29 January 2009: Demo prevents Israeli war criminal speaking in London!

ISM activists took part in an emergency demo yesterday (29th Jan), which it seems successfully prevented Israeli army reserve colonel Geva Rapp from speaking at a pro-Israel organisation in London last night.

Reports and pictures:
According to the organisers, Rapp took a leading role in the recent Israeli massacres in Gaza. In their secretive email, leaked to Palestine solidarity groups, and passed on to ISM London, organisers also said Rapp will be conducting "a lightning tour of the UK this week". So more protests are needed! See the original leaked email here.

22 January 2009: ISM London issues declaration supporting student occupations


ISM London offers support and solidarity to the numerous student occupations and sit-ins around the UK in recent weeks. This response to the most recent Israeli onslaught on Gaza has been one of the most important initiatives in the movement. Generating pressure on our higher education establishments to take a stand against Israel and the war crimes it commits is vital. We stand in solidarity with the many Palestinians, students, activists, academics and members of the public who are now being more and more vocal about the boycott of Israel as a means of both exerting international pressure on the Israeli apartheid system, and standing in solidarity with the resistant Palestinian people.

ISM activists all around the UK are available to speak about their experiences on the ground in Palestine and are contactable via ISM London ( An ISM speaker will be at the Warwick sit-in tonight. For those interested in visiting Palestine, we can also organise training events around the UK if you can organise a group large enough (usually 10 or 15). Email for more details.

Current or recent UK student occupations we know of:

UPDATE: since posting the above, student occupations have been breaking out all over the country at such a rapid pace, it has been almost impossible to keep up! This site does a pretty good job though. See also this Facebook group. And see also this statement of support from the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE).

10 January 2009: Israeli cosmetics store shut down!

ISM activists participated in an action to shut down an Ahava store in Covent Garden on Saturday January 10th, timed to coincide with the national demo in London. Ahava, an Israeli cosmetics company, sells produce from apartheid settlements in the West Bank (all Israeli settlements are illegal under international law). See Indymedia UK for a fuller report and more pictures.

10 January 2009: Second London National Demo
Stop The Bombing Of Gaza!

Up to 200,000 people marched to the Israeli Embassy to denounced the attacks on Gaza. Demonstrators left shoes at the Israeli embassy in the spirit of the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George Bush. Some rioting broke out when police attacked demonstrators. See Indymedia UK for several reports and many pictures.

3 January 2009: National Demo (in London)
Stop The Bombing Of Gaza!

The demonstration today opposing the continuing Israeli arial bombardment, which has now become a full scale ground offensive, began in high spirits bringing together thousands of protesters, estimates ranging from 25,000 - 75,000 people, to voice their opposition to Israeli military tactics which have left at least 420 dead and thousands injured in the Gaza strip. Having marched from Embankment through to Trafalger Spuare, pausing to throw a number of shoes symbolicly at Westminister, protesters congregated for a rally and speaches against the violence and to call the British government to act. Speakers included former MP Tony Benn, the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone and numerous others.

At approximately 4pm demonstrators began to march towards the embassy, shouting chants and protests but maintaining a non violant approach. As protestors neared the tunnel at the end of Regent street leading to Kensington police blocked protestors from moving forward. Despite innitial opposition and obvious frustration at not being allowed to pass, when demonstrators up till this point had been non-violent and non aggressive, the police barracades and aggression worked to escalate the tension. As protestors waited, police informed members of the crowd that in a couple of minutes, and if the demonstrators calm down they would be able to pass. Demonstrators complied, lowered the chants and waited until the police began slowly inching backwards to allow the demonstrators to move forward. Having reached deep inside the tunnel and with no photographers or media present the police stopped unnexpectantly, held the protestors and then charged with battons and shields at protestors who comprised youths, students, women, elderly and children. In the ensuing crush and indescriminate violance by the police many were trampelled, beaten and severly hurt. One protester receiving a substantial gash to the head with blood pouring out. (photo) There were scores of other protesters further injured as police regrouped and charged twice more battering people without restraint including young women who desperate to avoid involvement stood to the side yet were still battered and pushed and people seeking medical treatment denied any route out of the tunnel.

Eventually protestors were allowed out of the tunnel to cheers from activists who had managed to avoid what appeared to be an orchestrated attack of indiscriminate police brutality which was totally unnecessary. The police took blatant advantage of the closed nature of the tunnel ensuring that general members of the public would not be able to witness their violence.

Protestors proceeded onto the embassy and joined others who had reached there by other means. Despite police attempts to pen them in, protestors broke free, throwing barracades aside and took the streets although access to the emabassy was once again denied. Police continued with heavy agression and violance against protestors in a gratuitous fashion with police seen to be smirking at the opportunity to beat innocent protestors who were uninvolved in aggession. As demonstrators finally left, the police penned in a final group of approximately 300 who it is hoped will be released without further harrasment. An unknown number of arrests took place and dozens more injured with at least one needing hospital treatment and stiches to his head and observation for the next 48 hours.

More photos:

Related articles:

13 December 2008: No to Israeli Blood Diamonds!

On Saturday 13th December ISM activists braved the cold rain on up-market Old Bond Street, London to voice their opposition to Lev Leviev’s blood diamonds. Similar protests were held in Dubai and Palestine on the same weekend. Leviev finances Israeli settlements, illegally built in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Despite initial opposition from Leviev's security guards, management and police, the demonstration went ahead successfully. Activists chanted, read out fact sheets about Leviev's war crimes, distributed leaflets and spoke with members of the public. Even the security guards eventually took an interest and it was suggested they find a different company they could be proud to work for.

ISM took the shine off the diamonds financing Israel’s dark crimes. After a couple of hours of successfully deterring many potential customers, we concluded the protest. During the entire length of our presence, not a single person entered the store.

We hope the protest will pave the way for future actions. Together, we can maintain the pressure against Leviev, and show solidarity with the New York and Dubai activists protesting the Leviev stores there as well as all others involved in the BDS campaign.

Background info:

Lev Leviev commits a compendium of human rights abuses ranging from supporting the oppressive Angolan Dos Santos regime which is renowned for its corruption, lack of transparency and violence, owning diamond mines which employ private security firms known to beat, whip and sexually abuse employees, through to purchasing rubies from Burma which supports the military junta and directly financing the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements (a war crime under the Geneva Convention).

As part of the Jewish Land Redemption Fund, Leviev finances the expansion of the Israeli settlements named: Mattityahu East, Modi'in Illit, Zufim, Maale Adumim and Har Homa. All Israeli settlements are a violation of international Law as set down in the Fourth Geneva Convention since they constitute a transference of the civilian population of the occupying power into an occupied territory. This position is further supported by both the UN and the International Court of Justice.

The theft of Palestinian land leads to the impoverishment and subjugation of Palestinian people and violent oppression against Palestinian non-violent resistance.

Related articles:

1 December 2008: Sheffield Uni. Talk,

Report from a UK ISM activist: "I delivered a talk, entitled the 'Wild Wild West Bank - non violent direct action in Palestine', on Monday evening to a group of 25 or so students at Sheffield Uni. I received lots of feedback and some of them would be really interested in attending a UK training session. I told them that if they could get enough people, we would come to them and deliver a training course at their university in the new year. They asked lots of questions about the practicalities of being part of the ISM which is always a good sign."

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