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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.

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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.

Palestine – 100 years after Balfour

Public meeting hosted by Sutton for Peace and Justice

Wednesday 29 November 7.30–9.30pm, doors open at 7.00
At Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA

 

The legacy of Balfour – the broken promises, the suffering and conflict.

Human rights abuses and the plight of Palestinians today – occupation, checkpoints, illegal settlements, house demolitions.

The hopes for a peaceful future with justice and equal rights for everyone living in Israel and Palestine.

 

With:

Salim Alam – Executive Committee Member, Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Hannah Griffiths – human rights monitor and ‘accompanier’ of children in Hebron

Linda Ramsden – UK director of Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD)

Doris Richards – who has visited East Jerusalem twice as an Ecumenical Accompanier

 

100 years ago the Balfour Declaration pledged Britain’s support for a ‘national home’ in Palestine for the Jewish people, on the understanding that the rights of ‘existing non-jewish communities in Palestine’ would not be prejudiced. But Britain reneged on its pledge, leaving Palestinians disposessed and living as refugees or under occupation.

Come and hear from speakers with first-hand knowledge of the plight of Palestinians today.

And join the debate.

 

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

Prominent Israelis call for recognition of state of Palestine

Prominent Israelis have sent a message of support to the organisors of the ‘Balfour Project’ and called for recognition of state of Palestine’.

They say that ‘the seeds of the ongoing dispute between the Palestinians and Israelis were, to a large extent, sown in 1917’ by the Balfour Declaration. And they call on the British Government to recognise Palestine as a state.

Read more here.

Open Bethlehem – A Big Film About a Small Town

Sutton for Peace and Justice is pleased to present a screening of ‘Open Bethlehem’.

On Wednesday 25 October 2017, doors open 7.00 for 7.30 start.

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

Open Bethlehem is a deeply personal film – the story of a homecoming that spans seven momentous years in the life of Bethlehem – the world’s most famous little town.

A critically-acclaimed documentary film by Leila Sansour. Both a portrait of a city of astonishing beauty and political strife under occupation, and the story of the creation of a campaign to compel international action to bring peace to the Middle East.

“One of the most remarkable and moving documentaries I have seen. The tragedy of Palestinians encapsulated in the life of one town – Bethlehem..” Jon Snow – Channel 4

“Open Bethlehem is a fierce and poignant plea against the incarceration of a city”
Film of the Week – The Guardian

For more information about Open Bethlehem see www.openbethlehem.org

There is no advance 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.

You can download the  flyer for Open Bethlehem.

 

 

The Colloquium in Carshalton Park

Sutton for Peace and Justice brings you

The Colloquium in Carshalton Park

Throughout the day of the Environmental Fair on Bank Holiday Monday 28 August at Carshalton Park, Sutton for Peace and Justice will be hosting a series of informal and open discussions on a range of peace and justice issues:

11.30 Sutton 4 Sanctuary – Refugees welcome here
Helping refugees find a welcome and establish a new home in Sutton, including the Community Sponsorship Scheme.

12.15 Inequality is not inevitable
Inequality is bad for everyone and austerity is making it worse – but there is an alternative.

13.00 Climate Change – threat to peace & justice
Action on climate change is essential – now more than ever.

13.45 The plight of Palestinians today
How the rights of ‘the non-jewish communities of Palestine’ are ‘prejudiced’ 100 years after Balfour.

14.30 In defence of the Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act protects us all and needs our support.

15.15 Stop nuclear proliferation – scrap Trident
Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki –Trident should be scrapped.

16.00 Sutton 4 Sanctuary – Refugees welcome here
Helping refugees find a welcome and establish a new home in Sutton, including the Community Sponsorship Scheme.

All at the Sutton for Peace and Justice stall J04–J05.

Come along and hear about these important issues, have your say and join the debate.

Colloquium – an informal gathering for the exchange of views, from latin ‘to talk together’; a seminar usually led by a different academic or expert speaker at each meeting.

 

Refugee & Migrant Network Sutton AGM

Refugee and Migrant Network Sutton (RMNS) are holding their Annual General Meeting
on Wednesday October 19th 12.00 midday, Trinity Hall, Trinity Church Sutton  SM1 1DZ.

The meeting will feature keynote speaker Shabibi Shah, author of Where do I belong? and Innocent Deception. In 1982 she fled across the mountains of Afghanistan with her three children arriving as a refugee in Croydon and has worked tirelessly for human rights.

RSVP:  olwenstewart@hotmail.com  or olwen@rmns.org.uk