Conferences, festivals and training: ISM active around the country

ISM London report

The ISM was active around the country this past weekend, taking part in a cultural-political festival in Bangor, north Wales, a conference in London, as well as running one of our regular training session for new recruits interested in going out to Palestine for solidarity work.

At the “Bangor to Bethlehem” weekend in Wales one ISMer gave a talk, along with someone from the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel and someone working with the Right to Education campaign. The talk went well and was well received, and the festival itself was fantastic. On the first night there must have been 200 people in attendance, and most were local. Considering Bangor is only a small town with a population of about 20,000 this was a tremendous achievement. There were some great speeches, some country and western music sung in Welsh, and a comedy set from Jewish comic Ivor Dembina.

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions had their AGM/Conference event on Saturday. It was an excellent turnout, with around 100 people, and the hall was completely full. The ISM talk was on the consumer boycott and was well received. It was a great opportunity to highlight the work of ISM London to other organisations.

There was an ISM London training session Saturday-Sunday. Eleven trainees braved the indoors on two wonderfully sunny days. They were given an introduction to what it would be like to work with ISM in Palestine, what would be expected of them, and the kind of things they are likely to see. ISM training in London does not replace the compulsory training in Palestine, but it gives trainees the chance to decide whether they would like to go to Palestine with ISM, as well as preparing in advance to traveling.