Recent events in Palestine underline the need for international solidarity, Rachel Thomson, Campaigns & Communications Officer, writes in advance of the STUC’s conferences on trade union solidarity with Palestine.
This week, on Wednesday the 24th of April, the STUC will be hosting two events on Scottish Trade Union Solidarity with Palestine.
The morning event will include ‘voices from Palestine’ and a focus on solidarity activity. The afternoon event, taking place from 2pm will involve sessions on Boycott Divestment Sanctions and will conclude with a panel discussion featuring trade unionists from across the movement, including UNISON’s Sam Macartney, co-chair of the International Committee.
Our conference comes at a time of continued turmoil for Palestinians. Just this week, a teenager was shot twice by Israeli soldiers, while handcuffed and blindfolded. The 16 year old, Osama Hajahjeh, said the incident began after a funeral for a school teacher in his village of Tuqu, who had been hit by a car driven by an Israeli while walking at a busy intersection.
This shooting comes after weeks of violence and repression following the commemoration of Palestinian Land Day. As the Israeli journalist Amira Hass states, “To listen to Palestinian news every morning is torture”.
However, international solidarity continues on, giving hope and strength to Palestinians at home and across the diaspora. Earlier this month saw marches of solidarity in Nigeria, with hundreds of activists taking to the street in Iwo (Osun State), organised by Nigerian Friends of Palestine. In Johannesburg, South Africa, activists came together to plant olive trees to commemorate Palestinian Land Day.
Closer to home, hundreds marched in London to mark Palestinian Land Day, with placards reading “Exist! Resist! Return!” and “Freedom to Palestine”. Additionally, this summer will see resistance to Israel’s hosting of the Eurovision song contest. Not The Eurovision: Party For Palestine, organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, will take place in London on May 18 – the day of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel. The concert, featuring Mercury Prize-winners Wolf Alice and rapper Mic Righteous aims to highlight and protest human rights violations experienced by Palestinians. The organisers argue that Israel is deploying “artwashing” tactics by using Eurovision as a way to mask its regime of apartheid and occupation.
At the moment the STUC is working with European Trade Unions to call on the EU and European countries to impose a ban on economic activity with illegal Israeli settlements. If your trade union would like to show solidarity and get involved, please email ETU at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope our events tomorrow will provide attendees with the knowledge, skills and inspiration to continue the fight for Palestinian people. To register for the event, please email email@example.com and to see the agendas in full, please click here.