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Over 100 people gathered in Market Square on Friday June 4 to protest the killing of 9 aid workers by Israeli armed forces at the end of May. A rally was held and people marched around the square chanting. The protest's official demands included the end of Israel's blockade of Gaza, an arms embargo on Israel and government backing for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
This protest followed on from a more spontaneous demonstration the day after the killings. Demonstrators held placards aloft during a concert that was taking place in the market square.
Israel's action against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla has had particular resonance in Nottingham because a Nottingham Trent University student, Tauqir 'Tox' Sharif, was onboard the stormed flotilla ship. After some days in an Israeli prison he is due to be back in Nottingham this week.
National feature: Israel kills 10+ on Free Gaza Flotilla taking aid to Gaza
Students who had been occupying a lecture theatre at the University of Nottingham have branded university authorites a "national disgrace" after they were violently evicted by university security. Around 10 security staff used force to remove the occupants into the snow outside. Students were forced to wait in the cold and only alowed in one by one to pick up their belongings. They were forced to give ID in order to be allowed entry.
The occupation of B62 in the Law and Social Science Building at the University of Notttingham was today violently evicted by university security. The occupation which has been taking place since Wednesday is in solidarity with the people of Gaza and is one of a wave of university occupations which have taken place across the UK following the recent Israeli assault against Gaza. Although the occupiers have been clear throughout that they had no intention of disrupting other students' education, the university had refused to follow the lead of Kings College in London and negotiate with the occupying students.
Previous Feature: Nottingham university occupied in solidarity with Gaza
Newswire: Eviction video & post occupation statement from Nottingham Uni | Nottingham University Gaza solidarity occupation violently evicted 1 | 2 | Nottingham Gaza solidarity occupation violently evicted | Nottingham University Authorities: A National Disgrace
Recent Gaza Demonstrations: Nottingham Gaza Emergency Protest 1 | 2 | Gaza Public Meeting at Bobbers Mill Community Centre | Nottingham Gaza Protest 'candle-lit' Vigil 1 | 2 | Nottingham Gaza Protest March Through Nottingham to Market Sq 1 | 2 | Nottingham University Students Occupation in Solidarity with Gaza 1 | 2 | Gaza support protest at Nottingham BBC | Tash's 'Collected' actions Piccys 2009
Since 9pm on Wednesday a group of students has been occupying a room at the University of Nottingham in solidarity with the people of Gaza. The students have published a list of demands that include that the university of Nottingham cut its financial ties with the arms industry, that 'academic' aid be sent to Gaza, and that there be no repercussions for those involved in the occupation.
Professor Noam Chomsky has sent the students a message of support stating that he was "very pleased to learn about your courageous and honorable actions, particularly significant because of the crucial British contribution to the savage onslaught on Gaza... I hope you have the greatest success in arousing public opinion and bringing these monstrous crimes to an end."
Update 01/02/09: The occupation has been violently evicted by university security. At around 6pm around 10 security staff used force to remove the occupants into the snow outside. Students were made to wait in the cold whilst they went in one by one to pick up belongings. They were also forced to give ID in order to be allowed entry.
National Feature: Over a dozen university occupations for Palestine
Newswire: Nottingham University Students Occupation in Solidarity with Gaza 1 | 2 | Minipodcast from the third night of the occupation at Nottingham Uni | Petition to support Occupation Nottingham | Riseup Radio Report on day one of the Occupation of Nottingham University | Breaking News: Student Occupation at Nottingham University
On Saturday 17th January Israel declared a "unilateral ceasefire," ending (for the timebeing at least) the brutal assault on Gaza it began on 27th December. With the full extent of the devestation wrought only now becoming clear, protests against the attack and wider Israeli policy towards the Palestinians continued up to and beyond this declaration. The "ceasefire" came during a weekend of protests against the assault in Nottingham and across the Midlands, building on a widespread sense of anger, particularly amongst Muslim communities.
On Friday 16th January there was a vigil outside the Council House. Around 150 people attended and were addresed by a range of speakers. The next day there was a very large march from the Forest Recreation Ground to Market Square, with a rally next to the statue of Brian Clough. On Monday 19th January, a number of Nottingham residents made their way to UAV engines in Staffordshire to protest against the company's involvement in the production of Israeli military drones.
Previous Feature: Nottingham Responds to Gaza Massacre
Newswire: Protest at Arms to Israel from Staffordshire | Gaza Protest March Through Nottingham to Market Sq : Pix 1 | 2 | Nottingham Gaza Protest 'candle-lit' Vigil : Pix 1 | 2 | Stop the Slaughter in Gaza - Lincoln Protest | Nottingham Gaza Emergency Protest: Pics 1 | 2 | Gaza Public Meeting at Bobbers Mill Community Centre
With news of the ongoing military action in and against Gaza, protests have been called in many cities around the world. In Nottingham around two hundred people gathered in Market Square on Wednesday 30th December. Many people from Nottingham also made there way down to London to take part in the national demonstrations held on 3rd and 10th January.
A well-attended public meeting at Bobbers Mill Community Centre, Berridge Road West (Hyson Green) on Sunday 11th January was addressed by Jeremy Corbyn MP, John Heppell MP (Lab, Nottingham East) and Hicham Yezza from Nottingham University (recently wrongly imprisoned under the terrorism laws).
Newswire: Gaza Public Meeting at Bobbers Mill Community Centre, Nottingham | Nottingham's Gaza Emergency Protest: Pictures 1 | 2 | Gaza Emergency Protest - 30 Dec 12pm Market Square
Wissam Abuajwa risks losing a place at Nottingham University because Israel will not allow him to leave Gaza. He has a place, a scholarship (from the London-based charity Karim Rida Said Foundation, and a British visa to study for an MSc in Environment and Research Engineering at the University of Nottingham's School of Chemical and Environment Engineering, beginning in September.
However, his place could at risk because the Israeli authorities have prevented him from leaving Gaza to travel to the UK. Abuajwa's situation is, unfortunately far from unique. Abir Abu Warda, 29, has a Ford Foundation-funded place at London Metropolitan University, which is at risk for the same reason. In the US, seven students from Gaza who had previously been told that they would lose their Fulbright scholarships because of the travel ban have now had them reinstated by the State department. The US now claim to be working "closely" with Israel to secure exit permits (which you can interpret however you want).
Nottinghamshire Police have been condemned for their heavy handed dealing with a peaceful protest which took place at Nottingham University. The protest, which was organized by students, occurred outside the Hallward Library on the University Park Campus, to raise awareness about the Israeli West Bank barrier, aka 'the wall'. A mock wall was constructed and spray-painted with slogans and images.
After Nottingham Uni security failed to 'apprehend' the situation, the police were called. This resulted in the threat of arrest to a number of students. For 'breach of the peace', 'assaulting a police officer', 'filming a police officer'(!), obstructing a police officer and obstruction of the highway. One student was arrested to 'apprehend a breach of the peace'. The wall was dismantled (rather symbolic given the context) and moved on after about half an hour.
Previous protests: Starbucks Not Welcome at University | Nottingham University Student Die-In :: to protest at ethical investments | 'Die-in' at Nottingham University to protest at unethical investments | Protests as arms dealers attend careersfair
On the 14th May, 4 activists, based at the ASBO Community Centre in Nottingham got on their bikes and set off for an epic journey to mainland Europe. The project 'Pedal Powered Clowns to Palestine' brings together performance, clowning, action and pedal power to raise awareness of the situation in Palestine as well as entertaining and supporting the Palestinian Community through play. In the last few months the group raised money through benefit events in Nottingham to fund their trip. The first leg of the journey will be by train to Hull and then onto the ferry to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Once in Europe a few dates have been planned to work with other groups and visit some social centres. From then on the route will lead North into Germany to the G8 summit in early June. The idea is to join the G8 protests and add a creative element to the planned actions. At the end of June the group will set course for Palestine.
In Support of Palestine Nottingham Jenin Friendship Group present: Palestine Week in Nottingham: November 27th to 2nd December there will be a Public meeting with Eyewitnes reports, a night of Palestinian Music and Food and a Benifit Evening with Music Dance Food and Refreshments
Jenin is situated in the north of the West Bank and has a large refugee camp. The town is surrounded by fertile agricultural land where farmers co-ops produce olive oil, couscous and sundried tomatoes. Jenin is frequently subjected to attacks by the Israeli army. In 2002, bulldozers and tanks destroyed hundreds of homes and displaced thousands of people. Unemployment in Jenin is 62% with over 70% of the population living in poverty.
The Friendship Group is an ongoing project to link organisations and community groups here in Nottingham and Jenin. It’s a way of sharing ideas, experiences and showing solidarity at a grassroots level. Twinning aims to link hospitals, schools, colleges, religious and community groups, women’s organisations, trades unions, arts groups…the possibilities are endless. It might be exchanging emails, providing a venue for visiting delegations, going to visit Jenin, organising fundraising events and so on. Most importantly, the people of Jenin need to know that even though they are physically isolated, they have friends here in Nottingham.
The Nottingham Palestine Solidarity Campaign group have decided to show its solidarity with the people of Jenin by establishing friendship links between the two cities with the eventual aim of twinning. The first step is to send representatives from Nottingham to the UK Palestine Twinning Conference to make links with the University, with schools, with Trade Unions and with local people in Jenin.
There are 2 events leading up to these representatives going out to Jenin , both of which hope to Raise awareness of the issues and realities of Occupation in Palestine – especially in Jenin and to raise funds to make this Link between these cities Possible: There is a ‘Solidarity Festival’ 12noon - 11pm, on the 25th March of Music, films, poetry, art, workshops, food and fun being held hat the Sneinton Community Centre (Old School Hall) and there is a ‘Evening for Palestine’ 7pm, Thursday 30th March being held at the Kashmir Centre – live music – Palestine Dinner and Yvonne Ridley Speaking.
'Building bridges in Palestine' - party and exhibition - Middle East Party - Sunday 19th March, Wax Bar, Broad Street, Nottingham, 4-8pm. An exhibition of drawings, photographs and paintings from Palestine by Paul Gent + speakers. Live music from long Journey Home. Exhibition runs from 5th - 24th march 2006
Links: Download 'Evening for Palestine' flyer (PDF) | Building bridges in Palestine - party and exhibition | Palestine Eye Witness Reports and UK/Palestine Twinning | Palestine Solidarity Campaign | Wikipedia on Jenin | How to get to the Old School Hall