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Sheffield: Row over "No To IDF No To Hamas" Placard

Chris | 18.01.2009 00:15 | Analysis | Anti-racism | Palestine | Sheffield | World

A placard held by Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) supporters at the protest against the imperial genocide in Gaza in Sheffield on 17th January 2009, which read, "No To IDF No To Hamas" was taken down by the Chair of the Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The AWL [1] supporters also attended the protest last week [2], these are the only two Palestine Solidarity Campaign protests I have seen them on in the last few years in Sheffield. Before I arrived at the 10th January protest there was apparently a row over this placard. I understand that the AWL supporters were asked to take down their placard or to move across the street from the main protest.

The Chair of the Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Musheir, is from Gaza, last year he visited Gaza [3] and last night at a benefit in the Sheffield Library Theater he reported that, within the last few days two 13 year old cousins of his, who live in Gaza, went out after dark to play with their bike and were attacked by an Apache gunship, one of them is dead and the other in intensive care (I might have got some details slightly wrong).

Supporters of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) supported the removal of the placard, supporters of the Anarchist Federation (AF) [4] opposed it.

The AWL are essentially left-wing apologists for western imperialism, they have opposed the slogan "Troops Out Now" in relation to the occupation of Iraq. Sean Matgamna, one of their founders, has written [5] that "the politics of the [Gaza] demonstrations have been provided by the Islamic chauvinists... the big demonstration on 10 January in London was an Arab or Islamic chauvinist, or even a clerical-fascist, demonstration... The clerical fascists have politically hegemonised the demonstrations to an astonishing degree. These have not been peace demonstration, but pro-war, and war-mongering, demonstrations - for Hamas's war, and for a general Arab war on Israel." He goes on to say that "The Muslim communities are part of a world-wide movement which includes states and some of the richest people on earth (in Saudi Arabia, etc.) This world-wide movement is, in political terms, very reactionary... The serious left has to find ways of supporting the Muslim communities against racism, discrimination, and social exclusion, without accommodating politically or socially to their reactionary traits".

Other photos from the protest today can be found here:



[3] Before setting off, Musheir gave an interview telling what the break the siege campaign means to him, what he feels are the possible outcomes and comparing Gaza as a child and now. You can listen to a the tracks here: what it means to me , the three outcomes , Gaza then and now

[4] See the statement from the Sheffield Anarchist Federation, Support the workers of Gaza against ALL their enemies!

[5] The Reactionary Right Wing Politics of the Gaza Demonstrations

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Display the following 126 comments

  1. This guy is a Bully — WTF
  2. Solidarity in a time of slaughter — stop the slaughter
  3. 'No to US, no to VietCong' — AF don't speak for me
  4. PSC AND HAMAS — jonathan
  5. The PSC and Hamas — stop the slaughter
  6. I felt bad not being able to go to this demo, until I heard about this. — Ae
  7. @Johnathan — Ashley
  8. you may not call them terrorist ... — Anarchy
  9. Hamas no better than IRA — jonathan
  10. Oh dear — AFer
  11. @Anarchy — Ashley
  12. I THINK IT WAS THE AWL... — Dean
  13. just another SWP attempt at domination — random
  14. @Johnathan — Ashley
  15. US, Shin Bet and PA 'coordination' — Jpost
  16. Get a grip — Libsoc
  17. AFer — stop the slaughter
  18. One thing is absolutely clear —
  19. False AF claims — SFA
  20. Re: Stop the Slaugher's comment — Hello Mullah, hello Fatah
  21. he wouldnt do that to me — lhm
  22. Israel is a rogue terrorists state that will never accept Palestinian democracy — Dean
  23. no solidarity with Hamas — AFer
  24. We still don't support Israel. — One of AF
  25. Hamas declares ceasefire — Daniel
  26. Religion is dangerous bullshit — @n@rcho
  27. It's completely insane — SWPer
  28. 65 Years on GENCIDE IS STILL AT PLAY: —
  29. Hamas and PSC — Marion
  30. But seriously... — Alan
  31. But seriously seriously — Ashley
  32. great pictures, terrible reporting — Jane
  33. Democracy — Daisy
  34. missing the point — Ae
  35. crying out loud — Daniel
  36. The right to be insulting ..... — fuck the AWL and the AF
  37. quick thing... — JK.
  38. Oi 'stop the slaughter' — neutral
  39. Distract, smear, run away — Daniel
  40. daniel — JK.
  41. JK — stop the slaughter
  42. democratically elected, so we support them ... — knightrose
  43. Author of this piece, Chris - come on, be upfront with your 'politics'! — Camila
  44. ridiculous comparisons aren't really going to solve the issue — Ae
  45. Walking and chewing gum is easier than it looks... — Daniel Randall
  46. Revolutionary armchairs — 18:40
  47. A touch of Class — Bruised Shins
  48. @JK — Ashley
  49. re: stop the slaughter — JK.
  50. @ Ashley — JK.
  51. par for the cause — History Tells Us Things
  52. @JK — Ashley
  53. FWIW — Johnny Be Good
  54. @ Ashley — JK.
  55. The upside for us in all of this is that it drew a great deal of attention to us — Reader
  56. The reactionary traits of the Muslim communities — Islamophobia Watch
  57. re. islamophobia watch — neutral
  58. For those who care about context... — The Trendier Parts of Plymouth
  59. Watch your back — AF watch
  60. No to AF, not to AWL — V
  61. @JK - Unsmearing LibCom — Daniel
  62. How can you think at a time like this?!! — jhaaglund
  63. Re: AF Watch — jhaaglund
  64. @V — AFer
  65. Ambivalence — Daniel
  66. No to George Bush, No to Saddam Hussein — No2U
  67. reject all right-wing nationalisms — lolwob
  68. @ Daniel — JK.
  69. Houses built of straw — V
  70. Re: Ambivalence — jhaaglund
  71. Re: "No to George Bush, No to Saddam Hussein" — jhaaglund
  72. "betrayal of who?" — Daniel
  73. logic fails — collaterley sisters
  74. @jjhaaglund — Daniel
  75. @collaterley sisters aka unarrestable andy — Daniel
  76. islamophobes? apologists for imperialism? armchair generals? — Stuart
  77. Our enemy's enemy is not always our friend — AWLsupporter
  78. daniel, wise-up — JK.
  79. Casualty counts — jhaaglund
  80. "Is it too soon to start calling it the '2006 Gaza massacre'?" — D
  81. Statin' the Bleedin' obvious! — Hugh Wankers
  82. That is pretty obvious — Captain Obvious
  83. Captain Obvious — Hugh Wankers
  84. hugh — collaterley sisters
  85. my next banner — cb
  86. No to Sectarianism, No to Insensitivity — stu
  87. Miners Strike/Gaza — jhaaglund
  88. Westerners always know best — stop the slaughter
  89. Re: stop the slaughter — jhaaglund
  90. Posted the wrong link re: Sderot — jhaaglund
  91. An anti-imperialism of fools? — Chris
  92. I am sick and tired — Mohamed
  93. response to Chris re: terrible reporting — Jane
  94. Response to Jane's questions — Chris
  95. Hiding behind a keyboard-thingey — Camila
  96. Nobody blocked your banner; stop lying — Steve
  97. On the banner blocking... — Camila
  98. On "you're not welcome" at PSC events — Camila
  99. What to do? — steve
  100. @Steve — Not AF nor AWL
  102. @ Steve — Joe from AFed
  103. obssession — bad things a'coming!
  104. To Steve and Dean — Camila
  105. Not a word about Palestinian Catastrophe; Shameful — Nick
  106. If you can't distinquish between oppressors and oppressed stay at home — Paul
  107. Camila — Dean
  108. @ Nick — Joe from AFed
  109. A few home truths, again. — Gemma S
  110. Waving the Israeli flag: the AWL and the Gaza demonstrations — permanentrevolution (repost)
  111. The AWL: "We welcome debate and... operate no political censorship" — Chris
  112. On censorship of photo source — Camila
  113. bad things a'coming! - "Obsession with Palestine"... — Dean
  114. "your comment appears to be there" — Chris
  115. Ping pong with Chris - this is getting silly, let's debate actual politics — Camila
  116. Gaza ruins pose questions for Hamas — Camila
  117. think before you make references to "SCABS" — jonathan
  118. “An open letter" — Camila
  119. @ AWL — Joe from Sheffield AFed
  120. Hey Joe — No Borders
  121. @Joe — AWLsupporter
  122. Open Letter by Camilla — Dick
  123. Dick, yes let's have that debate! — Camila
  124. Hamas and Oded Yinon's Strategy for Israel — History Man
  125. Camila do you have your Dicks confused? — DickWatch
  126. AWL: Two states, one grand illusion — permanentrevolution (repost)