“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

_1707

_1708

Saturday 1358  -  26.07.14

If you are new to my blog take a look at my About page here

.

Please don’t just flick past and think this is just another post about Palestine.. It is but it is so very important to read about what is happening, as the worlds governments seem to be standing by apparently disinterested. Please read right to the end. Thank you.

I’d like you to think about something for me, especially if you have children, elderly parents, someone disabled in your family, a husband, wife or other loved one. Yes in other words all of you.

I want you to imagine that you’ve had leaflets dropped in the area where you live telling you that you need to get out of your house because the area in which you live is going to be bombed.

Now your phone is ringing and you’re being told you have 15 mins to get out of the house. What do you think ? This is my house, all my things, my life savings have gone into this house.

Then I want you to imagine that there is an explosion on your roof, enough to shake the house violently and do some damage or maybe even kill anyone at the top of the house. ( the Israelis call it a “tap on the roof”)

Next feel the fear of knowing that explosion on your roof is a warning that your house is going to be bombed and you need to get out fast. What would you bring with you? Food, clothes, medicine, money, the dog?  Would you have time? Would you run?  How can you when you have an elderly grandmother with you ? Where would you go when you don’t know which other houses are going to be bombed? 

Would you go to the beach? Would you be safe there?

Would you go to a UN run school? Would you be safe there?

Please don’t stop reading now but instead watch this video here. 

Imagine this was your house…..

BtfHo13CUAAKnYt

All gone…

Forever.  

Along with any dreams and hopes you might have had for the future.

I hope you managed to get your family out in time.

…….

These are some of the names and ages of the children killed in the last 2 weeks. They didn’t get out in time

Names and ages of some of the children killed in Gaza in the last 2 weeks

Names and ages of some of the children killed in Gaza in the last 2 weeks

—–

On this Saturday  I attended a 1 hr vigil for the people who have been killed in the Gaza strip, Palestine, in the last 2 weeks .The vigil, organised by the Cambridge Palestine Forum was held in the centre of Cambridge whilst in London upwards of 45,000 people marched calling for an end to the terrible bloodshed, to the blockade of Gaza by Israel and for a boycott of Israel.  

_1709

_1711

Reading the names of the dead

_1710

.

On 22.07.14 a vote was held in the United Nations on a resolution ensuring respect for international law in Palestine  - 

on the 23rd July  -

The Human Rights Council concludes Special Session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Establishes Independent, International Commission of Inquiry for the Occupied Palestinian Territory

“The Human Rights Council today established an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and concluded its Special Session on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

In the resolution, adopted by a vote of 29 States in favour, 1 against and 17 abstentions, the Council condemned in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violations of international human rights and fundamental freedoms arising from the Israeli military operations carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 13 June 2014 that may amount to international crimes, directly resulting in the killing of more than 650 Palestinians, most of them civilians and more than 170 of whom were children, the injury of more than 4,000 people and the wanton destruction of homes, vital infrastructure and public properties.

In the resolution, the Council decided to urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry to investigate all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014, and to report to the Council at its twenty-eighth session.

Please look carefully at the result of the vote below. The United States of America voted AGAINST the resolution and Europe, including France, Germany, Austria, Ireland , Italy and the UK abstained. In other words they were silent and proved again that when the USA says jump they say how high !  I am ashamed of my government here in the Uk. They did not vote in my name !

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu

10371473_943037199046421_7529469035763528367_n

.

Please read this and consider signing https://secure.avaaz.org/en/israel_palestine_this_is_how_it_ends_loc/?slideshow

Or you might like to write to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ,Phillip Hammond directly and tell him what you think. You can do that here https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/israel-gaza

So what can you do about it apart from signing petitions. You might like to consider boycotting companies that have strong links with Israel. 

More information: –

here http://www.boycottisraelnetwork.net/ .

and here http://www.boycottisrael.org.uk/

Finally I would ask you to watch this video here by Jon Snow. One of the few journalists around these days who is really doing his job.

Please don’t turn away. These children need us.

you don't need to be a muslim to stand up for Gaza

.

I have written about the cost of war and associated issues before -

http://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2013/09/01/save-lives-talk-peace/

http://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/the-human-cost-of-war/

http://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/naming-the-dead/

http://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/is-this-what-we-want-for-our-sons-and-daughters/

http://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/white-feather-caught-in-thorns/

http://hellenjc.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/guns-what-are-they-good-for/

.

As ever I welcome your thoughts.

Saturday girl signing off til whenever.

.

You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

.

A Midsummer’s day Protest against Austerity Measures in the UK.

_1674

Saturday 1363 -21.06.2014

If you are new to my blog take a look at my about page here, you’ll better understand how this blog came about :)

_1690I could have had a relaxing day pottering in my garden today; bathing in the midsummer sun but instead I got myself up and travelled to London to join up to 50,000 other people in a march and rally against the austerity measures in this country. The march was organised by  The People’s Assembly against Austerity and I encourage you to find out more about this organisation by clicking here or on their facebook page here

I don’t need to tell many of you that the governments austerity measures are causing extreme hardship in the Uk with millions of people who are actually working living below the poverty line. It is sadly ironic that the  “traditional” family, of one parent working and the other staying at home to look after children, that the Tory government purports to support! make up a huge proportion of those who are unable to earn a living wage. This should be _1684an embarrassment to a government that espouses the idea that work is the best way out of poverty.

The number of people using foodbanks in the UK has tripled in 2013/14 with close to a million people being given 3 days emergency food supplies according to the Trussell Trust – more about this here including statistics about causes etc.  This is a national disgrace for such a comparatively wealthy country. I have written about the increase in food banks before and you can see that post here

_1677The irony of marching against Austerity was not lost on me as we marched through a part of London, Regent Street’s “mile of style”, which is dedicated to getting people to spend as much money as possible, on things they don’t really need, but which appeal to their vanity. It’s full of shops, spas etc! see the 2 in the picture left of this who were out having a break from their pleasure!

One of the appropriate chants from the marchers was “Stop shopping, Save the NHS”

How on earth do we educate our seemingly money driven , greedy, apathetic society that people are more important than things.

You will see from my photos that there were many groups represented at the march from Unions to CND to Stop the War, socialists, environmentalists, housing , disability rights and justice campaigners. This is because every part of society, except it seems the rich who have got richer, are affected by Austerity measures. 

_1695 _1694_1692 _1693  _1691 _1689 _1687 _1688 _1686 _1683

_1680 _1678 _1676

When the march entered Parliament Square for a rally and festival, which included contributions from politicians, writers, poets , musicians  and comedians, we passed under a statue of Winston Churchill and I took this photo as the union Unite went by him . I wonder what he would have made of this all !!

_1685

Speakers included many representatives of Unions including the National Union of Teachers, Unite and the Fire Brigades Union, writer Owen Jones, MPs Caroline Lucas, Dianne Abbott and Jeremy Corbin, the poet Stephen Morrison Burke and musicians as well as comedians Francesca Martinez, Russell Brand and Kate Smurthwaite as well as many others.

..

There was some humour in the banners too, including this pink confection with Pom Poms…

_1679

..but this banner also carried very serious messages including this below..

_1681

————

Update Sunday morning - Sadly this march which began right under the BBC’s windows was ignored by them until a storm of complaints from myself and I’m sure hundreds or maybe thousands of others resulted in this on the BBC facebook page along with a 25 sec film with no commentary.

“Many of you have been asking to see coverage of Saturday’s anti-austerity march through central London.
It was the first demonstration organised by the People’s Assembly campaign group, which included politicians, union leaders and celebrities.
 Organisers say tens of thousands protested against the impact of cuts around the country.”
Still no sign of any report on the BBC News website at time of writing- it’s just not good enough from a news agency that claims to be impartial but proves it is anything but! 
————

Finally I will leave you with a quote from the People’s Assembly  -

“We face a choice that will shape our society for decades to come. It is a choice faced by ordinary people in every part of the globe.

We can defend education, health and welfare provision funded from general taxation and available to all, or we can surrender the gains that have improved the lives of millions of people for over more than 50 years.”

and my favourite banner from the march from psychologists against austerity….

Equality is the Best Therapy

Amen to that !

As ever I welcome your thoughts .

.

Saturday girl signing off.

.

You can find my photography blog Photomania here 

.

_1675