Thursday, 11 November 2010

WFPSC Boycott Action and Lobby of Parliament

WFPSC Boycott Action Saturday 13 November

Join us on Saturday the 13th November at 12.30pm at the Café Rio in the High Street in Walthamstow for a boycott stall and leafleting action at local supermarkets.

Please email us if you are coming:

More info about BDS:

Sainsbury's petition:


Lobby of Parliament 24 November - WFPSC is organising the lobby of our local MPs

Please get in touch with us urgently if you are available on Wednesday the 24th November from 2pm onwards to join us in Parliament to lobby our MPs for Palestine .

We are especially interested to hear from members and supporters who are constituents of John Cryer MP (Leyton/Leytonstone) and Ian Duncan-Smith (Chingford)!!! Please get in touch with us if you can come and lobby them on the 24th


For more info on the lobby:


End of Year Get Together

We would like to invite all our members and supporters to join us for a social night out on Wednesday the 8th December 7.30pm at a Restaurant, in St James Street , Walthamstow

Please RSVP before Friday 3rd December to:


Friday, 5 November 2010

Boycott Israeli Goods Week! All welcome to WFPSC Branch meeting, Mon 8th Nov, 7pm-ish, Hornbeam Centre, Walthamstow

Lots of exciting and productive "Boycott Israeli Goods" activities going on around the country this week.

WFPSC wants to do its bit delivering the Boycott Israeli Goods message to the Waltham Forest public. We've got a good track record of jumping up and down in local supermarkets, and we want to make our next activity even more interesting and effective.

To join in, attend our Branch Meeting on Monday evening, at Hornbeam in Walthamstow (see details, across this blog page, on the right).

Offer your time to become a loud, proud, boycotter for your borough! Join our law-abiding, non-violent, peace-able but visual, verbal and emphatic action.

WFPSC really looks forward to seeing you on Monday evening at Hornbeam in Walthamstow. Tea/coffee and cake will be provided!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

DEMONSTRATE! TODAY, 5pm - Support the 'Jewish Boat to Gaza'!



Jewish Boat to Gaza - on a highly publicised humanitarian aid mission to the besieged and embattled people of Palestine in Gaza, and supported by many Jewish organisations and celebrities from around the world - has been boarded illegally in international waters by Israeli armed forces off the Gaza coast of Palestine.

Two British Citizens on board - the captain, Glyn Secker, and photojournalist Vish Vishvanath - have been siezed and their whereabouts and welfare are unknown. The Israeli military have stated that the boat, the Irene (a british flagged vessel) is being towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod. However, this has not been confirmed by the boats' supporters since all communication with the boat's passengers and crew has been cut by the Israeli military.

The British Foreign & Commonwealth office has been alerted to the plight of the two British citizens by UK supporters, and are now in liaison with Mr Secker and Mr Vishvanath's next of kin.

However, as yet, no official comment from the UK Government has been made. This despite the thorough and detailed news coverage in the UK and international media throughout the day, and the substantial knowledge of the current situation by UK diplomats. This latest act of piracy is a further grave insult to international law by the Israeli Government, and yet another instance of UK Citizens' rights being violated by that belligerent foreign power.

We call on the British Government to:
* ensure full consular access by UK diplomatic staff to the two British citizens currently being kidnapped by Israel.
* ensure the health, safety and well-being of the British citizens is made of paramount concern to their Israeli kidnappers.
* ensure none of the British citizens' possessions or personal effects of any kind are stolen by Israeli kidnappers, including ensuring that passports are left untampered with and identities are protected.
* uphold international law* actively defend the rights of its own UK citizenry to champion human and civil rights in accordance with international law wherever those rights are violated anywhere in the world
* enact its own policies of redress for previous violations and protection from current violations of humanitarian and civil rights for all Palestinians
* formally and actively hold the Israeli Government to account for its countless examples of blatant disregard and disrespect of international law.

The UK Government has long stated its humanitarian and civil rights commitments both to the Palestinians and its own British citizens.

Now is the time to act on those commitments to the full, and bring the Israeli Government to book. Enough is enough.

Further information:
Jewish Boat to Gaza -
- Vish Vishvanath, Freelance photographer and reporter.
- Glyn Secker, from the UK, is the boat’s captain and a member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians Executive Commitee.
Jews for Justice for Palestinians -

Monday, 27 September 2010

WFPSC wishing the Jewish Boat to Gaza every success!

Everyone at WFPSC is excited and proud that Jews for Justice for Palestinians, the excellent UK-based civil and human rights organisation, in collaboration with a broad range of other Jewish groups from around the world, has launched the good ship Irene from Cyprus - on her peaceful mission of aid and solidarity to the Palestinians in Gaza. Click here to read Jewish Boat to Gaza's team updates and wish all the passengers, crew and its many supporters a safe and successful journey!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

WFPSC - New Season Calendar

On WFPSC website, find the list of regular WFPSC meetings (in right-hand column). WFPSC will keep this on-line calendar updated, so you will always know about meetings well in advance. Please take a moment to copy the current entries into your diaries! But remember to check back, regularly, for changes/additions/cancellations. Here is a sneak preview:

(all at Hornbeam Centre, Walthamstow, 7-10pm)
Sat, 8 January 2011
Tues, 8 March 2011
Sun, 8 May 2011
Fri, 8 July 2011 - AGM

The biggest, most important contribution, you can make to WFPSC is to take a turn staffing WFPSC's information & merchandise stalls. If enough of you volunteer throughout the year, you'll only be needed once every six months, or fewer times than that!
WFPSC has come to learn that our stalls are VITAL in the borough - we have more enjoyment, hilarity, intense argument, persuasion, learning, bonding, selling, teaching, fundraising, political epihany-ing, community spirit building, cake and coffee consuming at our stall tables than at any other time or place. Our stalls are THE place for your friends and family to recognise your efforts, brimming with pride. They are extremely easy to run, and you'll be trained up. Please fill in your details below:





(Delete as applicable:) YES, I HAVE CAR. | NO, SORRY, NO CAR.

Choose date(s) from the lists below, by typing "YES" next to them

We need to safeguard our right, as UK citizens, to arrest foreign war criminals when they visit the UK, and other important legal measures that enable us Brits to undertake the mammoth task of holding to account war criminals, human and civil rights abusers. Erosion of these vital rights must not be allowed to happen by any of our Governments, current or future, whichever political party happens to be in power at the time.

WFPSC's simple, local, task is to pin all our local Waltham Forest political representatives, at any level and of any hue, into a political corner and forbid them from allowing our rights to be removed. We need them to help us retain our legal rights to bring to account those who willfully perpetrate war and other crimes against Palestinians but who are not being held to account in their own countries.

In practice, this means letter writing - to all your relevant MP (one of Ian Duncan Smith, Stella Creasy or John Cryer); to any relevant prospective MP candidates from any political party (although we don't really know who they are now, so maybe we just write to your local party chairmen and women?); to all your local councillors; and to your London Assembly and EU Parliamentary member as well. To find out who these political folks are, discover them at:

For detailed info on what Universal Jurisdiction is about, take a look at: - note the PDF briefing MPs - Michael Mansfield's letter to the Guardian

Enjoy your letter writing!! Palestinians are relying on your every word. No pressure, then....

All the team look forwards to your deluge of volunteering replies!

Best wishes
Ellie Merton
Chair, WFPSC

Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Patrons: Neil Gerrard, Jean Lambert MEP, Prof Nur Masalha
Facebook: 'Wfpsc London'
Post: WFPSC, PO Box 64002, Walthamstow, London E17 0HD
Waltham Forest PSC encourages you to Boycott Israeli Goods. Instead BUY PALESTINIAN fairtrade organic goods from our local Zaytoun distributor -

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

WFPSC and JBIG covered by Israeli Channel 10 news documentary

Click here to see the documentary, the visuals of which get going a few seconds after the sound!

WFPSC/JBIG feature at the beginning, focussing on our Leytonstone Tesco's direct action.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Big Lunch, Walthamstow - Sun 18 July 2010, from 3pm

It's tomorrow!! EVERYONE WELCOME!!!

We are all SO excited! What are YOU going to bring??

A pudding? cartons of orange juice? a bowl of tabouleh? a mountain of pakora? a heap of samosas? some cobbled-together paperchains? a handful of balloons? fairy cakes? houmus and olives? greek salad? mini vine leaves? a stonking bowl of eton mess? bowls of raspberries? apple cake? armfuls of fresh flatbread? hunks of cheese? anything with pistachios?

And don't forget the WFPSC AGM will take place at 4pm for all those interested but it won't get in the way of the fun, frolics, and street celebration of Walthamstow's unique diversity!

Hurrah for our bonkers borough, Waltham Forest! Yay!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Big Lunch, Walthamstow & WFPSC AGM - Sunday 18th July, from 3pm

Everyone welcome!

with special guest speaker, Press TV’s Gaza reporter

3pm onwards

please feel free to bring along:
  • Food (felafel, humus, bread, dips, murg tikka, vine leaves, tablouleh, samosas, pakora, greek salad, anything palestinian, cakes, puddings, strawberries, raspberries, other fruit - healthy delicious food you like to eat!)
  • Drink (anything soft, eg. orange, cranberry, raspberry, apple juice)
  • Jolly decorations - balloons, posters, paper chains - whatever takes your fancy!!

Liz will have her Fair Trade stall there, with Palestinian organic olives, dried tomatoes, olive oil....

To coordinate what to bring, contact
or sign up at the “Big Lunch” website:
venue is outside in the parking lot next to
152b Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 4QR
(from Walthamstow tube: north up Hoe St, left into Hatherley Rd)

Location -

An “Eden Project” idea, put into action by Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Friday 9th July - "Boycott Israeli Goods - national day of action!"

If you can't quite make it to the WFPSC/WFSTW meeting about Gaza tonight, nothing can stop you taking part in the Global BDS Day of Action tomorrow, because you don't have to set foot outside your front door to join in!!!

BOYCOTT ISRAELI GOODS – “BIG national day of action”
Friday 9th July, all day long

Spend a happy Friday jamming telephone/fax/email lines around the country, writing hard-hitting letters to clog up in-trays, and dressing to impress.
Extremely effective way to campaign, something the whole family can get involved doing – young and old - and so easy to do from the peace and quiet of your office/home computer, your mobile/landline, your desk or a handy coffee shop: whatever takes your fancy!
This year we’re targeting Morrisons and Sainsburys:


Morrisons – 0845 611 6111 (lines open 7.30 a.m. – 6.30 p.m).
Sainsbury - 0800 636 262 (lines open 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.)

Demand answers to the following queries:
· “Why is your supermarket sourcing produce from a country that repeatedly violates international law?”
· “Why is your supermarket sourcing produce from companies that operate on land where Palestinians cannot live or work? (the Jordan Valley)”
· “Why are you sourcing produce from companies that operate in illegal settlements and which benefit from an Apartheid system inside Israel?”
· “Why are you sourcing produce from companies which are all benefiting from the illegal theft of Palestinian water and the theft of Palestinian land?”


You could go online, or snail mail – whatever you prefer! Contact the national headquarters addressing your comments to Customer Services, or pick your local store addressing your comments to the store manager:

Morrisons on-line Comments Form - click here
Morrisons Store Finder – click here
Morrisons HQ address – Morrisons, Hilmore House, Gain lane, Bradford, BD3 7DL

Sainsbury's on-line Comments Form – click here
Sainbury's Store Finder - click here
Sainbury's HQ address - Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd, 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT

Challenge the supermarkets about the following:
· "supermarkets are known to be trading with Israeli companies, because the labeling on products tells us so."
· "you must end business with Israeli companies that are profiting from Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and Israel’s apartheid policies."
· "Israeli export companies known to be supplying British supermarkets like yours include: Carmel Agrexco, Arava and Mehadrin Tnuport Export (MTEX)."
· "All these Israeli companies are profiting from Israel’s violations of international law, making its UK trading partners such as your supermarket complicit."


Wear your “Boycott Israeli Goods” badges with pride! Keep on wearing them! Israel has been in the news so much recently (for murdering civilians on the Gaza Flotilla, etc. etc.) that the general public are noticing badges, and now is the time to tell people about the boycott, in whatever way we can. Wear badges; give out badges on the street; call on all your supporters to wear badges!

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 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 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 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 ( 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 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 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
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
Address: PO Box 64002, London, E17 0HD

Monday, 31 May 2010

DEMONSTRATE in support of the Free Gaza Flotilla, today, Monday 31st May - at 2pm - opposite Downing Street

- URGENT - DEMONSTRATION today, MONDAY 31st May, at 2PM, opposite DOWNING STREET, Whitehall, London, in protest at the treatment by the Israeli Navy of the humanitarian aid relief FREE GAZA FLOTILLA

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Israeli Navy threatening Gaza Freedom Humanitarian Aid Flotilla, full of non-violent peace and humanitarian aid activists in International Waters

We have all just heard live from Hassan Ghani, Sarah Colborne and all the other national spokespeople on the IHH Boat that the Flotilla has got rada contact showing 3 Israeli warships approaching, with one visible to IHH boat eyes. There are drones flying overhead. The flotilla is between 90 and 120 miles out at sea. That is far outside the 68 mile exclusion zone Israel has today (illegally) declared. The ships are clearly in international waters. The flotilla passengers all have life belts on, clearly anxious, but organised and determined.

Watch the IHH deck live (Blood Pressure Warning: the stream keeps freezing, buffering and pausing for obvious reasons):

I have already spoken to the Foreign Office Emergency Response team, who are not in the position of doing anything pro-actively (they never are, it's just not their job). They are acutely aware of the flotilla's situation and ready to assist as appropriate any UK citizens abroad, or their direct relatives, "who need or request consular assistance".

The people we really have to hammer away at are our elected representatives. We HAVE to email/phone/text our Government Ministers - AND YOUR INDIVIDUAL CONSTITUENCY MP - to get them to support the convoy and tell the Israeli Navy to bugger off:

1) PHONE - the BBC and SKY and ask them WHY there has been virtually no coverage of the Freedom Flotilla which has 40 British passengers and crew on board (in total across all the ships) and is being threatened by the Israeli Navy with armed attack? Contact them on BBC 020 8624 9111 and SKY 020 7705 3000.


TELEPHONE Nick Clegg at the following numbers:
Sheffield Hallam constituency office - 0114 230 9002
House of Commons - 020 7219 2371

Please do your utmost to raise support and lobby for safety for the flotilla.
There are moves to hold a DEMONSTRATION AT DOWNING STREET AT 2PM, TOMORROW MONDAY 31ST MAY whatever happens this evening. As soon as I get more information about this you'll know!!

Best wishes
Ellie Merton
(Friend of Tox on the IHH boat,
Viva Palestina Convoy 3, a driver of ambulance F5,
Chair, Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

LATEST FLOTILLA UPDATE!! and some branch news...

Latest news (Sunday 30th May, 0900 BST) is that the Flotilla has probably got going to leave Cypriot international waters, but I have the impression the MV Rachel Corrie hasn't quite caught up yet, although all the other ships/loads of VIPS have. Not sure.... but it seems that way. The Flotilla's path to Gaza will take something like 22 hours, or longer since they are rather crawling along, and many of us are guessing that the Israeli Navy will try to attack the convoy during Sunday night (if that's still on the cards for them tactically - there again it may not be now....) or there will be some kind of standoff on Monday morning, near Gazan waters, possibly something like 25 miles out which is the limit of Israel's (illegal) patrolling zone. PSC central are considering a London demo on Tuesday, but this may be moved depending on what kind of standoff might occur.... It's all, as they say, fluid!

Best wishes
Chair, WFPSC

REMEMBER - see FACEBOOK: Wfpsc London

sent: Sat 29 May 2010, lunchtime

Ahoy Sailors!

FREE GAZA FLOTILLA - off the coast of Cyprus

At present, as far as Ellie can work out (lunchtime, Saturday 29th May) the extraordinary humanitarian aid relief Free Gaza Freedom Flotilla is still gathering in international waters off Cyprus. Onboard is Tox, from Walthamstow along with lots of WFPSC friends who went on the Viva Palestina Convoy Dec 09/Jan this year. Greek cypriot authorities banned the boats from going through Cypriot waters. As a result of all this, MV Rachel Corrie has taken a long time to catch up with the IHH ships and the rest of the Free Gaza Movement boats. One of the Free Gaza little boats has broken down so all those passengers have been transfered onto the big IHH passenger boat now. There may be other problems going on as well, but it's hard to tell at this juncture. It is possible Israeli Government is already jamming the communications links to some extent, but that is uncorroborated.

Meanwhile, more concretely, the Israeli Government is threatening the usual military action, preparing the Navy to assault the boats and take ships and passengers to Ashdod, in order to ransack/steal the aid, and deport/imprison the 750 activists (and crew?). But the threats are hollow at the moment, because the flotilla hasn't really set off yet!

In terms of WHEN we demonstrate in London (because of course we will...) there has already been a demo outside the Israeli embassy. PSC and Stop the War Coalition are coordinating to back a second demo ONCE the flotilla is properly underway (which it isn't yet) and Israeli government is genuinely about to enact their threats. I'll let you know soonest once we have that news. My sources on the boats, and at Free Gaza and PSC doubt anything will happen today (Saturday), but it might later in the Bank Holiday weekend.

HOWEVER, there is much action to be taken now - using computers and telephones - to lobby politicians and media to get them to support the flotilla.

1) PHONE - the BBC and SKY and ask them WHY there has been virtually no coverage of the Freedom Flotilla which has 40 British passengers and crew on board (in total across all the ships) and is being threatened by the Israeli Navy with armed attack? Contact them on BBC 020 8624 9111 and SKY 020 7705 3000.


TELEPHONE Nick Clegg at the following numbers:
Sheffield Hallam constituency office - 0114 230 9002
House of Commons - 020 7219 2371



Dear Mr Clegg,

I am writing to you to ask for you to show support for the International Flotilla of ships that is currently sailing towards Gaza. 750 people in 8 ships, loaded with 15,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid are due to dock in Gaza on Sunday afternoon.

However, the Israeli Government has issued serious threats, and the safety of all the passengers and crew is in substantial danger. Both passengers and crew pose NO THREAT, and should be allowed to sail safely into Gaza without incident, backed by international law, humanitarian law and maritime law. 35 passengers and crew are British nationals with further passengers being British residents, so you have a moral obligation with regards all their safety.

May I take this chance to remind you of your statements concerning Gaza and the illegal Israeli "Siege" quoted from your own article in the Guardian newspaper last year?

"The legacy of Operation Cast Lead is a living nightmare for one and a half million Palestinians squeezed into one of the most overcrowded and wretched stretches of land on the planet. And as Israel and Egypt maintain a near total blockade against Gaza, the misery deepens by the day."

You then went on to say:

"And what has the British government and the international community done to lift the blockade? Next to nothing. Tough-sounding declarations are issued at regular intervals but little real pressure is applied. It is a scandal that the international community has sat on its hands in the face of this unfolding crisis."

Mr Clegg, you yourself are now part of the British Government. What are you going to do? Are you going to call for an immediate end to the siege, or are you going to do what the previous Government did, which was nothing? This time, the buck stops with your administration, Mr Clegg.

So as you can see, it is now your turn to step up to the plate and be counted. In the last two days, the EU has called for an immediate end to the siege, and for the flotilla to be allowed a safe passage into Gaza. John Ging from UNWRA has even called for aid agencies to use Gaza port because the roads are blocked by Israel and Egypt. UN HQ has asked for the flotilla's safe delivery. Will you join these voices? Will you say "Enough Is Enough"?

I look forward to your response since time is of the essence.

Yours sincerely

Remember, keep your eyes open for new emails/text messages calling for your attendance at a Demo in Central London!


WEDNESDAY 9th JUNE - evening!

All about how we function, get things done: your time to come up with ideas


You will all be asked to volunteer yourselves to help arrange activities of your own choosing, get involved in the nitty gritty, and suggest your own activities that you would like to see come to fruition over the coming months. There are some great opportunities coming up; we want to hear your suggestions for how we tackle them best, and get them achieved. There is so much to be done and with your contribution, however small, we can do so much more. Please come along and take part - tell us your thoughts and offer us your time, your expertise, your enthusiasm and your willingness to make life better for Palestinians through our work in the UK and Palestine.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Report on fascinating foreign affairs discussion with MP candidates in Waltham Forest

Making Palestine the issue at the General Election!!

Thanks heaps to everyone who made it to the pre-Election foreign affairs discussion at Fresh'a'licious on Fri 23rd April 2010, particularly all those who haven't been to one of our knees-ups before! It was a joy to welcome yet more new faces to the WFPSC fan-base! Three hours later and we were still talking and debating and swapping experiences.... A fascinating evening.

Thanks to Cath Arakelian (Chingford - Labour candidate) for her amazing work at distilling foreign affairs, and particularly palestinian policy, from all the party manifestos, and giving us an insight into her trip to the West Bank in January. Cath also brought us news from Stella Creasy. Through Cath, Stella made assurances about her support for Palestine, although she felt least in favour of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign (which, to our audience was interesting, as that is the principal part of the Free Palestine campaign that is having internationally positive effects for Palestinian support). Cath did a brilliant job at answering everyone's questions on a range of international issues, pledged her support for all the PSC initiatives and concerns, and proved herself yet again a strong defender of Palestinian rights.

Thanks also to the Lib Dem candidate for Walthamstow, Farid Ahmed, who eventually made it to the meeting having extricated himself from "helping the police" about the Lib Dem office's unusual 'visit' from four members of Islam4UK. Farid managed to answer a lot of questions about what Nick Clegg was up to, and point at some very positive moves by the Lib Dems in relation to Palestine, and perhaps a more rational policy-making mentality than other parties. That remains to be proven once the count is done. However, unusually, the group thanked Farid for his honesty and humility in his answers, and were pleased he openly promised to visit Palestine sooner rather than later whether or not he got into power and that Palestine would be one of his key interests as an MP. He also signed, in ink (!) all the PSC pledges and Cath filmed him doing that so we have evidence! Farid, it has to be acknowledged, has been the most upfront and forthcoming with his Palestinian support since we very first set up WFPSC so we're pleased that, over a year on, he's still treating Palestine as an important issue, and one of upmost relevance to Waltham Forest residents.

The Conservative candidate for Leyton (Ed Northover) was not able to be at the meeting in the end, since he had another engagement at 7.30 that we knew about. He had hoped to come along afterwards and it would have been good to hear how he is getting on with putting foreign policy in the spotlight in Leyton but, nonetheless, it still stands that Edwin has engaged in Palestinian issues and bothered to support our twinning efforts with Beit Lahiya, and engage in the debate on ways to bring about a stable Palestinian state, where his political colleagues don't have such integrity.

Inevitably, however, our main focus of discussion revolved around the intransigence (and ineptness) of British Foreign Policy, irrespective of which political party was in power. To a certain extent, it was felt, foreign policy was a constant that was untouched and unaffected by temporal shifts in political leadership. Most felt foreign policy was pretty much in hock to the US, and thereby (currently at any rate) being pro Israel, whatever UK politicians might wish for otherwise and irrespective of what the rest of the international community might think is wise. We discussed China, Syria, the US, the EU (particularly the dreaded EU/Israel Association Trade Agreement), the African states, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan but all very much from the viewpoint of how UK policy in those countries affects how we then treat Palestine. We discuss BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) and particularly the arms trade: what level of arms trade in the UK is really having an effect on UK foreign policy. In particular we discussed how the UK could view Israel as a "friendly" country now in the wake of the Goldstone report, the passports fiasco and all the flouting of international humanitarian, civil rights and criminal law. Would any party be so bold as to change it's mind on the "friendly" country tag? Would any party "dare" to recognise Israel as the Apartheid state it so categorically has been proven to be?

Most importantly we had people at the meeting who were either Palestinian, or had lived in Palestine or had Palestinian connections. To us, this focus on what Palestinians think and how the UK comes across to them is extremely important and gives us a legitimacy in our work which is vital to WFPSC's well-being. For political candidates to be cross-questioned about Palestine by Palestinians, as opposed to anyone else, is key.

There is much more to do to engage our local politicians in understanding the importance of Palestinian sovereignty to the stability of the Middle East and the diffusing of many of the world's conflicts, not least make Waltham Forest's very diversely international community more at ease with each other. However, we really welcome the time taken by Farid, Cath and Edwin to make the effort already. If only all politicians were so thoughtful and willing.

You can still play your part in making Palestine the issue at the General Election: SEND OFF THE PSC 'PLEDGES' LETTER "PALESTINE IS THE ISSUE" to all your local candidates, and make sure they respond!!

Best wishes
Chair, WFPSC
07770 376701

Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Patrons: Neil Gerrard MP, Jean Lambert MEP, Prof Nur Masalha
Address: PO Box 64002, London, E17 0HD

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Your chance in Waltham Forest to discuss Foreign Policy before the Election. FRIDAY at 7pm !!!

Make Palestine a massive issue at the General Election!

Make Palestine the Issue


ballot box graphicWe’ve had a fantastic response to our lobby of parliamentary candidates, with thousands of emails sent and over 1200 candidates lobbied. With only two weeks left until election day use our campaigning tool to contact your candidates and let them know the strength of public feeling for a just resolution for Palestine.

Over 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza are now into their fourth year of living under a horrific and brutal siege, and Israel’s continuing illegal settlement building programme throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem is further entrenching its illegal occupation. It is vital that MPs in the next Parliament understand they have a responsibility to act to end Israel’s violations of international law.

Ask them to show their support by signing up to PSC’s six election pledges:

  • Call on Israel to end its violations of international law, including ending its illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza
  • Oppose any attacks on universal jurisdiction and support bringing those responsible for war crimes to justice
  • Work to end the siege on Gaza
  • Call on the government to ban the import of settlement goods
  • Call on the government to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement
  • Call for an end to Britain’s arms trade with Israel

It only takes one minute. Just click here to find out who your Parliamentary candidates are and start lobbying. Please send replies to – candidates can also directly sign the pledge by sending their name, constituency and party to this email.

Find out if your local candidates have sign the pledge You may want to download our election briefing to send to your candidates with more in-depth information about the pledges.

In solidarity,


Hugh Lanning
Chair, Palestine Solidarity Campaign

P.S. please forward this email to your friends, family and colleagues and share our lobbying link on facebook and twitter!

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Wednesday, 24 March 2010

THURSDAY!! Rich Wiles speaking in Walthamstow at 7pm, Hornbeam Centre

Join us to hear about Rich Wiles' work in the West Bank - and his moving new book: "Behind the Wall"


Waltham Forest Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Branch meeting
Thurs 25th March, at 7pm
Hornbeam Centre
458 Hoe Street, E17 9AH