Skip to main content


Showing posts from November, 2012

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have prepared this Bulletin, following the end of mass hunger strikes amongst predominantly Kurdish political prisoners in Turkey's prisons, on 18 November. The BDP has 36 members of the Turkish Parliament, elected mainly with the support of Turkey's substantial Kurdish minority, which exceeds 20 million people. Ayse Berktay, long time activist in the Turkish peace movement and a good friend of the Russell Foundation, writes from her prison in Istanbul, where she has been held since October 2011.

Early bird special!

Thrillling double bill at the Renoir Cinema, WC1, Sunday 9 December, doors open 10.30am, courtesy of The London Socialist Film Co-op.

Sunday 9th December 2012


Eran Torbiner, Israel 2011 (U), 48 mins, Yiddish with EST

The Jewish Socialist Bund movement struggled for the right of the Jews to full equal rights. It was strong among Polish Jews on the eve of WWII and was the arch rival of the Zionist movement. Bund supporters who survived the war and chose to emigrate to Israel have tried to continue spreading Bund ideas for over 60 years. Bund activists alive today are over 80 years old but insist on speaking Yiddish and talking Socialism. Now more than ever they insist on dying as Bundists.
Eran Torbiner, July 2012
WHOSE IS THIS SONG? (Chia E Tazi Pesen?)

Adela Peeva, Belgium/ Bulgaria 2003 (PG) 70 mins, Bulgarian, Macedonian and Turkish with EST

Music has the power to evoke passion but how can one song spark so many? Adela Peeva exposes conflicting beliefs of love, religion, revo…


On 20 November 2012, the House of Commons debated the Middle East, at the request of backbenchers. We begin this selection from the debate with Andy Slaughter’s percipient remarks about the pending mass killing of many more innocents in Gaza, should Israel proceed with its ground invasion. Arbuthnot and Ottoway, Select Committee Chairmen, marked low points in the Debate. Hague rather distanced himself from the more partisan comments of the many Friends of Israel in the House. He knows Hamas won the 2006 elections in Gaza by a street, and that they are serious interlocutors. That’s why Michael Ancram talked with them at length after that victory. (see Spokesman 97)

House of Commons Tuesday 20 November 2012 Middle East
Several hon. Members rose

Andy Slaughter Hammersmith) (Lab): Palestinian victims of Israeli atrocities are so many that they often go unnamed. I would like to name the four youngest members of the El Dallo family: Sara, 7; Jamal, 6; Yusef, 4; and Ibrahim, 2. They were fou…

An Appeal for Gaza on Universal Children's Day

Stop Israeli Atrocities against Palestinian Children and People in Gaza!

On the occasion of the Universal Children's Day 20 November and - the 23rd Anniversary for the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) we, the International Board on Books for Young People-Palestinian Section appeal to all Children Rights advocates and defenders, to express solidarity with Palestinian children, and to pressure their governments and the International organizations to force Israel to end it aggression and war crimes against the Palestinian children and people in Gaza.

Palestinian children, civilians and whole families are being blatantly targeted by the Israeli military with bombs weighing up to one ton dropped by F-16 fighter jets (more than 1200 raids so far), knowing that Gaza has no safe place and no shelters. Moreover, Palestinians in Gaza have been enduring the shortage of basic human needs and the wrecked infrastructure because of the 6-years-long criminal siege and the criminal war of…

The Latest Gaza Catastrophe

Professor Richard Falk is the UN's respected rapporteur on Palestinian Human Rights. He is well worth reading.

The Latest Gaza Catastrophe: Will They Ever Learn?
by Richard Falk – TRANSCEND Media Service

[This post is an updated version of an article published in the online English edition of Al Jazeera, 17 Nov 2012, taking account of some further developments in the new horrifying unfolding of violence in Gaza.]

President Obama, upon his arrival today in Bangkok at the start of a state visit to several Asian countries, reminded the world of just how unconditional U.S. support for Israel remains. Obama was quoted as saying, “There is no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside of its borders. We are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself.” Much is missing from such a sentiment, most glaringly, the absence of any balancing statement along the following line: “and no country would tolerate the periodic assassination of its lea…

Hundreds of Kurdish prisoners on prolonged hunger strike

Peace in Kurdistan Campaign


Hundreds of Kurdish prisoners are now taking part in a hunger strike which they have declared is to be indefinite.

This hunger strike began on 12 September, a not insignificant date in Turkey’s political history, with 63 people, including 13 women, in seven prisons. The numbers have grown rapidly with hundreds more Kurdish political prisoners joining the action and it is reported that 600 prisoners are currently on indefinite hunger strike.

The prisoners' demands appear simple and reasonable: the right to education and legal defence in their mother tongue of Kurdish; and the start of direct peace talks to resolve the outstanding conflict by peaceful, constitutional means and with the full participation of imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.

If nothing is done to meet the demands of the hunger strikers, more martyrs will be added to the Kurdish dead and it is feared that the situation could rapidly …

Trouble in Rushcliffe’s Schools

David Laws MP, who falsified his expenses claims and had to repay Parliament some £56,000, has now been appointed Schools Minister by David Cameron, as we discuss in Spokesman 118. Together with Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, Laws is pushing the Government’s programme of state-funded companies (academies including so-called “free schools”) to run schools, which are then no longer part of the local authority or public sector. This policy of further fragmentation of school education in England is becoming increasingly chaotic, as recent developments in Nottinghamshire indicate.

West Bridgford is one of the leafier parts of Nottingham, south of the River Trent. Ken Clarke lives here, in his Rushcliffe Constituency, five or six miles from where he grew up, in Bulwell, a tougher part of town. County Hall is in West Bridgford. In 2009, the Tories won control of Nottinghamshire for the first time in 30 years.

Back in the early 1990s, the Conservative Government split Nottingham City f…