Venue cancels Palestine meeting: defend free speech!

St Margarets House

A community meeting for the launch of our latest pamphlet End British Support for Zionism: Isolate the Israeli State called by FRFI for Tuesday 12 of March, has been censored by the CEO and board of Trustees of St Margaret’s House in Bethnal Green. CEO and board member Tony Hardie issued an immediate and last minute cancellation of the event, stating that 'St. Margaret’s House would never knowingly host an event of this nature.' It was made clear to FRFI that the organisation was concerned with the perception of such an event by members of the public, given that they are a publicly funded entity. It is apparent that this organisation, like many others, claim to serve the public and promote social welfare, but are more concerned with appealing to the status quo of the racist British state to secure funding than to allow spaces for members of the community of which they claim to serve to gather and discuss the importance of resisting Britain’s support for the genocide of the Palestinian people.

The democratic right to support the Palestinian people and their resistance to genocide is under extreme systematic attack in Britain. For months, we have seen targeted political arrests by the Met police and attempts to criminalise legal and democratic demonstrations of solidarity with Palestine. We have seen the blatantly racist and inflammatory threats by Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove to crack down on organisations which they have baselessly labeled as 'extremist' simply for opposing British state-sanctioned racism and violence. Censorship of Palestinian solidarity has increased over recent years, escalating in 2017 with the Corbyn-led Labour Party’s enforcement of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, used to attempt to sabotage Palestine solidarity events.

As the Zionist state continues, with impunity, its genocide campaign to obliterate the Palestinians in Gaza with British-manufactured weapons, British investment, and the unwavering support from the British ruling class, now more than ever it is imperative for those of us within the imperial core to fervently defend free speech on Palestine and oppose all attempts to censor solidarity. We must name and resist political censorship as the British state attempts to villainize and silence entities that challenge its imperialist agenda and its unconditional support of the Israeli state. We must refuse to be silenced by racist politicians, police or publically funded organisations!

Due to the cancellation and censorship of our community meeting, we will be announcing the updated details about the new time, date, and location imminently. Please join us in our campaign to End British Support for Zionism and demand sanctions on the Israeli state!