• Sutton for Peace and Justice is a local voluntary group that promotes and campaigns on local, national and global issues of peace and justice.
  • Please visit our partners at Sutton 4 Sanctuary

  • Join 129 other followers

  • Follow S4P&J on Twitter

  • Creative Commons License
    The contents of this website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
  • The views expressed are those of the individual authors and not necessarily those of Sutton for Peace and Justice or its members.
  • Advertisements

Meeting about Palestine, Sutton, 6 July

Sutton for Peace and Justice invite you to a public meeting:

The plight of Palestinians today

Friday 6 July 2018, 7.30–9.30pm, doors open at 7.00

Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA

The killing of Palestinian demonstrators on the Gaza border has recently hit the headlines. But the continuing human rights abuses of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, with the expansion of illegal settlements, demolition of villages and imprisonment of children, goes largely unreported.

Come and hear from speakers with first-hand knowledge of the situation in Palestine, learn more about the plight of Palestinians today, consider what can be done to ensure a peaceful future and human rights for the people of Palestine, and join the debate.

With:

  • Philipa Harvey, campaigner on the rights of Palestinian Child Prisoners, member of Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Executive Committee and ex-President of the National Union of Teachers.
  • Doris Richards, an Ecumenical Accompanier who has visited Palestinian communities of Jaba al Baba and Khan am Ahmer currently suffering
    house demolitions.

There is no entry charge, donations will be taken on the night

Please reserve your place by email to sutton4peace@yahoo.co.uk
or by text message to 07740 594496

 

Advertisements

What the US must do to bring peace and stability to the Middle East

A response to Mike Pompeo’s 12 demands on Iran.

By Saleh Mamon

Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state set out 12 demands on Iran on the 21 May at in a speech at the Heritage Foundation. It is urgent that the unending wars and destruction in the Middle East are brought to an end for the sake of its peoples, their right to life and security. The US is a paramount military power in the Middle East and it should carry out its moral responsibilities by doing the following:

1) Deal with the issue of nuclear proliferation honestly and equitably by including Israel in the process of denuclearisation. Ensure that both Israel and Iran provide unqualified access to all nuclear sites throughout their respective countries to the IAEA. Facilitate the denuclearisation of the region by removing the shadow of nuclear threat hanging over the people of the Middle East.

2) Prevail on Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza and abandon its policy of violence against unarmed Palestinian civilians. Prevent the establishment of new settlements on occupied Palestinian land and help end all the administrative laws that choke Palestinian lives. Ensure that Israel releases all political prisoners. Bring all parties including Hamas together to establish peace by an equitable and just settlement for Palestinians that ensures security for both Israelis and Palestinians.

3) Restore US funding to UNRWA that provides the basic needs of millions of Palestinian refugees in the neighbouring countries. Seek in collaboration with the regional powers a long-term solution to address the needs of these refugees for homes, food, health and education, and their return to their homeland.

4) Ensure the security and integrity of Lebanon and stop Israel from violating its air space. Recognise that Hezbollah is a legitimate political force with historical roots in Lebanon and involve it in establishing peace in the area. Bring Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran together to ensure political stability and security in Lebanon.

5) Abandon the policy of regime change in Syria. Work with Russia and other regional powers for a political solution to the Syrian conflict. Stop the Saudi and Gulf states arming and supporting proxy groups and ISIS in Syria. Respect the integrity of Syria and stop any break up of its territory. With the other regional powers, Russia and the European Union, set up a mechanism for the reconstruction of Syria and for Syrian refugees to return home in the coming decade.

6) Prevail on Turkey to stop its occupation of the Kurdish region in the Northeast of Syria and oppose any ethnic cleansing of the towns and villages of their Kurdish population. Recognise the aspirations of the Kurdish people as legitimate and urge Turkey to release all political prisoners. Assist Turkey to find a political solution that is inclusive of its Kurdish citizens.

7) After the defeat of ISIS, take urgent steps with the Iraqi government to reconstruct the destroyed villages, towns and cities of Iraq with the use of the receipts from Iraq’s oil exports. Support the Iraqi government to build its non-oil economic sectors, infrastructure, health and education systems. Stop the political fragmentation of Iraq and end the occupation of Iraq.

8) Bring an end to the conflict in Afghanistan since its invasion and occupation in 2001 by declaring a ceasefire and agreeing a peace process with all parties, including Taliban and the regional neighbours of Afghanistan such as Pakistan, India, Iran, Russia and China.

9) Prevail on its allies in the Gulf Coalition to stop the bombing in Yemen and lift the blockade of Yemen to enable humanitarian aid to reach quickly the millions who need it. Ensure that a ceasefire is established and set up a process engaging all parties to reach a political solution leading to the withdrawal of foreign forces. Help, with the regional powers, to reconstruct Yemen’s destroyed infrastructure and economy.

10) Understand the anxieties and fears of Iran in terms of its national security. Stop demonising Iran and recognise it as a regional power that has legitimate security interests. Lift all sanctions on Iran and let the Iranian economy have full access to the world market. Involve Iran with the other regional powers such as Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Egypt in efforts to secure peace and stability in the region.

11) Prevail on Egypt to stop attacking peaceful protestors and to release political prisoners and allow the freedom of expression and association for the opposition. Ensure that there is freedom from torture and security force violence in Egypt. Work towards restoring political freedoms in Egypt.

12) Work with the UN, Europe, Egypt and other relevant regional countries to implement UN plan to reconcile the different factions in Libya to establish a unified democratic government in Libya. Help with the reconstruction of Libya’s infrastructure and economy.

 

Time to stop war and end the arms trade that supports war

Sutton for Peace and Justice invite you to a public meeting:

‘Time to stop war and end the arms trade that supports war’

15 years on from the US led invasion of Iraq its high time that the lessons were heeded and action taken to stop war and the trade in arms that promotes war.

The people of Iraq are still suffering whilst the horrors of war continue to be visited upon countless others, as remote governments repeat failed military adventures and big business reaps the benefits of the trade in arms.

This meeting will bring together three expert speakers to talk of the lasting legacy of the illegal invasion of Iraq, the folly and tragedy of military conflict,
and the abhorrence of the international arms trade.

Nazli Tarzi – from Tadhamun (solidarity) Iraqi women organization.
Ian Chamberlain – from Stop the War.
Phil Mahon – from the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

Come and take part in the debate and join with us as we heed the lessons
and commit to work to stop war and control the arms trade.

Wednesday 23 May 20187.30–9.30p, m, doors open at 7.00.
At Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA.

There is no entry charge, donations will be taken on the night – please reserve your place by email to sutton4peace@yahoo.co.uk
or by text message to 07740 594496

During this year Sutton for Peace and Justice will be staging a series of events
to mark Hiroshima Day, remember the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1,
and call for an end to war and the trade in arms that promotes war.

Iraq Solidarity Month

Iraq Solidarity Month seeks to be a reminder of the crimes committed in dismantling a state, society and culture so that they are not repeated; to be a celebration of Iraq’s history, resistance and aspiration for peace based on equality and justice; and to reclaim the basic principles of peace and respect between nations that is the foundation of our shared humanity and guarantee we can all live in a future devoid of the scourge of war.
15 years on from the invasion of Iraq, Iraqi women organisation Tadhamn launched Iraq Solidarity Month on 26 April at a public meeting at SOAS, University of London.
Remembering Iraq is not only important to the millions of victims who deserve justice, it is necessary.
Find out more here.

TADHAMUN تـضـامـن

Tadhamun (solidarity) is an Iraqi women organization, standing by Iraqi women’s struggle against sectarian politics in Iraq. Fighting for equal citizenship across ethnicities and religions, for human rights, and gender equality.

Find out more here.

Why do Eritrean’s risk their lives to flee their country?

Report by Mike McLoughlin.

On the 6th April Sutton for Peace & Justice invited a settled Eritrean refugee Fessahaye Gebregiorgis, know as George, to speak about the present situation in Eritrea and why so many young people risk their lives by trying to escape the country. He brought an Eritrean friend, Gabriel, who has worked in the Ethiopian refugee camps for “Save the Children” and also contributed to the discussion.

George started by saying he was very grateful to the UK for twice accepting him as a refugee, first when Eritrea was invaded by Ethiopia and then after the present president tore up the independence constitution and became a dictator controlling every aspect of Eritrean life and ridding himself of his previous co-fighters.

After 30 years of war for independence, Isaias Afwerki became the first president of Eritrea, and has held that position ever since its independence in 1993. In 1994 he got rid of the UN peacekeeping force on the Eritrea/Ethiopia border and in 1998 declared war on and invaded Ethiopia. Then using this as an excuse, he declared a state of emergency, suspending the constitution, imposing military rule and arresting his deputy and some cabinet members. None have been seen since and they are all believed to be dead. Afwerki has removed all possibility of a challenge to his regime of fear and divide-and-rule, and dictates everything concerning life in Eritrea.

In Eritrea there is no freedom of speech, no right to assemble, religious freedom is restricted and young people are conscripted into indefinite military service, many being used as, in effect, slave labour. In a country which now has a population under 4 million there are 300 prisons in which no visitors are allowed and if a prisoner dies no-one is informed. If a person is arrested their family realise it is the end for them.

In view of all this it is not surprising that there are 150,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia and many more in Sudan, despite the Eritrean army’s shoot to kill policy at the border.

Gold is mined there but as there is no official budget no one knows how much revenue is generated or how it is spent, except that some of it goes to the president’s supporters. The Country is rich in other minerals and there has been a recent discovery of significant amounts of potash. The UK wants to do business with the regime and is particularly interested in the potash.

The UK Government refuses to acknowledge the real situation in Eritrea and has adopted a harsh policy towards Eritrean asylum seekers, even giving as an excuse that the Eritrean government encourages its young people to try to get to Europe in order to benefit from money sent back to their families. As a result, many young Eritreans in this country, who are allowed to remain but not allowed to work and have no access to government funds, are despairing; their mental health is deteriorating and the suicide rate is rising.

The true situation in Eritrea is verified by  the UN Human Rights Commission report, the second part of which was presented in June 2016, and the Human Rights Watch Report of June 2015 – both available on the internet. There are also many videos featuring Eritrean refugees on YouTube which show the conditions there and their escape journeys, two of which were shown at the meeting.

Public meeting – Refugees welcome here

Sutton 4 Sanctuary and Sutton for Peace & Justice invite you to a public meeting in Sutton on 6 April:

Refugees welcome here

Why people flee their home country

Why we should give them sanctuary and a welcome here

This meeting will examine why thousands are forced to flee their homes and face the perils of travelling across North Africa and the Mediterranean Sea to find safety in Europe, and how some of them seek sanctuary here in Sutton.

Come and see a short film; hear the personal experience of a
refugee from Eritrea who has settled in South London; find out more and join the debate.

Friday 6 April 7.30–9.30pm, doors open at 7.00

Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA

There is no entry charge, donations will be taken on the night

Please reserve your place by email to
admin@sutton4sanctuary.uk
or by text message to 07740 594496

The Divide by Jason Hickel

Book review by Mike McLoughin 

The Divide – A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions by Jason Hickel challenges the orthodox beliefs about the roots of global inequality.

Hickel was very close to the inequality he writes about as he grew up in Swaziland and carried out fieldwork with NGOs across the developing world. What he saw and experienced led him to try to change things through academic research and teaching development studies. The book is accessible to anyone but also stimulating for a more aware audience. It questions the received wisdom on development economics and provides new ideas on the causes behind success and failure in development. It gives an historical analysis of the causes of poverty in many of today’s poor nations and shows how almost all those involved have made inequality worse.

He exposes the failure of multinational organizations to reduce inequality while attempting to make people think otherwise. He also describes the structural nature of poverty, how poor countries remain poor through the actions of rich countries and how global GDP growth can never be the solution to global poverty and demonstrates how the international agencies like the World Bank and IMF, set up to bring about the end of poverty, have achieved the opposite through the domination of neo-liberal thinking in these rich-world dominated agencies.

The text dismantles the neo-liberal arguments that favour structural adjustment with a rigorous analysis and shows how most enduring gains against poverty have happened in East Asia. In particular he uses China to show how nations should carve out their own path in order to develop in a meaningful way, rejecting the guidance of so-called development experts by nurturing and supporting their industries with a range of government assistance.

The text draws on the work of many developmental economics experts such as Thomas Pogge, Lant Pritchett, Ha-Joon Chang and Sudhir Anand but retains his own unique approach.

The Divide is a very easily read book that draws on extensive research and It is one of the best on the subject that I have read and should be top of the list for anyone interested in structural inequality, developmental politics, and challenging the economic orthodoxy.

 

The Divide – A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions, by Jason Hickel, published by William Heinemann, 4th May 2017, 368 Pages.