Friday 21 April 2017

Palestinian Prisoners' Day Demonstration in Trafalgar Square

We know that a lot of Palestinians are arrested and jailed unfairly. We know that the conditions of imprisonment are very bad. We also know that Israeli soldiers tend to jail children. We must organise actions to make people aware and to protest against those facts.

On the 20th of May, we went to Trafalgar Square, on the stairs of St-Martin-in-the-Fields to protest against the way Palestinians are treated regarding the imprisonment.

We were about 15 people, almost all CADFA's volunteers, but we also had two people from the International Jewish Antizionist Network (IJAN) who brought their own placards. Before the event, we made several signs with CADFA's volunteers and we gave them to the people who wanted to demonstrate. They were about the different injustices Palestinians have to face within this issue. Some of us were blindfolded. We also distributed around 500 leaflets to people in the street (the one you can see in the last article of this blog).

Trafalgar Square is always very busy and we decided to set up at 4:30pm, when people begin to go out the offices. So we reached a lot of them and the reacts were, as always, very disparate. Some were insensitive (but at least they have been reminded or educated), other were aggressive. One woman insulted us. But we have been given support by lots of people as well and we held very interesting discussions. We also met Palestinian people, very recently arrived from Palestine. They very happy about what we were doing.

We think that action was effective. We plan to organise another one very soon, about the same topic.

Here are some pictures from this demonstration.

Thursday 20 April 2017

Palestinian Prisoners' National Day 17th April 2017

(Written in Arabic by the student twinning group in Abu Dis and translated - the leaflet from the prisoner demo in London today)

Every year on 17th April, all Palestinian people everywhere hold a day of solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners. This year specifically, the prisoners inside Israeli jails decided to start an open hunger strike, calling for their basic human rights. This is happening at a time when we have around 6500 prisoners inside Israeli jails, among them 300 children (under 18) and 57 women.

This year, on the morning of 17th April the Palestinian prisoner Leena al-Jarbooneh was released after spending 17 years in Israeli jail. She said she was sad to leave another 50 women behind her, some of whom are joining the hunger strike.

The hunger strike started with 1500 prisoners and in its first stage did not include children or people who are sick.

For us as Al Quds University students and people from Abu Dis, we have between us around 50 friends and relatives inside jail. Many of them are university students, and some of them are on hunger strike now, for example Islam Rabiyeh who is a first-year university student who was recently arrested and has joined the strike. 

We all started peaceful solidarity campaigns, beginning with a march on 17th April through Abu Dis. Mothers of prisoners and children of prisoners carried their photos and we started to walk towards the University Street. The Israeli army attacked this march and started to throw tear gas directly towards the middle of the demo, where children and women were walking. Many young people were wounded by rubber bullets and even journalists who came to cover the activity were attacked by the army and were kicked out from the area because the army don't want journalists to take the facts and send them to the outside world.

The army shot towards an ambulance, which stopped them reaching and rescuing people who were wounded.

On the next morning, 18th April in the morning, the army came to the area of the university and the schools. They surrounded them and stopped students from getting to their study. We didn't manage to go to University that day. They managed to stop and activity in solidarity with prisoners that was due to happen inside the university.

Among Al Quds University students in jail who are joining the hunger strike now, we have
ISLAM RABIYEH (19 years old)
AHMED AL HAJ HASSAN (22 years old)
EHSAN OTHMAN (22 years old)

We call the international community to raise this issue and to support the demands that our friends and brothers inside jail are asking for, and also to be in touch with the families of the prisoners who are meeting in solidarity tents in many towns in Palestine.

Thursday 6 April 2017

Our hopes from student twinning

Meeting in Birkbeck University 5th April 2017

Yesterday we had a student meeting with Nandita in Birkbeck University. That's spring holidays now, so we were few. It was effective though.

We know how difficult it is to be a student in Palestine, particularly in Al Quds University compared to what we experience here in UK. The main issue is to share this reality with as many people as we can.

We would like to set up further links between students in UK and students in Palestine. We plan to build new links soon and we will meet the Palestine Societies in the different universities. One of our goal is to organise trips to and from Palestine this year. It would help to raise awareness in UK about the situation in Palestine.

Regarding the issue of prisoners we will organise a Prisoners' Day Thursday, 20th of April 2017 near Trafalgar Square in London. We will let know how it goes and we will post pictures and texts about this day.

We are happy that there are students interested in twinning in Palestine. Please keep on posting here, we will also do it.

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Hopes from student twinning (translation of the Arabic below)

Meeting of the Al Quds University Student Twinning Group at Dar Assadaqa 4th April 2017

Our university, Al Quds University, faces continuous violations by the Israeli army because it is close to the Separation Wall.  It is often attacked with tear gas, and the army invade it. Many students are arrested and prevented from continuing their studies at the University. It is in an area surrounded by military checkpoints which make movement to and from the University a problem.

(A British student being interviewed by a Palestinian student: 
part of a CADFA visit to Palestine last year)

We are meeting today to try to share our issues with British students, to allow us and you to learn more about each other’s daily lives, and from our side also to enable you to see the daily violations that the Israelis commit against the students from our university.

We all hope that by our next meeting, next week, we will hear also about your life as British students so we can improve the twinning links which have been going on now for years between London universities and the Al Quds University. We also hope that we can have activities and projects with the support of CADFA which will allow us to meet more and to work together.

In this meeting, we have a group of students from different faculties in Al Quds University. We believe that twinning with universities in the UK will give us a good opportunity and we hope to keep it going. For us, this link can be a good way to reach more people, so more people can share their personal stories and experiences under occupation.

Among us here in this meeting we have students who have spent time in Israeli jails away from their studies and were released recently and others who were wounded by Israeli army  bullets while they were in the course of their study. 

We all have hope that you can take our voice and our message as wide as you can among the students of your universities, and together with your colleagues you can create some pressure to protest against the Israeli occupation policies towards Palestinian students and  Palestinian people in general.

لقاء نادي التوامة لطلاب جامعة القدس

تم اليوم عقد اللقاء الاول لطلبة جامعة القدس  والتي تتعرض بحكم قربها من الجدار الى العديد من الانتهاكات المستمرة على مدار العام من اطلاق قنابل غاز واقتحامات تتعرض لها الجامعة وطلبتها حيث هناك العديد من طلاب الجامعة الذين تم اعتقالهم وحرمانهم من ممارسة حياتهم الطبيعية واستكمال دراستهم الجامعية .بالاضافة الى الحواجز المنتشرة في ارجاء الضفة الغربية التي بدورها تعيق حركة الطلاب من والى الجامعة وهذا ما دفعنا الى طرح ومشاركة قضيتنا الوطنية والانسانية مع نادي الطلبة الجامعيين في بريطانيا وهو ما سيفسح المجال لنا ولكم للتعرف اكثر على الحياة اليومية والاحداث الحياتية والانتهاكات الاسرائيلية الت ييتعرض لها طلبة جامعة القدس بشكل يومي ومن خلال لقائاتنا القادمة نود التعرف اكثر على الطلبة في الجامعات البريطانية وان نستكمل مسيرة التوأمة التي بدأت منذ سنوات بين الجامعات اللندنية وجامعة القدس آملين ان يكون هناك مشاريع مستقبلية عن طريق كادفا تؤهلنا للقائكم والعمل معكم.

مدخل جامعة القدس يوم 22-3-2017

في لقائنا اليوم حضر مجموعة من طلبة جامعة القدس بتخصصات مختلفةمن كليات مختلفة مثلت التوامة مع الجامعات البريطانية لهم تجربة جديدة يودون ان تستمر وتتطور لانها تعبر عن منبر يمكنهم في المستقبل من مشاركة قصصهم الشخصية وتجاربهم تحت الاحتلال من بينهم من قضو فترات اعتقالية داخل السجون الاسرائيلية خلال فترة دراستهم وافرج عنهم قريبا ومنهم من تعرضوا للاصابات بالرصاص خلال تواجدهم في داخل جامعتهم وعلى مقاعد دراستهم. وكلهم امل في ان تحملوا صوتهم ورسالتهم الى اوسع قطاع طلابي في جامعاتكم وان تعملو مع طلابكم على تشكيل مجموعات ضغط لفضح ممارسات الاحتلال اتجاه طلاب وابناء الشعب الفلسطيني .