News

1 February 2024 Milan Rai

US/UK airstrikes on Houthis could condemn Yemen to famine and endless war

The US and Britain are, at the time of writing, at war with the Ansar Allah movement that controls over two-thirds of the population of Yemen and a third of its territory. This war is not an act of ‘self-defence’, it is doomed to failure, it is wrecking the fragile and desperately-needed Yemeni peace process, and it is actually strengthening Ansar Allah, known as ‘the Houthis’ after their first leader.

British forces took part in US-led airstrikes and missile attacks on Ansar Allah on…

1 February 2024 PN staff

Switzerland to host phony ‘Peace Formula’ conference this year

Ukraine continues to push its phony ‘10-Point Peace Plan’, which demands the prosecution and conviction of Russian leaders for war crimes, the seizure of Russian assets to compensate Ukraine for war damage and total Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, among other points, as the precondition for negotiations (PN 2668).

At the Davos summit for the rich and powerful in January, Ukraine persuaded Switzerland to…

1 February 2024 Milan Rai

World Court’s legally-binding order to Israel is a historic first, but still has flaws

Three Palestinian human rights groups issued a joint statement on 26 January welcoming the World Court’s decision to consider whether Israel’s war in Gaza is genocidal, and to order Israel to stop killing Palestinians in Gaza, among other measures.

Al-Haq (based in Ramallah, in the West Bank) and Al Mezan and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (both based in Gaza City, Gaza) described the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ, also known as ‘the World Court’) as ‘a…

1 February 2024 Marc Morgan

Meetings banned, peace campaigner faces charges

One worrying trend even more prevalent in France than elsewhere is the stifling of open public discourse about the situation of the Palestinians, and restrictions placed on the freedom of expression of pro-Palestinian voices and movements.

Even before 7 October, public meetings on Israel-Palestine have been prohibited by the relevant authorities (local boroughs, or departmental Préfets) on dubious public-order grounds.

Since 7 October, the trend has got worse: several…

1 February 2024 PN staff

Protest to challenge removal of legal defence used by Palestine campaigners

Campaigning group Defend Our Juries (DOJ) is planning a mass sit-down in the high court in London on 21 February to challenge the government’s attempt to remove the defence of ‘consent’, used by Palestine Action activists recently to win acquittals (see previous page).

This follows actions outside more than 50 crown courts across England and Wales on 4 December: 500 activists held signs defending the right of juries to reach their own verdicts, independently of the instructions they…

1 February 2024 Marc Morgan

Marc Morgan examines Emmanuel Macron's capitulation to the far-right

Emmanuel Macron was elected president of France in 2017 promising to break the mould of French politics with its see-saw left-right swings. He claimed this was the best strategy for countering the rise of Marine Le Pen’s far-right party, the Rassemblement National (‘National Rally’), formerly known as the Front National (‘National Front’).

The result has been a progressive drift towards the right, and a slow capitulation to authoritarian and nationalist policies. The…

1 February 2024 PN staff

150,000 sign petition opposing deportation of German climate activist

There don’t seem to have been any Just Stop Oil (JSO), Extinction Rebellion or Insulate Britain arrests since PN last came out, in late November.

On 8 January, JSO began negotiations with the Metropolitan police over its ‘slow walking’ campaign of disrupting traffic in London.

JSO presented the Met with evidence that the government was guilty of the crime of ‘genocide by oblique intent’, by developing new oil and gas projects.

JSO offered to pause disruptive…

1 February 2024 PN staff

New solidarity group takes action in Bournemouth, Brighton, Blackburn and Glasgow

On 7 December, a new Palestine solidarity group, Workers for a Free Palestine, organised 1,000 trade unionists and other protesters to blockade four sites connected to the Israeli war machine: Eaton Mission Systems in Bournemouth, Dorset; the L3Harris factory in Brighton, East Sussex; BAE Systems’s Samlesbury Aerodrome just outside Blackburn in Lancashire; and the BAE Systems Govan site in Glasgow.

All four arms company sites are linked to the manufacture of the F-35 warplane…

1 February 2024 PN staff

Acquittals, victories and more actions

The direct action group Palestine Action (PA) has again been generating more news than we can cover. They bumped up their acquittals total, won victories targeting suppliers of the Israeli-owned arms company Elbit Systems UK, and carried out a string of property damage actions.

Also, PA had their first known infiltrator, a journalist named Max Parry from the Daily Express, who gave information to the police that led to five arrests for ‘conspiracy to commit public nuisance’…

1 February 2024 Gabriel Carlyle

#CeasefireNow badges distributed at peace protests

PN has raised over £3,800 for Medical Aid for Palestinians, selling ‘Ceasefire Now’ badges for a donation at the national Gaza marches on 25 November, 9 December and 13 January. All proceeds went to MAP.

The black-and-white design was modelled on T-shirts worn by US Jewish peace activists who occupied Grand Central Station in New York City in October.

Badge designer Erica Smith said: ‘It was really heart-warming to realise how many people wanted to support MAP – from…

1 February 2024 PN staff

Over 2,400 arrests in US and Canada since 11 October

At the end of December, four radical Christians were arrested protesting against the Gaza War, around Holy Innocents Day (28 December), which marks the massacre of male infants by Herod, according to biblical tradition.

On 28 December itself, two US Catholic Workers were arrested at the Pentagon in Washington DC, the Nuclear Resister reports.

The arrestees were Bill Frankel-Streit (67, from Little Flower Catholic Worker Farm in Virginia) and Kim Williams (from Norfolk…

1 February 2024 PN staff

Spray paint action at International Armoured Vehicles fair

On 22 January, Richmond and Kingston Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Kingston Peace Council and other campaigners protested outside the International Armoured Vehicles arms fair at the Twickenham rugby stadium in West London. Arms companies present included BAE Systems and Leonardo and two Israeli firms: Elbit Systems and Rafael. Palestine Action had sprayed part of the stadium front in blood red paint earlier in the day.
 

1 February 2024 PN staff

Ten-year cost of UK nukes leaps 62%

Last year, there was a 62 percent jump in planned spending by the defence nuclear organisation (DNO) over the next 10 years on equipment related to British nuclear weapons. That’s according a government national audit office (NAO) report published in December, comparing 10-year spending plans published in 2022 and 2023.

The DNO is responsible for most British nuclear weapons equipment acquisition, including the development of new ‘Dreadnought’ submarines to replace Trident.

1 February 2024 PN staff

Organisers accuse police of 'politicised' approach to ceasefire protests

The policing of the major Gaza ceasefire marches in London has been aggressive, hostile and ‘politicised’.

That was the charge put to the Metropolitan police in a letter on 22 January from the organisers of the national marches for Palestine in London.

The organisers are: Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Association of Britain, Palestinian Forum in Britain and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

The organising…

1 February 2024 PN staff

US mission to the UN blockaded for two hours over nuke-ban treaty

As the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) moved towards its second anniversary of ‘coming into force’, 18 US peace activists were arrested for blockading all three entrances to the US mission to the United Nations in New York City – for two hours.

The 30 November action took place as 90 countries who had signed the TPNW were gathering in New York for the second ‘meeting of states parties’ to the treaty. This conference of countries that have signed the treaty is…

1 December 2023 PN staff

Annual march demands justice for unexplained deaths in custody 

On 28 October, the United Families & Friends Campaign held its annual march from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street in Central London, delivering a list of unexplained deaths in the custody of the state. The march took place just before a massive Gaza solidarity march, where BLM (Black Lives Matter) UK formed part of a bloc remembering those who have died in state custody.

1 December 2023 PN staff

Direct action group launches 'underground manual' amidst flurry of ongoing actions

Over the last two months, Palestine Action (PA) has continued its direct action campaign against Elbit Systems UK, the British subsidiary of the Israeli drone manufacturer. PA has also opened up a US branch (which has taken action in Massachussetts and New Hampshire), supported several activists on trial (still ongoing at the time of going to press) and taken action in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

On 5 October, PA added to its acquittals score when one of its activists was…

1 December 2023 PN staff

Jews for Justice for Palestinians and Parents Circle - Families Forum speak at alternative remembrance ceremony 

The National Alternative Remembrance Ceremony, organised by the Peace Pledge Union and friends, was held in Tavistock Square, Central London, on 12 November. Over 200 participants observed two minutes’ silence and laid white poppy wreaths in memory of all victims of war. There were three speeches, focused on Palestine.

Richard Kuper of Jews for Justice for Palestinians said: ‘Yesterday saw one of the biggest demonstrations in the United Kingdom against the conflict in the Middle East…

1 December 2023 PN staff

Sign up for mass protest on date of 'last chance' court date

Don’t Extradite Assange (DEA) is still recruiting people for a mass protest at 9am at the high court in Central London on ‘Day X’, when Julian Assange faces his last chance in a British court to stop his extradition to the US for exposing US war crimes. He could face up to 175 years in prison.

Meanwhile, on 8 November, 16 Democratic and Republican members of the US congress wrote to US president Joe Biden asking him to withdraw the US extradition request against Assange.

The…

1 December 2023 Rosie

Week of protest targets fossil fuel conference

On 17 October, Shell CEO Wael Sawan was unable to get into a major oil and gas conference in London because activists were blockading the luxury hotel hosting the event. Sawan was forced to deliver his keynote speech online instead. We shut the Oil & Money summit down!

This was the result of Fossil Free London’s biggest mobilisation to date: ‘Oily Money Out.’ As the biggest names in the fossil fuel industry, banking and politics gathered for the exclusive Oil & Money summit (…