Public meeting: Birmingham Pride #DropHSBC 20th Feb 7 pm UNITE Office

VENUE: Unite the Union, Heneage Street West,  Birmingham B7 4AX

Pinkwashing is a propaganda strategy used to conceal human rights violation through the facade of support for LGBTQ+ rights, used by apartheid Israel and corporations such as HSBC.

HSBC invest over £800million in and provide syndicated loans worth up to £19billion for, companies arming Israel. One such company is Caterpillar, who supplies the Israeli military, with specifically designed weaponised bulldozers. These bulldozers are used specifically to demolish Palestinian homes, factories, agricultural land and civilian infrastructure, including water pipes and networks on Palestinian territory assigned by the UN. Caterpillar also provides equipment to: reinforce the apartheid walls in Gaza and the Westbank and for the construction of settlements and settlement infrastructure on stolen Palestinian land, in violation of UN Security Council resolution 242.

To obscure their complicity, and protect their branding, HSBC provides sponsorship and funding for LGBT+ pride festivals across the world, and in the UK they are the main sponsors of Birmingham pride. This funding acts to ‘pinkwash’ HSBC’s image, concealing their involvement in human rights abuses.

Palestinian LGBTQ+ group, Aswat, have called for transnational solidarity to campaign against HSBC’s sponsorship of Birmingham pride:

“From queers to queers, we want to call on all UK groups and specifically groups in Birmingham not to accept HSBC’s sponsorship, in the name of transnational solidarity. We, Palestinians, want to send companies and states who pinkwash their crimes a clear message: oppressed groups know too well that no one will be free unless we are all free, and no group’s rights should be used to cover the violation of any other group’s rights.”

2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that led to the birth of the modern Pride movement – but the struggle for ‘Absolute Freedom for All’ – the original aim of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) who founded Pride inspired by the Black Power Movement – is far from over. States, corporations and institutions at the heart of the military-industrial-complex that makes billions of pounds of profit from a weapons industry that continues to murder queers (and others) across the world use Pride as a tokenistic event to try to clean up their reputation – and we ain’t going to stand for it!

Come to this public meeting to learn more, get involved and be part of a movement to campaign for Birmingham pride to drop HSBC as a sponsor and to highlight the pinkwashing nature of Israel and complicit companies such as HSBC.

Speakers:

Dan Glass – from ‘No Pride in War’ and Beautiful Trouble – a book, web toolbox and international network of artist-activist trainers whose mission is to make grassroots movements more creative and more effective.

Sara Khan – Liberation and Access Officer at University of Manchester Students’ Union, member of the NUS LGBT+ committee, active around QTIPOC, LGBT+ rights and decolonising campaigns.

DAM Live in Birmingham 1st March 8 pm – The Crossing Digbeth

Mastering a unique combination of Arabic percussion rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies and the band’s signature brand of hip hop, DAM has grown to become one of the most influential acts of the Middle East’s urban music scene.

Heralded as “the spokesman of a new generation”, DAM began working together in the late 1990s as the first Palestinian hip hop crew and among the first to rap in Arabic. Struck by the uncanny resemblance of the reality of the streets in Tupac’s video to their own neighbourhood of Lyd, they were inspired to tell their stories through this potent new medium. In 2016 Maisa Daw officially joined DAM with the release of “#Who_You_R”, an incendiary critique of social hypocrisy and norms. For their UK tour, they will be joined by their live band featuring singer, songwriter & pianist Nancy Mkaabal and DJ Bruno Cruz.

Captivating and cunning, the group has been featured in Rolling Stone, Vibe, Q, Reuters, and The New York Times, and has appeared on MTV, CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera. Recently signing with UK label Cooking Vinyl (Goldie, Groove Armada, Trio Joubran, 47Soul) they are gearing to release their new album “Between Hannah and Mannah” and will be playing at Birmingham’s The Crossing Digbeth , High Street Diretend B5 5SU as part of their highly-anticipated England tour.

Opening for DAM on this tour is none other than DJ Sotusura. The ever-cunning and creative DJ’s canny ability to mix classic Arabic samples with hip hop, as well as his dexterity on the turntables, has allowed him to emerge as one of the most proactive members of the Middle East’s regional hip-hop scene over the past 15 years.

DAM’s 2019 England Tour is supported by Arts Council England.

– The Crossing is wheelchair accessible.
– Show is 18+.

St Valentine’s Day Film Show Love and Desire in Palestine with Q&A

A Valentine’s Day cinema night of three films that explore Palestinian experiences of both family and romantic love under conditions of occupation and dispossession.  They are witness to Palestinian endurance under extreme adversity.

BONBONE Rakan Mayasi (Palestine, Lebanon) | 2016 | 15 mins

A Palestinian couple resort to an unusual way to conceive as the husband is detained in an Israeli jail.

CONDOM LEAD Mohammed and Ahmed Abou Nassar (Palestine) | 2103 | 15 mins

Right when we need the healing power of intimacy the most, does love become a dream?

GAZA CALLING dir Nahed Awwad (Palestine, Switzerland, UAE) | 2012 | 64 min

Two families torn apart. They share the same “crime”: being registered with a Gaza address on their Identity Cards.

The showing of the films will be followed by a Q&A with a panel including a Palestinian refugee living in Birmingham sharing his experiences with the audience.

To reserve your seat Click Here

 

 

 

The Big Ride for Palestine 2018 – Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th August

The Big Ride 2018, is raring to go and we’d like you to support us if you can. Cycling from Coventry to London over three days there are plenty of opportunities to get involved, cheering us on along the route, joining in on the final leg, helping to raise funds for the Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance and importantly making others aware of what we are doing and why.

If you would like to support my efforts by making a donation to MECA you can link through my Global Giving page: https://goto.gg/f/27569 Note that donations will also be accepted for a period after the event. Thank you

Now in its fourth year The Big Ride 2018 is our biggest ride yet with over 200 entrants cycling to London over three days. TBR aims to raise awareness of the situation between Israel and Palestine bringing attention to the military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem – since 1967.

TBR will again this year be raising money for The Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance (MECA) which specialises in the rehabilitation of children in Gaza who have been traumatised by the occupation.

There are numerous ways you can support and get involved:

We want you to come out and cheer us on over the three days, bring flags and banners, make some noise. There are numerous places you can catch us: when we set off each day, have a break, stop for lunch, or at the end of the days ride (see below) or just come out on the route.

On the final day, you can get your bikes out and join us for a shorter ride into London, you can join TBR at: Verulamium Park, St Albans 25 miles – Stanmore Cricket Club, (lunch stop) 13 miles or The Crown Inn, Cricklewood, 5 miles, regroup at Speakers Corner before the rally at Old Palace Yard. The route will be signed posted by lead riders, just make sure you and your bike are both road worthy! There’s no need to register but you must make your own arrangements to get back home.

If you can’t get to the ride then maybe hold an event, raise a bit of money or make a donation yourself. Over the last 3 years we have raised over £100.000 and this year our target is an ambitious £23,000. Funds raised will be used for the work that MECA is doing in Gaza, please donate through Global Giving Giving For Palestine

Friday 3rd – Birmingham to Coventry

Friday 3rd – Coventry to Northampton 37 miles. 7.30/8.00 a small group will cycle form Swanhurst Park, Birmingham, B13 0TB  to the Start in Coventry

Friday 3rd – Coventry To Northampton

Millennium Place, Coventry, CV1 1JD Registration 10am – Rally and send off 11am – Set off 11.30. Stops: (1) 12.40/12.50 for 20 min Newbold Inn, Newbold, CV23 8UE. (2) Lunch, 2.00pm Barby Park in Barby, CV23 8UE. (3) 3.45/4.00 for 30 min Whilton Marina Café, Whilton NN11 2NH. Finish, All Saints Church, George Row, Northampton, NN1 1DF arrive for 5.00 pm.

Saturday 4th – Northampton To Luton

Saturday 4th – Northampton to Luton 49 miles. Start, All Saints Church (as above) Assemble 8.15 – Set off 9.00 Stops: (1) 10.00/10.15 for 30 min Salcy Forest Café, NN7 2HX. (2) Lunch, 12.00/12.15 for 45 min in front of Milton Keynes train station. (3) 2.15/2.30 for 30 min Morrisons car park, Leighton Buzzard. Finish, Opposite Cycle King, Bury Park, Luton arrive 4.30/5.00 pm.  For further details on the reception and events in Luton https://www.facebook.com/events/178033159486068/

Sunday 5th – Luton To London

Sunday 5th, Luton to London 36 miles. Start Lea Halls, 70 Bute Street, Luton, LU1 2WJ. Assemble 8.15 Set off 9.00. Stops: (1) 10.15/10.30 for 30 min Verulamium Park, St Michaels Street, St Albans AL3 4SW. (2) Lunch, 12.15/12.30 for 45 min Stanmore Cricket Club, HA7 4LB. We will come along the Edgeware Road (1.30 to 2.30) past the Crown Inn, and regroup at the open air café by Speakers Corner, Hyde Park 2.30/2.45 followed by a 20 min ride to Reception and Rally (3.30 till 4.30) Old Palace Yard, Westminster.

TBR – www.thebigride4palestine.com  MECA www.mecaforpeace.org

FREEDOM – JUSTICE – EQUALITY

 

SCREENING: 70 years of Nakba – A collection of Palestinian Short Films Wednesday 9th May 7 pm @ MAC

19.00 Wednesday 9 May Midlands Arts Centre, Cannon Hill Park, B12 9QH Queen’s Ride, B12 9QH

TICKET LINK https://macbirmingham.co.uk/event/70-years-from-nakba-a-programme-of-palstinian-shorts

Join us for a diverse and thought-provoking programme of 9 short films by both young and established Palestinian filmmakers. The first part of the programme reflects directly on the events of the Nakba (the 1948 Catastrophe) and the dream of return through animation, oral testimony and digital technology. The second part explores contemporary experiences, through traditional documentary, docu-drama and the film essay.

The screening will be introduced by Dr Anandi Ramamurthy, Sheffield Hallam University (Creative Interruptions, AHRC) and followed by a post-screening discussion with  Dr Marwan Darweish, Coventry University.

Part One:

History and exile

House,  Ahmad Saleh 2011

For generations, a family lived in a spacious and beautiful house. Guests were always welcome to enjoy a pleasant stay. Until one guest arrived with a different plan in mind. (4mins)

Alyasini,  Sahera Dirbas 2012

Mahmad Alyasini is a Palestinian survivor from Deir Yassin, west of Jerusalem. He recounts his life in the village before the Nakba and tells how he survived the massacre on April 1948. (22 mins)

Your father was born 100 years ago and so was the Nakba, Razan Al Salah 2017

Oum Amin, a Palestinian grandmother, returns to her hometown Haifa through Google Maps Streetview. 7mins

Part Two:

Contemporary dreams and realities

Oslo Syndrome (6 min) Ayman Azraq

Journey of a Sofa (9 min) Alaa Al Ali

Twenty Handshakes for Peace (3 min) Mahdi Fleifel

Message to Obama (7 min) Muhannad Salahat

Interference (11 min) Anim Nayfeh

These five films were produced by Palestinian directors 20 years after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and are part of a larger collection of short films called Suspended Time. The films present what feels like a suspended reality of unfulfilled dreams to capture feelings of fragmentation, loss, hope and humour in contemporary Palestinian experience. (2014)

Today they Took my Son (8mins) Farah Nabulsi

The story of a mother coping with her young son being taken away by a military system and her helplessness to prevent the inhumane treatment she knows he is experiencing. (2016)

Programme length 77 mins

Dr Anandi Ramamurthy

Reader in Post-Colonial Cultures
Department of Media Arts and Communication
Sheffield Hallam University
Sheffield
S1 1WB

National Demonstration for Gaza Stop the Killing

A National Demonstration is called for Saturday the 7th April outside Downing Street from 1 to 3 pm. 

Coaches will be leaving from Central Mosque, 180 Belgrave Middleway, Birmingham B12 0XS  8:30 am and from Carrs Lane Church Carrs Lane opposite Moore Street Station

To book your place Text 07721427690 for more details

Coaches  and protests are sponsored by various community and faith organisations in the city . Coaches will leave London around 4 pm to return home.  

 

 

 

 

 

HSBC Stop Arming Israel Protest 17th March 2018 13:00 to 15:00

Arms companies around the world are profiting from Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine. Along with the banks that invest in them, these companies are on our doorsteps. We can take action to stop them; join us for a protest Saturday, 17th March 2018.

Arms companies around the world are profiting from Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine. Along with the banks that invest in them, these companies are on our doorsteps. We can take action to stop them; join us for a protest Saturday, 17th March 2018 between 1 and 3pm at a high street near you. In Birmingham, the protest will be outside the HSBC branch in New Street in Birmingham City Centre. Many of the other towns and cities will have organised similar protests. We will be repeating these protests

 

Jeff Helper Director ICAHD explores WHERE ARE WE HEADED IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE?

In 2017, until October over 353 Palestinian buildings were demolished in the West Bank and over 528 people were displaced.

Jeff Helper, Director of Israeli Committee Against House demolitions argues that the Matrix of Control which Israel has laid over the Occupied Territory has effectively eliminated the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and produced instead a regime of apartheid. Faced with apartheid and the warehousing of the Palestinians, he goes on to outline to what appears to be the only just solution remaining: a democratic, bi-national state which he explores in depth.