Islington marches against the cuts - 05 Feb 2011

Photo: Islington Labour Party joined the IHOOPS march, 5th Feb 2011, despite the fact that it is the Labour Council implementing the cuts.
Photo: Islington Labour Party joined the IHOOPS march, 5th Feb 2011, despite the fact that it is the Labour Council implementing the cuts.


Thousands of Islington residents took to the streets on Saturday 5 February, marching against proposed cuts in the borough. FRFI supporters joined the demonstration, organised by Islington Hands of Our Public Services (IHOOPS), which marched from Holloway to Angel.

The budget drawn up by the Labour Party council is brutal, with £52 million being cut this year alone. Up for the chop are services for the most vulnerable, including Sotheby Mews day centre. Sotheby Mews provides day services for elderly residents, and is a lifeline to its users – however, the Labour-run council has declared users are ‘not heavily reliant on it for their well being’. Users of the centre who joined the march disagreed. Speaking to FRFI, one user of the centre, Elizebeth Clare, said that  ‘so many people depend on it, and it's a lifeline, especially to those who have the first stages of alzheimers’. Refuting the other council claim that the centre is underused, Ms Clare said that ‘We've counted up the amount of people who come there. It's well up to full capacity. They are using this to close it down’.

 

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Students take over Parliament Square to oppose cuts and tuition fees – London – 9 Dec 2010

FRFI student society members had contingents on yesterday’s protest, one starting at the London School of Economics and the other at University College Union. We joined forces to march into Parliament Square to oppose the government’s bill to raise university tuition fees up to £9,000 a year. Police had put up metal barricades to keep protesters out of the square, but as up to 30,000 school, college and university students poured into the surrounding road, the barriers were quickly flattened and the green taken over. Almost immediately police in riot gear, on horses and in vans blocked the entrances to the square ‘kettling’ the youth into the area. If you leave a kettle on it boils over.

 

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Day X2 – London students defy police to march against the cuts 30.11.2010

Student protests

On 30 November 2010, FRFI supporters were among over 4000 students demonstrating in central London against the increasing commodification of education and the brutal cuts being inflicted upon the working class to pay for capitalism’s crisis.

The National Campaign against Cuts and Fees (NCAFC) called the ‘Day X2’ protest to coincide with a parliament debate on the white paper discussing imminent tuition fee increases. The march assembled around Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square at 12.30pm and planned to take a short route to Parliament Square along a route agreed with the police.

A short way along the pre-planned route, the police formed a thick line across the road reinforced with metal barricades.  Fearful of being kettled again (kettling is the police tactic of containing protestors for hours at a time in small areas), the marchers turned around and sprinted through St James Park, attempted to reach Parliament Square. Flying squads of the Territorial Support Unit used violent tactics to try and re-apply the kettle and make arrests. A UCL student attempting to avoid a kettle was rugby-tackled by police into railings near Westminster Abbey and there are reports that police were armed with CS gas.

 

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UCL students occupy to protest against cuts and fees

FRFI student society members at the University College London (UCL) are among up to 200 students who occupied a central area in their university at midday today. UCL is one of 13 universities currently being occupied around the country, from Essex to Edinburgh as part of the national day of action against the three-fold increase in tuition fees announced by the ConDem government. FRFI supporters said: ‘We are using the occupied rooms and facilities as an open space for political debate, film screenings and to co-ordinate with the other university occupiers to build a national campaign against the brutal assault on students and the working class.’

The UCL occupiers’ statement says: ‘We stand against fees and savage cuts to higher education and government attempts to force society to pay for a crisis it didn’t cause. Promises have been broken, the political process has failed and we have been left with no other option. We stand in solidarity with all those fighting these cuts nationally and internationally. These cuts are a product of ideology and not necessity. Join us!’

 

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Free Mumia! Report of demonstration in London, 9/11/2010

mumia abu-jamalOn 9 November, London supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! joined the Mumia Abu Jamal Defence Campaign, George Jackson Socialist League, African People's Socialist Party and other groups for a lively protest outside the US embassy. The demonstration was part of a global demonstration on the day that Mumia's legal team was to present an oral argument before the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia. Other demonstrations occurred in Germany, France, and across the United States and other countries.

Mumia Abu Jamal is a revolutionary journalist, who was a founder member of the Philadelphia branch of the Black Panther Party. He gained a reputation as the ‘voice of the voiceless’, giving solidarity and coverage to the struggles of poor and oppressed people across the world, notably his coverage of the 1985 Philadelphia police department bombing of the compound where members of the MOVE organisation were living. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Philadelphia policeman Daniel Faulkner, in a trial characterised by open racism, suppression of vital evidence, changing statements by witnesses and death threats against the legal team. Mumia was convicted of a crime that he did not commit.

A speaker from Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! talked about the racist nature of the imperialist state, Mumia's struggle, and the struggle of Irish Republicans, Black and Muslim people against the racist British police and prison system. Chanting and music from supporters of the Mumia Abu Jamal campaign ensured that the demonstration was lively and made its presence felt. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! offers its full support to Mumia, and will continue to work to prevent his murder at the hands of US imperialism.

 

Justice for Jimmy Mubenga! No to Britain’s racist immigration laws!

jimmy mubenga

‘What do we want? – Justice! Justice for who? Jimmy Mubenga!’ ‘No borders! No nations! No deportations!’ Central London echoed to the chants of 200 protesters on Friday, as FRFI joined a demonstration that marched from the Angolan Embassy, along Oxford Street and down Park Lane, bringing traffic to a halt, before converging on the Home Office. The FRFI banner read: ‘No deportations! Fight Britain’s racist immigration laws’.

 

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Ten years of Intifada - what future for Palestine?

Report from London meeting

ten-years-of-intifada
Sept 2010: Victory to the Intifada activists unravel a sample of the thousands of petitions they have collected over the last ten years with signatures of those opposing Marks & Spencer''s links with the racist state of Israel. The picket outside M&S in Oxford Street, London, marked the 10th anniversary of the intifada.

On 27 October, Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! London hosted a meeting to mark ten years of the Intifada and to discuss the current and future struggle of the Palestinian people against occupation by the racist Israeli state. For the past ten years FRFI’s Victory to the Intifada campaign has organised meetings and demonstrations to highlight the Palestinian struggle and in London has been centrally involved in maintaining a weekly demonstration outside Marks & Spencer on Oxford Street, as part of the campaign against M&S’ corporate sponsorship of Zionism.

 

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10 years of the Palestinian Intifada, 10 years of boycotting M&S

palestinian_intifada

On 25 September, activists from FRFI and other groups held a lively demonstration outside Marks and Spencer on Oxford Street, to mark 10 years of Palestinian Intifada and 10 years of the weekly picket against M&S.

The Intifada began on 29 September 2000, a day after Ariel Sharon and 1000 riot police marched through the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount is home to Islam’s third most holy shrine, the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Police used live ammunition and rubber bullets against unarmed Palestinian demonstrators, killing 6 and injuring 220. Within the first few days of the Intifada, 700,000 bullets and projectiles had been fired in the West Bank, and 300,000 in Gaza.

Since the beginning of the Intifada in 2000, activists in the campaign Victory to the Intifada (VTI) have been demonstrating outside Marks and Spencer stores, calling for a consumer boycott of Britain’s biggest corporate sponsor of the Israeli state. Marks and Spencer annually sell approximately £240 million worth of Israeli goods, but have also been marked with a long history of political support for the state of Israel and the Zionist movement. This goes as far back as the1940s, when M&S Chairman Israel Sieff advocated ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, and continues today - in 2008, Chief Executive Stuart Rose proclaimed to Zionist charity World Ort that “we share the same values”. Victory to the Intifada calls for the complete boycott of M&S, as a symbol of boycotting British state and corporate support for the vicious Zionist state.

Activists from FRFI, marking 10 years of Intifada and VTI action, were joined by representatives of the CPGB-ML, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Campaign, George Jackson Socialist League, Boycott Ahava campaign and other groups in the demonstration, which lasted from 12-3pm. Demonstrators were surrounded by Palestinian flags, banners and placards, as signatures were collected and leaflets handed out to passers-by on Oxford Street. The few vocal Zionists were soon drowned out in a sea of support, with hundreds signing the petition.

At around 2 pm, activists presented Marks and Spencer with a few of the petitions received over 10 years. In front of the building activists unveiled a wall of filled petitions, stretching the length of the entire shop. The petitions, only a small percentage of the more than 30,000 signatures received over 10 years, stood as a reminder to Marks & Spencer that we will not tolerate its sponsorship of the racist Zionist state. Chanting demonstrators and the petition wall attracted much public attention and support, with many more signing to show their opposition to the Zionist state.

VTI will continue to take action against Marks and Spencer each week, to show our solidarity with Palestinians suffering under British and US backed Israeli state terrorism and apartheid. As the Israeli state continues its barbaric actions, it is crucial for us in Britain to take a stand against the Zionist state and its British corporate and state sponsors.

Demonstrate 6-8pm every Thursday, outside Oxford Street M&S.

For further details, contact:

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tel: 020 7 837 1688

 

Cuba: Defending Socialism, Resisting Imperialism

bolivar-hall-8-06-10

On Tuesday 8 June Bolivar Hall, London was packed  for the big-screen premier of the new Rock around the Blockade (RATB) documentary Cuba: Defending Socialism, Resisting Imperialism.

The event began with introductions from the producers, Anthony Rupert and Ethesham Haque, activists in RATB, who explained that most of the filming was done during a solidarity brigade to Cuba in spring 2009.

 

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General Election, General Fraud!

angel-station-election1angel-station-election3angel-station-election2

On Saturday 3 April comrades and friends of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! London staged a mock election at the Angel, Islington with the slogan ‘General Election, General Fraud!’ Members of the public signed our petitions against the closure of Whittington Hospital’s A&E department, to stop cuts in public services and to put the Labour government on trial for war crimes.

Passers by cast votes in our ballot box, a symbolic gesture encouraging them to think about the issues that matter to them – instead of voting for political parties or  personalities with the same corrupt capitalist policies. The public's ballot papers listed issues which don’t form part of the phoney debate in the run up to the general election, for example:

 

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Labour's privatisation plans: bad for our health / 27 February 2010

marchOn Saturday 27 February London FRFI joined the march to stop the closure of the A&E department at Whittington Hospital, North London.

FRFI supporters formed a lively contingent at the back of the march and chanted all the way from Highbury Corner, along the Holloway Road to the Hospital in Archway. Around 2,000 people marched, shoppers and pedestrians stopped and some joined in, drivers hooted in support and there was that uplifting feeling of strength of a campaign that involves everyone, from babies to pensioners, from doctors and nurses to patients and relatives, and all local residents.

 

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The politicians have no solutions. It's time to organise the fightback! - 18 October 2009

frfispeakingtour

The London meeting of the Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! Speaking Tour event organised by the Revolutionary Communist Group took place on Saturday 18 October 2009 at Bolivar Hall, London. The day school consisted of two discussions: one on Socialist Cuba and ALBA; the other on the capitalist crisis and imperialism. The speaker on Cuba provided an in-depth analysis of how Cuba survived periods of economic crisis, without betraying its socialist principles and welfare-based development model. Measures taken during Cuba's Special Period and in the current crisis demonstrate how in practice the socialist alternative to the destruction and brutality unleashed during crises under capitalism. The discussion also assessed the building of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) as a barrier to imperialist domination and capital penetration from the US and Europe and highlighted the importance of the Bank of ALBA, and the new virtual currency, the SUCRE, which will be launched early next year for ALBA trade.

In the second session David Yaffe explained the economic crisis and gave a detailed factual analysis of the parasitic nature of  capitalism.  He addressed the subjects of debt and British foreign investment and exposed the nonsensical denial of the very essence of imperialism, which emanates from large sections of the British Trotskyist left, especially the SWP.  He made it clear that the current crisis and the attacks on public services, such as health and education, can only be resisted by a new militant movement coming on to the streets and involving millions of working people, young and old, in work and unemployed, which is not tied to the ‘left’ of the Labour Party and traditional forces of the British Labour movement. It must be a movement which puts the interests of the whole working class above defending the narrow privilege of a labour aristocracy, which has been bribed with crumbs of the super-profits plundered from the oppressed nations of the world.

 

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RATB fundraiser - Mar 25 - go to the Rock Around The Blockade

RATB fundraiser - Mar 25 2007- go to the Rock Around The Blockade

First of all thanks to all the people who came down! Thanks to all the acts for giving it their all! And thanks to RATB for putting it all together.

A smashing evening!

Here are the pictures from the night @ 'Pleasure Unit':
"The ZongZing Allstars",
"DeadPlants" and
"MC Drop Dread Fred"

WHO WE ARE
Rock around the Blockade was founded in 1995 by the Revolutionary Communist Group and supporters of the newspaper Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and is open to anyone who supports Cuba's socialist revolution.

Global Capitalism - dead end for humanity
We live in a world of unprecedented wealth and technological progress and a world of unprecedented poverty and oppression. Twenty million people every year die of malnutrition amid mountains of surplus food. A third of the world's population doesn't have access to safe drinking water. A trillion dollars a year is spent on arms when just a quarter of that would ensure food, shelter, health and education for everyone in the world. The consumerism that suffocates us is portrayed as a triumph of civilisation by the capitalist media, while the very survival of humanity is threatened by the environmental destruction it generates.

These contradictions are not the result of poor decision making, corruption, bad luck or divine intervention. They are consequences of the economic system that dominates the world - imperialism - the super-exploitation of the world by a handful of rich capitalist countries. If the world is to change for the better, imperialism must be defeated and replaced by the only alternative - socialism.

Socialist Cuba - a beacon of hope
For over 40 years Cuba has defied imperialism. The Cuban people have withstood invasion, sabotage, terrorism, biological warfare and a sustained economic blockade at the hands of the world's most powerful economic and military power, the United States. They have given unyielding support to other poor countries. They have built socialist Cuba, a beacon of hope for poor and oppressed people throughout the world.
From the poverty and destitution that characterised pre-revolutionary Cuba, the socialist revolution can boast today:

  • Infant mortality rate of 6.4 per thousand and life expectancy 75 years - better than in many parts of Britain
  • A health service second to none with a doctor : patient ratio of 1:195, the best in the world! In Britain it is 1:518
  • Free education available to all - within ten years the average educational standard for Cubans will be graduate level
  • Institutionalised racism and other forms of discrimination have been eradicated
  • Women are supported by a national system of day centres for children - divorce, abortion and contraception are available as rights
  • Every Cuban can be sure of support from their community - despite the hardships of the 'Special Period', not a single school, hospital or old people's home has been closed since 1990

Throughout Latin America and Africa, thousands of Cuban doctors and nurses are helping to save lives and provide medical services. A school of medicine has been opened in Havana to provide free training to students from these countries and poor students from the United States. Cuba has offered the personnel and expertise to control the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Revolutionary Cuba shows us that it is possible to solve the problems created by capitalism; that it is possible to provide everyone in the world with the essentials for a dignified life even with limited material resources.

Britain needs socialism!
In Britain one third of our children live in poverty. Workers are forced into low-paid, insecure jobs. Thousands of pensioners without heating die every winter. The working class gets third rate health care and education, or none at all. Immigrants escaping economic and political persecution are criminalised. Racists and police attack black and Asian people every day.

In the last 40 years Cuba has revolutionised the lives and prospects of the Cuban people. Imagine the sort of society we could build in Britain with the technical advantages available now, if only we organised society on a socialist basis like the Cubans.

WHAT WE DO
RATB sees the struggle to defend the Cuban Revolution as part of our struggle to build socialism in Britain, not as a non-political humanitarian issue that has no lessons for our own country. We take the example of the Cuban Revolution onto the streets. We hold demonstrations, run street stalls, organise meetings, gigs and club nights to raise funds for Cuba. We provide a voice for Cuba through the pages of the newspaper Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and our own Viva Cuba newsletter and we keep Cuban youth informed about life in Britain through the pages of Juventud Rebelde, the newspaper of the Cuban Union of Young Communists (UJC).

In 1995 the UJC, which organises one in seven young Cubans, asked us to donate sound sound systems and disco equipment to provide entertainment for Cuban youth. At that time the British government had introduced the Criminal Justice Act which penalised young people and criminalised rave music. The contradiction was clear. Our capitalist government was threatened by youth culture and street parties. In Cuba they believed that young people needed 'soul food' to improve their quality of life.

So far RATB has taken four sound systems to Cuba. During the trip, people on the 'brigade' lived and worked among Cuban people, learning about how Cuban society is organised in the interests of people and not profit.

Boycott Bacardi!
In August 1999, RATB launched the Boycott Bacardi Campaign by closing down the corporation's British headquarters for a day. Bacardi backs the US blockade of Cuba and funds the right-wing Miami mafia which has committed repeated acts of terrorism against Cuba. The Boycott Bacardi Campaign is being picked up and duplicated throughout the world.

Get in contact, get involved and get active!

Rock around the Blockade c/o FRFI, BCM Box 5909, London WC1N 3XX.
Tel: 020 7837 1688 or e-mail:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Stop Deporting to the DRC! - Mar 28

Stop Deporting to the DRC! - Mar 28

Short report from todays Congo demo

LONDON
About 40 people assembled outside the Home Office in a very lively protest.

MANCHESTER
100 people marched to the city centre, where they staged a sit-down, and then moved on to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. Lively and loud.

GLASGOW
Over 100 people, a soundsystem and 30 Glasgow school kids

 

Free the Cuban Five! Close Guantanamo Base! Day of action in Britain - Apr 7

Free the Cuban Five! Close Guantanamo Base! Day of action in Britain - Apr 7

Activists from the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) and Rock around the Blockade (RATB), which campaigns in solidarity with the Cuban Revolution, took to the streets across Britain on Saturday 7th April, to demand freedom for the Cuban Five and an end to US occupation of Guantanamo Bay. The protests were among several activities organised by RCG/RATB during three months of international action called by the Union of Young Communists in Cuba, to demand the release of the five heroes. Today’s events were timed to coincide with demonstrations in New York and Los Angeles called by the April 7th Coalition in the United States.

Lively actions were help in busy city centres in Glasgow in Scotland, in Newcastle and Manchester in the north of England and in London, the capital city. The Cuban flag, a symbol of anti-imperialist resistance, flew proudly across the country, while thousands of leaflets were distributed informing the British public and tourists from all over the world about the international campaign to free the Cuban Five and about the achievements of Cuban socialism. Hundreds of signatures were collected on petitions, illustrating the significant support for Cuba, even here in the belly of the imperialist beast. Using loud-speakers (megaphones) to inform the public, activists condemned the US blockade of Cuba, Britain’s complicity in US imperialist aggression and explained how Cuban socialism demonstrates that ‘another world is possible’, a world based on people not profit.

In London and Newcastle we used street theatre to expose the hypocrisy of the US’s war on terrorism and plans for transition to a ‘free’ Cuba. Activists dressed in orange suits, with black hoods and chains to symbolise the brutal conditions for prisoners incarcerated by the US military in its concentration camp in illegally occupied Cuban territory in Guantanamo Bay. We pointed out that this was the ‘democracy’ which the Plan Bush dreamed of imposing on the Cuban people and that the decision to build Camp X-ray in Guantanamo was an insult to the socialist revolution in Cuba, a society which placed humanity and consciousness at the centre of development. The case of the Cuban Five and the US barbarity in Guantanamo illustrate the shameless hypocrisy of the US and Britain’s claim to be fighting a ‘war on terrorism’ and to represent the forces of freedom and civilisation.

In reality, Cuban socialism and the growing revolutionary movement sweeping Latin American, particularly in Venezuela and Bolivia are the real forces of progress for humanity. These countries have shown the benefits of cooperation in trade and development through ALBA – a powerful and democratic alterative to years of neo-liberal policies which have plundered the continent and plunged millions into poverty. Socialism is the only solution to salve humanity and the planet.

In Manchester the protest had an added attraction – the public had the chance to show their disgust with the Labour government by throwing wet sponges at one activist dressed as Tony Blair, giving him a good soaking in the process!

During the demonstrations, we raised funds for our campaign work in support of Cuba and for the solidarity brigade which we are sending to Cuba on 21st April, to work with the UJC in Caimito before taking part in the international conference to demand freedom for the five in Havana on 29-30 April. RCG/RATB will be donating over $5,000 to buy materials for a pioneers’ camp in Havana province. This is the tenth such brigade we have sent to Cuba in the 12 years since the solidarity group was founded.

Free the Cuban Five!
Close Guantanamo!
End the Blockade!
Viva Cuba!
Viva Fidel!

www.ratb.org.uk

 

Cuba solidarity campaigns unite! - May 19

Cuba solidarity campaigns unite! - May 19



Saturday 19 May 2007, members of several organisations: Rock Around the Blockade set up by the Revolutionary Communist Group, North London Cuba Solidarity Campaign, the Communist League and the Young Socialists, held a joint solidarity event to call for the immediate release of the 5 Cuban heroes. The protest was held in Trafalgar Square, in the centre of London, where protesters held up placards demanding the release of the Five, an end to the illegal US blockade of Cuba and incarceration for infamous terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. Many passers by, including tourists from around the globe, stopped to listen to speeches and slogans and took leaflets about the case of the Five and the example of the Cuban Revolution.


The demonstration of over 60 people concluded with a march to 10 Downing Street, home of the British Prime Minister, where members handed in a letter demanding that the British government intervene in the case of the Cuban Five and end its complicity with US attacks on the Cuban Revolution. Prime Minister Blair was not there to receive the letter – as he was in Iraq, where Britain has shown its true imperialist colours as junior partner to the fascist Bush administration responsible for a barbaric invasion.

The British government and the media censor the Cuban Revolution, because they fear that if the British public learns the truth about the island's achievements, they will support and emulate Cuba’s revolutionary process. Most of the population is sickened by the prospect of perpetual, imperialist war and by British involvement in the indefinite imprisonment in inhumane and brutal conditions of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and of torture in prisons in Iraq. Learning about the example of Cuba, an alternative society, could impel them to join a movement for revolutionary change.



Luis Posada Carriles may have escaped justice for now, but he will continue to symbolise the total hypocrisy of the US government. Communists and other activists here in Britain will continue to demand the immediate release of the Cuban Five. 14 activists from Rock around the Blockade recently returned from the international conference in Havana organised by the UJC and attended by 500 people from 49 countries to demand justice for the Cuban heroes. Rock around the Blockade.

 

Victory to the Intifada contingent on ENOUGH Palestine demo - June 9

Victory to the Intifada contingent on ENOUGH Palestine demo - June 9 

On Saturday 9th June a lively and angry contingent from the Victory to the Intifada campaign joined the national demonstration called by the ENOUGH coalition to demand an end to the 40 year occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. Organisers claimed 20,000 people participated in the march, although the actual figure was closer to 5,000.

Following is an excerpt from leaflets we handed out on the day.

Defend the Palestinian people!
End Labour backing for Zionist terror!


The national demonstration on 9 June commemorates 40 years of illegal Zionist occupation of the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza. Those 40 years have been ones of continuous resistance which have pitted the Palestinian people against the Zionist state and its imperialist supporters – principally US and Britain. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have died as they fought Zionist terror to establish an independent and sovereign state: 25,000 during the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, over 1,000 in the first Intifada, and now over 4,000 in the second Intifada. This excludes those who have been killed in the years in between as the Israeli state attempted in vain to crush the national liberation struggle.



Today Zionist terror continues unabated. In 2006, Zionists forces murdered 550 Palestinians including 141 children, three times as many as the previous year. This followed the election of the Hamas government in January 2006. 23 Israelis died as a consequence of Palestinian actions. The economic and financial blockade that the Zionists and western imperialism have maintained on the Palestinian people for nearly 18 months is causing desperate suffering. According to a recent Oxfam report:
• The number of Palestinians living on poverty has risen 30% since April 2006,
• Over 70% of 161,000 PA workers with an estimated one million dependents live in poverty;
• The number of Palestinians living in absolute poverty (on less than 50 US cents a day) nearly doubled to over one million in 2006
• 46% of Palestinians now do not have enough food to meet their needs

Meanwhile imperialism is arming Fatah-dominated security forces associated with Palestinian President Abbas with the intention that they take on Hamas. Recent fighting in Gaza has cost the lives of more than 50 Palestinians; Israeli air strikes in support of Abbas forces killed a further 48.



Labour backs the Zionists

The imperialist British Labour government has zealously and unconditionally backed Israel throughout the years of the second Intifada. One of Blair’s early steps after winning the 1997 election was to appoint Lord Levy, a prominent Zionist in the Israeli Labour Party, as his special adviser on the Middle East. Labour has supplied arms to the Israeli state which have been used against the Palestinian people. It has repeatedly condemned Palestinian resistance to occupation as ‘terror’. It has never called for action against the continuously expanding Zionist settlements on the West Bank, nor the building of the apartheid wall. Nor has it raised the Zionists’ continued detention of one-third of the democratically-elected Palestinian Legislative Council in any international forum. Along with the US and the EU it maintains the financial and economic blockade that is creating so much suffering for the Palestinian people.

Building a movement here
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! has always supported the Palestinian people. We have consistently opposed the racist and imperialist Labour government as it defended and excused Zionist terror. We have also taken action against the most prominent corporate backer of the Zionist state, Marks and Spencer. M&S is the principal company behind the British-Israeli Chamber of Commerce. It has maintained its founders’ support for Zionism and today imports over £240 million of Israeli goods, including some illegally imported from the Occupied Territories. FRFI backs a boycott of M&S as a means of giving focus to the campaign to boycott Israeli goods. Those who suggest this campaign could be seen as anti-semitic ignore the fact that it has been a public limited company for 80 years and use it as an excuse for their own inaction. Today more than ever we need an active movement in support of the Palestinian people, one which opposes Labour and British imperialism and asserts the right of the Palestinian people to take whatever steps they consider necessary to free themselves from the Zionist yoke.

Boycott Marks and Spencer!

For some video clips, click on these links;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqWBz5T5hyg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-S90AXdxlg

 

Another life stolen by the prison system- June 13

Another life stolen by the prison system- June 13

HMP Styal - Wednesday 13 June 2007 Demonstration to protest against the death of mother Helen Mary Cole, 48 who died in the 'care' of the prison on 3 June 2007.

STYAL PRISON CHESHIRE
HELEN COLE, 48
DIED 3 JUNE 2007
WHY?

 

Support Prisoners - July 9

Support Prisoners - July 9

On 13 June and 9 July FRFI supporters in Manchester and London joined the demonstrations outside Styal and Holloway prisons organised by Pauline Campbell. Since 2004 Pauline, whose daughter Sarah died in Styal, has mounted a relentless campaign to expose the inhumanity of the system. At the Holloway demonstration, in protest against the death of Marie Cox on 30 June, Pauline was viciously assaulted by the local police as she and Gwen Calvert, the mother of Paul Calvert, who died in Pentonville symbolically blocked the path to the prison to prevent any more women being brought into the gaol.



On 25 May, 8 June and 13 July comrades in London and Scotland supported the Friends of John Bowden campaign demonstrations outside the Parole Board and Scottish Prison Service. John, who is serving a life sentence and who has written many articles for FRFI about the prison struggle over the past 25 years, would have been expected to be released this year, but has been sent from an open to closed prison following the writing of a report on his contact with the Anarchist Black Cross.  For further information contact

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
http://www.myspace.com/friendsofjohnbowden

Photo taken by Peter Marshall
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. home
Homepage: http://mylondondiary.co.uk

 

May 19 day of action - Organising against Labour’s racist immigration laws

May 19 day of action - Organising against Labour’s racist immigration laws

On 19 May a successful day of action took place in cities throughout England and Scotland in protest against the British government’s continuing attacks on asylum seekers.  The action was called and co-ordinated by Tyneside Community Action for Refugees, who organised a 200-strong demonstration in Newcastle city centre on the theme of ‘You will not snatch us silently!’

The demonstration was anything but silent. Participants brought pots, drums and whistles and there was constant chanting of ‘One, two, three, four: Deportation no more!’, ‘Together! Together! Together we are stronger!’ and ‘Deportation is a crime: Lock up Labour!’ The march culminated in an open mic rally. Speakers included members the RCG, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Zimbabwean opposition group MDC, as well as many more members and supporters of TCAR. At least three of the speakers were under the age of 14 and young people were the main participants in the street theatre, which told a story about a dawn raid, the detention and deportation of a Congolese woman and her baby. Young members of TCAR, some of who have witnessed dawn raids themselves, acted out an immigration snatch squad, kicking down a door and dragging out mother and child. Costumes and a large cardboard cage added to the visual impact of the theatre while a narrator explained what was happening so that passers-by could learn more about the reality for asylum seekers. Demonstrators hissed and booed the immigration officials.

Comrades in TCAR report that the last year has shown a distinct shift in attitudes about asylum seekers with a lot more open support being shown in communities and on the streets. The organisers of the 19 May events were inspired by the support the demonstration received from working class residents of Newcastle, who spoke spontaneously and passionately on the open mic about the racism of the current system and  the need for solidarity with asylum seekers.

In Manchester FRFI and the North West Asylum Seekers Defence Group (NWASDG) responded to TCAR’s call for action by organising a march in from Strangeways prison where asylum seekers are detained, to the city hall. The march was attended by asylum seekers and refugees from the Congo Support Project (CSP), International organisation of Iranian Refugees, and Ethiopian, Eritrean and Kurdish communities, as well as by the Sukula Must Stay Campaign, Drumroots, and local working class people and students. Over 80 people rallied at Strangeways in the rain for 20 minutes with good speeches about the need to work together against the oppression of asylum seekers and calling for those held at the prison to be released. This was followed by a lively militant march to Albert Square, where militant CSP speakers highlighted the treatment of asylum seekers in Britain by the racist Labour government and denounced Britain for supporting Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) president Kabila just as it supported the late despot Mobutu.  A speaker from Ethiopia denounced Britain’s deliberate policy of using destitution as a means of trying to force asylum seekers to leave this country. A 10-year-old Kurdish girl spoke about how people in her country were being attacked and her family were not allowed to live in peace - ‘that’s why we had to run away'.

An FRFI speaker spoke about how Cuba was now free from the very oppression and exploitation that asylum seekers were fleeing, having rid itself of imperialism in 1959: 'it is clear that people don't want to live under imperialist oppression, that why asylum seekers are fleeing in the first place'.
 
In Glasgow, 60 people marched from the immigration courts to the city centre, with banners demanding equal rights for all. Members of Unity handed out leaflets to the public informing them of the reality of asylum seekers’ lives as the march chanted against dawn raids and detention. At the rally in St Enoch square asylum seekers spoke out against criminalisation and vowed to resist deportations back to Turkey, Rwanda, DRC, Algeria and other countries deemed ‘safe’ by Home Office bureaucrats. A comrade from the RCG spoke, stating the real criminals are those British politicians who support the brutal occupation of Iraq, the genocidal war in the DRC and the fascist state in Turkey. He urged Scottish people to unite with asylum seekers in the struggle against poverty and racism. The demonstration finished with chants of ‘the Home Office is the real criminal!’

In London Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! called a demonstration outside Communications House Immigration Reporting Centre on Friday 18 May, supported by London No Borders, Crossing Borders, Crossroads Women's Centre, All African Women's group and the Medecins du Monde London Project.  It was a noisy, lively and visual event with banners, speakers and chanting. One woman speaker, herself targeted by the racist immigration system, graphically described the degrading and humiliating practices used against women and children during their detention and deportation.

On 19 May a group of activists mobilised by north London FRFI held a street stall at Wood Green. In Nottingham No Borders also responded to TCAR’s call out and held a street stall on the Saturday afternoon, while in Leeds No Borders held an Asylum Solidarity Day in a social centre, which was attended by about 60 people.

No detention! No deportation!
Fight Labour’s racist immigration laws!
An injury to one is an injury to all! 

 

London branches

North London
020 7837 1688
northlondonfrfi@gmail.com

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