...

Ellie Merton
Chair, WFPSC

Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Patrons: Neil Gerrard, Jean Lambert MEP, Prof Nur Masalha
Email: wfpsc@yahoo.com
Address: PO Box 64002, London, E17 0HD