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Twinning with Palestine

The Britain - Palestine Twinning Network - "promoting twinning and friendship links"

Activities for the network in 2011 include * Women's visit - March * Twinning Conference in Palestine - April * Visits to Palestine April and October * Conference in Liverpool - November.

Let the media know

Monitor the media and respond. Call in, write and e-mail radio and TV when you hear a biased report or to give a positive comment when you hear a good program/report.

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BBC

- Radio 020 7580 4468 ext 51495

- Newsnight 020 8624 9800

- World service 020 7240 3456

- BBC Complaints 08700100222

- Today Program E-mail; today at bbc.co.uk

ITN 020 8752 7500

Links to newspapers / other media

Press Releases

If you have a group visiting the U.K. or Palestine, its a good idea to let the media locally know by issuing a press release. Try and build a list of local newspaper, radio and TV contacts. Making personal contact to explain what you are about also helps get your story across.

Here is an example of a press release from the Tower Hamlets - Jenin Group (another one from Camden). - ADVICE AND SUGGESTIONS IN BOLD -

The Small Achievements Twinning Brings

On the week of 20th November 06, an exciting initiative will become reality. Throughout Britain various towns and cities will be receiving Palestinian visitors from their twinning towns.

In Tower Hamlets, the Tower Hamlets/Jenin group will be welcoming 2 musicians and one singer as well as the co-ordinator of the twinning campaign in Jenin and a female councillor. During the week, there will be meetings, social events and lots of Palestinian music.

This visit takes place at a critical time in the lives of our visitors, whose children are not receiving an education, whose hospitals are closed and whose basic human rights are being denied.

The delegation from Jenin are visiting Edinburgh first, and after Tower Hamlets, on to Nottingham which also support the twinning of Jenin.

To receive the delegation in Britain was no small task. On 30th October, the co-ordinator of the Jenin Creative and Cultural Centre travelled through checkpoints across the West Bank to collect the delegates’ visas from the British Consulate in Jerusalem. On his arrival, he found that whilst his visa and that of a Jenin councillor in Jenin municipality had been granted, the visas of 3 musicians had been denied.

Immediately our friends in Scotland challenged the decision that they were denied entry on the basis of paragraph 41 of the Immigration Rules. In short, as a result of not being able to prove that they had financial means, the consulate came to the conclusion that they may overstay their visas in Britain. There was a clear implication that they may try and seek public funds in Britain.

The co-ordinator of the centre in Jenin reassured the Consulate that he was their employer, that they were paid cash for teaching children in Jenin how to play oud, tabla and yargoul. He said that he would hold onto their passports whilst they stayed in Britain, a humiliation that few in Europe and the West would tolerate whilst visiting other countries. Their supporters in Edinburgh argued that they had undertaken to meet all financial requirements and pointed out that at least two of these men had French and German stamps in their passports, where they had performed and returned to Jenin.

Despite their supplications, on 2nd November 06, the consulate upheld their decision not to grant visas with no right of appeal. By this point, supporters in Edinburgh, Tower Hamlets and Nottingham had contacted MP’s and human rights groups. MP’s from Scotland raised the issues of human rights and the isolation of the people of Palestine in Parliament.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission made representation on their behalf.

On 9th November 06, I received calls from Edinburgh and the Islamic Human Rights Commission, stating that the British Consulate had overturned their own decision not to grant visas. Within 24 hours and organised by the Co-ordinator of the centre, the visas were collected and sent to the musicians in Jenin. Had they attempted to collect them in person, they would have been denied entry to Jerusalem as this is a restriction placed on young Palestinian men attempting to travel by Israel.

They now begin their tour of Scotland sharing their music and culture with their friends there. This is a small success for the people of Britain who want justice for friends in Palestine.

During their week in Tower Hamlets, they will visit schools, hospitals, unions and members of the council. They will share their music in a benefit on Thursday 23rd November 06 and speak at a film showing on Tuesday 21st.

Their visit will culminate in a National Twinning Conference on 26th November when the British and Palestinian delegates will meet, celebrate our successes and seek development of our grassroots support for areas in Palestine. It will involve speakers from Britain and Palestine and various workshops.

- OFFER MORE INFORMATION, BUT MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE IS UP TO DATE BEFORE ISSUING THE RELEASE -

Further details of these events can be found on the website www.twinningwithpalestine.net for the national site - PLEASE PUBLICISE THE NATIONAL GROUP -

www.jenintowerhamlets.piczo.com for the local site.

[YOUR NAME]

[CONTACT DETAILS]

Tower Hamlets – Jenin Twinning Campaign

Contact us

Events in 2011

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Women's Tour March 2011

Conference Palestine April 2011

Conference - Liverpool November 2011

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Help us develop the Twinning with Palestine network

Group Membership - Supporters

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