Site Index

· Home

· How it all began

· Newsletter

· Fundraising

Twinned Groups - Who's twinned with whom

· Gaza / U.K.

· West Bank / U.K.

· Church Groups

· International Groups

· Schools

· Universities (Students)

· Trade Unions

Creating a Twinning Group - Practical advice

· About Church Twinning

· General

· Campaigning

· How to

· Media

· Preparation

· When in Palestine

· Maintaining links

· Bringing Palestinians to the U.K.

· Resources - Useful forms and fact sheets

· Trade Unions

· Women and Palestine

Visit reports

· Articles about Twinning

· Maps of Palestine

Links

· Media

Shop

· Books, DVD's & Travel Guides

· Buy Palestinian goods

· Shopping

Students

· Students

· Palestinian Universities

· Resources

· Suggested Student motion

Action Palestine - our partner for University twinnings

-

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.

Twinning Info. / Visit reports - Bristol to Marda

Bristol are now also twinned with Gaza

Contact / www.bristolcomputers4palestine.co.uk / Film

On this page; Latest Newsletter / Article about a recent visit / bristol.indymedia.org

Gallery - pictures of a reent visit

Latest Newsletter

*December 2007*

_Computers/4/Palestine Mailing 15_ This email includes thumbnail pictures, but if your computer has restrictive filtering they may appear as empty squares. If so, you canview the complete mailing under the "Mailing Archive" button on the website at www.BristolComputers4Palestine.co.uk

1) Biggest Zaytoun Olive Harvest Trip ever! In October, it was a privilege to be part of a group of ten peoplefrom the Bristol & Bath area who joined the activists from elsewherein the UK for the Zaytoun Olive Harvest trip. The largest Harvest tripso far.

The Bristol group was spread across two locations and here is a verybrief summary:- MARDA: It was wonderful to see old friends in this town, but as in allof Palestine the problems are getting worse every year. Farmers wereagain denied access to the olive trees cut off beyond the newWall/fence around the settlement Ariel, and as a new tactic soldiersnow patrol outside the fence and bully the farmers. A week prior toour arrival the town had been subjected to curfew when the army hadoccupied a rooftop for 24 hours using live ammunition, tear-gas,sound-grenades. We saw damage to windows & water tanks and heard oftrauma to the children. On the positive side some activists stayed onto help on the Permaculture Farm which now has new poly-tunnels andaims to run a design course in the spring.

Kufr Quddum: A few miles north of Marda this town is suffering from afast developing settlement bloc nearby. Electricity had been severedleaving the town on an intermittent generator supply. The main road toNablus has been permanently blocked and the only other road wasblocked occasionally with earth mounds by the army. Along the route ofthe proposed Wall/fence farmers were being issued with restrictedharvesting permits, and these were being revoked day by day by armypatrols on the access routes. There were also shocking stories ofrandom killings by settlers or under-cover military. *Roaming Group*: three of us formed a roaming "media" group. Using a hire-car with Israeli plates we could move more freely and even enter the settlements themselves! We can refute any accusation that the "problems" are in just a few isolated areas. Where-ever we went the evidence of injustice and slow-ethnic-cleanings was more than obvious.

You can view a complete library of pics at *picasaweb.google.com/janineofleonid/OlivePickingFriendsOnWestBank and

picasaweb.google.com/janineofleonid/WestBankMilitaryIncidentsT....

www.zaytoun.org

Three more are awaiting couriers, so if you're going to Palestine in the near future get in touch.

*3) Palestine film receives plaudits from Palestine * **

www.thisweekinpalestine.com/details.php?id=2341&ed=148&edid=148

The film has continued to be seen far and wide. While we were picking olives in Palestine, the Zaytoun group in Canada showed the film at a meeting in Toronto. In the UK it has been used by the Reading PSC group, the Palestine Twinning Conference in London, and just recently in mid-Wales. View the trailer, and order copies from www.BristolComputers4Palestine.co.uk <. As a special discount you can buy both the 2005 film "Our sufferings in this land" and "Return to Palestine" for a combined price of only £15 (including P+P world-wide).

The new PayPal facility on the website makes payment easier, from anywhere in the world.

The aim is for as many people as possible see an honest eye-witness account of the injustice happening in Palestine and to encourage campaigning to halt it. If you know of special events, film-festivals, etc anywhere in the world that this film may be suitable for, get in touch. * *

*4) Plans for 2008* * *

*The large response from Bristol seems to prove the old saying /"Think globally - act locally/". With help from other local groups and organisations the plan is to run a regular series of public meetings during the first half of 2008. The aim is for more people to see the films and to hear report-backs from the local Harvesters. Plus, to network the large number of groups in Bristol already involved with Palestine work. * * *

uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/Bristol_PSC/

If you live in the Bristol consider joining this email groups to be kept in touch with events. You will also automatically receive the excellent Shadi Fadda news reports from Palestine.*

* * Sometime later in 2008, Insha'Allah, there will be a new film. Theworking title is currently "BRISTOL GOES TO PALESTINE" and willhopefully be narrated by various of the harvesters.

* * *5) Shipping desktop Computers*

It is unfortunate this part of the project has been progressing only slowly and at the moment we are not accepting donations of desktop computers. We hope this will be only a temporary setback. However we will be watching the situation closely to learn from the experience and to maximise our chance of success. However, as you've read earlier, donations of laptop computers are extremely useful. *6) Miscellaneous wants*

The Permaculture project in Marda has a laptop but the mains-power-supply has broken. Does anyone here in the UK have a replacement? It's a COMPAC 240V 50Hz 18.5 Volt 2.78 Amp version terminating in a long narrow cylindrical plug. If you have one in your bottom drawer, get in touch. *7) Don't Buy Israeli "Peace Oil"*

Media report:- /Peace Oil, an olive oil made in Israel by Jews and Arabs, would seem an ideal Christmas gift for those wishing to take a stand against consumerism. Despite its laudable intentions, however, Cat has come under fire from those who claim it is undermining products made by Palestinians and brought into Britain by cooperatives such as Zaytoun.

www.zaytoun.org / www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,2223924,00.html

*8) Join a campaign group* Many people may already be in a campaigning, faith or similar group.

* * 9) Palestine projects you can help now at Christmas & the New Year

MARDA PERMACULTURE FARM - Christmas cards This farm aims to improve the quality of life in the region by demonstrating and teaching practical permaculture techniques. This will enable people to produce their own food and energy and innovatively manage waste and water. The cards are £2 each, all of which goes to the project. The cards have a lovely design and a description of the farm project. (Where appropriate you can also do gift-aid). Contact the Permaculture Association Britain (BCM Permaculture Association, London, WC1N 3XX)

EMBROIDERY BEHIND THE WALL Fair-traded high quality products, hand-made by *BajeS* Women's Cooperative in Aizariye, an East. Jerusalem suburb cut off behind the Separation Wall. This project generates income and empowers women living in poverty. The designs combine ancient patterns and techniques with modern designs and finish. The range includes bags, purses, shawls, cushions and many more designs. Goods can be posted. FFI and pics of the product range contact Suzana Zorko  *suzanai2...@yahoo.com <mailto:suzanai2...@yahoo.com> *

WI'AM CENTRE FOR PEACE & CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Corina writes:- Having taken part in the Zaytoun Olive Harvest this October, I am now volunteering at the 'Wi'am' Centre in Bethlehem.

This centre works to promote peaceful and just relations at all levels of society, from the domestic, social, and economic, through to the political issues that influence life here so starkly. The centre is aiming to create a youth computer project and appealing for funding. More information about the work and goals of Wi'am can be found at gbgm-umc.org/NWO/99ja/wiam.html Cheques can be posted (payable

to the Wi'am Centre) to: : Wi'am Center, P.O. Box 1039, Bethlehem, West Bank, Dr.Gemnier St. (SOS) Al Karkafeh Build. Number 231 Tel & Fax:  +972(0)2-2770513 /+972(0)2-2777333.

* *

10) Palestine and the Palestinians - /special book offer/ Fed up with high-street travel books that give only the Zionistversion of history. Then you'll want to see this excellent book,produced by the Alternative Tourism Group in Bethlehem this isprobably the only popular tourist guide book written from thePalestinians perspective. Just a few copies of the first edition ofthis excellent guide book available at a discount price of £10including P+P. Email EdwardHi...@yahoo.co.uk

*11) Removal facility* If you no longer wish to receive these mailing, or if you accidentallyget more than one, please let us know.

Saturday 11th November 2006

The second report from Ed Hill of BristolComputers4Palestine on the Zaytoun Olive Harvest Tour of Palestine.

General view of Marda

This year the Zaytoun Olive Picking Group is much larger, and we split into three separate groups to cover three different towns. Our group of six stayed in Marda, which will now be well known from last years film.

I have been telling the media in the UK about the town being “strangled by a ring of steel”. But when I arrived and saw the gates and the miles of fencing it was a shock to see it with my own eyes. The “Separation Barrier Wall/Fence” stretches along the hillside so-say protecting the settlement of Ariel. This will eventually become the de-facto new border with Israel, even though it is more then ten miles inside the west Bank. And the long silver/grey mesh fence that snakes along the side of the Settler-Road makes you question if there is any wire or steel mesh left in the rest of the world, because it seems there is a danger that it’s all being used up here. The massive gates have a sinister engineering logic with their massive concrete blocks, the criss-cross of the gate, and massive steel cables and fasteners which I assume can be locked up in some way to keep the gates closed. It made me want to cry, I admit.

It is such an injustice that this innocent town of farmers, who just want to get on quietly with their own lives, are being treated in this way.

Our team busied itself going out each day picking the olives with the farmers. Most days in the fields near the main road and alongside the house which you will have seen the film. This is the house which was commandeered by the army as a base. At the moment it seems unused but is fenced off with razor wire and the Palestinians say not to go inside for fear of danger.

I have also been working on media coverage in the UK. I set up a photo-opportunity and presented my film (DVD) to the Mayor of the town. The Mayor is also one of the farmers in the town and needs to leave at 6 am each morning to harvest his olives, so this did require a very early start to the day!

I also talked to local people about their experiences when the Israeli army has locked the gates and prevented vehicles entering or leaving the town. This has already happened several times this summer, for periods ranging from hours to days. When the gate is locked across the road vehicles can not enter or leave the town. People have difficulty getting to work, or students to their education in other towns. Delivery Lorries with supplies for shops in the town, and staff for the clinic, are also blocked. Farmers can not reach their fields on the other side of the road.

In addition to this, we spoke to people who have been victims of army raids into the town. These raids have been happening almost every night over the last week, usually between midnight and four in the morning.

Army raids this week and other incidents:-

Night of Sunday 5th November.

Soldiers walked the length of the town periodically throwing sound-grenades and firing flares into the air.

Night of Monday 6th November

Woman, a Psychologist, was asleep in her home with her two young children (aged 1 and 3 years old) and her elderly mother. At about 3am a large number of soldiers surrounded the house and started throwing stones damaging the door, the walls, and breaking a large window. She went to the door and the soldiers demanded to see her husband. On finding he wasn’t in the house they took them all out into their garden and held them at gun-point, squatting on the ground for about an hour while they questioned them.

During this time they also attacked a neighbour’s house when someone turned on a light in the house.

They then went to another house in the same road, searched and ransacked the house, and arrested a young man. He was released a day later without charge.

Someone in the town phoned the Zaytoun Olive Harvest team and we walked into the town where at about 4.15am we saw and videoed army vehicles driving around and parking in the middle of the town near the mosque. We witnessed a sound-grenade being let off at about the time that people would be going to and fro to the Mosque for early morning prayers.

Night of Wednesday 8th November.

During the night soldiers went to the house of a Farmer. They broke the glass panel in the front door of his house. This is the third time his house has been raided. His son (21 years old) was arrested recently from his family home and held for 8 days, then released this week, without charge.

Night of Thursday 9th November

After visiting this man and neighbour reported that soldiers had been to his house in the night and ordered people out into the street and made them lie down. He said this was a terrifying experience for them and especially their children.

I also met and interviewed a 14 year old boy who was arrested for going near the Separation Wall (Fence) around the settlement. This barrier is in fact a triple set of fences; an outer pair of high razor-wire barriers and a central fifteen foot high wire mesh fence equipped with sensor wires on the sides and at the top. This occupies a strip of land 50 to 100 metres wide including gravel and a tarmac patrol road. He was detained for three weeks and then released.

On Friday 10th in the afternoon the Zaytoun Olive Harvest team were working harvesting olives near the main road. Three Israeli army vehicles arrived with about twenty soldiers who spread out among the trees near the edge of the town and carried out an operation involving beatings, shouting and carrying casualties on stretchers. This caused panic to the farmers, their families, and to the people in the town as they though Palestinians were involved. The Team approached the soldiers who explained it was an exercise but made no apology for carrying it out near the town, or on Friday – the Muslim prayer day. One soldier spoke to the team explaining he thought “Good Arab - Dead Arab”.

Morale in the town has been low, along with the rest of Palestine. Most government workers haven’t been paid for the last seven months. Since the election of the Hammas Government the US and EU have withheld aid grants, and Israel has withheld tax refunds to the Palestinian Authority. One of the many consequences of this is the schools finally closed I the summer and most young children have not been able to attend school.

Despite the crushing oppression of the Israeli occupation and the obvious attempts to strangle the town, there are some positive seeds of hope which are tribute to the Palestinian resilience and organisational skills.

A new Human Rights monitoring office has recently opened in the town. This is a branch of the Jerusalem Legal Aid office and offers legal support throughout the area. For instance it has engaged solicitors to fight the route of the Israeli Wall and destruction of agricultural land, etc. with some notable successes. The office also is planning training courses in human rights and legal work for representatives from across the West Bank.

In addition, there are plans to restart the Permaculture project in Marda. The original project was very successful and attracted students from across the Middle East to study and research techniques in arid Permaculture. Although the first facility was destroyed by the Israeli army during the Second Intifada there are plans to buy land and to start a new centre in the town.

Picture attached (Higher resolution pictures available on request)

Ed Hill has started a project to supply computers and other IT resources to small rural towns in the West Bank like Marda. FFI see www.BristolComputers4Palestine.co.uk. This website also has more pictures.

Olive harvest tours, such as these, are organised by Zaytoun, the UK ethical cooperative that imports Palestinian olive oil to be sold as a fair-trade product. See www.zaytoun.org

Human Rights abuses in the Salfit region of Palestine are monitored by the International Women’s Peace Service, a team of internationals based in the West Bank town of Haris. FFI see www.IWPS.info

If your are inspired or intrigued by this article and may want to do a similar trip yourself, get in touch for advice via the website.

FILM

“Our sufferings in this land” A film by Bristol activist - Ed Hill

Duration 1 hour and 20 minutes

Ed Hill is a teacher and well-known local activist in Bristol. In autumn 2005 he visited Palestine on a two week Olive Harvest trip organised by Zaytoun (the UK cooperative that imports Palestinian olive oil) and the International Women’s Peace Service. As well as visiting Jerusalem and Bethlehem the group stayed in two small rural towns in the West Bank working with the farmers harvesting their olives. Ed also visited an Orphanage in northern town of Tulkarm delivering money raised by local Faith Groups and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign group PSC in Bristol. Using a pocket video camera he has recorded his experiences and his film aims to present a concise understanding of the history, politics, geography, and culture of Palestine. It dramatically explains the construction of the Separation Wall/Fence, the checkpoints, the Apartheid system of passes, separate road networks, the continual military oppression and the creeping ethnic-cleansing, together with the spirited culture and resistance of a brave people. Through interviews with farmers, teachers, activists, and ordinary people, woven together with the story of the trip, Ed presents a view of Palestine as a case-study which unlocks an understanding of world politics, the hypocrisy of our governments, and the bias of our daily media. He encourages everyone to visit Palestine and his conclusion is that we can’t rely on anyone else for solutions - everyone has the power to make a difference.

Ed is fund-raising for educational resources for a youth project in the town of Marda, which features in the film, and has now been completely fenced off from the rest of the West Bank, the town’s people must come and go via a locked gate controlled by Israeli soldiers.

Bristol Gaza link - a report on the launch meeting.

Bristol-Gaza-Link Association launched at packed meeting

Over two hundred people packed into the main hall of the Bristol Council House on Monday evening (28th September) to launch the Bristol-Gaza-Link Association.

The aims and objectives of the Bristol-Gaza-Link Association will be to build humanitarian, cultural, educational and social links. These links will be with similar groups and organisations primarily in Gaza City. However links with Palestinian populations both in the West Bank and the Diaspora are also possible.

The Bristol-Gaza-Link Association is supported by all the political parties in Bristol.

The event opened with refreshments provided by the City Council. There was the opportunity to browse stalls - this was the biggest collection of Palestine-related stalls at an event in Bristol so far. They included:-

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Jews For Justice For Palestinians

Zaytoun - selling Palestinian olives

Radford Mill Organic Farm Shop from Picton Street, Bristol selling Palestinian olive oil

Easton Cowboys Community Football Team

Decommissioners

Bristol Amnesty Group

Iona Community and Christian Peace-Makers Team

Christian Aid

Friends of Sabeel

EAPPI - The Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel

Viva Palestina and Bristol Gaza Link

There was also a display of medical equipment, wheel-chairs, Zimmer-frames, commodes, walking sticks and crutches which have been donated to be sent to Gaza.

The Red Notes Choir opened proceedings.

The meeting was chaired jointly by Anira Khokhar of the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society and Glen Burrows Branch Secretary of the Bristol RMT Rail Union.

There were speeches from:-

Cllr John Kiely Lib Dem Easton ward.

"We were all shocked at the brutal way Israel used its superior force against defenceless civilians and even the UN. Here in Bristol people were determined to try and do something practical to assist the people of Gaza and to show our solidarity with their plight. I am therefore delighted to be associated with the efforts of this group who have worked tirelessly to create a link with the Palestinian people, I wish it every success."

Adeela Shafi, the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party for Bristol East.

"I welcome the launch of the new Bristol-Gaza-Link association. The people of Gaza have suffered greatly as a result of conflict. I hope the association will be able to offer support to those trying to achieve the two-state solution which is the only hope for lasting peace in the region, as well as those working to rebuild Gaza and alleviate human suffering there. Iam especially proud of the efforts being made by Bristolians to make specific links with Gaza and would be pleased to offer my support and sentiment to this endeavour.

Hasina Khan spoke of her horror watching the news of the attacks on Gaza last winter. She described getting involved in the protests in Bristol and her support for the Viva Palestina convoy. Despite busy work and family commitments, she said she felt it was her duty to join the organising group of Bristol-Gaza-Link.

Mohamed Elhaddad described his trip to Gaza last winter with the Viva Palestina convoy. He showed a short film and photographs of his tour of the Gaza Strip. He described the devastating damage caused by the three-week bombing and described the desperate living conditions there.

Sakir Yildirim, who also drove to Gaza last winter, outlined plans for a new convoy which will leave Bristol on Friday 4th December to join the main convoy in London. The whole convoy aims to arrive in Gaza on the anniversary of the start of the bombing on 27th December. The Bristol group is already collecting medical equipment and is fund-raising for ambulances and trucks for the journey.

Ed Hill gave a short summary of the history of Palestine including Britain's colonial involvement. He said this country should be setting the lead for peace and justice for Palestine. If this doesn't come from our Government then it up to ordinary citizens to take the lead.

Jade McClune read out a moving poem written by Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish.

Messages of support were read out from:-

Cllr Barbara Janke (Lib Dem) Leader of Bristol City Council

I fully support the Bristol-Gaza link in seeking to raise awareness of and providing humanitarian support for the people of Gaza. I very much welcome the way you are seeking to include people of all faiths, cultures and interests in the project. As I'm sure you are aware improving community cohesion is a personal goal for me as leader of the Council and an organisational goal for Bristol City Council. We have been actively involved in a number of programmes to help develop mutual understanding including Salaam Shalom Radio Station, the Gaza Question-Time panel, and many other events. I send you my personal best wishes for the launch this evening and look forward to attending a future event.

Cllr Helen Holland, leader of the Labour Group on Bristol City Council.

"Bristol's strength lies in our diversity and the internationalism that this reflects. Friendship and twinning links bring huge benefits to Bristol, and over many years cultural, economic and education links have developed between our city and our partner cities, between organisations here and abroad, and many personal friendships between Bristolians and citizens of other countries. The Labour Group and I have been very supportive of this new association, which builds on the bridges that have been made between Bristol and Gaza, and we wish every success to the association. Bristol and Gaza have much to learn from each other, and with these links comes better understanding."

Cllr Richard Eddy, Leader of the Conservative Group on Bristol City Council

"Thank you for informing me of this event. I'm afraid that it is impossible for me to attend as I have a prior engagement. I'm delighted that Adeela Shafi is able to be present to represent the Conservative Party."

Green Party Cllr Charlie Bolton.

"Congratulations to the Bristol-Gaza link for their excellent work on this vital issue. It is great to see them building links between organisations here and in Gaza. I am very happy to offer my support to them, and look forward with interest to them making a real difference."

In January 2009, Abdul Malik, then Cllr for Easton, first raised the issue of the attack on Gaza at City Council level. He is now in Pakistan caring for his family but sent this message:-

I want to say how proud I feel of the efforts and work you have put into this project. I wish it all the success it deserves and I hope I will be able to contribute when I return. Well done!!!

Stephen Williams, Lib Dem MP for Bristol West.

"Shocked by the human rights atrocities I braved the snow and ice to join hundreds of Bristolians at the Stop the War demonstration in February to support the people of Gaza. Pressure must be put on the Israeli Government to make them behave in a responsible manner. This is an incredibly important issue. I receive hundreds of letters every year about foreign affairs and human rights and have raised many issues with the Foreign Office".

Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East.

"I welcome the formation of the Bristol-Gaza-Link which aims to build further links between Bristol and Gaza city and develop a deeper understanding between the two areas, both socially and culturally, whilst also demonstrating the widespread empathy felt by many in Bristol for Gaza's problems. Having spent time in the region (although not in Gaza) a few years ago with CAABU and as an election observer for the last Palestinian Authority elections, and having visited community groups I have seen the positive impact such projects can bring. I know that Bristol people have already made sterling efforts to show solidarity with, and support for, the Palestinian people, from helping out with the olive harvest, to collecting computers for Palestine, to making films about the scale of the problems there. I am sorry I cannot be with you for the launch of Bristol-Gaza link, as the Labour Party Conference is taking place in Brighton, but I will be following the progress of this association closely and wish it all the best""

Jo Benefield read out the message from the Mayor of Gaza

It is my honour and pleasure to address your conference today. This will be a memorable day in the British-Palestinian relationship. It will mark the start of a new era of friendship and solidarity between our people.

Gaza is the oldest inhabited city in the world. At the beginning of this year Gaza suffered the most brutal & savage attack in more than 42 years. The barbaric Israeli military assault wreaked the lives of thousands of innocent civilian children, women and elderly. Not only was this an assault that destroyed houses, schools, hospitals & workplaces, uprooted trees, olives, oranges and palms, polluted our environment and ecosystems. But it also tried to destroy our will, kill our hope, assassinate our belief and aspiration, and nullify our mere existence as human beings.

IN THIS IT SEVERELY FAILED

Soon after this massacre, the British relief convey arrived. It was welcomed by all, with great appreciation and thanks to all of you, and to every body who helped in this first class humanitarian issue.

As the Mayor of Gaza, on behalf of all Palestinians, and on behalf of the Palestinian National Authority, I would like to express our thanks and deep appreciation to your gathering and conference today. The launch of Gaza-Bristol-Link is very important to us, beyond any materialistic issue, your support and solidarity means to us that we are not left alone, that hope is still there, and that together with all our friends in the free world we shall build a better world, a world with peace and justice and prosperity, a world with a "FREE INDEPENDENT PALESTINE".

Dr. Maged Abu-Ramadan Mayor of Gaza MD, FRCSEd

Senior Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, President, The Palestinian Ophthalmological Society

President, Association of Palestinian Local Authorities, Director General, MOH International Cooperation Dept.

A large number of people spoke from the audience about their existing links with Palestine. Historically, Bristol has had a large number of connections with Palestine, both Gaza and the West Bank. These have ranged from faith groups to peace campaigners, from medics to footballers to circus-performers. Even Bristol's own graffiti artist Banksy has visited Palestine! Bristol-Gaza-Link aims to build on these foundations and is already encouraging a growing number of groups and organizations to explore links with Gaza.

Further people contributed from the audience outlining how they planned to link with Palestine. These included trade unions, professional groups, schools, colleges, university groups of students and staff, hospital groups, medics and paramedical. Teachers drew attention to a new teacher's pack of educational resources for citizenship lessons on Palestine which is now available on the internet. (See www.caabu.org)

Some specific proposals included:-

A message was read from a hospital group who want to donate equipment to Gaza.

School pupils are already fund-raising to support football projects in Gaza.

A choir workshop in November plans to record songs to be sent to Gaza.

A Bristol Community Radio Station is set to be the first in the UK to link up with a radio station in Gaza.

It was announced that John Drake, Regional Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union is currently visiting Palestine see viewfromthewall-jcd.blogspot.com

Several people announced personal fund-raising projects for Gaza.

The meeting also heard a report from a speaker from London of several large and active twinning links between London boroughs and areas in Palestine (see www.twinningwithpalestine.net)

Jeremy Clarke described the aims and objectives of the new Bristol Gaza Link Association and invited new members to join the committee. The audience voted to form the Association and the first meeting will take place at 7.00pm on Monday 19th October at the Pierian Centre, 27 Portland Square, St. Paul's, Bristol BS2 8SA

A spokesperson for Bristol-Gaza-Link says

"We are delighted at the support Bristol is giving to this project. We have all-party support and a big vote of confidence from the huge number of people who attended this launch event. Our aim is to build our networks and support across all the communities of Bristol - uniting people in a message of peace and justice for all. Together we can build practical and solidarity support for the people of Gaza and the whole of Palestine."

Background:

People from across Bristol took part in large numbers in protests, vigils, demonstrations, meetings and occupations to show their support for the people of Gaza during Israel's attacks in December & January. Over a hundred thousand pounds was collected in the city to be sent as aid to Gaza. Mohamed Elhaddad and Sakir Yildirim went from Bristol to join the 100 vehicle Viva Palestina! Convoy which drove to Gaza with aid collected in Britain. On their return they gave eyewitness reports of conditions in Gaza.

Out of this grew the idea of building links between Bristol & Gaza City.

Historically, Bristol has had a large number of connections with Palestine, both Gaza and the West Bank. These have ranged from faith groups to peace campaigners, from medics to footballers to circus-performers. Even Bristol's own graffiti artist Banksy has visited Palestine! Bristol-Gaza-Link aims to build on these foundations and is already encouraging a growing number of groups and organizations to explore links with Gaza.

Bristol-Gaza-Link has produced a video of the convoy to Gaza last winter which is available on YouTube (see www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RjAfuluos4 - 3 parts). The group is starting fund-raising for a second convoy to Gaza this winter which is due to depart from Bristol on Friday 4th December.

PICTURES AND REPORTS

Pictures of the launch event attached and at bglink.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-bristol-gaza-link-is

and bglink.ning.com/photo/albums/bristol-gaza-link-launch-event

CONTACTS

Jeremy Clarke 0117 942-3435/07502-121-077

Hasina Khan 07931-200-587

Jo Benefield 0117-944-1481/07766-432-413

Bristol-Gaza Convoy drivers:- Mohamed Elhaddad 07969-555-541

Sakir Yildirim 07940-505-048

Media support Ed Hill 0117-951-2157/07711-214-168

Interlinked websites; www.bristolgazalink.org / bristolgazalink.wordpress.com / bglink.ning.com

If this press release is posted onto websites for security please remove phone numbers.

For general contact use admin at bristolgazalink.org or EdwardHill1 at yahoo.co.uk

Contact us

Events in 2011

- - - - -

Women's Tour March 2011

Conference Palestine April 2011

Conference - Liverpool November 2011

- - - - -

Help us develop the Twinning with Palestine network

Group Membership - Supporters

Join the Twinning with Palestine Groups facebook page for the latest news and events. www.facebook.com

- - - - -

Please support our work - click here

- - - - -

Would you like to visit Palestine? We regularly organise tours to Palestine. Book for the October 2010 tour now!

- - - - -

- - - - -

Greeting Cards (Eid / Xmas)

- - - - -

You tube links

Palestine (with Ed Hill)

- - - - -

Gallery

- - - - -

The Israeli Apartheid wall "security barrier"

- - - - -

Twinning Banner

- - - - -

Zaytoun Olive Oil

- - - - -

Getting there - Airlines activists use

- - - - -

About | Contact | FAQ's | Register | Top