Palestinians at a checkpoint
Workshop on campaigning for BDS with elected local councils

Saturday 20 July 2013
St John's Church Hall, Princes Street, Edinburgh
12noon - 5pm



Recent months have seen developments in the campaign for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) to isolate the state of Israel until it ends its human rights violations against the Palestinian people:

  • Steven Hawking cancelled his attendance at a gala event in Israel, shocking supporters of Israel and giving a boost to the academic boycott of Israel
  • the Church of Scotland recently endorsed the rights of Palestinian refugees to return and called for a widespread debate on a document calling for BDS
  • Israeli settler company Eden Springs recently wrote to the Scottish Government asking for help to withstand a boycott campaign "threatening the future of Eden Springs UK"

Anger worldwide at Israeli crimes is also reflected in Scotland. This workshop will analyse how three Scottish Local Authority Councils were won to support for Palestinian human rights and the Palestinian call for BDS, and how similar efforts might be successful elsewhere.

The workshop is open to anyone interested in campaigning for BDS in their Local Authority Council, whether you are an elected Councillor or a concerned voter and ratepayer.

12.00 – 12.15         Registration

12.15 – 12.30        The Palestinian Call for BDS – Successes & Challenges

12.30 – 2.00pm      Winning local councils – How it was done: W Dunbartonshire, Stirling & Clackmannanshire
                                  Jim Bollan, West Dunbartonshire Council
                                 Colin Finlay, ex-Cllr. Stirlingshire
                                 Archie Drummond, Clackmannanshire Council

2.30pm – 3.30pm   Lessons for campaigners

3.45 – 4.45             Divesting local council pension funds

4.45 – 5.00             Concluding remarks

Registration fee £5. For payment details email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Audiences were so impressed by our young friends from Lajee Cultural Centre in Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem that they are back again this year. Your solidarity is especially needed now: Israeli occupation forces have been killing children and also arrested 53 people in recent days including two of the Lajee youth dancers. Defence of Children International reported: "Israeli soldiers shot and seriously injured two Palestinian teenagers at the entrance to Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem late February during separate clashes with demonstrators over the death of a Palestinian in Israeli custody."

Dancing in Aida Camp under the illegal apartheid WallIsraeli soldiers have used, as they routinely use, live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators. In Aida camp they use illegal dum-dum bullets. Saleh Amareen, aged 15, was shot dead outside the Lajee cultural Centre and another remains in critical condition.

Mohammed Al-Azza needed emergency surgery after he was shot in the face with a steel ball thinly-coated with rubber while taking photographs from the second floor of the Lajee Cultural Centre. Yesterday more homes in Aida Refugee Camp were trashed by Israeli soldiers.

SPSC is actively working to build these events organised by Lajee Cultural Advocacy Tour.
Contact for Lajee Cultural Advocacy Tour: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Lorna on 07775 27 93 97.

Main Events of Tour 2013

  • Sun 16th        GLASGOW Partick Burgh Halls 12noon
  • Tue 18th        EDINBURGH Old St. Paul’s Church  7pm
  • Thu 20th       ABERDEEN Queens Cross Church  7pm
  • Fri 21st         DUNDEE West Church  7pm
  • Sat 22nd        PERTH Solas Festival   12noon
  • Tue 25th        DERRY Playhouse Theatre           7pm
  • Thu 29th        BELFAST An Chultúrlann                 7pm

You are invited to participate in the latest of SPSC's open-ended discussion that explore the degree of consensus among participants on a range of topics that need to be addressed if campaigning for solidarity with Palestine is to be increasingly effective.

(Mahmoud Sarsak will be joining us for the discussion on Solidarity with Palestinian prisoners and G4S)

The discussions include:

  • World against Apartheid: a film on sports boycott against South African apartheid with lessons for today
  • No to Brand Israel/Stop Racist Tours/Lessons from Boycott Actions against Apartheid Israel
  • International Aid to Palestine - Who is it aiding?
  • Scottish Independence/What could it mean for Palestinian Solidarity
  • Campaign workshop on the Wood Group
  • Zionism and Settler Colonialism
  • Palestinian political prisoners
  • Campaign workshop on G4S

£30/£20 for full board for weekend in a beautiful setting in the Scottish Highlands near Perth.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register.

Rich Wiles, author of Behind the Wall, and a photographer who has run a photography skills project in Aida Camp, Bethlehem for many years, is editor of this important collection of contributions from Pluto Press, containing pieces from Desmond Tutu, Ken Loach, Iain Banks, Ronnie Kasrils, Omar Barghouti, Ramzy Baroud and others directly involved in this burgeoning movement, including SPSC's Mick Napier.

Israeli apartheid, colonisation and military occupation, enforced with extreme brutality and heartless bureaucracy, have made Palestine the litmus test of commitment to universal values and opposition to militarism and agression. So far, so good, but what can you do about changing this situation?

Rich Wiles will be speaking at venues across Scotland on the origins, role and future challenges for the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement as an auxiliary component of the Palestinian struggle for freedom.


Scottish tour, 'Generation Palestine - Voices from the BDS Movement': 23 - 30 June

Sunday 23 June Edinburgh, Augustine Church, George IV Bridge, 3pm
Monday 24 June  Glasgow, STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, 7.30pm
+ Jim Bollan, W Dunbartonshire Councillor
+ Lorna MacBean on cultural BDS & Batsheva
Chair is Sam McCartney of UNISON International Committee
Tuesday 25 June Falkirk, St Francis Xavier Church Hall, 7.30pm
+ Sofiah MacLeod, Stop the JNF International Committee
Chair is Duncan McCallum, Falkirk Trades Council
Wednesday 26 June         

Dundee, Tower Building, Nethergate 7.30pm
+ Mick Napier, Scottish PSC & contributor to the book
Chair is Mike Arnott, Dundee Trades Council

Thursday 27 June Inverness, Spectrum Centre, 7.30pm
+ Sofiah MacLeod, Stop the JNF International Committee
Friday 28 June  Oban, Glencruitten Church Hall, 7.30pm
+ Sofiah MacLeod, Stop the JNF International Committee
Chair is Garry Keaney, UNISON Argyll & Bute Intn'l Officer
Saturday 29 June  
Sunday 30 June

Berwick-upon-Tweed, Peace Church, 7.30pm

Thursday 11 July

Elgin Library, Cooper Park, 7.30pm
Speaker: Mick Napier, Scottish PSC & contributor to 'Generation Palestine'

Mahmoud Sarsak Scottish leg of tour: 1-16 June
Mahmoud Sarsak was a member of the Palestinian national football team who was seized by Israeli troops, interned without charge and tortured over many weeks in Israel's notorious prison system. 
Mahmoud Sarsak
After three years, i.e. six 'democratic and lawful' periods of six months imprisonment without trial or charge, Mahmoud went on hunger strike to demand that he be given prisoner-of-war status since he was being detained under Israel's Unlawful Combatants Law. He refused to accept exile to Norway as a condition for his release and, near death at half his usual body weight, Israel released him unconditionally.

Mahmoud will be hosted at meetings and participate in football events to raise awareness of Israeli's war against Palestinian football, the torture and abuse of Palestinian prisoners in Israel's gulag, and the role of multi-national G4S in running parts of Israel's illegal programme. He will be raising the cases of two players of the Palestinian national football team, Omar Abu Rouis and Mohammed Nemer who have been imprisoned for over a year now in Israel's dungeons with out any trial or charges being levelled against them.

What you can do:

  • Publicise and help with the meetings already organised
  • Help with Arabic <-> English translation
  • Help Mahmoud learn some English

Contact Mick 0795 800 2591 / Matt 07919 963 764 / Sarah 07964 581 414

Sarsak visits Gaza stadium destroyed by Israel in Dec 2012
Updates here at on Mahmoud Sarsak's Scottish tour: what follows is subject to change in next few days

Download the tour leaflet/poster
Two-minute video on his torture
Fair CNN report



 Sat June 1

12noon - Welcome Sarsak at Waverley Station, Edinburgh 12noon
3pm      - Sarsak presents Edinburgh Rivals charity trophy to Hibs after they beat Hearts at Tynecastle: see media release with photos

Sun June 2 Reception for Mahmoud at Edinburgh's Fatma Restaurant, 6.00pm pre-notification essential to Waseem 07827 289 323
Tues June 4 Stop the JNF protest at Cowan's Law - all day
Thurs June 6 Inverness - Spectrum Centre 7.30 (with Highland Palestine Network)
Fri June 7 Aberdeen - Quaker Meeting Hall  7.30pm
Sat June 8 Glasgow - details from Matt 07919 963 764
Mon June 10 Dundee - Tour and special event at Tannadice Park
Dundee Community Centre, Guthrie Street 7.30pm (with Tayside for Justice for Palestine)
Tues June 11 Edinburgh - morning: school visit
                - evening: Quaker Meeting Hall, Victoria Terr 7.00 for 7.30pm
                   with Tony Higgins of Fifpro, International Footballers Union
                   & Jacky MacNamara Sr., ex-Hibs and Celtic player
Wed June 12

Stirling - Raploch Community Centre, 7.30pm (with Forth Valley Palestine Group)

Thurs June 13        Falkirk - programme t.b.a.
           - St Francis Xavier Church Hall  7.00 for 7.30pm
Fri June 14 Glasgow - UNISON Office 14 W Campbell St G2 6RX  12.30pm
Fife - Kirkcaldy Islamic Centre 3.30pm (with Fife Arab Society)
         Kirkcaldy High School for football game  6.00
         Informal reception in Kirkcaldy Old Kirk  8.00pm  RSVP t0 07760353 918
Sat June 15 Glasgow - Football match fund-raiser Petershill Sports Complex 1.00pm
Mahmoud will play 45 minutes for each side. Preceded at 12noon by a film on Palestine by Football Beyond Borders (FBB)
Sun June 16  Combruith Hostel, Comrie - SPSC residential weekend to participate in discussion on Palestinian prisoners and campaigning

Sarsak at the Palestine Stadium with a message to UEFA about how much they care about racism in football: {videobox}66776199||width=300,height=225{/videobox}

Brazilian cartoonist Latuff


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